Training with Heart Rate Zones in January
Since I probably won’t have as much time this year to train as before, I need to be a bit cuter about it. So the plan for the first few months of the year is to focus on weight loss. The whole point of taking up cycling was to lose weight. While that was slightly successful, due to crap eating habits a lot of weight was put back on (as well as leading to not as much weight being lost as would have been possible).
But I’m going to try and do something a bit different this year. I’ve done a bit of research(not much granted), but basically in order to lose weight and get fitter I need to cycle slower! Because I’m pretty heavy my resting heart rate is pretty high. So I tend to spend a lot of time cycling in zone 3-4 (between about 142 and 169 bpm, or 75% to 90% of my max heart rate. Last year my average heart rate was 157). But in order to burn fat I need to spend more time at much lower levels, such as in zone 1 (114-123 bpm) and build mileage in zone 2. (I calculated the heart rates using this calculator.)
Now this all sounds very technical, but basically I have to try and force myself to go slower for a couple of months. This should help build back up a better cardio base, and drop weight at the same time. Then at least when I go to up the intensity at least I will have less weight to haul up hills. Well, that’s the theory anyway, practice could be different. I did try to do a couple of spins at a low HR before, but really struggled to stop trying to keep the speed down. This time I will program the zones on my garmin. That way if I go outside the zone an alarm should go off. Fingers crossed I can stick with this!