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(How To) Cardiac Drift - A Different Way of Looking at Indoor Training

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(How To) Cardiac Drift - A Different Way of Looking at Indoor Training

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Old 02-15-19, 09:29 AM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Man, you're just getting random at this point. I'm out, proselytize away.
Oops, you're right. I totally forgot to add "gratuitously adding quotes"...oh shoot...he's gone. Well...bye.
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Old 02-15-19, 10:07 AM
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Anway, back on topic (hopefully). So a few posts ago I brought up the 3 x 3 x 3 workout from a video that is too long for some to watch but not too long to comment on. Anyway, a 3 x 3 x 3 is three 3-hr workouts in zone 3 which are performed over three consecutive days. So, actually, it's a 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 workout? Anyway, why would anyone in their right mind do such a thing? To demonstrate the effect on cardiac drift. That's why. It's easy to reproduce this. I've done it many times. Here's one example:

Three identical workouts every other day followed up three days off then another workout...



...resulted in consistently-climbing drift which returned to 7% after the extra days off:



The allows me tune the bejeezus out of stress vs recovery. Oh wait, there's something else I forgot about...be right back...

...OK, got it. So where was I? Of course, tuning the bejeezus out of stress vs recovery. So I'm accumulating fatigue fairly quickly at this frequency...oh wait a minute, because it's important to understand that fatigue accumulates and dissipates much more quickly than fitness. So why is that important? Well, as a measure of endurance, the above graph has cardiac drift skyrocketing. Does that mean my endurance is melting away? Nope. Not at all. It means that I'm tired. <== Intentional use of inaccurate but 105% practical layman's term to drive the internet nuts.

So what should I change based on this? You guessed it. Frequency. But first that thing I forgot earlier. I see from the data that subsequent workouts on a 9-day microcycle...ah crap...you don't know what that is either. Quick detour:

For most of us our microcycle aligns with the calendar week, which is convenient because we can do our long rides on the weekend yada yada but what's important is that we don't have to do that. We can define our "weeks" any way we want. So when I talk about 9-day microcycle above, I mean that I worked out every third day.

Alright, now, as I was about to say above, when I changed frequency to a 9-day microcycle I noticed that I was recovering more quickly than what calls for a 9-day microcycle. So what did I do? I did what any red-blooded cyclist would do. I increased intensity!

Wait, what?

Ok maybe this wasn't the best timing for this topic as it can get nuanced. BUT this is also somewhat fundamental and also illustrative so let's persist...

What we my options? Frequency isn't an option because I'm "in-between frequencies, as it were. So what's left is intensity and duration. I chose intensity because I was at my two-hour limit of available time. Actually, that wasn't that bad to explain. Volume would have been better but there are nuances there also. Hell, why not just go there. Can't put the genie back in that bottle. Since my target event duration is two hours and my "estimated actual fresh" cardiac drift is in check then my endurance is adequately developed. So it's time for more intensity. Yeah!

WTF??!?!? What in the world is "estimated actual fresh cardiac drift"? It's exactly what it sounds like. Looking longitudinally at my data and having deliberately allowed the presence of fatigue so it can be monitored, I know some fatigue is in all of my drift numbers but looking at how it fluctuates and also seeing how it drops from things like the accumulation example above and such, I have a very good idea of what my actual endurance (this would be a better name than "estimated actual fresh cardiac drift" is.

So yeah now it's time to rock!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-15-19, 11:50 AM
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I'd rather ride my bike off a cliff than repeating the same indoor workout 4 times in row
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Old 02-15-19, 11:57 AM
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Putting it all together

.
So, from the top, you have stress vs recovery/adaptation. Workout ==> Rest ==> Get stronger ==> Decreasing I:E ==> Workout again to get even stronger

Inadequate or excess stress==> Failure to adapt

Inadequate rest ==> Upset recovery/adaptation + accumulation of fatigue ==> Increasing cardiac drift and/or RPE + Abnormally low HR

Excess rest ==> Revert to previous fitness level

Fatigue ==> Rapid changes in drift and HR

Fitness ==> Slower changes in HR

Endurance ==> Even slower changes in drift

Adjustments ==> Intensity, duration, or frequency (microcycle)

Adjust duration first unless:
.
  • time is limited ==> increase intensity
  • adequate endurance achieved ==> increase intensity
  • fatigue accumulation ==> decrease frequency
.

