In this video, we cover off how to Time Trial and how to pace yourself, how to avoid lactic buildup on a climb and we start off discussing Heart Rate Zones
In this video we talk about: 00:32 – How to Time Trial 02:11 – How do you avoid lactic buildup on a climb 02:56 – All about Heart Rate Zones

Video Transcript:

Hi, welcome to Cycling-Inform’s weekly updates.  My name is David Heatley and here’s what we’re going to be talking about today. We’re going to be covering off some of the questions that we’ve had come through on our Facebook fan page, and also discussing heart rate zones.

This week on our Facebook fan page, we asked the question, “What tips do you want to be answered in this video?”  And here is what we got:

Karen has asked the question, “How do I time trial?”

Well, time trialing is a real art these days.  When I first started riding, we used to just jump on our normal race bike with an aero-nothing, and we’d ride down the road as fast as we could.  But nowadays, time trialing has become very specialized, and there’s a big importance on aerodynamic and positioning.  But for the person that’s entering into time trialing, I would recommend this:  Time trailing is first and foremost, all about the pacing strategy.  What you want to do is you want to break your time trial down into three sections:  the start, the middle, and the end. How I coach my people to do it is that I ask them to start, not really super-hard.  I usually explain it like this; you don’t want to take off like an F-18 off an aircraft carrier.  You want to not do that and just take off nice and gradually and build up.  I’m not saying that you’d take off super-slow, I’m just saying that you don’t take off super-fast.

The reason for that is that you want to do that for the first two or three minutes until you get into a routine or into a zone [rhythm] , and then from there, then you start working on the middle section of the time trial. [Another reason is that we have done tests and taking off too fast for time trials longer than 5 minutes will result in a slower time]. In the middle section of the time trial, what you want to do, if you want to start working on that zone and just driving yourself through it.  The idea is to work as close as possible to your threshold heart rate, or your threshold power for that particular duration of the event.  That’s going to vary, depending on the duration of the event. So obviously, for shorter events, those figures are going to be higher than for longer events.

Adam has asked the question, “How do you avoid lactic buildup on a climb?”

That’s a really good question.  Generally, all it has to do with is form and fitness.  To improve that, you want to go out and do more climbing, and really work on doing hill repeats and intervals on climbs to improve your hill climbing. Hill climbing is a little bit different to riding in a bunch along a flat road, and that the torque that you’re applying to that hills is usually lower [I should have said higher].  That’s where a lot of people fall out.  They go out and do a lot of training on flat roads, and then when they get to hills, because their legs are not used to the torque, that they run into problems.  What I recommend you do is get out there and start climbing some fantastic hills, and use them to build up your fitness. Heart rate zones, this is one of my favourite subjects, along with power zones.  I’ve been using heart rate monitors for years, and I’ve got my own way of working with it.

I actually use the Cycling Australia heart rate zone calculator. It kind of goes a little bit like this:  the recovery zone is anything from your resting heart rate to 64% of your max heart rate.  The recovery zone and the one above it, the base aerobic endurance zone, or what I call E1, between 65% and 74% of your max heart rate are what I call recovery.  When you’re doing recovery rides, or you’re doing base training, those are the two zones that you want to be in. [I usually combine these zones together]. Then above zone E1, there is a zone E2. E2 is between 75% and 84% of your max heart rate.  This is an interesting zone in that you’re actually riding hard in this zone but you’re not riding really hard.  And it’s a zone, while you may do a lot of riding in, I don’t recommend that you do a lot of serious training in.  It’s kind of like the no-man’s land heart rate zone of heart rate training.

The reason for that is that you’re not actually really working really, really hard, you’re just working hard.  All it’s really going to do when you’re working in that heart rate zone is tire yourself out, and make yourself tired for tomorrow. In the higher zones, E3 and VO2 max, and I’ll come to those very soon.  Those are the zones where you get really good at adaptation, and you get a really good bang for buck.  But in E2, you’re just riding hard and not getting good bang for buck.  When you’re out training with E2, it’s not an effective training zone.

That’s not to say that you don’t ride in E2.  I’m not saying that, because for some of your ride, you will be riding in E2.  What I’m saying is that if you really want to get serious, you want to focus some of your effort or a lot of your effort either riding in recovery or the higher zones E3 and VO2 max. With E3 and VO2 max, those are the higher heart rate zones.  In between those zones, in between E3 and VO2 max is usually your lactic threshold.  E3 starts from 82% and it goes to 91% of your max heart rate, and VO2 max goes from 92% to 100% of your max heart rate.

I’ll be discussing how you work out your max heart rate next week.  But E3 is an interesting zone, and it’s a great zone for doing hill climbing in.  Especially long hill climbs, and really any interval effort over 10 minutes, you generally would do in E3.  Some people are able to do that in VO2 max and that’s fantastic. For most people that I coach, I recommend that they do intervals longer than 10 minutes in E3.  E3 is a really fantastic zone because you get a really good bang for buck, and you get good adaptation. [It’s a very efficient use of your training time] The next one above that, VO2 max, is usually above your threshold.  That means, generally, you can only do it for four or five minutes or less.  When you’re riding at really super-high intensities, then VO2 max for those shorter intervals is the heart rate zone that you want to be in. I could go on and talk about heart rate zones forever, and everybody’s got their own theory around how they should run out.  What I’ve found is that I have a really simple heart rate zone formula that I use, but there are many different types of formulas and ways to calculate heart rate zones out there in the market today. It doesn’t really matter which one that you decide to use, there’s plenty out there, so no one heart rate system is better than another one.  The most important thing about using heart rate zones is to just stick with one particular system and use that all the time.

Workouts that we use in all our coaching programs that have been so successful in helping our everyday cyclists and our elite racing cyclists competing at state, national and world events improve their hill climbing. Do this workout twice a week for four weeks and you won’t believe the result you’ll get out on the road… and neither will your cycling buddies. 003 – Fruit Bowl Ergo – Indoor Cycle Training video and workout files.  Our best all-round Video indoor training workout to have your time trailing faster in less than four weeks. This one is again one of the cornerstone workouts that we use in all our coaching programs and has been used by our everyday cyclists and our elite racing all around the world to improve their time trailing.

Check this article on How To Work Out Your Cycling Heart Rate Zones.