Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Pinehurst, NC, US
    My Bikes
    90's Vintage Bianchi
    Posts
    207
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Interesting Training Outcomes (Variations in Results)

    I don't have a power meter and use HR and RPE to judge what is going on. I find results from this to vary to a surprising degree and sometimes varying results seem to have no (discernible) reason for being. For example .....

    My 2'ish hour ride last 8 days ago vs. yesterday. These were the identical route, similar temps, similar wind conditions (not much), and same biker/bike. RPE was (to my way of judging) identical. Also the total weekly workload in the two weeks were similar (and typical for me) and the workout the day before each ride was pretty much the same. On both days I felt "OK but not fresh".

    Last week I averaged 17.8 mph, average HR of 149, and max of 161. Keep in mind that I am old (65), my max HR is around 170, and LTHR is around 157. My perception of this effort was 'strong' but there was clearly something left in the tank at the end.

    Yesterday I averaged 18.3 mph, average HR of 143, and max of 158. My perception of this effort was 'strong' but there was clearly something left in that tank at the end.

    0.5 mph is a pretty meaningful change in speed (IMHO). But an average of 6 bpm is a HUGE change in effort for me (on a given day) when you are operating at over 90% of LTHR. Yet I rode this non-trivial amount faster at (per HRM measurements) a much lower effort (although RPE was the same as best as I can judge).

    I suspect that this is common but I'm curious as to whether other HRM/non power meter folks experience similar results.

    Thanks.

    dave

  2. #2
    Senior Member mr_pedro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
    I suspect that this is common but I'm curious as to whether other HRM/non power meter folks experience similar results.
    dave
    A few things come to mind:

    0.5 mph is significant but very much possible that wind can cause this difference without you noticing any different wind speed.
    The averages you are talking about, is that moving average or total average? If it is moving average, it could still be that the slower ride was the harder ride if it had fewer rest periods.

    Heart rates for me are pretty consistent for typical 1-2 hr rides. My regular ride into work is a 40k route and it takes me about 1:15 hr. my heart rate is normally in the 160-165 for hardish efforts of this length. However, variations do occur, these are my last 2 rides:
    Bike Ride Profile | To work near Nootdorp | Times and Records | Strava
    Bike Ride Profile | To Work near Nootdorp | Times and Records | Strava

    The first ride above is close to what I normally see, HR 163, but the second one is slightly faster, pretty much same power (measured with power meter), with a HR of 154.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Pinehurst, NC, US
    My Bikes
    90's Vintage Bianchi
    Posts
    207
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pedro - thanks. Ultimately the two HR's that you had would seem to have similar variations (and outcomes) as my experience.

    FWIW, in my two referenced rides there was no stopping - stayed clipped in the whole time as it was all on rural roads.

    Thanks.

    dave

  4. #4
    Senior Member robabeatle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    space
    My Bikes
    Cannondale Supersix, Ultegra, Psimet wheels. CAAD7, Ultegra, wheels
    Posts
    1,384
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    8 days is minuscule for training effects. You do not gain appreciable fitness in this time. You may have been more rested, better fed/hydrated, etc. Stress from life and a host of other variables can affect training in ways that are difficult to ascertain and measure. Track your long term progress and look for trends there.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Pinehurst, NC, US
    My Bikes
    90's Vintage Bianchi
    Posts
    207
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by robabeatle View Post
    8 days is minuscule for training effects. You do not gain appreciable fitness in this time. You may have been more rested, better fed/hydrated, etc. Stress from life and a host of other variables can affect training in ways that are difficult to ascertain and measure. Track your long term progress and look for trends there.
    I agree with all that you stated here with one exception. It is my experience (based mostly on running/marathon training rather than biking) that 'fitness gains' tend to come in small/discrete 'spurts' (where 0.5mph would be a 'spurt'). But still ....

    I don't have a power meter and, more significantly, do at least half of my training on a spinner bike where I don't even get speed/distance feedback. There are a lot of resources out there that ( in the power meter and HRM worlds) that would have you target a given training routine to a given power/HRM number(s). This experience kind of leads me toward a view that maybe RPE is (relatively speaking) still a pretty darn good alternative.

