021 THE TRAINING EFFECT OF CYCLING RACES

Cycling in the red zone of your heart rate is associated with high lactate levels.
A difficult word for high lactate levels is: ACIDOSIS.

See the heart rate curves:

  • A young rider rides 90% of his race time in the red zone.
  • An amateur rider rides 45% of his race time in red.
  • A professional cyclist rides only 9% of his race time in red. During the Tour de France a pro cyclist performs only about 5% of the total race time in the red zone.

The conclusion is that a cycling race for a young rider means a completely different effort than for a professional cyclist. For a young rider a cycling race is much heavier than for a professional cyclist.

The high and long acidosis during races in the red zone requires a lot of the capacities of the young rider. The high lactate levels during the race reduce the training effect of young cyclists. The training effect after such a races can be zero or even negative. The condition deteriorates.

Professional cyclists race in red only a limited time. That means that pro-cyclists can recover quickly from their races. And also that a race for a pro-cyclist results in a positive training effect. After a race his condition level will be higher.

Again, for young riders, with high levels of lactate during a long time, a positive training effect or an improvement of the condition will not occur.
That means that young riders can only improve their condition by training. During races they often ride 90% in red. To improve their condition they need training. It is clear that too many races or too intensive workouts are killing, especially for young riders. Attention to a good recovery the day or days after such a race is essential.

A young rider and an old rider. The young rider has a very high heart rate, the heart rate of the older cyclist is low.
A young rider and an old rider. The young rider has a very high heart rate, the heart rate of the older cyclist is low.
Heart rate curve during a cycling race of a young rider.

See also the distribution of percentages in the different heart rate zones during the race. He rides 89 percent in the red zone.

Heart rate curve during a cycling race of an amateur.

See also the distribution of percentages in the different heart rate zones during the race. He rides 43 percent in the red zone.

21-3
Heart rate curve during a cycling race of a professional cyclist.

See also the distribution of percentages in the different heart rate zones during the race. He rides 9 percent in de red zone.

Heart rate curve during mountain stage Tour de France in 1985

Tour de France 1985
Stage 12, Pontarlier – Morzine – Avoriaz, 195 km.
Winner Fabio Parra, Columbia.
Heart curve registration with a POLAR Sport Tester. One of the first HR registration in 1985.
This the HR curve of Peter Winnen, a Dutch professional cyclist.
The conclusion is that even during very heavy mountain stages the largest part of the race intensity is located in the gray and the green zone. Both riders have a big motor.

Fabio Parra, Colombia 1985
Fabio Parra, Colombia 1985
Peter Winnen, the Netherlands 1985