Training with heart monitor – update

Since starting to use a heart rate monitor, as outlined in a previous post, I have had some confusing results. All the various formulae for calculating my maximum heart rate based on my age (66) give a figure of round about 160 yet on my bike I have seen a figure of 177 on a couple of hills. So, using this figure, I have revised the values for the various training zones that are now as follows:

Zone 1 (60-65% of maximum heart rate): For long, easy rides, to improve the combustion and storage of fats. (106-115)

Zone 2 (65-75% of MHR): The basic base training zone. Longish rides of medium stress. (115-133)

Zone 3 (75-82% of MHR): For development of aerobic capacity and endurance with moderate volume at very controlled intensity. (133-145)

Zone 4 (82-89% of MHR): For simulating pace when tapering for a race. (145-158)

Zone 5 (89-94% of MHR): For raising anaerobic threshold. Good sessions for 10- and 25-mile time-trials. (158-166)

Zone 6 (94-100% of MHR): For high-intensity interval training to increase maximum power and speed (166-177)

My typical maximum and average heart rates for sessions on the turbo are maximum HR = 145-155, average HR = 120-130. This puts most of my turbo training in the “for simulating pace when tapering for a race”. I should emphasis that I am pedalling briskly, 80 to 90 rpm, and feeling quite comfortable. This is not hard training.

On my last 10 mile ride involving 589 feet of climbing and averaging 10.8 mph my maximum heart rate was 175 and the average 155. In other words I was in ranges 4, 5 and 6 (tapering for racing, anaerobic threshold and high intensity) for most of the ride. It seems that to stay anywhere near my theoretical fat burning zone (106-115) I would have to take it very easy. I suspect that even getting off and walking up the hills would put me above this! I have no idea what this means for my general state of fitness. I am now down to 15 stone 11 lbs, a weight loss of 1 stone 8 lb in about 3 months so the fat is going somewhere. 
Anyway, I’m not dead yet so I’ll keep going with the same programme.

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