Tempo Riding Using Heart-Rate Alerts

I did a three-hour ride today, and for the majority of it, I wanted to stay at a heart rate of 120, which is a brisk aerobic pace for me. I discovered my gps watch has “alerts” you can set, one of which is a heart rate range, so I set that for 116-122, and it beeped!! at me whenever I went higher or lower. This was helpful, I didn’t have to keep glancing at the watch to spot-check my heart rate. It turns out if my level of exertion is what I call “brisk but comfortable”, it reliably keeps me in the target range. This is enjoyable and relaxing, and also a good workout. For me, I also notice it corresponds to “ventilatory threshold 1” (VT1): the “talk test” is recommended for an easy pace. If you can sing, it’s too easy. If you can have a regular conversation, it’s just right for easy pace. As your pace gets a bit brisker you just start to notice a bit of a challenge on your breathing. That’s “VT1”.

On the way back I threw in some 60-second sprint intervals and some “on-bike strength training (climbing in a high gear). A good ride on a nice late fall day, and a good way to earn my Thanksgiving dinner.

First ride, before breakfast, Out and back on Hale Ave
Later in the morning, Outbound on Coyote Creek Trail.
Returning on Coyote Creek Trail, with Intervals thrown in.

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