plotting efficiency

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by bubba 02, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. bubba 02

    bubba 02 New Member

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    Ive recently read a acrtlicle in ROAD magazine that stated "efficiency is measured by: avg heart rate/ by avg power, and when plotted over time in similar training rides and or power zones can determine efficient ride time and or junk miles? Anything above a treadline is good, anything below is junk... Has anyone tried plotting this info and does it work??
     
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  2. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    1) ROAD magazine is wrong, i.e., that isn't the proper definition of efficiency (the calculation of which is completely independent of heart rate).

    2) As your cardiovascular fitness improves, your heart rate at a given power should decrease, or conversely, your power at a given heart rate should increase. Unless collected under standardized (i.e., lab-like) conditions, however, there will likely be quite a bit of scatter to such data, which may make it difficult to spot long-term trends. Moreover, even if you collect lots of data to filter out such noise you can't use power:heart rate to identify "junk miles".
     
  3. bubba 02

    bubba 02 New Member

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    Have you read this article ??? In that case whats your opinion on the best why to filtering out "junk miles" RPE??? Not trying to sound like a smart a** thanx Paul
     
  4. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Above the trendline means that HR/pwr was unusually higher than similar training rides... and they say that's good? :rolleyes:

    That's too bad, 'cause I typically like seeing those high power - low HR junk rides, myself. :D
     
  5. bubba 02

    bubba 02 New Member

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    Have you read this article?? what is your opinion on decoupling? is that proper training? In your opinion what is the best way to filter out "junk miles", RPE???



     
  6. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I think it talks about that in his book.
     
  7. bubba 02

    bubba 02 New Member

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    Funny, Im just wondering why an well estblished magazine would print such incorrect facts???
     
  8. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    There's a lot of conflicting opinions on the best ways to train, tools to track that training, etc. Many of those methods are based on tradition or what appears to be a good idea without much if any science to back it up.

    An awful lot of things that make it into articles in lay magazines sound great, provide content to sell issues and sometimes are interesting ideas that deserve some study but many aren't supported by peer reviewed research or make sense based on accepted first principles.

    Sounds like somebody had an idea related to power and HR and sold an article to a magazine, but that don't make it true.....

    -Dave
     
  9. bubba 02

    bubba 02 New Member

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    thanx for the feedback, I think with that said, It will save me time and paperwork..
     
  10. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I'm not sure why, but which seems like a better training session to you? A ride where you had personal best power, fastest time up your favorite climb, and average HR; or a ride where your power and speed were down and HR was unusually high?

    Assuming you interpreted the article correctly in your first post, ROAD Magazine says the first ride was junk miles and the second was a good training session. To all the folks here that regularly train with power (even those of us without PhD's), that seems bass-ackwards at best (and flawed methodology at worst).
     
  11. bubba 02

    bubba 02 New Member

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    Ok, I have tried to dig this article up on the internet for a cut and paste, but no luck. It was written in this month's Road magazine by Coach Scott Saifer, M.S.P. He states the following:

    "It is dangerous to make ever-higher average speeds or powers the measure of the quality of rides. These are good markers of the effects of the previous few weeks of training, but not of the quality of the ride just completed. If average speed with the same effort on the same course from month to month, the training is working. The danger comes from riding hard on a given day to get a new record to show that training is working. Using average speed or power as an indicator of quality encourages ignoring perceived effort to get a number. This is an error because perceived effort is the one thing no rider should ever ignore in racing or training. For riders who like to mark their progress with numbers, I suggest a different variable; efficiency as measured by power versus heart rate on similar rides. If training is working, a plot of daily average watts divided by average heart rate on similar types of rides should show a gradual upward trend. Any day the new point comes out below the trend line, there is a problem in need of correction. The rider is tired, dehydrated, under fed, injured, poorly fitted on the bike or doing something else wrong that needs correction. Good training and recovery behaviors yeild efficiency plots that rise steadily and performance that rises along with those plots. Any day that the plot is above the trend line, one has done good quality training. Any day that one has done other then the recovery ride with the efficiency below the trend line, one has done junk miles (remember that for the plot to be meaningful it has to compare with similar rides: spinning endurance rides with spinning endurance rides and TT intervals with TT intervals for instance)."

    Sorry for the lengthy article, what is your opinions?
     
  12. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Well, he got the power on top of the Pwr/Hr ratio, so that's a good start. :D

    The author says that whenever Pwr/HR is below the trendline (ok, there's going to be a lot of scatter, so let's say significantly below the trendline), there's a problem that needs to be corrected, and that's reasonable. Just because the rider was underfed, tired, or dehydrated doesn't make the session junk miles, however. Junk miles means that there was no training benefit to the ride, which would be impossible to determine just from looking at a Pwr/HR number (as Dr. Coggan stated). I think that's the rub.

    My opinion: if you plot it all out, then points that fall significantly below the scatter probably indicate that there was something drastically different about that day (temperature, hydration, fatigue, stress, etc.). That's great, but I don't see how it's helpful in training. I can typically tell during the ride if I don't eat or drink enough, or if it's really hot, so that's not really something I'd find useful in the plot. Some people might.
     
  13. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    Firstly, what's written (as shown above) is a bit confusing.

    I get what he means about not trying to chase PB power all the time since that is not what training is all about. I also get the bit about learning to listen to your body and look for the signs of fatigue beyond that caused by an appropriate training load.

    That really should have been all that needed saying (or expanding on).

    But then he talks about getting number focussed riders to focus on Power:HR ratios (when really they should simply understand the basics of training). And then what? Let's say the number suggests a ride was junk miles. What now?

    Problem with using HR as part of that assessment, you still don't know the reason for the elevation (or in some cases the depression) in HR. Hence, you are none the wiser about why it was considered "junk" nor what to do about it (indeed whether it actually matters in the first place).

    It all sounds more complicated than it needs be.

    You go out to do a workout and you can either do the target watts or you can't (and the target generally isn't a PB for the target duration, typically it is a fractional range of that). If you can't do the watts, you cool down and go home/get off trainer, you're tired (for whatever reason) and need some recovery. Some days training seems harder than others. So what? Some races seem harder than others.

    However just because my HR might be elevated on a particular day doesn't mean my training was bad or junk. It just means my HR was elevated on that day. No more, no less. If I was still capable of doing the prescribed work, what's the problem?

    The only junk training is that which is inappropriate to attaining the short, medium and long terms goals.
     
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