Why use a Heart Rate Monitor – Part 2

Last post we talked about 3 scenarios when riding your bike that a bike computer with speed/ cadence doesn’t do the trick. Crossing over from road to mountain, weather and road conditions and frequency of workouts.

For all the variations mentioned a heart rate monitor  can be used to asses your workout no matter the conditions. Just because you are peddling slower doesn’t mean that you are  getting any less of a work out.

The heart rate monitor is the most efficient tool in order to measure the intensity of your workout. The frequency and duration of your work out is done quite simply by a stop watch. The other factor is learning how to read and react to the information that the heart rate monitor give you.

“How to use a heart rate monitor” article on Active.com states that “until you learn what the numbers being displayed mean the heart rate monitor is just a “gee wiz” toy. To give the numbers meaning you need a reference point, a heart rate unique to you at a given level of intensity.”

heart rate


The numbers you need to know:

  • Functional Threshold Heart Rate (FTHR) – Wear your heart rate monitor to warm up and then run 30 minutes at race pace.
  • Resting Heart Rate- this is easily measured when you first wake up. If done consistently, an increased resting heart rate can mean that you are over training.
  • Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) – Runners World Magazine uses the following formula: 205- (.5 x your age)


Why don’t you figure those numbers out and comeback next week for some recommended products as well as commonly made mistakes

Here is a video that Lexus did using a heart rate monitor that we think you will get a kick out of!


Why use a Heart Rate Monitor?

There is anything but a shortage of gadgets created in order to measure your performance. The great news is that a lot of them are becoming integrated but the advantage of using them all remains in question. Why should I care about anything more than my cadence and my speed?

bike computers

 Scenario #1: Let’s say that you have a standard that you ride, and you even have it listed as a KOM (king of the mountain) on Strava. The day that you set your PR it was calm and cool. Now you are trying the ride again on a windy warm day. If you were to do it slower, does that mean that you slacked off? Can you discount or adjust for the wind resistance?

Scenario #2: You just got done with a hard week in your training for the next race. That weekend you decided to celebrate by staying up late on Sunday. Monday comes and you hit the road again but your legs feel like logs. Hills turn into mountains and your legs got stuck on the slow mo option. Does this mean that you lost a day in your training? Do you have to do 2 workouts that day to feel like you are making progress?

Scenario #3: It is so hard to decide between road and mountain so you do both…or you can’t make it to the mountain so you stick to the road for that week. Whatever the case be, how are you going to track your performance from one type of bike to the other? How could you feel good about measuring the speed on a mountain bike when you are barely crawling up the mountain?

Welcome to Science Second:

Health experts have found that there are advanced ways to measure an athletes performance. Given that one of the most crucial factors to your performance is how your body is able to absorb oxygen, one test is called the V O2 max  test. This is the one where you breath into a tube measuring the milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight. While these are very accurate, the equipment is a small fortune and then you need a professional to operate it.



Dr Mark Jenkins, MD who is a Ironman triathlete and Student Health Director for Rice University has done research to point out the correlation between maximum VO2 and maximum heart rate.  On his website he points out that 55% of you VO2 max coencides with 70% of your max heart rate. Thus, Dr. Jenkins concludes that  “once you have determined your maximum heart rate you have a very convenient method of monitoring your workouts.”

Does this mean that a heart rate monitor will solve all our problems? And what are the most common made mistakes when using one? Come by next week to find the last half of the information. OR you can email rhopkins@noblesports.com to get the second half earlier than that.

4 Bike to School Tips

4 Biking to School Tips
    The summer is coming to an end and back-to-school time is nearing. The school routine means parents need to drop kids off and pick them up unless…they ride their bikes to school. Some parents are too nervous to let their kids ride, while for others it means that they need to get their kids or their own bikes repaired and some may just not have taken the time to ride the route with their kids and identify hazards if there be any. Here are some things to consider as you confidently encourage your kids to ride their bikes to school.
kids riding bikes
1. Helmet- It is an absolute necessity that kids have a proper fitting helmet and that they wear it. This might have to start with a proper example from you.
  •  Needs to sit parallel with the ground without sliding forward or backwards
  •  Two finger between your childs eyes and the helmet
  •  when they open their mouths it makes the helmet snug
2. Proper lock- You don’t want to make it easy on your child to not ride their bike because it got stolen.
  •  make sure you teach your kids the proper placement of the lock. All too often can someone be absent minded and lock only the front wheel.
  •  Find a safe place for your child to place the key or get a combo lock with code that your child can easily                        remember.
  •  Go with your child at least once to see where they are going to lock up the bike and show them how
3. Bike Maintenance- Don’t send your child off on an accident waiting to happen.
  •  Check the bike over thoroughly for cracks in the frame, missing bolts and check to brakes
  •  Inspect the chain as well as spray it with a chain lubricant
  •  If it has a flat tire, take the tire off and check for foreign objects before you go pumping it up assuming that it has just been sitting their for a while and that is why it’s flat. By all means teach your children how to change a tire.
4. Ride the routes- frantic children don’t make for very good GPS computers
  • Accompany your children always if you would like or ride with them at least a week so as to make sure they know that way. Avoid intersections whenever possible.
  • Talk to your neighbors to find other kids that could all ride their bikes together
Please email rhopkins@roundhouseracing.com  if there is anything that we left out or additional questions that you have.