QUESTION: What is the 75 rule in cycling? I heard someone telling his buddy to remember that rule on a group ride as the pace started to pick up. What did he mean? —Pete L.
RBR’S STAN PURDUM REPLIES: The 75 rule is a training guideline for riders who are seeking to improve their performance and endurance. The “75” is a percentage and the so-called rule is that when training, about 75% of your time should be at or below 75% of your maximum heart rate (MHR), which is the highest heart rate you can achieve. Conversely, only about 25% of your time should be spent working intensely above 75% of your MHR.
The theory behind the rule is that by staying below the 75% of MHR threshold most of the time, you’ll be able to train overall at a higher intensity without overdoing it and injuring yourself.
Our MHR changes as we age. To calculate your MHR for your current age, subtract your age from 220. For example, for a 60-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be 220 – 60 years = 160 beats per minute (bpm). That, as I said, is an estimate, which can be affected by health factors, but it is a place to start. The 75% threshold would be: 0.75 x 160 = 120 bpm.
If you wear a heart rate monitor when you ride, your MHR is likely to be the highest number displayed on your monitor over the last year. And realistically, […]
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