Last edited by fstrnu; 02-15-19 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 02-15-19, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
I'd rather ride my bike off a cliff than repeating the same indoor workout 4 times in row
Thanks for this. There's no need to repeat workouts. I tend to repeat low intensity workouts early on in the season to maximize volume and I'm lucky in that I actually enjoy just getting absorbed in a movie during these workouts. In reality, though, I'm not able to do this for very long because I inevitably must compromise with intensity when I can't get two hours in. Of course, as the year progresses I have to add + maintain energy systems so I end up with up to four different workouts in a week but by then (and of course over the years) I have a really good grip on load, rate and recovery tolerance/requirements.
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Old 02-15-19, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by fstrnu View Post
Thanks for this. There's no need to repeat workouts. I tend to repeat low intensity workouts early on in the season .
Your basement has seasons?
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Old 02-15-19, 02:58 PM
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Nobody cares that TSB, CTL, and ATL exist? And that people use them? Or things like using WK04? Blow your mind on folks using something like a Humon hex.

If you're a cheap ass like me you can track in a DIY spreadsheet so long as you know the formulas and enter your TSS. Or you can use those tools for a minimal cost and get some pretty good results.

This is about as good as the Slowtwitch topic on the Velotron and crank length.
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Old 02-15-19, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Nobody cares that TSB, CTL, and ATL exist? And that people use them? Or things like using WK04? Blow your mind on folks using something like a Humon hex.

If you're a cheap ass like me you can track in a DIY spreadsheet so long as you know the formulas and enter your TSS. Or you can use those tools for a minimal cost and get some pretty good results.

This is about as good as the Slowtwitch topic on the Velotron and crank length.
Only if you want to design your training is some sensible way. I'd personally be wonking out on that if I were 20 years younger. Athletes my age, let's say 50+, have to work it out other ways and unfortunately something simple like cardiac drift isn't going to do it either.
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Old 02-15-19, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
This is about as good as the Slowtwitch topic on the Velotron and crank length.
OP has a very long way to go before his trolling can be mentioned in the same breath as h20..
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Old 02-15-19, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Nobody cares that TSB, CTL, and ATL exist? And that people use them? Or things like using WK04? Blow your mind on folks using something like a Humon hex.

If you're a cheap ass like me you can track in a DIY spreadsheet so long as you know the formulas and enter your TSS. Or you can use those tools for a minimal cost and get some pretty good results.

This is about as good as the Slowtwitch topic on the Velotron and crank length.
Nobody cares that Golden Cheetah exists? And that people use it?
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Old 02-15-19, 05:16 PM
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Self-regulating endurance maintenance

Endurance maintains itself. Even if you fall below 5%, don't achieve sufficient stimulus and endurance declines you will then go back above 5% because your endurance has declined, thereby receiving sufficient stimulus and getting back to where you need to be. This is just one example of dozens of things that take care of themselves with my protocol. Over time, I'll outline them for educational purposes so people can take it to the next level, but rest assured so many things will work themselves out if you don't interfere and stick to the protocol. The proof is in the pudding. What blew my mind initially is how predictive drift was when I applied it to historical data. If you have historical ERG data, you can do the same!
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Old 02-15-19, 05:26 PM
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I still want to know about the seasons.
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Old 02-15-19, 05:44 PM
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Other automated load management scenarios

Drift is like a tachometer that, while it can be impacted by a number of things, automatically balances out intensity, duration and frequency. Inadequate recovery? Drift will rise. Excess stimulus? Drift will rise. Make the wrong programming variable adjustment? Drift will tell you.

All you have to do is pay attention and drift will eventually get you to the truth; 9 out of ten times resulting in just the right adjustment.

Inadequate stimulus due to fitness improvement? This can be tricky to know because the response to today's stimulus is a reflection of improvements from previous training. The good news is every decision will be tested during the next session. Decide to get back to it early due to suspected inadequate stimulus but it doesn't turn out to be such? This will be revealed by the next session. Decide to let it ride and see what happens but turns out that excess recovery results in flat performance? No problem. Flat performance reveals itself. And over time none of these phenomena can't hide for long as trends will reveal the truth.
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Old 02-15-19, 05:48 PM
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Old 02-15-19, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Nobody cares that ...people use...WK04?
WK04 doesn't have decoupling?
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Old 02-15-19, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
And, since you're in about the same age range as I am, I'll bet that like I did you designed your volume and intensity around what your body could absorb rather than performance markers such as cardiac drift or time near threshold etc etc. We have to live in the range between the "comfort zone" too relaxed to produce gains, and performance goals that produce injuries or excessive recovery periods. Sometimes those lines are pretty close together, and "cardiac drift" is going to provide no meaningful insight on where the lines are. At best I'd use it as an indicator that I've neglected or overlooked something.
Absolutely!
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Old 02-16-19, 06:58 AM
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Generally-accepted training fundamentals and ERG training

