Ask the Coach!
I recently got this question from a triathlete:
I’ve noticed towards the end of my rides my heart rate will drop but my leg muscles are too fatigued to push harder to get my heart rate back up. I don’t know if its a matter of pushing myself outside of my comfort zone? Any suggestions?
Coach Nicole says: If your legs are fatigued and unable to get your heart rate up at the end of a workout, it is probably a matter of muscular endurance, provided you are properly fueled and hydrated. There are various ways to increase this, but the simplest way is to do intervals at a particular effort level with recoveries. During your training blocks you will increase the interval time and/or decrease the rest in between. Over time you will be able to hold your desired effort level longer.
Example muscular endurance workout:
15 minute warm-up
5×6 minutes at RPE* 6 with 2 minute easy recoveries. Keep cadence between 90-100RPM
10-15 minute cool down
You can do this on a trainer or a flat (or moderately flat) road.
*(RPE = rate of perceived exertion, scale of 1-10 with 1 being no exertion and 10 being all out)