    Just a thought for discussion.

    dave

  6. #6
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    6,900
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think you listen to your body as well as looking at the numbers. In Eddy Merckx's day, before HRMs and powermeters, they trained on RPE and gearing. So you'd go out for three or four hours on (say) an 80 inch gear. Merckx did a lot of training being paced by a guy on a motorbike. It wasn't as scientific, but it got him pretty fit.

    The more experienced one is, the more RPE can be useful. But even after all these years (I'm only five years younger than you) there are still occasions when I feel I'm working hard but then glance at the HRM to find I'm barely at tempo, and others when I feel I'm cruising but find I'm approaching threshold. So I think the combination is helpful.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    42
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
    I agree with all that you stated here with one exception. It is my experience (based mostly on running/marathon training rather than biking) that 'fitness gains' tend to come in small/discrete 'spurts' (where 0.5mph would be a 'spurt'). But still ....

    I don't have a power meter and, more significantly, do at least half of my training on a spinner bike where I don't even get speed/distance feedback. There are a lot of resources out there that ( in the power meter and HRM worlds) that would have you target a given training routine to a given power/HRM number(s). This experience kind of leads me toward a view that maybe RPE is (relatively speaking) still a pretty darn good alternative.

    Just a thought for discussion.

    dave
    RPE is a better indicator then HR. Too many varibles for HR.
    HR is not a measure of how hard you're working it is showing what effect the work you're doing is having on
    you!
    That's why PM's are better they show "work".
    Coach TJ Cormier NSCA-CPT/USAC Level1 Coach

  8. #8
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    6,900
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Coachtj Cormier View Post
    RPE is a better indicator then HR. Too many varibles for HR.
    HR is not a measure of how hard you're working it is showing what effect the work you're doing is having on
    you!
    That's why PM's are better they show "work".
    Yes, but "what effect the work you're doing is having on you" is pretty damned important.

    Read this and let me know your opinion. It seems pretty clear, to me, that HR and power are telling you different but equally useful things and that to use power without reference to HR is to ignore a highly relevant set of data.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    4,096
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Yes, but "what effect the work you're doing is having on you" is pretty damned important.

    Read this and let me know your opinion. It seems pretty clear, to me, that HR and power are telling you different but equally useful things and that to use power without reference to HR is to ignore a highly relevant set of data.
    Oh, that's hardly unbiased:

    With advanced metabolic testing, similar to the type performed by Sigma Human Performance
    Yep, buy their testing. Based on HR.

    HR is all over. It's affected by temperature, diet, sleep, fatigue levels, hydration, phase of the moon, migration patterns of Norwegian lemmings, and damn near everything else under the sun.

    HR is utterly useless for intervals under maybe 3-5 minutes in length.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    4,096
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Yes, but "what effect the work you're doing is having on you" is pretty damned important.

    Read this and let me know your opinion. It seems pretty clear, to me, that HR and power are telling you different but equally useful things and that to use power without reference to HR is to ignore a highly relevant set of data.
    Also, HR does not really tell you "what effect the work you're doing is having on you". It's basically only telling you your HR. Which is merely correlated with the effect the work you're doing is having on you. And because of the variables inherent in HR, you really can't, for example, put yourself into a strict zone 3 or zone 4 level of effort, for example. RPE isn't THAT accurate.

    Go look at how narrow the training zones such as z3 and z4 really are - use either HR or power. You can't really guarantee you're in those by HR. And HR is useless for z5 or z6 intervals. z3 and z4 tend to only be about 10 bpm each. And guess what? Your HR can easily vary more than that for a given level of effort.

    Power meters don't have that limit. A watt is a watt. And power meters are useful for z5 and z6 interval work, too. HRMs aren't.

  11. #11
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    6,900
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    Also, HR does not really tell you "what effect the work you're doing is having on you". It's basically only telling you your HR. Which is merely correlated with the effect the work you're doing is having on you. And because of the variables inherent in HR, you really can't, for example, put yourself into a strict zone 3 or zone 4 level of effort, for example. RPE isn't THAT accurate.
    You're really not making much sense here. The fact that HR is variable has little or nothing to do with the accuracy of RPE.

