Climbing economics, sitting or standing



doctorSpoc

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Nov 18, 2005
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bbrauer said:
Although I think Mitosis chooses the wrong words when he describes "immediate feedback", but I understand what he's trying to say and it has merit to some degree. I think the continued value of using HR for certain applications is precisely because its feedback is not immediate....at least it terms of transient changes in work or intensity. It has its own smoothing effect to consistent efforts, whereas power jumps all around if you have to ease up for a second to turn or adjust to slight changes in grade, etc. Yeah, you can get pretty good at keeping power consistent by constantly watching it and adjusting your effort, and this is effective if you want to time trial; but in a way, this much focus on keeping a power readout from bouncing around is not what happens in race scenarios.

If you can get access to a power meter and a heart rate monitor and establish power zones and their corresponding hear rates, then HR is an acceptable substitute for sustained effort up to your threshold. HR is perfectly fine if you want to stay in zone 3 or SST.

i don't think you've used a power meter either... constantly watching power and keeping it consistent is not necessary, nor necessarily desirable... if you are inside you can do this but outside it's just too hard to do and it's also just not necessary either... you want to be approx in zone and you want average power or normalized power to be a value.. over a 20min threshold interval maybe i glance at my power meter 5-6 times just to make sure everything is everything.. maybe up hills i might glance at it to make sure i'm not over cooking it and on downhills to make sure i'm not taking it too easy and on the flat ever now and again just to make sure i'm still where i want to be.. you don't want eyes to be glued to the thing for the whole effort.. make the effort feel twice as long and you'll likely crash off the road..

HR is not a substitute for power.. first of all, it measures strain (Dr. Coggan's words) and not stress.. it's too variable from day to day, time of day, food ingested, caffeine intake, the dog that just chased you, if you've taken the last few days off your HR will be elevate etc, etc.. add in the time lag factor and one quickly realizes it pretty useless...
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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doctorSpoc said:
i don't think you've used a power meter either... constantly watching power and keeping it consistent is not necessary, nor necessarily desirable... if you are inside you can do this but outside it's just too hard to do and it's also just not necessary either... you want to be approx in zone and you want average power or normalized power to be a value.. over a 20min threshold interval maybe i glance at my power meter 5-6 times just to make sure everything is everything.. maybe up hills i might glance at it to make sure i'm not over cooking it and on downhills to make sure i'm not taking it too easy and on the flat ever now and again just to make sure i'm still where i want to be.. you don't want eyes to be glued to the thing for the whole effort.. make the effort feel twice as long and you'll likely crash off the road..

HR is not a substitute for power.. first of all, it measures strain (Dr. Coggan's words) and not stress.. it's too variable from day to day, time of day, food ingested, caffeine intake, the dog that just chased you, if you've taken the last few days off your HR will be elevate etc, etc.. add in the time lag factor and one quickly realizes it pretty useless...

Besides being a disdainful putz, you fail to recognize any benefit at all to HRM's. Golly: how did anyone finish a race before power meters! Clearly you see yourself as the God of Training, so clearly your knowledge trumps all. Maybe, then, you'll find some time to step off.
 

doctorSpoc

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alienator said:
Besides being a disdainful putz, you fail to recognize any benefit at all to HRM's. Golly: how did anyone finish a race before power meters! Clearly you see yourself as the God of Training, so clearly your knowledge trumps all. Maybe, then, you'll find some time to step off.

are you actually going to add anything remotely resembling something useful to the discussion or are you just here to fling insults? and i'm the putz? whatever putz!!

Golly Gomer Pile, how did anyone manage to finish a race before HRMs? Your stupid argument can be used to negate any advancement in training including HRMs... its a stupid argument since riders keep on getting faster and records continue to be broken.. if it were up to idiots such as yourself we'd all be dressed in animal skins and still hunting and gathering with rocks and sharp sticks... and i'm a putz... what a putz!

since i think that RPE (which is what people did before HRMs) is actually superior to HRMs since HR is so variable from outside influences and and has a huge time lag so it can be very misleading... so yes, for those reason i consider HRMs worse than nothing (i.e. RPE) so yes i consider them completely useless a training tool.

you say i fail to recognize any benefit form HRMs... present me with one reasonable one... all the ones presented here have been shot down... where are these benefits... RPE is just as effective likely more effective for riding below zone 3 and below as bbauer states HRMs can be used for.. so why does anyone need a HRM when they can use RPE for free... HRMs a a complete and utter waste of time and money

actually you could feed HRM data into TRIMPS calc... but as a direct training aid for training intensity... useless... as i say worse than nothing...
 

mitosis

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Jun 21, 2004
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doctorSpoc said:
mitosis... an HRM can be safely dismissed as a useful training tool to measure level exertion over useful intervals of time for training.. precisely BECAUSE it ca not provide immediate feedback.. there is a huge time lag in heart rate after onset of stress. most coaches have happily ditched HRMs because they've discovered how incredible useless they are as a training tool because of this short coming..

I've said what I want to say already. Your claim of huge lag time, ditched HRMs and incredible uselessness just shows your inexperience with their use, because these claims are just wrong. A simple search shows that they are considered an essential tool, even among the technophiles in cycling in britain and the us and they were widely used during the t de f.

But for almost immediate feedback on exertion, say when standing or sitting while climbing they provide useful feedback which a PM cannot.

There is a role for both.
 

doctorSpoc

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mitosis said:
I've said what I want to say already. Your claim of huge lag time, ditched HRMs and incredible uselessness just shows your inexperience with their use, because these claims are just wrong. A simple search shows that they are considered an essential tool, even among the technophiles in cycling in britain and the us and they were widely used during the t de f.

But for almost immediate feedback on exertion, say when standing or sitting while climbing they provide useful feedback which a PM cannot.

There is a role for both.

i've used a HRM for years and years before using a PM and even kept on using an HRM after getting a power meter.. but eventually you just start looking at the data, less and less, then the battery in the chest strap dies and you just never buy new ones because you've stop really looking at the HR data long ago and you realize.. man that HR data is really misleading and likely contributed to inferior workout for years.. looking at your PM data and HRM data together actually makes it very evident just how useless the data from the HRM really was.. and how it very likely lead you astray. everyone i know who's used a PM for more than one season has the same story... old habits die hard but after a while you just shake your head and say what the hell was i thinking there...

i'm totally willing to read and listen to arguments, research, hell even loosely put together hypotheses as to why, how etc HR can be useful in training... but i haven't heard one valid one in this thread yet and i just don't operate on blind faith. if you can articulate one i'd happily accept it... i know it's not the diplomatic response but i'm not particularly diplomatic. i'm here to learn and contribute what i've learned over the years to these discussion.. not to be diplomatic.
 

bbrauer

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Feb 27, 2007
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doctorSpoc said:
i don't think you've used a power meter either... constantly watching power and keeping it consistent is not necessary, nor necessarily desirable... if you are inside you can do this but outside it's just too hard to do and it's also just not necessary either... you want to be approx in zone and you want average power or normalized power to be a value.. over a 20min threshold interval maybe i glance at my power meter 5-6 times just to make sure everything is everything.. maybe up hills i might glance at it to make sure i'm not over cooking it and on downhills to make sure i'm not taking it too easy and on the flat ever now and again just to make sure i'm still where i want to be.. you don't want eyes to be glued to the thing for the whole effort.. make the effort feel twice as long and you'll likely crash off the road..

HR is not a substitute for power.. first of all, it measures strain (Dr. Coggan's words) and not stress.. it's too variable from day to day, time of day, food ingested, caffeine intake, the dog that just chased you, if you've taken the last few days off your HR will be elevate etc, etc.. add in the time lag factor and one quickly realizes it pretty useless...

Ah.... arguing on the internet. Shall we just get out the tape measures and the dirty magazines now, or posture some more?

constantly watching power and keeping it consistent is not necessary, nor necessarily desirable... if you are inside you can do this but outside it's just too hard to do and it's also just not necessary either..

...which is why I don't constantly look at it. When it's particularly stochastic based on terrain, the moment by moment information it gives you is pretty meaningless. Even average power is skewed based on stops, downhills, etc., and aside from the Ergomo, which is dead to me (and perhaps a future applet for a Quarq), there is no power meter that gives NP in real time. I would add, however, that watching your power pretty often, particularly when you first start working with power is helpful in avoiding those unnecessary pauses in your pedaling when you get tired or distracted. A good tempo or SST workout is one you can continually do without interruptions, and the RPE range should be at a level that's "sort of annoying", so you kind of have to concentrate. Most of us don't even realize just how on/off/on/off we constantly are on a basic ride over relatively flat terrain.

However, back to Mito's point about instant feedback, I think relative to the chaotic jumble of instantaneous power readings, HR has an advantage if you have both power zones and HR zones. Say you want to stick it your SST zone, which may be 255-270 or so. Rather than look at scattered numbers, you could glance at your heart rate range and make sure it's in that HR zone that corresponds with the power zone, maybe 160-165. Like I said, it has a built in smoothing effect. As I said before, I don't use HR anymore, but I do have clients who don't have power, but have occasional access to my Powertap for testing. In this scenario, HR is easier for the novice to understand, afford and comply with particular workout prescriptions.

As you mentioned HR fluctuates for any number of reasons. Rather than seeing this as a net detriment, it really begs the question as to why your HR is different from day to day. This can give a lot of insight into how each of our bodies work and how they're responding. It's just an additinonal level of information that a coach or athlete can observe and think about in overall context.

I realize that any mention of any way of looking at training that isn't "Power Power Power" is heresy to the Coggan Cult, but I think such a rigid belief system eliminates creative thinking and insight.

So Spocky, why don't you lead the chant? "Praise Lydiard! Hail Coggan! Smite the Power Infidels! Death to the non-believers! Jihad on Powercranks!"

oh BTW, since we're arguing with credentials, I've got one of those "Expert in Power Based Training" certifications from USA Cycling...so in terms of you telling me I've never used a power meter ....neener neener:p
 

doctorSpoc

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Nov 18, 2005
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bbrauer said:
Ah.... arguing on the internet. Shall we just get out the tape measures and the dirty magazines now, or posture some more?



...which is why I don't constantly look at it. When it's particularly stochastic based on terrain, the moment by moment information it gives you is pretty meaningless. Even average power is skewed based on stops, downhills, etc., and aside from the Ergomo, which is dead to me (and perhaps a future applet for a Quarq), there is no power meter that gives NP in real time. I would add, however, that watching your power pretty often, particularly when you first start working with power is helpful in avoiding those unnecessary pauses in your pedaling when you get tired or distracted. A good tempo or SST workout is one you can continually do without interruptions, and the RPE range should be at a level that's "sort of annoying", so you kind of have to concentrate. Most of us don't even realize just how on/off/on/off we constantly are on a basic ride over relatively flat terrain.

However, back to Mito's point about instant feedback, I think relative to the chaotic jumble of instantaneous power readings, HR has an advantage if you have both power zones and HR zones. Say you want to stick it your SST zone, which may be 255-270 or so. Rather than look at scattered numbers, you could glance at your heart rate range and make sure it's in that HR zone that corresponds with the power zone, maybe 160-165. Like I said, it has a built in smoothing effect. As I said before, I don't use HR anymore, but I do have clients who don't have power, but have occasional access to my Powertap for testing. In this scenario, HR is easier for the novice to understand, afford and comply with particular workout prescriptions.

As you mentioned HR fluctuates for any number of reasons. Rather than seeing this as a net detriment, it really begs the question as to why your HR is different from day to day. This can give a lot of insight into how each of our bodies work and how they're responding. It's just an additinonal level of information that a coach or athlete can observe and think about in overall context.

I realize that any mention of any way of looking at training that isn't "Power Power Power" is heresy to the Coggan Cult, but I think such a rigid belief system eliminates creative thinking and insight.

So Spocky, why don't you lead the chant? "Praise Lydiard! Hail Coggan! Smite the Power Infidels! Death to the non-believers! Jihad on Powercranks!"

oh BTW, since we're arguing with credentials, I've got one of those "Expert in Power Based Training" certifications from USA Cycling...so in terms of you telling me I've never used a power meter ....neener neener:p

i'll address your last point 1st... i never raised credentials at all in any of my post... don' give a rats ass about credentials.. if someone makes sense they make sense that's the only thing that matters to me...

i think if you read over many of my post in the past i think you'll quickly realize that i'm VERY far from being some kind of Coggan zealot.. i've disagreed with him quick strongly on this forum in on countless subjects... i think others who frequent these boards probably got a bit of a chuckle when you hinted at that... i was merely acknowledging that i used his words in my post.

i can see a coach using HR in the way you describe for a very wet behind the ears newbie that doesn't want to invest in power just yet.. it's not optimal at all but for a newbie it's not likely necessary.

but back to the issue raised by the OP and the unanswered question raised by frenchyge "For "certain" applications, or for the application that is the subject of this thread?"

lets say for the sake of argument that HR IS fine for Z3 and below as you say... are you then basically admitting that it's not adequate for measuring exercise intensity during climbing then, since climbing will most likely be done at or above FTP depending on how long the hill is?
 

graywulf

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Jul 17, 2009
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I naturally tended to get out of the saddle when I first started riding.

Then I heard sitting was more energy sparing, so I practiced sitting through all my climbs. I did that for a while and really believed in it. When I tried to stand I just couldn't keep it up....
...but I could. When my muscles and heart wanted me to sit back down, I stayed up --- and it really wasn't bad at all, except for a calf/ankle that I can tell needs more strength. I climbed all day with near 50/50 sitting and standing. I hurt the next day, sure, but I can tell my body will adapt this way.

PS. It's more fun to climb standing.
 

longfemur

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Jul 17, 2007
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graywulf said:
I climbed all day with near 50/50 sitting and standing. I hurt the next day, sure, but I can tell my body will adapt this way.

Or, your body will develop serious, perhaps permanent overuse injury. You takes your chances.
 

graywulf

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Jul 17, 2009
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longfemur said:
Or, your body will develop serious, perhaps permanent overuse injury. You takes your chances.

Overuse injury? Of what, my legs? :p

Seriously, I feel great and I fly out of the saddle...
 

longfemur

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Jul 17, 2007
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There's such a thing as doing too much. It's easy to read bicycling forums and then get carried away. Climbing can be hard on the knees and various other parts of your legs. If you overdo climbing or any other riding, you can develop knee problems and various tendinitises that can be hard to get over. Cycling should be as smooth and effort-free as possible, which most of the time will mean that you should favour easier spinning over mashing down on each pedal stroke, and you should take appropriate breaks to let your body recuperate. Technique and finesse are the key words. Young racers out to make money and/or a name for themselves don't care what harm they do to their body, but if you want to ride many decades as I have, you have to take things more moderately.
 

graywulf

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Jul 17, 2009
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I climb a lot... but that's where I live. I'll 'mash' more if stay in the saddle. I feel like standing distributes the stress of climbing I get in the saddle.