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  1. #16
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    Feb 2005
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    TC Trek, my HR is pretty similar to yours, except my resting HR is down in the 50s when i awake. Just looking at my bike makes it go up to 90-100! Seriously, I know it goes up to 130 when I get on the bike and then might settle down until I climb. I stopped wearing my HR monitor about 2 years ago, since I was just focusing on that...
    I have also been described as a hummingbird.

  2. #17
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    58
    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    Are you the sort who can go forever and not run out of steam, or are you a little bunny rabbit who goes very very fast? When you were in track, did you run 50/100/200 m, or were you in the 400m and up?
    I am most definitely a fast-twitch gal. I ran the 200 and the 400 quite well in high school track but I was barely able to run 2 miles straight even though I was in tip-top shape.

    Right now if I try and go for a run my HR hits 170-180 within the first 2 minutes of a run (and that's on an easy run) and stays there. My resting HR is around 78. My HR does recover fairly fast so if I go for a run I have to alternate jogging and walking.

    However, I've been biking for a month now (almost at 200 miles total!), and I am able to do 15-20 miles averaging 12.5-13.5 mph without any issues. My HR generally sits around 130-140 most of the time and gets up to a max of 170 when I'm really pushing. I rarely feel out of breath unless I'm really pushing hard for a long time.

  3. #18
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    May 2008
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    northern Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    Before getting too excited about high cadences (and in the 1970's we thought 60 rpm was hot stuff!) take a gander at your muscle: are you more a slow twitch or a fast twitch kind of gal?

    Are you the sort who can go forever and not run out of steam, or are you a little bunny rabbit who goes very very fast? When you were in track, did you run 50/100/200 m, or were you in the 400m and up?

    Forcing a slow twitch athlete to go at a higher rpm than they are built for is going to put their best asset (slow twitch fibers) to waste while stressing the small portion of fast twitch they have. (we all have some of each)

    Force a distance runner (slow twitch) to race a short sprint, and not only with they lose, they'll also likely be gasping for breath and puking at the end of the race. (it's quite a spectacle! I've done it!) But no-one is going to point at the distance runner and say she's a poor runner and out of shape.

    Don't kick yourself if your rpm doesn't meet some mythical "good" number. There's nothing magical about higher numbers, what's magical is riding well by taking advantage of your strengths and feeling fabulous! There are many different riders: Do what feels right.
    I don't understand this. Which is the slow twitch person and which is the fast twitch - the one who can "go forever and not run out of steam" or the "bunny rabbit"?

    And what if you're average when it comes to speed?

  4. #19
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    Sep 2007
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    The idea makes sense, but I don't know about the numbers.

    I'm one of those slow-but-steady types. An all-out sprint for me is some people's marathon pace. But 100 miles on a bici has never really been a big deal for me. My natural cadence has always been in the high 80s. When I put on my first cadence monitor in 1985 that's what it was, and even though I normally try to keep it a bit higher (like, low 90s), that's what I revert to when I'm fatigued.

    Then you look at pro riders, and see cadences much higher. As someone was pointing out, track riders (probably the most fast-twitch of the bunch) keep cadences of 120+. Lots of road racers have a natural cadence right around 100. That's kind of where I came up with the range of 85-100.

    I think for a new rider, the question is (1) lessening the shearing forces on the knees, which for a lot of people means learning to increase their cadence (less power per pedal stroke at any given speed) and (2) learning to pedal smoothly. I don't for a minute think that everyone (or anyone, really!) should maintain a cadence of 140 all the time, but I strongly believe that everyone should be able to maintain a cadence of 140 for 60-120 seconds, without bouncing. Learning to do that will teach you to smooth your pedal stroke at any cadence. It's easy to pedal in squares at 70 rpm. Not so much at 140.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #20
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    58
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    I don't understand this. Which is the slow twitch person and which is the fast twitch - the one who can "go forever and not run out of steam" or the "bunny rabbit"?
    Slow twitch people are the ones able to "go forever" and fast twitch people are the natural sprinters. Muscles have both slow and fast twitch fibers, but some people may have "more" of one or the other. "Slow twitch people" is more of a generalization- some people are natural endurance athletes and can't run a fast sprint even with a lot of conditioning (and vice versa).

