I know that training with HRM is almost considered obsolete, but I have a buddy who trains with it and discussing our training led to numerous questions. I train with power, but I also record my HR during my rides.
I've been following one of the plans from Charmichael's The Time Crunched Cyclist. The book emphasize that doing workouts with power is better and makes the workouts more precise, BUT also states that you can follow the plans based on HR data.
My question is mainly about combined workouts like Threshold Ladders. In these intervals, you start with a power interval (110-130% of 8 min test), then lower your power to climbing repeat (95-100% power / 95-97% HR of 8 min test) and finish it on steady state (86-90% power / 92-94% HR of 8 min test). I find these intervals extremely painful with power. My heart rate climbs up real fast and stays very high during the whole interval. At the end of the power interval part I'm close to my max HR and lowering my power only lowers my heart rate a tad. It's doable, but it's extremely painful.
If I based my workout on HR, it would be a completely different story. I'd have to drop my power significantly after the power interval to lower my heart rate to the prescribed level and keep it there.
This difference is less apparent in the case of simple workouts like longer steady state or climbing repeat sessions, but I noticed that my heart rate is usually in a higher zone than my power. i.e. During a climbing repeat my heart rate avarage usually higher than 97% of my test result.
Therefore, ultimately I spend much-much more time in higher heart rate zones than my buddy and it makes me wonder which method (hr/power) yields better results. I know that the time crunched cyclist focuses on high intensity plans, but still, it makes me wonder that I overdo my workouts because of this difference in power and HR. Do I?