Update #3 - From the heart of Team Exergy's Pre-Season Camp, we take a tour of the compound before another hard day of training. Over the past few weeks, the Edison Elementary students have been learning about the Human Heart. As we train more and more, our bodies become more efficient at eating, using energy and as a result.. PEDALING! We will spend many hours resting at heart rates of 35-45 beats per minute! How fast is your heart rate beating right now! Excited about the end of the school day??
On our longer 4-5 hour rides, we ride between 130-150 beats per minute. At this intensity we burn equal parts sugar and equal parts fat, almost 4,000 kcal total! When we tear up the tarmac and crush our pedals, our heart rates skyrocket to 185-200 bpm!! That is almost as fast as a hummingbird's...actually not. Hummingbirds have a max heart rate of 1260!!
Why are heart rates so different? Well it depends upon the size of the animal's rib cage. A Hummingbird has a very small ribcage and thus a very small heart that has to beat many times to pump blood to its wings. There are even differences between the cyclists on Team Exergy. Some riders have larger chests, and larger hearts and thus lower maximum heart rates. But this rib cage size doesn't always match one's height. For example, I am only 5'6", one of the shortest riders on the team, but I have a large rib cage and thus a low maximum heart rate of 184 bpm.