Friday, June 9, 2023

Revision to training targets article from yesterday.

The goal here is to find a pace on the exercise bike that provides more training effect than just walking, and to also use heart rate measurements to make the activity repeatable and sustainable.  I fully acknowledge that the fact that I find staring at a heart rate monitor during a workout calming, interesting, and sustaining, makes me weird and that it is a function of previous training experience. 

My 20 year old training targets for long slow distance were 150bpm (A1) and 165bpm (A2). I asserted yesterday that this works out to 75% and 82.5% of "typical" HRmax respectively. However, consulting ChatGPT I understand that the HRmax for an elite athlete of a given age could be 10-20bpm higher than a sedentary person.

Recalculating the targets based on a 20 year old elite HRmax of 220 (rather than 200bpm), A1 turns out to have been more like 68% and A2 at 75%. Given what I understand to be generally true (in the average) about where lactate threshold is with respect to heart rate, these numbers make more sense. I always thought the original percentages were too high.

So you can then do the math for a 46 year old: 68% of 220-46 is 118bpm, and 75% of 220-46 is 130bpm. I'd even be tempted to drop those by 5bpm for a seriously (clinically) out of shape individual based on the original MAF article I cited.

I know people will continue to have an issue with the HRmax "220-age" estimation, but my response is still 'it's stupid to empirically test HRmax if you are a very, very de-trained 46 year old.'.

I did a workout at about 125-130bpm today (again, I'm 46), and I have to say, it felt like what I remember A2 feeling like.  The 113-119bpm workouts of the previous two days felt like what I remember A1 feeling like.   Probably that is the answer, use a sense of perceived exertion to at least temper the HRmax calculations.

As always, these posts represent a snapshot in time, and aren't intended to represent definitive answers to nutrition and exercise questions.  All of this stuff evolves as my knowledge and experience evolves.