What is in a heart beat?


Because your resting heart rate indicates how efficiently your heart pumps blood throughout your body, your pulse rate is a useful tool for gauging your fitness level. Athletes tend to have lower resting heart rates because training programs that build speed, fitness, muscle and endurance also train your heart muscles to pump a higher volume of blood with each heartbeat. Ultimately, it takes fewer heartbeats to power a well-conditioned athlete during intense training as well as during rest.

Now heart rate differs with age and gender. While the normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute, conditioned athletes and other highly fit individuals might have normal resting heart rates of 40 to 60 beats per minute. This indicates a high level of cardiovascular fitness. Gender is another factor in resting heart rate norms because women at various fitness levels tend to have higher pulse rates on average than men of comparable fitness levels. For example, the average resting heart rate of an elite 30-year-old female athlete ranges from 54 to 59 beats per minute, while the resting heart rate for men of the same age and fitness level ranges from 49 to 54, according to the YMCA’s “Y’s Way to Fitness.”

But then people differ … my friend Jim and I are of comparable fitness – he is slightly younger, taller and thinner but his heart rate is way, way  higher always when we ride together – yet his breathing gives no indication of a high HR like mine would at that bpm…..

EXAMPLE: Here is a stretch of road we both did recently a few days apart  – same time same wattage and we are same weight.

james seg

JIM ave HR 165bpm/174bpm max

RICH ave HR 123bpm/133bpm max

rich seg

As soon as Jim moves his heart rate is 150bpm but mine rarely rises as much although in anaerobic sports like 5 a side football going from still to full sprint it does sometimes hit those high peaks of 180bpm+ (my 100% max)

Screenshot 2016-05-03 11.30.07

Although I get slightly worried about my friend’s high HR it also appears that people with a low resting HR (me) can need pacemakers later in life as the heart doesn’t function as well with age. Will need to question my cardiologist pal next time I see him.

2016-04-25 19.14.24

Cycling and the wind – there is a cure


Don’t Go – this weekend the forecast was pretty mean and the cyclists I spoke to afterwards had scary tails – from the front 3 in a group being blown sideways in the road narrowly missing a car to a solo friends 30km battle into the 40know headwind ….

Screenshot 2015-03-11 14.08.53

I went kitesurfing instead and had a whale of a time. sure it is winter and cold and i hate kitesurfing in full gimp kit (hoodie gloves and boots as well) and after 1 hour you have to take a break but still what a great day

Screenshot 2015-03-11 14.13.14

what is interesting is putting the details into veloviewer and analysing speed there in the data sections – most of my time is spent in the 28kmh-30kmh (16knots in old nautical money) zone which when you work out that involves jumping and riding waves is pretty fast. and a good low cardio fat burn heart rate of 120-130bpm

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Zones in the veloviewer website

What is your fitness age?


good article from WELL in the NYT ….

Trying to quantify your aerobic fitness is a daunting task. It usually requires access to an exercise-physiology lab. But researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim have developed a remarkably low-tech means of precisely assessing aerobic fitness and estimating your “fitness age,” or how well your body functions physically, relative to how well it should work, given your age.

The researchers evaluated almost 5,000 Norwegians between the ages of 20 and 90, using mobile labs. They took about a dozen measurements, including height, body mass index, resting heart rate, HDL and total cholesterol levels. Each person also filled out a lengthy lifestyle questionnaire. Finally, each volunteer ran to the point of exhaustion on a treadmill to pinpoint his or her peak oxygen intake (VO2 max), or how well the body delivers oxygen to its cells. VO2 max has been shown in large-scale studies to closely correlate with significantly augmented life spans, even among the elderly or overweight. In other words, VO2 max can indicate fitness age.

In order to figure out how to estimate VO2 max without a treadmill, the scientists combed through the results to determine which of the data points were most useful. You might expect that the most taxing physical tests would yield the most reliable results. Instead, the researchers found that putting just five measurements — waist circumference; resting heart rate; frequency and intensity of exercise; age; and sex — into an algorithm allowed them to predict a person’s VO2 max with noteworthy accuracy, according to their study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

The researchers used the data set to tabulate the typical, desirable VO2 max for a healthy person at every age from 20 to 90, creating specific parameters for fitness age. The concept is simple enough, explains Ulrik Wisloff, the director of the K. G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine at the Norwegian University and the senior author of the study. “A 70-year-old man or woman who has the peak oxygen uptake of a 20-year-old has a fitness age of 20,” he says. He has seen just this combination during his research.

