From Dave Kabal of the Montreal Rowing Club and McGill University Rowing Club (Varsity Heavy 8)In my original post, I asked for the heart rate categories. The response was phenomenal. As promised, here is a summary. I hope I do not misquote you; I am attempting to paraphrase and summarize the many responses I got.
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Most folks cautioned me on the danger of relying on an absolute heart rate measure like the Category system, as it does not respect individual differences (and max rates). However, many were happy to provide the heart rate category distribution and a lot of bonus information and advice to boot. Thanks to all who reponded.
Andrew Dickson suggested I check out the polar site or get a book (for around $10) called “Training Lactate Pulse Rate”. Like many of the other folks who responded, he suggested the only reliable and foolproof way to set training heart rates is to be tested (blood, run ’til you drop type test) for max, etc.
Andres Dickson sent the following:
(reprinted from Nolte/Morrow/Marlow)
Intensity Approx. Duration Ratio Goals Lactate Category H.R. (min) Work/ level Recov. (mmol/l) I max. .5-1.5 1:4 - anaerobic capacity i.e. 1:5 - ability & feeling of > 10 180-200 start/spurt speed - aggression II max. 2-7 1:2 - race endurance 8-14 i.e. 1:3 - transportation 180-200 - race speed feel - race attitude/plan III max 6-10 2:1 - develop aerobic cap'y 5-8 i.e. 1:2 - strength endurance 180-200 - tactics - technique IV 165-175 10-45 4:1 - develop aerobic cap'y appr. 4 (anaerobic threshold) - efficiency - strength endurance V 150-160 30-90 n/a - basic endurance appr. 3 - maintenance - coord. of movements VI 135-150 > 45 n/a - regeneration < 2 - maintenance - coord of movements - technique
Nicholas Buffinger suggested that heart rate information can be misunderstood and misused, and explained that heart rates can be sorted into aerobic, glycolytic (sugar burning); and anaerobic categories. He suggested that the method of finding these rates may be quite inaccurate (220-age for max) and that simply basing a workout on a fixed heart rate may be a bad idea. The resting heart rate remained a valid measure (for instance, in the morning).
Sarah Mullin gave the category distribution, and suggested that a test (from an Ottawa group) can determine recommended workouts and heart rates in a highly accurate way.
She also listed a correlation between pieces and categories, which I found very interesting:
CAT HR DURATION OF PIECE VI: 135 -150 45' or more, steady state at low intensity V: 150- 165 30' to 90', 2x20' with rate change, SR 10-20 less than race pace IV: 165-175 10' to 45', similar pieces, SR 3-6 less than race pace III: max HR 4x7', or 3x2000m, SR 2-4 less than race pace ie 180-205? II: same HR 2' to 7', race pace over 1500-2000m I: same HR 30'' to 90'', 1to6X 500m (with start) OR intervals of 1' or 2' pieces
On finding your categories from a 20' test:
VI - Average 20' test split per 500m, plus 12 seconds V - Average 20' test split per 500m, plus 7 seconds IV - Average 20' test split per 500m, plus 2 seconds III - Average 20' test split per 500m, minus 2 seconds II - Average 2500m erg test split I - Lowest possible split for the distance
Thanks for all the responses. I hope the summary is useful!
Montreal Rowing Club
McGill University Rowing Club (Varsity Heavy 8)