Cyclingnews -- Dario Fredrick

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Watoni, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Watoni

    Watoni New Member

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    I found this piece dissuading a reader from training at a set percentage of FTP a bit odd, especially given that HR lags for efforts at VO2 max and above in particular, and my HR becomes quite depressed over the course of an ultra event even when I am lean and mean -- other thoughts?

    "I don't agree with training at fixed percentages of threshold power for the very reason you stated - they change as you adapt to training and they don't necessarily reflect the training load on the body (cardio-vascular & nervous system load). Instead, if you calculate HR zones based on your threshold HR, and compare your power output to the HR response, you can see power changes at a given HR over time.

    In most trained adults, HR zones do not change much, if at all. Thus, I use HR as the standard of relative intensity and adjust power accordingly. I would recommend that you keep your workouts calibrated often by comparing power to HR, rather than retesting often. On some days, for example, you may be able to produce less power for the same relative level of intensity and still receive similar physiological benefits despite a lower workload."
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of coaching and training philosophies out there, so it's not hard to find one that doesn't make sense to you. Lot's of coaches are still very strong advocates of HR based training and use arguments like the one in you quoted to push their philosophy.

    FWIW, I wouldn't advocate training at fixed HR zones nor fixed and narrow power zones. Yep, that sounds like heresy here but I've seen way too much variation in HR for similar efforts to gauge efforts on HR alone and the latter is training "by" power instead of training "with" power.

    IOW, we do vary in our day to day abilities depending on recovery, hydration, nutrition, environmental conditions, motivation, focus, etc. Denying that and trying to adhere to a strict and narrow definition of power based training zones is a recipe for eventual frustration. You do what you can do on a given day. You set out to train on a given day with goals in terms of what systems to work but you also listen to your body and alter your plans as necessary to get the best and most focused training on that given day. When you get home you analyze the results and figure out how well you accomplished your goals, whether you need additional rest or whether you've improved and need to reset your future training goals. You track progress and diagnose problem areas based on your power data but don't ride down the road with an eye glued to the PM display.

    A lot of criticism of power based training is based on the misconception that athletes have to be prescribed specific power training zones and have to stay in those zones on every ride. It comes from extending popular HR based training concepts to power training which doesn't always apply. Power data during the ride is great and can tell you when you're loafing or when you're not sufficiently recovered or motivated to sustain typical efforts. It can also tell you when you've improved or are having a stellar day when a standard effort feels easy. But if you integrate both the power data and listen to your body and pay attention to RPE it's easy to adjust workouts up or down as necessary. The recorded data lets you track your actual performance, see patterns, identify strengths and weaknesses and alter your plans accordingly. That's training "with" power.

    Anyway, my opinions just reflect my own training philosophy and will no doubt attract as much criticism as the article you linked. The point is that this stuff is as much art as science and there are an awful lot of opinions out there. There's no doubt many athletes have attained world class status with no instrumentation, others have reached the top of their sport using HR data, others with power data. There's no one simple path and many methods can work if you take into consideration their strengths and weaknesses.

    The author of that piece makes an assumption of how PMs must be used during training. Break that assumption and the argument falls flat, it's not hard to use PM data to train but you can't adhere to rigidly set power zones and ignore your progress or fatigue. That's the beauty of SST and workouts like 2x20s, they're inherently self correcting. Do what you can do and don't be afraid to bump up the intensity when they start to feel easy, and sometimes a planned L4 day ends up being a Tempo/SST day because you just don't have it. No problem, that's just listening to your body and training smart.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  3. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Link to the 'piece'?

    That confuses me. :confused:
     
  4. Watoni

    Watoni New Member

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    http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=2009/letters02-25#2

    Dave,

    I agree that one should not be slavish about power zones; however, if the goal is L4, often it is hard to know if you are falling into upper L3 (i.e. you do not have it that day but do not feel bad or overly sore). If I have the time I will extend the ride and not try to push since it just won't be effective that day. Power bands for me are goals that guide the training, not set it in stone. If I am flying up a climb and feel great, I am not going to slow down!

    By contrast, I did an event at altitude and my HR went ballistic (over 90% of max for 4.5+ hours). I rode the 6.5 hr event at almost exactly the pace I expected. Power was on, HR was off. The one clue it gave me was not to push too hard when I was over 95%, but the searing pain would have clued me in anyways ...
     
  5. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Why?
     
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