    If you Google "fast twitch fibers" there are numerous articles available. There are also a lot of fitness routines that are supposed to help you activate one type of fiber or the other, but I have no idea how valid those are.

  6. #21
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    Sep 2009
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    Southeastern Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    The idea makes sense, but I don't know about the numbers.

    I'm one of those slow-but-steady types. An all-out sprint for me is some people's marathon pace.

    .................................

    but I strongly believe that everyone should be able to maintain a cadence of 140 for 60-120 seconds, without bouncing. Learning to do that will teach you to smooth your pedal stroke at any cadence. It's easy to pedal in squares at 70 rpm. Not so much at 140.
    Like you I'm one of the slow and steady. When I swam competitively in HS, I did the long races, couldn't sprint for the life of me (and honestly, wasn't very fast at the long ones relative to my competitors either ). But that said, once I get in a groove, I can go and go. I hope to get my natural go to cadence in the mid-80's because even after only a couple of rides in that range, I see the advantages of the easier/smoother pedal force and ability to speed up.

    Now to that 140rpm thing, boy, I get over 100 and I have one bouncy butt. Trying to take advantage of the many downhills around here to practice smoothing things out at the higher rpms - (while basically in a glide, because on these hills I would need to be up there around 140 to actually apply force).

  7. #22
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    May 2008
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    northern Virginia
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    Okay, so I'm a slow twitch person since I am not fast but I do long rides.

    And my cadence averages above 90 rpm.

    But you're saying I should not be able to do that?

    Still lost.

    p.s. I never ran track.
    Last edited by ny biker; 10-08-2009 at 02:54 PM.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    2,059

    Zooming Audio

    If you are thinking about using any kind of audio to help build your cadence, you might be interested in the Zooming CDs. Below is a post I did about them from some other thread. I love the Zooming because it is all timed and orchestrated for a perfect 90rpm spin, but it is all a big breathing meditation, along with great prompts for all kinds of other things to work on, from relaxation of the shoulders to stretching the back through breathing, etc.

    I am amazed at how long I can keep up a 90rpm spin using these, and how much it trains my breathing at the same time. Just a thought if you want something to use on the trainer.

    -------------------------------------------------

    I haven't done much yet with podcasts, but along those lines, I REALLY like a cycling CD I bought and loaded onto my iPod. It is the Zooming CD from Ian Jackson. I ordered the set, which also has audio for both walking and running programs. I use the Zooming workout the most (it is specifically for cycling).

    http://www.breathplay.com

    I also bought a Spinerval audio only workout that I put on my iPod. It is a 45 minute high cadence interval workout. I think it is good.
    "The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it." ~ Doug Bradbury

  9. #24
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    Oct 2005
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    Shelbyville, KY
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    Find a cadence that works best for you. If you are fairly new to riding maintaining a cadence of 90 rpms probably is not reasonable. I would suggest first focusing on simply learning what your workable cadence is and what it feels like. If your bike computer provides this information that is a huge plus. Focus on maintaining this cadence for with time you will find it will increase as will your speed. Remember too, the cadence you settle into on flats is going to be different from the cadence you settle into when climbing but regardless of the topography of that area adjusting and maintaining a workable cadence is important. Hopes this helps.
    Marcie

  10. #25
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    96
    I have a high maximum heart rate; about 195 for cycling, 205 for running, and perhaps an even higher max for kettlebells.

    Cycling has a lower heart rate for three reasons (none of which has to do with weight bearing!) -- in order of importance*.
    1. Fewer muscles used -- mostly leg muscles, little active upper body motion.
    2. Position of body relative to heart -- easier to pump blood to upper body, which is at 45 degrees or greater, so not pumping directly against gravity
    3. Better cooling at faster mph -- a lot of blood pumping capacity can go to dumping core heat.

