/ Heart rates - Training for the new alpinism book

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Mr-Cowdrey on 14 Jul 2014
I'm a little confused with Heart Rates used in this book. As a brief summary, the book says this:

(% of max heart rate)
Recovery: <55% Conversational pace
Zone 1: 55 - 75% Nose Breathing
Zone 2: 75 - 85% Deep and steady breathing
Zone 3: 80 - 90% Short sentences
Zone 4: 90 - 95% No talking

Now, when out running i was trying to stay in Zone 1, however my heart rate monitor was saying that i was at 90% of max HR (zone 3/4) yet i was still able to breath through my nose (albiet noisy and labored, which the book states is upper end of zone 1) and when i tried getting my HR down to the required percentage (55 - 75%), i resorted to a brisk walk.

In the end, i just kept at a pace that only required me to breath through my nose (about 9min mile pace)

So in a long winded way of asking, whats happening? Am I unfit, super fit, abnormal? or do i possibly have a dodgy HR monitor? any other suggestions?

if it's of any help, i smoke as well, about 10-15 a day. (i know, i know, QUIT!!!)
wbo - on 14 Jul 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:
You almost certainly were using the wrong values for min and max, and there's also the little issue of a varying lactate threshold heart rate to deal with.

How did you measure max - formulae like 220 - age are so unreliable they are beyond useless
Mr-Cowdrey on 14 Jul 2014
In reply to wbo:

That's where i'm going wrong then as that's how i worked out max HR. i'll try the way described in the book to determine max HR.

wbo - on 14 Jul 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:
I would find a nice long hill , couple of minutes long, and run up it 3 times at full whack, walk down. Ideally on the 3rd you'll run out of steam power and stop on the way up, close to puking, and that will be max , or very close

What's recommended in the book?
Webster - on 14 Jul 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

not read the book, but from conversations with friends who have, plus the above it seams to be allot of misleading bollocks to me.
ClimberEd - on 14 Jul 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

The zones and breathing levels seem to be reasonable proxies, the HRs relative to these are entirely personal. Do a max test (various ways, one already suggested) and a threshold test if you want ( it is not conventional but I think 10k average HR is a pretty good threshold test, if you are unfit it might be a little low)
Mr-Cowdrey on 14 Jul 2014
In reply to wbo:

pretty much that. 15 min progressive warm up then sprint as hard as you can up a hill for 2mins.
wbo - on 15 Jul 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

But you're quite young, so what numbers are you using as min and max? Max 200, and 90% = 180 , or are you using min+(90%(max-min))
heelhookofglory - on 18 Jul 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

HR training is a rough guide only and false-positives could relate to all manner of things; lack of sleep, slight cold, poor readings from equipment, dehydration etc. You'll see that, to take cycling as an example, where data matters people train with power readings as opposed to HR readings but even then it still comes down to how accurate the meters are.

Generally I'd take your HR zone training with a pinch of salt and use it coupled with other data, even if that is just how you are feeling on the day.

To take your example from the book, even those terms are very loose terms. Example, define 'Short sentences'.

Joe Friel talks a lot about HR and power training on his blog:
chris687 - on 18 Jul 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

Hi mate,
Get to know what the book is talking about at each zone. You need to be familiar with what each one is for. Once you understand this then you can work at the right intensity without needing to use HR monitoring (although it is a nice stat for your log). What I mean is find out what all these zones feel like to you, bearing in mind that zones 2-3 often blur together. Or get in touch with me and I can get you in to a lab to have all your lactate markers, VO2 max etc tested and you will have all the details.

(Also, read up about the Borg RPE and apply it to this)
Mr-Cowdrey on 20 Jul 2014
In reply to chris687:

yeah, i've read the section over and over and have got a good indication on the zones now. lab sounds cool, i've always wanted to have those sorts of test done, but never had the opportunity. where abouts are you based at the moment?

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