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2.4 Of Aerobars and Max Heart Rate

May 24, 2013


Article

While doing a web search, I found an old article from The New York Times, 2008, on heart rate:
                The Flutter Over Heart Rate
where they had the interesting note:

Swimmers, for example, have lower heart rates when they swim than runners when they run. The reason, Dr. O’Connor explained, is that during running, your heart has to push blood against gravity to bring it to your head. During swimming, your heart does not have to exert that extra force.

My interest

Why this was interesting to me concerned my "sort of" noted difficulty in getting my heart rate to higher levels comparable to what I had seen in the past.

 Yes, a year or so has passed, but not that much (I hope).  I seemed to have suddenly dropped about 5 bpm while averaging a slightly higher average speed!  It wasn't enough to be really clear on, it just "sort of" seemed that way.

Major Change: Aerobars!

One change I had been experimenting with was using aerobars. I had put them on more for a "change of position" than anything else.  It was sometimes nice to "lie down" and pedal.

As I tuned the position of the aerobars more and more, I found them to be the more comfortable and, curiously, the more powerful way to ride the bike.  Yes, the wind/air resistance was lessened a bit, but unless the relative air speed was over 15-20 mph (head wind speed + bike speed), I didn't feel much additional effort.  (Of course, it was a very different story when the trade winds at Hawi were gusting at 25-30 mph and I was thinking of pedaling towards them: I've sometimes turned around 6 miles from Hawi where the winds pick up).

Uphill but not Down

Even if I wasn't going very fast up a hill, I often felt that being on the aerobars made it easier to pedal more strongly.  Air resistance isn't much if a person is doing 5-8mph but the feeling was there.

I note that I seldom use aerobars coming down a hill at 30-34 mph!
My experience is that it takes far too long to get to the brakes from the aerobar position, so I use the drops with my one finger on each break, like I do on my mountain bike.

Prone versus Upright

The NYT article brought this all into focus: if a heart doesn't have to drive blood up an additional 2-3 feet, it doesn't have to beat as fast!   The aerobar position moved the head down a lot allowing the heart to not work as hard and allowing the legs to have more flow.

Interesting!
My heart rate, likely, really was slightly lower and my legs really were slightly better nourished.


Recent Commentaries
in Mud Splats Book

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2.5  A Long Distance Ride
STP: MudSplats - June 20, 2015
4.5  Hydration Bowel Cleansing
STP: MudSplats - February 25, 2015
4  Fueling
STP: MudSplats - February 25, 2015
4.4  NYT - Fats or Carbs?
STP: MudSplats - February 24, 2015
4.3  WSJ - Ease Up On Water
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4.2  Fattening Up The Greedy Piglets
STP: MudSplats - January 21, 2014
4.1  Carb Loading, Sarb loading!
STP: MudSplats - May 24, 2013
2.4  Of Aerobars
STP: MudSplats - May 17, 2013
2.3  Gu'y Wonder Legs!
STP: MudSplats - April 10, 2013
2.2  Of Tires and Rims Strips
STP: MudSplats - April 09, 2013
2.1  Checked Your Tires?
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2  Bike Experiences
STP: MudSplats - February 09, 2013
3  Bike Technique
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3.1  Shoulder Slalom
STP: MudSplats - April 05, 2012
1  Introduction: Mud Splats on my bike

Mud Splats
       Chapters

1   Introduction: Mud Splats on my bike
  April 05, 2012
2   Bike Experiences
  April 08, 2013
2.1   Checked Your Tires?
    April 09, 2013
2.2   Of Tires and Rims Strips
    April 10, 2013
2.3   Gu'y Wonder Legs!
    May 17, 2013
2.4   Of Aerobars
    May 24, 2013
2.5   A Long Distance Ride
    March 14, 2017
3   Bike Technique
  February 09, 2013
3.1   Shoulder Slalom
    February 09, 2013
4   Fueling
  February 25, 2015
4.1   Carb Loading, Sarb loading!
    January 21, 2014
4.2   Fattening Up The Greedy Piglets
    June 28, 2014
4.3   WSJ - Ease Up On Water
    February 24, 2015
4.4   NYT - Fats or Carbs?
    February 25, 2015
4.5   Hydration Bowel Cleansing
    June 20, 2015
Carpe Diem: What you can envision, you can achieve!sm
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