Heart rate limit as a training tool

Ian in Australia had a serious heart problem.

Now he’s riding better than ever.

Hi Lee

Thanks for the ebook Pump up the Base.

Yesterday I also ordered ebook Prepare to Pin It (so I hope I receive that one in my inbox soon too!) and the hard copy of Teaching Mountain Bike Skills.

I actually came to the website primarily to order Teaching Mountain Bike Skills. I got a copy off you previously but managed to loose it before I got through the first two chapters (damned if I can find it anywhere) so the only thing was to order a new one which I am also looking forward too. I hope wherever I lost the first copy, some receptive soul reads it and makes good use of it!

I first discovered Mastering Mountain Bikes Skills in my local library and it was the only book that made sense to me on the subject. When the second edition was published I got a copy (I think through the Book Depository)

I tried (some of) the techniques and got a bit faster, but honestly I was still very much riding on the edge, and getting a Gopro really just encouraged me to ride more on the edge of control and often beyond it.
I crashed more and enjoyed riding less!

Well this year I got rather sick. Serious cardiac issues. I was not well at all. Open heart surgery was inevitable but I delayed getting it for several months.
In that time I got permission from my cardiologist to continue riding but a very low heart rate >130 BPM. I agreed and did stick to the limit….and you know what something quite amazing happened.
Initially I could not even come close to keeping up with my fellow riders (who were kind enough to wait at the end of each trail for me) but I shifted my focus to being as smooth as possible, braking less, cornering in control with maximum traction, and pretty soon (apart from long steep climbs) I could keep up with my friends pace with a lot less effort! Although the climbs would take me longer I would arrive at the top a lot fresher.

For the first time it really dawned on me how smooth = fast. Not world cup fast but certainly fast for me.
Having that BPM limit imposed on me forced me to look at my riding style and see it could be improved.
Its a training technique I will use in the future.

Well I bit the bullet and had my surgery. It was a big surgery and I wasn’t expect to be up to too much for about 12 months.
Wanting to ride again really motivated to work hard on recovery. First a few steps in the hospital, then the treadmill, then the spin bike and three months after my operation back on my bike.
The enthusiasm in your writing was actually a big motivator for me, so thank you, you made a real difference to my recovery.

I’m now on a anti coagulant drug, that means if I crash I’ll bleed a lot longer.
A serious crash could easily be life threatening for me.
My answer is to ride with even greater control and improve my skills so I can ride well inside my limits and greatly reduce the chances of a crash.
Because of this I am riding better with less effort (and as a by product quicker) than ever, and finding it a lot more fun and less stressful than my former approach to riding.

We are nearing the end of our riding season as it just gets way too hot to ride in summer, but I am looking forward to using the books to hone my skills and fitness for next year.

Thanks again.


Know more. Have more fun!

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