The Zombie Cyclist

A bicycle that has nothing in connection with today’s post. This picture was used Silicon Valley by my boy. It is being included by me since it is fun, I can’t think of a blog post where it might be a much better fit and to liven up this post, which is otherwise a bit dry.

I have been screening Philip Maffetone’s aerobic training regimen (“aerobic training”) for just two months now, and it appears to be working as publicized, though it is difficult to be certain. Additionally it is unclear, “Working as publicized” and “accomplishing what I want to accomplish” will be the same thing, though I am hopeful these are. Finally, I have some observations to share that could be of value to anyone beginning heart rate training.

Since December 3, 2012, I have already been writing my aerobic training results every week at the bottom of every post. The jagged blue line connecting the dots reflect the results of MAF (Maximum Aerobic Function) tests, which besides being tested, are training rides; most of my training trips nowadays are MAF testing. I ride to the Rice Bike Track to warm-up, ride across the track for 45 minutes maintaining a heart rate (HR) of 130 to 140 beats per minute (BPM) for 45 minutes, and ride home to cool off. In addition to the MAF test rides, I make an effort to do one longer ride every week.

  1. Fill the Void
  2. 10:07 a.m. EDT
  3. 7 different training settings
  4. Tap Set up Activity
  5. 2 Sugar Free Pudding Mixes: SF Pistachio, SF Butterscotch
  6. ► January (42)
  7. Different Sports Modes

Finally, weekends are reserved for my partner, and she and I really do interpersonal trips with no HR monitor jointly. After experimenting, I am trying (but frequently failing) to ride seven days a week. Of most of these rides, only the MAF test trips are shown on the graph above. The grayish range is a best fit straight line generated by Microsoft Excel as a way of measuring how fast my speed is increasing. Excel is declaring that, on average, my swiftness is increasing by 0.0248 mls per hour each day.

That seems like a little number, but if it held up for a season, I’d be operating at 22 mph without exceeding a HR of 140 – Tour de France, here I come! Obviously, it is unreasonable to anticipate such an increase to be sustained, but it is exciting although it happens. Given the above mentioned graph, why am I not certain that the aerobic training program is working as publicized?

What Dr. Maffetone promises is that if you regularly exercise at your “maximum aerobic heart rate” (140 BPM for me personally), your rate will increase, and that is precisely what the graph shows. Why would weather affect the results of my MAF tests? There are three reasons. The first is wind – anyone who as bicycled knows that tailwinds do not balance headwinds; an “out and back” ride on the windy day is slower than on the relaxed day. Thus, the blowing wind at the beginning of working out period could have lowered my swiftness which improved as the blowing wind went away. The next general reason is less obvious and thus more interesting.

There are many things besides exercise that affect heart rate; including any type or kind of stress. Heat, cold, anger, or fear for example will increase heart rate. Day WHILE I complete a MAF test on a frosty, the cold itself will increase my heart rate, and thus it takes less exercise to obtain it to 140 BPM up, again slowing my ride.

The Zombie Cyclist
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