In our last blog post we offered some guidance on how to find the time to train during your busy working week. The upshot of that was the introduction of our new ‘Lunchtime Cycling Training’ series.

Now, before we start dishing out our lunch hour training sessions, we need you to establish your heart rate and power zones, as these are what we will be using within the training plans. There are however a few stages we need to take you through in order to get to those…

Firstly, we need you to identify your exercise intensity levels. These are what will help you recognise how hard you should be working when warming up, and then when undertaking the test. Come on, you knew there was a test coming now didn’t you? To be fair, it’s just a three minute one, but more on that a little bit later.

To identify your exercise intensity levels, at this stage, we can use the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scales, found below.

RPE is basically how hard you feel your body is working, based on the physical changes you feel during your exercise. The different scales are good markers for different intensities of exercise and they do provide a fairly good estimate of your heart rate when exercising.

We are going to use RPE during your warm up and then again during the subsequent test. The test will ultimately reveal your heart rate and power zones – As already mentioned, these are the zones that we will be using in our training sessions, therefore they're pretty important.

Now it's warm up time…

You should be well warmed up after that. Now take a minute or two and get yourself ready for the test!


The 3 minute test.

This can be conducted anywhere (with your bike and HR monitor) but the controlled environment of Turbo, Spin or Wattbike is what we'd recommend.

Referring back to the RPE, start off in Zone 6 for the 1st minute building the effort up until you are pushing to your Max and in Zone 10 towards the end of the test, record and view the effort.

The results of this will give you your max heart rate. Now it's time to fill in the chart below, based on your result.

If you have conducted the test with a power meter or Wattbike, please fill in the below chart too.

That's your lot! Once you've completed all the above and dropped in your details to the boxes, then you're ready for your first On the Rivet lunchtime workout. We'll be releasing it very soon, so keep your eyes peeled! You can follow us on our social channels, and subscribe to our 'Riveting Reads' email, so as to not miss a thing.