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Time Crunched Cyclist - 2nd year

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Old 08-10-17, 01:32 PM
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Time Crunched Cyclist - 2nd year

Last year I tried my local cyclocross circuit for the first time. Prior to that I was just a recreational road rider. I am posting this question in the 33 rather than the CX forum, because it is generally related to cycling fitness.

The TCT has a field test to complete prior to beginning the training block that helps set zones. I am training by HR this year as I did last year. PM is on the Christmas list this year.

Actual Question:

Compared to last year, my field test HR values were 3 bpm higher on average than last year. Does this say anything definitive about my fitness? Has my engine improved a little? Weakened a little? Not enough info to say?

The field test is two 8 minute all out efforts, with a 10 min active recovery between.

Thanks for any insight!
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Old 08-10-17, 02:16 PM
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3 bpm might mean you are in slightly better shape. It's not a big difference.

While your resting hr really determines your fitness, the rule of thumb is 220-age for max hr (+/- 10 bpm). The best way to get your max hr is to measure it. From there, you can guess your hr zones based on several rides and trainer efforts.

The difference between tempo and threshold (or at least the way I use it) is that if you give an effort above threshold, your hr continues to rise. This happens because your body cannot remove lactate as fast as you are making it. Your heart pumps faster to get oxygen to the cells and lactate out.

Your hr zones sort of stay the same throughout a riding season. What will change is the amount of power you can produce at a given hr. Early in the season, you might be producing, say 200W at 130bpm whereas later in the season, you might be able to do 230W at 130bpm.
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Old 08-10-17, 02:17 PM
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No. It does not.

I would not loose sleep over 3 bpm or 3 watts for that matter.
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Old 08-10-17, 03:41 PM
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Thanks for this informative answer. I learned some new things and appreciate it.
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Old 08-10-17, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by arai_speed View Post
No. It does not.

I would not loose sleep over 3 bpm or 3 watts for that matter.
Thanks. I sleep very soundly.
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Old 08-10-17, 04:02 PM
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i prefer friel's method for determining lthr/ftp https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/j...setting-zones/
pacing for the 8 min efforts is a lot harder to pinpoint when first starting
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Old 08-10-17, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
i prefer friel's method for determining lthr/ftp ...
pacing for the 8 min efforts is a lot harder to pinpoint when first starting
While I agree, if the OP is using the zones defined in Time Crunch, he should use the Time Crunch test. There is no ambiguity when doing that. Also, the Time Chunch 8min test is not an FTP test.

OP - if you have specific questions about the plan, you can always join the CTS Strava group and post a question in the discussion. A CTS coach will be happy to answer them.

strava.com/clubs/club-cts

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Old 08-10-17, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by arai_speed View Post
While I agree, if the OP is using the zones defined in Time Crunch, he should use the Time Crunch test. There is no ambiguity when doing that. Also, the Time Chunch 8min test is not an FTP test.

OP - if you have specific questions about the plan, you can always join the CTS Strava group and post a question in the discussion. A CTS coach will be happy to answer them.

strava.com/clubs/club-cts

My understanding that it was https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/p...port-athletes/
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Old 08-10-17, 05:40 PM
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Perhaps they should put that APPROXIMATELY in humongous, bolded letters.

8 mins is vo2 territory. If you do two vo2 max intervals and they end up being 90% of your ftp, then that's fairly coincidental.

My ftp is right around 85% of vo2 max and 91% of 20 mins.

Better to just go really hard, really long if you want an actual number. Not that that will likely matter much, either.

The whole ftp focus is... misguided.
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Old 08-10-17, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
...approximately 90 percent of FTP....
If I look at my power curve for the year, and I grab my best 8 min and 20 min efforts and compare those to my actual 1 hour ftp I show the following:

8min: 274w x .90 = 247 Estimate FTP
20min: 253w x .95 = 240 Estimate FTP
1hr = 228 Actual FTP

Maybe the 8min works better for others, personally I would not use that number as it seems inflated.
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Old 08-10-17, 10:15 PM
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Thanks to everybody. This was a really helpful discussion to me. I'm a fat father of five, so I'm just trying to do something with some structure to be a little less embarrassed by all the 20yos screaming LAPPER as I compete for DFL in Open Cs. I do all my intervals on my 25mi r/t commute to work. TCC definitely helped me last year, I was just curious about the HR change this year. Seems like basically it's (nearly) meaningless, which is a perfectly fine answer for me.
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Old 08-10-17, 10:46 PM
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As a student, I had good success with Trainerroad. It got me through the winter months with some structure and provides easy to follow plans. Once it started getting nice outside I tried to follow the workouts outside for a bit, but found going and riding with friends to be more enjoyable. So that's what I did. Can only do so much trainer work.. They take care of all the "dirty work" of figuring out zones and such. Something to look into as we move towards some worse weather in the coming months.

I've got some free months to give out if you want to give their program a shot, shoot me a PM.

This post makes me sound like a shill.. I'm not, just think they have a good product that can cater to a lot of different types of people.
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Old 08-11-17, 06:01 AM
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As said, 3 bpm is just probably within the basic standard deviation. There are a lot of things that can affect HR outside your effort - how much sleep you got, how hydrated you are, how hot it is...
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Old 08-11-17, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
As said, 3 bpm is just probably within the basic standard deviation. There are a lot of things that can affect HR outside your effort - how much sleep you got, how hydrated you are, how hot it is...
Yep. Fitness also fluctuates so you need to compare apples to apples. That's where the power meter comes in. Wattage tells the story. HR has utility but also has a lot of deviation.
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Old 08-11-17, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rfmarotti View Post
Thanks to everybody. This was a really helpful discussion to me. I'm a fat father of five, so I'm just trying to do something with some structure to be a little less embarrassed by all the 20yos screaming LAPPER as I compete for DFL in Open Cs. I do all my intervals on my 25mi r/t commute to work. TCC definitely helped me last year, I was just curious about the HR change this year. Seems like basically it's (nearly) meaningless, which is a perfectly fine answer for me.
Yep, 3 bmp is too small to say much. Make sure that you're using all the tools you have, too. Figure out your cadence relative to your hr. There are typically places you can "hide" for short intervals to give your heart a break. For me, I can put out extra power at low cadence, and have my heart rate drop. This gives me an incremental break. I don't want to stay there, as it's hard on the knees, but these sorts of areas of the hr/cadence/speed/power space can be helpful.

Increment your workouts, try to stick to the plan, and keep it positive. Expect to fall off the wagon at some point. It's important to brush yourself off and get back on. Anyone can have a bad day, just as anyone can have a good day. If you're having pain at any stage, relax and take it easy for the rest of the workout. It's easy to go too fast/far/intense and wind up with pain that lasts 2 weeks. We've all been there at some point, and it's not worth it.

You'll get there.
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Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......

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Old 08-12-17, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Perhaps they should put that APPROXIMATELY in humongous, bolded letters.

8 mins is vo2 territory. If you do two vo2 max intervals and they end up being 90% of your ftp, then that's fairly coincidental.

My ftp is right around 85% of vo2 max and 91% of 20 mins.

Better to just go really hard, really long if you want an actual number. Not that that will likely matter much, either.

The whole ftp focus is... misguided.
The FTP focus is a great point. After years of training with power, I find the only reason I spend time trying to figure out my FTP is to get more "accurate" CTL, TSB, and ATL. More and more, I think training to 5m, 8m, or whatever are your critical numbers is more important.
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