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Poor correlation between threshold HR and threshold power relative to max - why?

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Poor correlation between threshold HR and threshold power relative to max - why?

Old 02-09-14, 06:02 AM
Videre non videri
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Poor correlation between threshold HR and threshold power relative to max - why?

One of my friends recently had a VO2 max test done and her max power (ramp test) ended up at 290 W. Her max HR is right at 200. She has a comparatively high threshold HR relative to her max, at ~183, or close to 92 %, and the lactate curve remains flat for very long into the test, then near the end takes off almost straight up. However, her threshold power is only about 200 W, or ~69 % of max.

If I compare that to myself, I would probably reach 360 W on a similar test, with a max HR of around 196-197, but my threshold HR is in the low 170s, or about 87-88 %. However, my threshold power is at least 290 W, perhaps 295 W (I've recently done 40 minutes straight at 290 W that felt easy and with a HR at the end of around 176-177, so another 5 W for 20 minutes more should be possible in a race). That's ~82 % of max power. My lactate curves, from the ramp tests I've done in the past) take off from baseline fairly early on and increase gradually and slowly. Max power in both our cases is simply the power at failure in the ramp test.

The ramp test has a linear power increase with time, and heart rate increases pretty much linearly with time as well in these tests, so I can't get my head around why threshold power and threshold HR differ so much relative to the maxes. Mathematically, it doesn't make sense. At least to me...

My friend has a very obvious sprinter profile. She can outsprint most people in our "gang", at least for the first maybe 6-7 seconds, and she is great at staying with or chasing down an attack. But she is, as would be expected, poor at time trials.

Is there any hope for her threshold power?
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