    Go look at how narrow the training zones such as z3 and z4 really are - use either HR or power. You can't really guarantee you're in those by HR. And HR is useless for z5 or z6 intervals. z3 and z4 tend to only be about 10 bpm each. And guess what? Your HR can easily vary more than that for a given level of effort.
    Did you actually read the article to which I linked? If so, perhaps you could explain this statement in the lightt of what is written there?

    Power meters don't have that limit. A watt is a watt. And power meters are useful for z5 and z6 interval work, too. HRMs aren't.
    I agree entirely. But that has absolutely nothing to do with the question posed by the OP.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    4,096
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    You're really not making much sense here. The fact that HR is variable has little or nothing to do with the accuracy of RPE.
    It makes sense if you actually train by zones.

    Did you actually read the article to which I linked? If so, perhaps you could explain this statement in the lightt of what is written there?

    ...
    It's not an article - it's an ad.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mr_pedro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
    Pedro - thanks. Ultimately the two HR's that you had would seem to have similar variations (and outcomes) as my experience.

    FWIW, in my two referenced rides there was no stopping - stayed clipped in the whole time as it was all on rural roads.

    Thanks.

    dave
    Variations just happen. I also think that HR will be lower if the ride is more of a constant effort rather than full off hard efforts above threshold and then resting at slightly below threshold.

  14. #14
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    6,900
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    It makes sense if you actually train by zones.
    No. It doesn't



    It's not an article - it's an ad.
    It's both. It is hardly surprising that a Sigma Sports blog mentions their products. And neither its author, nor anyone here, is suggesting that HR data doesn't have its limitations. But you're making a mistake if you are paying it no attention.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    42
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Yes, but "what effect the work you're doing is having on you" is pretty damned important.

    Read this and let me know your opinion. It seems pretty clear, to me, that HR and power are telling you different but equally useful things and that to use power without reference to HR is to ignore a highly relevant set of data.
    Yes I did read it.but feel that there really isn't anything that they are saying the backs up the use of HR over Power/rpe.
    I do agree that there is some useful info by having HR,RPE and power and at lower intensites (sub- threshold) Hr isn't a bad indicator but once you start going to say85% of LT The usefulness starts to drop,and as you go to supra-threshold efforts HR becomes even less useful, once you get into really high intensities and doing very short efforts the lag time is just to long for it(HR) be of much use.
    From my own experience for example a few years back did a RR on Saturday(46 miles 2800 ft climbing) Had to do 2 long chases due to mechacnical issues (solo for about 7 miles) and a shorter one due stupidity on my part(6mile with 2 other guys), Hard race. The next day set a PB for a 30+min TT and my HR never went above 135 (LTHR at the time 152 measured in a lab), so was it an L2 effort(HR) or high L4(W)? RPE was about8(out of 10).
    Also if HR is so much better the Watts whay are all lab tests (for cycling) done measuring Watts? I've tested many athletes (LT VO2Max and such) and many times for LT we will see a drop in HR at LT but we've seen the resistance (Watts) increase. So again the use of HR alone is not as reliable as using HR RPE and Watts.
    Coach TJ Cormier NSCA-CPT/USAC Level1 Coach

  16. #16
    Senior Member Doge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    My Bikes
    1979 Raleigh Team 753
    Posts
    78
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    ...
    HR is all over. It's affected by temperature, diet, sleep, fatigue levels, hydration...
    HR is utterly useless for intervals under maybe 3-5 minutes in length.
    Works great for controlling TT effort over time.

  17. #17
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    6,900
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Coachtj Cormier View Post
    Also if HR is so much better the Watts whay are all lab tests (for cycling) done measuring Watts? I've tested many athletes (LT VO2Max and such) and many times for LT we will see a drop in HR at LT but we've seen the resistance (Watts) increase. So again the use of HR alone is not as reliable as using HR RPE and Watts.
    I don't think anyone's arguing for the superiority of HR over power. But its shortcomings can be to some extent compensated for by experience and it is telling you something useful. Obviously, using power and HR together is going to be superior.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    42
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    [QUOTE=achooRPE isn't THAT accurate.

    Go QUOTE]

    RPE is very Accurate!
    Coach TJ Cormier NSCA-CPT/USAC Level1 Coach

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •