Saturday, July 03, 2010

Bike Test

Every few weeks/months, Coach likes to do "tests" to see where my fitness currently falls and if my heart rate zones have changed. Unlike Dave, it seems I have somehow escaped doing many of these tests. In fact, the last time I had a bike test was two years ago, July 2008. At that time I didn't bike AT ALL!!! Doing that bike test was pure torture. I thought I was going to die. Today I had just my second bike test on the schedule and I was determined to do well at it. After a long warmup, it was go time. I started off conservatively keeping my cadence high and building speed in five minute intervals. I kept a sticker over my bike computer so as not to see how good or poorly I was doing. Every once in a while I would look at my heart rate just to see where I was at and was really surprised to see how low it was. Was I not working hard enough? Was I worn out and the heart rate was not going to climb at all?

After 20 minutes I had gone just 5.63 miles with an average pace of 16.8 mph and a maximum pace of 21.9 mph. Did I mention this was on the trainer? Yeah, so the speeds were slower than if it had been outside. My heart rate maxed at 178 and recovered at 137.

So what does all this mean? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! Eight months focusing on cycling and my heart rate zones are staying exactly the same. What?! I guess this boils down to my aerobic fitness being spot on. I haven't been working on speed. My goal for Ironman is to ride in zone 2 the entire ride. The paces I have planned fall into zone 2.

I hope it's another two years before my next bike test.

1 comment:

Jennifer Harrison said...

Oh Meredith! Once you are fit the HR zones don't change much....what changes (hopefully) is your POWER to weight ratio (measuring your watts, if you had a power tap) OR your ability to hold a faster pace at Lactate threshold. For your bike test, it is hard to really change HR zones massively when you are already fit (you did NOT start as a beginner athlete). So, hang tough! YOu can tell you are getting more fit as the rides become easier and you can work faster at a lower HR and RPE! :)