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Ask a cycling coach: ‘Does maximal heart rate really matter in terms of riding performance?’

Ask a cycling coach: ‘Does maximal heart rate really matter in terms of riding performance?’

In this age of online training plans and workouts, do you ever find yourself with a burning question you’d like to directly ask a cycling…

Wednesday, Aug 10

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In this age of online training plans and workouts, do you ever find yourself with a burning question you’d like to directly ask a cycling coach? Well, now is your chance to ask away! In this series, we’ll be putting your questions to expert coaches – send them in at anna.abram@futurenet.com

Does maximal heart rate really matter in terms of riding performance? Well, the short answer is no…not really! But why is that?

Sports scientist and coach James Spragg is one of the experts who will be answering your questions in Cycling Weekly’s ASK A CYCLING COACH series which comes out every Wednesday. Working both in research and applied settings, he currently runs Intercept Performance Consultancy .

When we exercise, our hearts pump blood around the body in two circuits – one via the lungs where it picks up oxygen and drops off carbon dioxide and the other via the working muscles where it delivers that oxygen and picks up carbon dioxide. Using one of the best heart rate monitors we can track exactly how quickly it is beating, which also enables us to train with heart rate training zones to ensure we’re spending time riding at the correct intensity.

Pumping more blood around the body is going to be beneficial in terms of delivering oxygen to the leg muscles, and the more oxygen we can into the muscles the quicker you are going to get up that local Strava segment .

However, there are a few important components that dictate how much […]

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