    If you even sit up straight while on a trainer (no other upper body motion), heartbeat raises 2-3 beats per minute... Your heart rate will also be higher on a climb, especially when out of the saddle and actively using upper body (even more if cooling drops from a speed drop) -- you will be closer to your "running MHR" and not necessarily over your lactate threshold.

    *for the triathletes -- swimming MHR can be 10-15 beats/min lower than biking...
    1. Smaller muscles used, arms and upper body, which require less oxygen.
    2. Body perpendicular to gravity, so easier to pump blood.
    3. Excellent cooling from water, little blood capacity needed for cooling.

    MHR is genetic at birth, but declines with age based primarily on how sedentary / active the person is. A competitive athlete might see no drop in MHR with age, while sedentary people have a drop of about 2/3 of a beat per year. (This is a compilation of the most recent studies; the first study that was done had many flaws I won't go into, but it spawned the ubiquitous 220-age "MHR formula" that will never die... this formula has a drop of 1 beat per year.)

    The real reason to know your maximum heart rate is knowing when different energy systems are used. The lactate threshold is about 75-85% MHR, depending on training - this describes a particular blood concentration of lactate, but effectively is about when half of the energy is produced aerobically and half anaerobically. Knowing your lactate threshold is important for setting race / distance pace, tempo pace (faster but sub-lactate threshold) and for training to raise the lactate threshold. It seems like a lot of cyclists don't want to go above the lactate threshold... however, lactic acid / lactate is a fuel that your body will process better with increased training. It is *not* lactic acid buildup that makes muscles sore, it is excess H+ / hydrogen atoms from processing the lactic acid into ATP / fuel. As the body becomes more efficient above the lactate threshold, it also becomes more efficient at removing H+ ions.... I definitely exceed my lactate threshold on some short steep grades here, but my muscles don't get sore. (I think strength training really helped with using lactate effectively, since weights are anaerobic).

    Exercise Science is kind of a hobby for me...

    Oops, well on topic I just naturally spin at about 80-90 rpm on my road bike... What I do is spin up in a lower gear, then if I feel like I can apply more power I upshift, and keep doing this until my cadence starts dropping. The upshifting is new, which is exciting because I must be getting stronger!

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    Very interesting Yelsel.

    Can we continue the hijack... and can you answer a question for me? I don't know my RHR, but when I'm driving to a run or ride with my HR strap on, it's in the low 50s. Max for running is around 185. I did see 187-188 a couple of times in the hot weather and I think those are probably accurate - they don't look like spikes on the graph.

    But I'm not even beginning to work until it gets up around 140... as auto-calculated by my Garmin, HR zone 2 begins at 146. So all the subsequent zones are really narrow, like 9 bpm. It calculates my LT (beginning of zone 5) at 172, which jibes really well with how I feel, and with where my HR goes when I'm running intervals.

    But that's like 92-93% of my MHR. Is that even possible?


    ETA: and actually, even though I've increased my running and cycling volume, and my running intensity, considerably since I entered menopause, my MHR has dropped by like 5-7 bpm just in the last couple of years. I think hormones maybe have as much to do with it as training.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 10-08-2009 at 06:38 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #27
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    Apr 2006
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    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    Okay, so I'm a slow twitch person since I am not fast but I do long rides.

    And my cadence averages above 90 rpm.

    But you're saying I should not be able to do that?

    Still lost.

    p.s. I never ran track.
    Nope. Fast twitch and slow twitch is more about your "natural" rpms. If you are a fast twitchy person, your natural rpms are higher both in running and in biking.

    Don't get confused over "short" or "distance" runner vs "short" or "distance" biker. They are quite different kettles of fish (run vs bike) and I only use the run example because so many of us are familiar with it. I didn't mean to confuse you.

    How long you ride is more about you having found your most efficient rpm and keeping muscles, heart, and lungs working happily together.

