31 May 2011

Bike-commute day 32—to work

With another warm day in Dayton—finally Summer may be here, and with the long biking day yesterday, I'm treating today as a recovery day. My aim during the commute in was to keep my HR around 120 bpm, which I suppose is 75% of my maximum. (More on this after the break.) Even with the relaxed pace, my time was only a couple minutes longer than my best time this year.

I heard a bit of Der Hirt auf dem Felsen on WDPR last evening, and as I passed under the Findaly Avenue bridge, the song came to me again, and I whistled parts that I remembered from my favorite performance by Elly Ameling (soprano), Hans Deinzer (clarinet), and Jörg Demus (piano). The quiet, plaintive melody expresses by paradox the exuberant, joyful experience of commuting on such a bright Summer day.
Whenever I stand on the highest rocks, gaze down into the deepest valley, and sing and sing, distantly from the dark vale rebounds back to me the echo, the echo of the cliffs. The further my voice reaches, the clearer it returns to me from below. From below. My love lives so far from me and I thus ache for him, across the distance.
I'm consumed by a deep grief, joy has left me, hope has left the Earth, and I am here lonesome. I am here, so lonesome. So longingly the song rang in the forest, so longingly it rang through the night, it draws the hears to the heavens with wonderful power.
 It is a sublime joy that closes the work, in which the voice, clarinet, and piano interplay motive after motive.

Spring wants to come, my joy the Spring, and now I'm making myself ready for wandering. The further my voice reaches, the clearer it returns to me from below.

Ride conditions
Temperature: 70 to 75°F at 07:05, 83 to 87°F at 09:55
Precipitation: none
Winds: calm to 5 mph from the southwest
Clothing: Skinsuit, ankle socks, open-finger gloves.
Bike: Lotus Legend fixed gear
Time: 00:47:20 for 11.98 miles
Heart rate: 112 bpm average, 130 bpm maximum
Bikeway users: 4 cyclists, 8 pedestrians
Here is a playback of the ride.

More discussion about HRmax and HRrecovery...

On looking at several sites devoted to heart rate training, I find several opinions on what percentage is a recovery zone.
  • Energy Efficient or Recovery Zone - 60% to 70%
    "Training within this zone develops basic endurance and aerobic capacity. All easy recovery running should be completed at a maximum of 70%. Another advantage to running in this zone is that while you are happily fat burning you may lose weight and you will be allowing your muscles to re-energise with glycogen, which has been expended during those faster paced workouts."
  • Zone 1—Healthy Heart  Zone: 50%-60% of your individual Max HR.
    "This is the safest, most comfortable zone, reached by walking briskly. Here you strengthen your heart and improve muscle mass while you reduce body fat, cholesterol, blood pressure, and your risk for degenerative disease. You get healthier in this zone, but not more fit -- that is, it won't increase your endurance or strength but it will increase your health.
    "If you're out of shape, have heart problems, or simply want to safeguard your heart without working too hard, spend most of your training time here. It's also the zone for warming up and cooling down before and after more vigorous zones."
  • Zone 1: Recovery, also known as: Overdistance
    "Intensity: Very Low (Lactate Threshold: 65%-84%, VO2 Max: 55%-65%, Max Heart Rate: 60%-70%). These are the easiest workouts, used to promote recovery after harder workouts. It is also generally the intensity level used during the recovery period of interval work and long slow distance (LSD) runs."
  • Healthy Heart Zone 
    "This zone is 50 to 60% of your maximum heart rate. This is an easy and comfortable zone to exercise in. You will be able to carry on a full conversation in this zone, although you may be breathing a little heavier than usual. Walkers are often in this zone unless they press themselves to walk faster. Fitness walkers may alternate days of walking in this zone with days of exercising in the higher heart rate zones, to give a recovery/easy day. Your workout in this zone is less intense and won't give the most cardiorespiratory training benefits. But studies have shown that it works to help decrease body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol. In this zone, the body derives it energy by burning 10% carbohydrates, 5% protein and 85% fat."
  • Z1 - Zone 1 or Recovery
    RPE Zone     HR Zone    Description
    0     Z1    Complete Rest
    1     Z1    Very easy; light walking
    2     Z1    Very easy; light walking
    3     Z1    Very easy; walking
    4     Z1    Still easy, maybe starting to sweat
  • Aerobic exercise training zone (40% to 85% of HRmax). 
    "Aerobic capacity (endurance) will improve faster if you train closer to 85% than if you train at 65%, but some individuals don't have the capacity to start training at 85%, or they simply prefer to start training at lower values and gradually increase the intensity over the time. Some individuals may even need to start at levels as low as 40% or 50%, depending on their age, level of fitness, or body weight. But the level that you start at isn't all that relevant. What matters most is that you get started, and then over time, as your endurance improves, you can gradually increase the intensity.
    "The body accommodates to both low- and high-intensity workouts by increasing the activity of respiratory enzymes and other biochemical reactions in the muscles. Anaerobic training-like intervals and speed work are helpful if you want to improve your time or perform optimally in an event like a 10K run or a 50-mile bike ride because the training prepares your body for the specific anaerobic demands of the event (like when you have to sprint or climb a hill). This type of training, called "specificity of training," is effective because it mimics the type of exertion experienced during the event."
  • Zone 1 Easy Recovery.
    "Endurance building. Conversational pace. You can hold this pace for a long time. Commonly referred to as aerobic training."
  • Zone 1: Active recovery 65-75% of LT
    "In this zone you are burning primarily body fat for energy. You should be in this zone for recovery rides, for warm-ups and cool-downs and also for the easy portion of long rides. Training in this zone helps to build your endurance for tours and ultra races."

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