First ride of the season!

Yippie!!! I finally got outside for my first M5 training ride. Boy, have I got a LOT of training to cram into a very short amount of time. In fact, I'm kind of worried about it.

We are tentatively planning a shot at the 24 hour human powered boat record for the first weekend in June. Ya, that's 4 weeks away! My endurance should be pretty good right now having completed Ironman Arizona a week ago today, but I don't think the road bike training is 100% applicable to the recumbent position. At least, thats what my legs were telling me today as I struggled through my first 'bent' geometry ride since the 24 hour HPV record on the race track in Eureka California almost a year ago.

I did 90 minutes out to hwy 22 and back today. My heart rate was low, but my legs felt like they were doing something new and a bit strange. Again, more evidence that using heart rate to measure physiological efficiency doesn't work as well as most people think. I also noticed and remembered that my heart rate is about 5 to 10 beats LOWER at the same power output (watts as measured by my SRM power meter) than my triathlon bike. For some reason, your heart works less when you are reclined than upright - this is well known. But, just because your heart is pumping fewer beats per minute does not mean that you are more efficient. The way my legs feel right now after climbing Springbank hill - I probably couldn't cycle 3 hours right now, and yet a week ago I cycled 5 hours at an all-out effort.

To get to the point where I can do 24 hours straight seems downright scary to me now. The plan is to get out everyday for at least 1 hour. I'll do my first long ride (probably 3 to 4 hours) in a few days. Then 5 days later I will see if I can push it up to 5 hours. Then 8 hours a week later, then 12 hours, then maybe 15 hours as my last long ride. Then I should have about 5 days to recover, and then a shot at the 24 hour distance record on Glenmore Reservoir. Here is my training plan.
I have the Police half marathon next Sunday, so I did a fast 60 minute run yesterday, 1 week after Ironman. My goal at Police is to smash the 90 minute mark. I think I can do it. I feel like I need to redeem myself after my sucky marathon performance at Ironman Arizona last week. I went 1:32 at the Police last year and placed 22 out of 230. I need to break 1:28 to make the top 10.


2 Responses to “First ride of the season!”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Hi Greg,

    I wonder about your statement: "lower heartrate at the same output doesn't mean more efficiency".

    It sounds like "more miles to the gallon doesn't mean the car is more efficient".

    I think it does. The fact that some of your muscles aren't yet used to recumbing doesn't mean your heart functions less efficient.

    As I see it, you are trained right now extremely well. Your body is used to all kinds of physical effort. There are just some muscle that weren't used that often.

    Anyways, good luck with your training and, please, don't overdo it (rather safe than sorry, reschedule if you have to).

    Guus Bonnema, Leiden.  

  2. # Blogger Adventures of Greg

    I disagree. I have years of experience in the recumbent position and my HR has always been a bit LOWER for the same power output. BUT, this does NOT mean that I can put out more power in the recumbent position. In fact, all of my power tests (all-out max power outputs for 5 minutes, 10 minutues, 20 minutes and an hour) are all LOWER on the recumbent than my road bike because of LESS training in that position.

    My point is that you cannot use heart rate as a reliable measure of pysiological efficiency. If you could, then you would expect a HIGHER watts average in the recumbent position due to my lower average HR. This has not been the case.


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