    Here's a more bike related example: I went for a ride with a friend of mine who is a high rpm guy. I'm a slow rpm gal. We were both going about 18 mph for several miles, both happy and chatting and comfortable. I'm mashing at 65-70 rpm and he's twirling at closer to 100. But we're going the same speed and for the same distance. We're each in our groove, our bodies and bikes are in their "happy place."

    If he had switched to a higher gear and tried to go at 65 rpm, his legs would have hurt and he would have felt slow and inefficient. If I had switched to a smaller gear and tried to go 100 rpm I would have been out of breath and my legs would have been on fire, and I would have felt slow and inefficient. Neither of us would have had any fun.

    He's a fast twitch (high rpm, runs better in a sprint) and I'm slow twitch (low rpm, run better in a distance).

    Find "your happy place" whatever your own personal sweet spot is in the rpm spectrum, and you can ride as fast and as far as you want because the gearing of the bicycle gives you the ability to do so within your sweet spot.

    In my mind, that's one of the beauties of the bike; the way it elegantly allows you to work at your body's most efficient mode, and for miles and miles and miles!

    How often does a sprint runner get to sprint for miles? How often does a distance runner get to shift into a "big ring" and run super fast? It's cool beans!

    ETA: clarified bike example by adding gearing choices for changing rpms.

    Edit AGAIN To Add: you won't find your sweet spot unless you try all kinds of rpms. If changing up or down doesn't make the heavens open up and the angels sing, don't fret. It could be you were at your sweet spot already! And don't worry if your sweet spot isn't the same as someone else's... they seldom are and there's no reason for them to be.
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 10-08-2009 at 07:33 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    714
    Definitely agree. DH is a slow-twitch rider > He rocks a big gear, low (60-70 rpm) cadence and that's where he's best. It's very difficult for me to keep up with his power when he rides like that. When he tries to ride at a high cadence, he's very uncomfortable and out of sorts. He loses speed and is not happy when I pass him. Either way, he has a very low heart rate, but it does go up when he rides a faster cadence.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    "I never made "Who's Who"- but sure as hell I made "What's That??..."

  14. #29
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    Mar 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    TC Trek, my HR is pretty similar to yours, except my resting HR is down in the 50s when i awake. Just looking at my bike makes it go up to 90-100! Seriously, I know it goes up to 130 when I get on the bike and then might settle down until I climb. I stopped wearing my HR monitor about 2 years ago, since I was just focusing on that...
    I have also been described as a hummingbird.
    A waking heart rate of 50 is fabulous!! I've been tempted to ditch my HR monitor, but this season I have actually forced myself to stay in certain ranges and it has actually helped me. Hills where my heart rate used to go to 170, now goes to 160. So, I don't freak out about it, but I am conscious of it and I have figured out how to influence it a little.

    It's funny how riding at the faster cadences used to really elevate my hr, but tonight I rode with an average cadence of 90 and an average hr of 147. Not bad for an old broad !
    ----------------------------------------------------
    "I never made "Who's Who"- but sure as hell I made "What's That??..."

  15. #30
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    Sep 2007
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    Uncanny Valley
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    As I said, my natural cycling cadence all my life has been around 85-87, and I'm pretty sure my natural running cadence is even a little higher than that.** You'd still have a hard time convincing me that I'm predominantly fast-twitch.

    I've never, ever been fast. In high school we didn't have XC, but I ran the mile (longest distance we had) much better than I did the shorter distances. In a recent 10-mile event - that I wasn't actually racing, but just entered for practice - I kicked the last mile or so just about 20 sec/mile slower than my PR 5K.

    In cycling, my best event was the 40K ITT.

    In weight lifting, I do tend to be strong for my size and sex, but I think it has more to do with the fact that I put on muscle more easily than a lot of women. Pound for pound of lean mass, really it seems to me that my 1RM's ought to be higher than they are.

    You really think based on my cadences alone that I should be predominantly fast-twitch???


    ___________________
    ** (That's based on old-fashioned timing and counting - I usually get right around 95. I'm totally coveting a footpod for my new GPS watch, solely for cadence since I do not do treadmills, but haven't found one in stock anywhere yet.)
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

 

 

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