Training involves a repeating process of stress, recovery and adaptation
Stress is a product of volume and intensity
Volume = Time and is a product of duration and frequency
Training strategy is about managing time at intensity
Aerobic endurance takes a long time to both develop and lose
Short power takes less time to gain and lose
Training at lower intensity helps prepare the body for training at higher intensity
Fatigue can build and dissipate very rapidly
External load is the work performed
Internal load is the impact on the athlete of work performed
A decreasing internal to external load ratio indicates improved fitness
A decreased internal load with the same external load indicates possible inadequate current workout stimulus
An increased external load with the same internal load indicates adequate current workout stimulus and previous recovery
A decreasing cardiac drift is an indicator of endurance improvement
An increased cardiac drift is an indicator of increased fatigue
A decreased cardiac drift is an indicator of fatigue dissipation
---
Training should go from general ==> specific
Power is the most direct way to achieve intensity
Intervals are the most direct way to achieve time at intensity
Due to shelf life differences and preparation requirements, training often goes from low ==> high intensity and long ==> short intervals
ERG training is the most precise way to achieve power over time (control + measure external load)
Under controlled conditions, effort, measures of effort and variables that can impact measures of effort are all more consistent/reliable/manageable
ERG training is the best way to understand the relationship between effort and power over time for precise indicators + management of fitness, fatigue and endurance
Load monitoring ==> Proper stimulus and recovery ==> Effective management of time at intensity to achieve training goals
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Old 02-16-19, 08:13 AM
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Today's Assignment

Many of you are now in the time of year that the training people do is commonly referred to as "base".

Common goals at this time of year to develop aerobic endurance and prepare the body for higher intensity work.

So, under my protocol, what should you be doing today, tomorrow and the next day? For how long should "base" training continue before entering the next "phase"?

Let's start with today.

Today, you need to ride for as long as you can at an intensity that will result in a cardiac drift between 5-10%. How to know what intensity this is? Easy. Pull up your recent data in Golden Cheetah and see what drift is for a given duration/intensity combo. Higher intensity will produce higher drift and lower intensity will produce lower drift so just adjust accordingly. An alternative is to ride for 25% longer than the time at which you begin to look forward to the end of the workout. For example, if you begin to look forward the end of the workout at 100 minutes in, then ride for 25 more minutes. This will hopefully put you within 5-10%. Regardless, it only takes one ride to form a baseline so if whatever intensity you ride at today is < 5% then increase intensity of your next workout. Same goes for > 10% but decrease intensity for next workout.

Alright, but how often should you be riding? Cardiac drift will tell you this also. If you are not improving, i.e. duration is not increasing because cardiac drift is not decreasing, then you need to increase frequency because your body is reverting back to the previous baseline. The timing of your next workout needs to be at the height of the adaptation curve.

Now, if cardiac drift is increasing over time then you need to decrease workout frequency because you are not adequately recovering between workouts.

Ok, so how long should I be in "base" phase?

There are nuances to this so please ask questions but 99% of athletes will need and be ready to begin higher intensity work when cardiac drift is between 5-7% and duration = target event duration.

That's it. Now go build that endurance
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Old 02-16-19, 09:14 AM
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Old 02-16-19, 10:15 AM
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Old 02-16-19, 10:56 AM
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How common rider limitations result in self-regulation

.
There's no need to sweat over variables that naturally come out in the wash. The following is just one of many examples I will be sharing in the future. There's no simpler phase of training than base training and my protocol makes it even easier.

Most athletes are limited by the amount of time they have available or are willing (at least until you learn my secrets) to training indoors. This makes deciding on duration easy. Simply workout for as long as you have or are willing to.

Thus, the main dials you will be playing with are intensity and frequency. The threes scenarios you are looking for are:
.
  • Cardiac drift outside of 5-10%, in while case you need to increase or decrease intensity accoringly
  • No improvement, in which case you need to increase frequency
  • Increasing cardiac drift, especially coinciding with a drop in HR, in which case you need to decrease frequency
.
That's it! Have fun playing! Get excited! You are the subject of a study with N=1. Don't squander that opportunity!!!!!
.