The researchers have used all of this data to create an online calculator that allows people to determine their VO2 max without going to a lab. You’ll need your waist measurement and your resting heart rate. To determine it, sit quietly for 10 minutes and check your pulse; count for 30 seconds, double the number and you have your resting heart rate. Plug these numbers, along with your age, sex and frequency and intensity of exercise, into the calculator, and you’ll learn your fitness age.

The results can be sobering. A 50-year-old man, for instance, who exercises moderately a few times a week, sports a 36-inch waist and a resting heart rate of 75 — not atypical values for healthy middle-aged men — will have a fitness age of 59. Thankfully, unwanted fitness years, unlike the chronological kind, can be erased, Dr. Wisloff says. Exercise more frequently or more intensely. Then replug your numbers and exult as your “age” declines. A youthful fitness age, Dr. Wisloff says, “is the single best predictor of current and future health.”

and my result …?

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 12.27.36boll*cks – in my dreams

 

Drug cheats in cycling is bad – Strava cheats are the lowest …


Digital EPO

 

Digital EPO is a website that allows you to ‘enhance’ your ride data before you share it with your friends, teammates and so on. It lets you cheat, basically.

Countless riders have gone to great lengths over the years to convince people that they’re better than they actually are. Often that involves drugs, but drugs cost money, they’re potentially dangerous, and you run the risk of a ban. If you’re going to cheat, Digital EPO is an altogether less hazardous way of doing it.

Why go to all the trouble and pain of training and actually working up a sweat? You simply need to go for a ride at whatever intensity you like, upload your ride to GarminConnect or a similar performance-tracking website, then export it out as a TCX file.

Then you upload it to the Digital EPO website, entering the amount of ‘juice’ you want to add to your ride. So, you can increase your speed, lower your heart rate, or increase the amount of climbing you’ve done. Then you can upload the file to Strava or something similar and bask in your undeserved glory.

As an exercise in Mickey taking, we reckon it’s quite funny. They say that you know you’ve made it when people start lampooning you, so we guess that means Strava has definitely hit the big time.

We can’t see it going down too well with people who take their KOMs seriously, though. In fact, we’d urge you not to get involved. Cheats never prosper – ask multi-millionaire Lance Armstrong. Oh no, hang on, that doesn’t work.

Anyway, check it out here: http://digitalepo.com/

[Apologies if you saw this months ago, by the way, but it’s a new one on us and well worth sharing].

 

Back on the turbo and gone pro on Strava


After a short break due to a cold I am back on the turbo trying to get a bit fitter for the potential Srathpuffer 24 mtb race – I am far from ready – so far in fact that i cant see myself doing 4 hours let alone 12 ….

But had a spin on thursday on the turbo and so tonight started doing one of the sufferfest films Angels which is a great climbing training video. Felt the effect of the cold so only completed 2 of the 3 climbs.

Picture 1

Went pro on the Strava account and they have this HR analysis which is fairly interesting if a bit basic. Love strava for the KOM and the social pecking order so paid mainly as a big thank you ….

Picture 3

So what is Suffer and what is points in the red – well here it is ….

The Strava Suffer Score is an analysis of your heart rate data. By tracking your heart rate through your workout and its level relative to your maximum heart rate, we attach a value to show exactly how hard you worked. The more time you spend going full gas and the longer your activity, the higher the score. Compare your Suffer Score with friends and pros, see if you can do a truly epic workout and motivate yourself to push that extra bit harder! The Suffer Score was inspired by the concept of TRIMP (TRaining IMPulse) coined by Dr. Eric Bannister.

 

Points in the Red is the portion of your Suffer Score that you earned in your Zone 4 and Zone 5 heart rate zones. Points in the Red shows you the intensity of your workout – if your Suffer Score and Points in the Red are the same, you were hammering the entire time!

 

Garmin Fenix – gps in the city


Just a quick link – I will moan about my frustrations using the Fenix in the gym at another time but here is a quick track from a walk into the office this morning. It goes from a hotel – through narrow streets with 5 storey buildings and it was still able to track. Started the gps as i left the hotle and didnt stop walking – took about 1 min to get a fix and then tracked amazingly well. I dont think woods or trees or canyons are going to throw the track off too much.

 

 

the watch is also very comfortable to wear the straps are pretty fab – but it is chunky but doesnt feel much bigger than larger Gshocks, breitlings or Suunto’s …..

lying next to pencil gives you an idea of the height