Why Monitor Your Cycling Performance?
HEART RATE MONITORING
The idea around heart rate training has become a popular topic that is reaching out to a wide market, so much so that it has become a common area of discussion. These developments have meant that heart rate monitoring devices can now be found for a very reasonable price and, in turn, the world of heart rate training has become more accessible.
Although heart rate is becoming a more accessible method of training, it is important that a training plan is put in place to utilise your training effectively. If certain measurements are not made to calculate how you should go forward with your training, your performance may not increase as quickly as you would like it to.
Heart rate monitoring is a zonal method of training which requires you to train in different zones according to your resting and maximum heart rate. According to the Association of British Cycling Coaches recommend a zonal system with six tiers;
Zone one (60-65% of MHR) – long easy rides, improves combustion of fats
Zone two (65-75% of MHR) – basic training zone, longish rides of medium stress
Zone three (75-82% of MHR) – development of aerobic capacity and endurance with moderate volume at very controllable intensity.
Zone four (82-89% of MHR) – for stimulating pace when preparing for a race
Zone five (89-94% MHR) – raising anaerobic threshold – good sessions for 10-25 mile TT
Zone six (94-100% of MHR) – high intensity training to increase maximum power and speed.
One of the main advantages with using your heart rate to train and increase performance is that you can tailor your training to the direction you want to improve in. Cycling training regimes can be suited to your needs, for instance endurance training for sportive riders or increasing weight loss prospects through targeted training.
CADENCE IN CYCLING
Cycling cadence data has long been used as an indication of how a cyclist is performing, and even a tool to help retain power and reduce fatigue. Relatively simple and inexpensive to record, a cadence sensor can be attached to the crank arm and the data can be fed straight to your device for in-ride performance information. Improving your cadence can also improve your efficiency.
Recent shifts in how the cycling community measure their performance has meant that power metres have become a lot more popular and widely used, not only in the pro-peloton. Considered now as “the most effective tool you can get to go faster on a bike” a power metre allows you to measure your output directly and see, very precisely, your training progression. There is one draw-back however with the use of power metres – the price. Starting at around £600 for a crank mounted devise, the world of power metres is a fairly expensive one, however if bought into could take your training to a whole new level.