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Dave Brillhart

A more interesting metric might be the changes to LT. While MAX HR may increase when you lose fitness, I'm sure LT decreases. Based on your guidance, my zones are all based on LT now. So I care more about LT changes over time and fitness.


Hi Joe, another interesting one, I'm enjoying recent posts on the aging, mind only just turning 40 gives me a good incite into what may lie ahead.

What I have noticed if I do a series of base rides or E2 as in the mtb bible I notice I start going faster at lower hr and it doesn't get as high on big efforts on the climbs.

The thing is when I fully rested and fresh I can hit 200 bpm, and after various tests my LTHR is 181/183, so based on this I train in the zones prescribed in the mtb bible but as I get fitter hr drops and the zones become less apparent as I can't hit them, still going as fast or faster over timed sections and RPE feels like it should but HR zone is not correct.

So should I re test LTHR more regular? When feeling fitter?

Suppose that's where a power meter comes in but that isn't an option.

When my HR wouldn't hit the usual highs I thought I was fatigued and backed off but after reading this and feeling like I wasn't fatigued I probably should have kept training.

Maybe RPE is a better way ?

Also I would like to mention how good I found the mtb bible, after using it over winter 2 years ago I knocked 30 mins off my local mtb enduro event over 30 miles down to 2hr 48.

Very impressed, keep up the good work!

Thanks Lee

Joe Friel

Leeperie--HR varies from day to day due to fatigue level, diet, and more. So if the difference is small (let's say less than +/- 2% or so) then I wouldn't be concerned. Paying attention to training data should give you an idea of how HR is doing. Testing is always an option. The most critical metric is power as you suggest.

Willem J Martins

Joe, being 60 and coming from a competitive cycling background, I find your latest posts very informative. Your last post coincides exactly with my personal experience.

Perhaps just a short note on my own aging experience:

Stopped riding at 48, with perhaps a maximum of 800 miles a year remaining (insignificant) until 58.

Started training again at 58, doing lots of endurance probably base1 and base2 for almost almost two years with a recreational group at times. No strength work with weights.

At 60, the past 8 weeks started working on high intensity twice a week, I seem to recover very well. Training program averages 12 hours per week

From being 30 lbs too heavy, I have 10 to go, following your Paleo recommendations 80% of the time and carefully counting calories.

Perhaps 10 years away from athletic performance took its toll, but with excellent health my average power over a 50 mile ride is about 40% down from 30 years ago and I can hang with the cat 3 young riders for about 45 minutes, until we hit the first long hill, then it is all over.
Burning 3,000 calories a day on the bike and consuming over 5,000 to be ready for the next day is something of the past, my metabolism is just way too slow.

For someone in my position, I can still hold my own in our recreational group of older folks, but the competitive days seem to be over.

Kind of like the mice treadmill trial, except this mouse got back on the treadmill halfway through the sedentary period.

I plan to give this one more shot with goals for a very hard competitive ride in April next year. If I do not achieve major improvement however, my goals will probably change towards health and recreational riding. Or, accepting old age for what it is.

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