Last edited by fstrnu; 02-16-19 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 02-16-19, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by fstrnu View Post
Anway, back on topic (hopefully). So a few posts ago I brought up the 3 x 3 x 3 workout from a video that is too long for some to watch but not too long to comment on. Anyway, a 3 x 3 x 3 is three 3-hr workouts in zone 3 which are performed over three consecutive days. So, actually, it's a 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 workout? Anyway, why would anyone in their right mind do such a thing? To demonstrate the effect on cardiac drift. That's why. It's easy to reproduce this. I've done it many times. Here's one example:

Three identical workouts every other day followed up three days off then another workout...



...resulted in consistently-climbing drift which returned to 7% after the extra days off:



The allows me tune the bejeezus out of stress vs recovery. Oh wait, there's something else I forgot about...be right back...
You appear to have lots of data from your personal training. How about adding some more relevant metrics like FTP over time.

At the end of the day no one really cares about Cardiac drift they care about performance and that is dictated by sustainable power over various durations.

How are you measuring the efficacy of your training regimen?

For myself, one of the more effective workouts I do is 6x5x1 intervals @ 105-108% of FTP. Cardiac drift is not relevant here because the intervals are only 5 min long. I do these based on RPE. If I'm able to complete the 6th interval comfortably, I raise the target power next time. If the target is set correctly the first couple of intervals are comfortable and the final two are a real mental struggle to complete. I have a particular stretch of road I do these on. If I can continue to raise the target power over a period of weeks I'm happy.
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Old 02-16-19, 11:16 AM
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As an Analytics Architect...

In business and other endeavors, analytics is used to monitor metrics and trends in order to understand performance.

All models are wrong but some can be helpful.

Cycling is no different.

Complex models are wrong, overly complex, confusing and profitable. Believe me, I worked in a consulting firm and people make billions from others thinking things are complex and that they know something when they don't; often getting educated from people who management should have been listening to all along; but I digress...

Cycling is nowhere near as complicated as people want you to think it is.

Many simple models are effective. Ride, pay attention to subjective indicators of fatigue. Adjust accordingly.

Perhaps the most effective protocol for group rides is to simply ride your local terrain because this will naturally distribute time at intensity, etc.

ERG training is simple, too.

People will talk all day long about confounding variables without naming a single one.

ERG training accurately measures and controls external load under controlled conditions.

Power doesn't vary.

Conditions don't vary.

Workouts are as repeatable and comparable as a laboratory experiment is.

This means changes in performance can be confidently attributed to changes in training status (fitness, fatigue and endurance), unlike with unsophisticated mathematical normalization which desperately attempts to normalize a wildly varying reality across people who are all different.

There's no substitute for understanding, thinking, testing and experience; especially PERSONAL experience.

Does this mean you need a PhD. Nope. My three-rule protocol will outperform any silly mathematical model uniformly applied to random athletes in a chaotic environment.

Try it. You'll see.
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Old 02-16-19, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
You appear to have lots of data from your personal training. How about adding some more relevant metrics like FTP over time.

At the end of the day no one really cares about Cardiac drift they care about performance and that is dictated by sustainable power over various durations.

How are you measuring the efficacy of your training regimen?

For myself, one of the more effective workouts I do is 6x5x1 intervals @ 105-108% of FTP. Cardiac drift is not relevant here because the intervals are only 5 min long. I do these based on RPE. If I'm able to complete the 6th interval comfortably, I raise the target power next time. If the target is set correctly the first couple of intervals are comfortable and the final two are a real mental struggle to complete. I have a particular stretch of road I do these on. If I can continue to raise the target power over a period of weeks I'm happy.
You're getting ahead of the class somewhat and have just described what I call the maximum sustainable intensity (MSI) approach to interval training of which I am the world's single greatest fan and have written about extensively.

What you are doing does not, and should not, have anything to do with FTP. FTP is meaningless. When you increase your power based on MSI, you deviate away from FTP and you should.

I measure the efficacy of my program based on the internal to external load ratio (fitness) and cardiac drift (endurance).

CP is fine, too. Anything but FTP.

It's important to distinguish performance measures from prescriptive metrics.

Both I:E and cardiac drift do both.
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Old 02-16-19, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fstrnu View Post
.
There's no need to sweat over variables that naturally come out in the wash. The following is just one of many examples I will be sharing in the future. There's no simpler phase of training than base training and my protocol makes it even easier.

.
Says the guy who's spent hours and hours typing dozens of posts on half a dozen threads and still can't figure out that what he's saying is pointless and senseless.
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