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Have Heart Rate Monitor, Will Train.

We hear from a lot of TrainingPeaks users who fall into one of two groups:

Heart Rate Monitor

  • You've got a heart rate monitor and you're wearing it on your runs and rides and uploading the data, but you're not exactly sure what you're supposed to be looking for once the data fills the screen.

  • Or maybe you've got a GPS device with a heart rate monitor and you're uploading that data to TrainingPeaks and only focusing on distance and time.

To get the most out of training with your device, it's good to know a little bit about the purpose of  heart rate training and really important to know your Training Zones (and enter them into TrainingPeaks).  Lots of the other, more advanced functionality in TrainingPeaks depends on accurate Zone information, so this is a very important process!

Here's how to set them up...

First, you'll need data to help define the Zones.  If you've had a Lactate Threshold test done, you've already got the data you need.  If not, no worries.  You can actually test yourself and get pretty accurate results (if you do the tests correctly).   The easiest way to get that information is to do a quick (30 minute) Threshold Heart Rate Test.  Here's an article by TrainingBible Coaching that explains how to find your threshold heart rate, power and pace.  It gives instructions on how to test your Thresholds for running, cycling and swimming.  You'll need to do one test for each sport to get the most accurate results (Remember: the more accurate your Zones, the more effective your training. Don't skimp here. Take the time and do a solid test for each sport).  Want to know more about Lactate Threshold and why we use it to help define the training Zones?  Check out this post from Joe Friel about LT.

Once you've done the tests, you can enter in your Threshold heart rate and TrainingPeaks can calculate the proper training zones for you.

Go to My Settings > Zones.  It looks like this:Zones Settings in TrainingPeaks

Enter in your Run Threshold heart rate (you can just ignore Max heart rate and Resting heart rate), then :

  1. Click Show auto calculation methods
  2. Make sure the Lactate Threshold tab is selected (outlined in blue)
  3. Select Joe Friel (ANY of the calculators listed there are great --  I'm just using Joe's as an example)

That sets a "default" heart rate zone profile, but it's best to set up Zone information for each sport because your body reacts differently to each sport, right?  Here's how a triathlete would set up their Zones:

  1. Click the Add Zone button (it'll be near your name)
  2. Select Run
  3. Enter in your Threshold heart rate (I know this is probably the same number you entered earlier, stick with me)
  4. Click Show auto calculation methods
  5. Make sure the Lactate Threshold tab is selected (outlined in blue)
  6. Select Joe Friel for Running (7)

Now you've got your Running HR Zones set.  Do the same thing for Bike (after you've done the bike Threshold test):

  1. Click the Add Zone button again
  2. Select Bike
  3. Enter in your Threshold heart rate
  4. Click Show auto calculation methods
  5. Make sure the Lactate Threshold tab is selected (outlined in blue)
  6. Select Joe Friel for Cycling (7)

Don't go closing that window just yet!  Let's add in some Swim Pace Zones.  Once you have the data you collected from the swim test, click the Pace/Speed Zones tab:

  1. Click the Add Zone button (one more time!)
  2. Select Swim
  3. Click Show auto calculation methods
  4. Select Joe Friel for Swimming(7)
  5. A pop up will ask you to enter in the test distance and time.
  6. Click OK

CLICK APPLY! This saves all the hard work we just did and ensures that TrainingPeaks knows to use these zones when analyzing your workout data.

Now that you've got some Zones set, we can get into all the advanced features TrainingPeaks has to offer. Next up, we'll talk about all those PODS and how you can analyze your heart rate data in them.

If you've got questions, please post them in the comments below or in the TrainingPeaks forums so we can help you get the most out of your TrainingPeaks account!

References (2)

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    Have Heart Rate Monitor, Will Train. - Posts - TrainingPeaks Blog

Reader Comments (1)

Great article, but what about TP and Garmin watches with GPS set to OFF? If you use Garmin 110, 305 (smart recording) or 405 with the GPS off, like in a spinning workout, the TSS, HR Graph and "time in zones" will be wrong. TP do not take into account the timeline, only the recordings stored. So if you have no change in heart rate for a prolonged time. All the above will be wrong in TP.

Just to let you know.


December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOle Knutsen

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