Cycling zones with elevation changes | 80/20 Endurance

Cycling zones with elevation changes

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  • #7925
    Mjdougl
    Participant

    I did the CAe4 workout today but had a terrible time staying in the zones. I am using HR as I do not have a power meter. The area near my house is not flat and I don’t have time to drive to where it may be more flat. How do I handle this? My average pace today was 12.5 mph because I was going so slow but a lot of the time I was not in my HR zone. Thanks.
    I tried to insert my elevation graph but could not figure out how to.

    #7931
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    M,

    Let’s review your gearing. What ring size do you have up front and what cassette in the back. With the right crank, cassette and ring, you can handle some pretty steep hills and maintain Zone 1-2.

    A compact 50-34 up front and a 12-28 in the back with a 165mm crank arm can manage an 8% grade like a knife through butter in Zone 2. The bad news is that’s about $400 in equipment! Less if used. The priority should be cassette (the cheapest and most effective) then chain ring, then crank arm last.

    If you can’t change equipment, then do the best you can in hills to maintain the right intensity. I wish I could offer some comfort, but the truth is that even if the terrain is forcing you out of 80/20 ratios, you’ll still suffer the consequences of limited performance gains. Maybe even spin inside for the first and last 30 minutes of the ride where you can control the terrain.

    David

    #7933
    Mjdougl
    Participant

    I have a 50-34 and an 11-32.

    Is cycling like running where in order to stay in zone 1 I will be going uncomfortably slow? The only way I could be in zone 1 is by going very slow.

    #7940
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    M,

    Yep, you are armed for bear! That gearing is as good as you can get for hills.

    So, give yourself permission to maintain Zone 2 when Zone 1 is called for. When Matt and I defined Zone 1, there was no empirical evidence on where Zone 1 ended and Zone 2 started. The empirical evidence just indicates 80% of training at an intensity lower than VT. We created Zone 1 for a) recovery from intense intervals and b) permission to the athlete to really go slow on days where they are still recovering and c) to add some padding to help motivate more stubborn athlete to stay at a low intensity.

    So, if the workout calls for Zone 1, and you can still maintain Zone 2, that’s acceptable. You’re potentially robbing yourself of recovery that can be used for the next high intensity interval, but it’s marginal at best.

    David

    #7941
    Mjdougl
    Participant

    My LTHR for running is 167 and my LTHR for cycling is 134. Is that possible and does it make sense?
    Thanks for all the help!

    #7943
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    M,

    OK, that’s a bit of news. The delta between bike and run LTHR is typically 5 beats or less for an experienced triathlete, maybe 10 beats for a new cyclists. 33 beats is fairly large.

    We may have uncovered the root cause of the difficulty you have in staying in Zone 1 (which with an LTHR of 137, would be an upper limit of only 111).

    Can you confirm how you verified your cycling LTHR? I bet we can raise you to an estimated LTHR 150 based on this conversation alone until you can formally re-test

    David

    #7944
    Mjdougl
    Participant

    I did the 30 minute time trial indoors on the trainer.

    #7948
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    M,

    OK, indoor HR is about 10 beats lower than outdoor HR, so we can bump you up to 147 LTHR outside right away.

    I’m also guessing it was not your best result, and can add 5 more beats to 152 comfortably.

    Perform your next test outside (you can do it up those hills!) and I’m confident you’ll be close to 155 and at 160 by the end of the summer with regular training.

    David

    #7949
    Mjdougl
    Participant

    Sounds good. I did the CF 9 workout today with zones 1 and 2 based on a 150 LTHR and that felt much better.
    Also, I know you had guidance about what to do if your race is postponed or cancelled and I plan to follow your plan until July 19 and hopefully at least do the bike and run I was supposed to do for my first 70.3. I live in Central NY so race season ends in August so I don’t anticipate doing any other races this year. Do I do the maintenance plan from August until I start to train for my first 2021 event which which will probably be in May or June?

    #7951
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    M,

    That’s a bit too long to stay on Maintenance. Consider finding a 10K, HM, Olympic…something with a March or April event date that can act as your anchor and motivator for that period. Essentially break up the year into two seasons.

    David

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