Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wearing My Heart on My Sleeve

More like my wrist.
The waging war against fatness has escalated.
I ain't foolin around no more.
I mean, this is serious.
What? You talkin to me?
Okay, I've upped the distances I bike. I've managed to raise my average speed a bit so I know I'm not slacking.
So what's up?
Why ain't I dropping pounds like I drop old people and small children?
I believe my level of fitness has developed to the point where my regular rides just are not burning the same amount of calories as before.
What to do?

That's right sports fans, now I'm playing with power!
What I've noticed is that after hard efforts, my recovery time is faster. That led me to think that perhaps I am no longer pushing myself as hard as I think I am.
I think.
What was a hard effort in the past is now maybe only like a medium to low effort now.
Well, the only way to tell for sure other than getting one of those pricey Powertaps or SRMs is to use the the good ole heart monitor.
Yes, a new dawn has arrived.
I have embraced technology and will ride the wave to new found slimdom.
Sveltness, here I come!
One second thought, I'm too short to be svelt.
Well hey! If I think I am, then I am, right?
It's all in my mind right?
I mean if I think I'm not fat, then I'm not fat right?
Boy, I'm getting pretty good at kidding myself.
I mean the chest strap feels like a support bra for man boobs.
Okay, really though, I figured that I spend too much time on the bike to not take at least some of my rides seriously.
For the readers not in the know, the idea behind exercising with heart rate is to train in a certain zone. For instance, I want a moderate work out, I'll stay within seventy five percent of max heart rate. According to the fine folks at Polar Electro, for me that works out to about 130 beats per minute.
Aerobic exercise is supposedly where you burn the most fat, if you get anaerobic you start burning up things you don't really want to burn. Your body goes anaerobic under hard exertion; you know, when your heart feels like it's going to explode:

So to keep my heart from exploding, I'll monitor my workouts and try to keep my heart rate in a certain zone.
The best part of this rig is going to come when I input manual settings.
See, the monitor automatically figures your max heart rate via set formula. I know for a fact that I am off the curve for my resting heart rate is above the norm. So to get close to max heart rate, I'm going to climb the Hill of Death using max effort and see what I come up with.
I'll use that as my baseline instead of the user defaults.
Thankfully, the monitor saves max rate so in case I pass out at the top of the hill, I'll still know what my max rate was.
Ain't technology great?
Here's the handle bar mount:

If I'd known it was just a piece of plastic, I would've made something up. I thought maybe it folded around the bar or something.
Instead it just sits there:

Not the kind of thing I'd like to leave on the bars when I'm not using the monitor. I'll try to figure out some kind of quick release or something so that I can remove it when I want to. Right now, you use some zip ties to secure it:

So if you are driving down the road to slenderness, the guy on the bike blazing past you at a GAGILLION miles per hour might be me. Or if you see a guy passed out on the side of the road, that might be me too.
Either way, I'll be the one wearing his heart on his sleeve.
I mean wrist.
Or handlebars.


dogimo said...

If you hook up one of those bad boys to some kind of pacemaker situation, you should be able to just dial your heart rate to what you want it to be, and then pow! Lay back. You're at your target rate.

Although, I guess elective pacemaker installation's not covered by most HMOs.

limom said...

I'll tell you, I wish it was that easy!
I could be like Emeril and "BAM!" just turn it up a notch!
Unfortunately, the way I do it now, it tends to hurt.