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  1. #1
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    Training With and Without Power

    Hi, Iíve got one bike with a power meter, and the other with just HR. I want to try to extrapolate as much info as I can from power data to correctly set intensity based on HR.

    My coach field tested me with HR, and weíve done two subsequent tests with power. He never changed the HR data even though I wore a chest strap during subsequent tests. Sometimes Iíve seen my HR higher for given efforts, putting it one zone higher than the suggested power zone. For example, sometimes my HR is in zone 4 when Iím doing a zone 3 steady state interval.

    Iím not expecting a one size fitís all answer, but any info is appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Poncharelli's Avatar
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    I would primarily follow the power zones. HR just for secondary info.


    For HR to be accurate, you need ideal conditions. One time I did a long 25-minute 10%-climb on a 90 degree day. At the start, I was in Power Zone 4 and HR Zone 4. By the time I got to the top, I was in Power Zone 3, HR Zone 5 or 6.

    Heat is one variable that will really screw up HR.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
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  3. #3
    FasCat Coaching
    Reputation: sprocketjockey9's Avatar
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    If your power meter is calibrated, trust your power meter. It'll tell no lies. Like Poncharelli said it's secondary info. Heart rate is useful to correlate with power but I'd refer to the power meter for primary indicator of fitness & fatigue. There's a lot that can go into heart rate & it's still useful for sure, but should push for using that over heart rate. Your coach should be able to determine using both hr / power & your personal history to determine what sets of values indicate fatigue for you personally .
    FasCat Coaching
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  4. #4
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    There are typically about 5 HR zones and 6-7 power zones, so there's no way for them to line up directly. Keep training, use power as the zone you follow and pay attention to your fatigue and fitness levels (e.g. as you gain fitness generally your HR might be a little lower for a given power output, unless you're really fatigued then it's sort of a guessing game and generally HR will be pretty low due to system supression) and you should at some point be able to train with HR and no power and know about where you're at. I've been doing this lately on my mountain bike and cross bike since I don't currently have a PT on my 2011 Epic or my CruX.

    Generally, HR zones 1.7-1.9~ for me correlate to a steady zone 2 power effort, and about zone 2.6-2.8~ to tempo power, etc. V02 max intervals around 3-5 minutes I can get up into z5 HR, but it still takes some time, and sometimes even the 2nd-3rd interval to stay above what I am figuring is my current LTHR.

  5. #5
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    the problem with HR is it's kind of a lagging indicator, so you need to be careful about overcooking intervals like 5 mins v0 max, where the last couple minutes are key. If you observe your HR doing those, it tends to take a couple mins to stabilize, even if you are going too hard at first

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