Does anyone monitor HR during a race, or download it afterwards? NDCXL's race on Saturday was incredibly hard going and I had constant HR very close to my HR-Max. Although I'm 40 my HR-Max is somewhere about 188-190; I averaged 180 for the race. It peaked at 189 over the line for a photo-finish with the person adjacent to me in the league. Unfortunately I came out on the bad end of the judges' decision - it was just a few cms. Normally I would expect an average HR of 170-174
Lap times faded a bit - 9:44, 10:03, 10:41, 11:00, 10:50.
I'm not sure that I used a good strategy - would I be better off with a full on sprint start, take it easy and then save some for a later push? What do you reckon - anyone got any ideas?
You can check out a few of mine. I've only really 'surpassed' the consistently high heart rate' thing you get in cyclocross when doing fell races - despite the hills and descents there I virtually flat-line!!
and fell races...
I'd generally say it would be lovely to have the luxury of a race strategy but these are basically those sports where you need to keep up with the person in front and drop the person behind. If you're in the lead, then a strategy might just come into it.
Until then, train hard on making laps two, three and four as fast as lap 1...!
Thanks Dave, that's what I thought. Your HR profiles are remarkably similar to mine, but I beat my ave-HR record last time (hence the post).
Last summer I tried a few different strategies in XC MTB races and found that the "keep up with the person in front and drop the person behind" was the toughest and the '100% for 5 mins, 80% for 30 mins, 100% to the line' felt better. However, when I looked in detail I realised that giving it everything meant that I kept a good position and had a good final placing, whereas the '100-80-100 strategy' meant that I was only overtaking those who would have been behind anyway, and I tended to come a few places lower.
Last time was not great in terms of consistency of lap times, I agree, but thankfully it's normally only ~5-10s difference per lap. The only time I have had a serious drop off was when I managed to get dehydrated over at Mallory for a MTB race... that was very bad news!
~95% of max is typical for a cross, and is similar to what you would see in a flat-out TT of the same duration, such as a '25'
Of course the two events are completely different, the TT being steady-state and the cross being more on/off. Unfortunatley HR can't keep up with the changes in effort, such as blasting up short banks or freewheeling round a corner, so just tends to flat-line after a while.
If the course had longer descents or corners you might see more recovery taking place between efforts. As it was with Saturday's course, your elevated average might be due to the fact that the 'off' sections were very short as you had to constantly pedal just to keep moving, so HR never had a chance to drop. Or it might be that you had some pop the night before, or loads of coffee that morning, or a load of other factors, but that's a different discussion.
Amen to that, pal.
Your HR traces of the Nationals and Bradford seem to show the difference in courses quite well - the long descents at Bradford are clear to see in comparison to the flatter profile of Moorways.
Dave Haygarth said:
In general I find the courses that don't give you any let-up better (in terms of my results)... plodding, hard mud - etc... Some people are specialists at that 'sprinting out of each corner' stuff but believe me, these people might be good, but they are freaks and ought to be banned from cyclocross. ;-)
Bearing in mind I was in Boston (Massachusetts) 20 hours before arriving at the race I had an excuse!... and regarding the freak comment - I am a freak! ;-)
Lee Shunburne said:
.... Or it might be that you had some pop the night before, or loads of coffee that morning, or a load of other factors, but that's a different discussion.