What our Heart Rate Field Test will be like

Read all the details about the other offerings here. This post just describes one of the three workouts we’ll be doing tomorrow night

Tomorrow is the last Thursday night trainer class at Five Seasons.  We’ll be hosting an outside ride, an inside ride, and a Lactate Threshold Heart Rate test before a party in the Five Seasons’ Cafe.

If you use a heart rate monitor for cycling, there is an important number to know:  your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR).  Since there’s no way to really know this, we can estimate it using a test.  You can use your estimated LTHR to gauge your workout intensities, and also keep tabs on your fitness over the course of months.  If you’re planning on joining us for our field test tomorrow, read on to see what’s in store.

Next week, we’ll do a series of posts on heart rate training, including some rudimentary physiology and some practical tips for using a HRM for training. For now, I wanted to describe the test so you’re prepared for tomorrow.

The test estimates your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR). There are a lot of ways you can do this, but our method is a popular and accurate test that consists of two, eight minute efforts as hard as you can go. I like doing this on the trainer for consistency and repeatability.

Before the test, I’d eat a meal without much fat or protein about two hours beforehand, and then don’t eat again until after. In the 45 minutes before the test, sip on some water or sports drink to make sure you’re hydrated.

We’ll warm up for about 15 minutes, including some 30-45 second hard efforts. At that point, we’ll start our first eight minute effort. Build your intensity gradually (over about 30 seconds) to an effort that you can sustain for the 8 minutes, then push as hard as you can for the remainder of the test. It will hurt– so arrive focused and ready for a hard mental and physical challenge.

We’ll take 10 minutes recovery, and then go again for eight more minutes. After the second eight minute effort, we’ll cool down completely.  Try to eat something or drink a recovery drink as soon as possible after your test.

The test uses the higher average HR of the two efforts, so make sure your HRM has an “average” feature, and that you know how to use it!

Bring water, your bike and trainer, a heart rate monitor with an averaging feature, and a commitment to really push your body.  Post questions in the comments here, and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

The heart rate test is just part of the regular Thursday night trainer series.  If you’ve paid for the series, there’s no charge.  Otherwise, rates are the same as other classes:  $10, $7 for CTC, and Five Seasons members always free.

See you tomorrow!

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