Started power training but confused about not reaching VO2Max/Anaeroob heart rate

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by iceskater77, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. iceskater77

    iceskater77 New Member

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    Hi all,

    New on this forum and not native english, so sorry for any typo's

    I started doing indoor power training with following setup:
    - Kurt Kinetic Road trainer with race bike
    - Garmin GSC-10 speed/cadence sensor
    - Garmin ANT usb stick
    - TrainerRoad subscription

    So I am training on Virtual Power until I can afford a true power meter.

    1st I have tested my FTP by doing the 20 minute test on TrainerRoad. It came up with a FTP of 262 (=3.08 FTP/kg)
    My max heart rate is 195 bpm, resting 45 bp, threshold 169, max 420 Watt, VO2Max 60 mml (all tested in lab.)

    Now I did a few workouts and I noticed when doing a V02Max/Anaerobic training that I do reach this zone based on power. If you look at this workout (http://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/rides/125792)
    I am doing 30% of the time anaerobic training. But looking at heart rate I am doing only 14% above threshold and only 1% on VO2Max.

    My goal is to train on V02Max. Ofcourse I realize that heart rate is only slowly following the increasing power curve, but I am really in doubt wether my training if now effective since I am only in the zone for a few percent. Harder trainings like this I don't think I can sustain.

    Thanks in advance for any answers!
     
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  2. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you are in your zones but concerned that you at the bottom of that zone, and then not spending enough time there?

    If you are in the zones defined by a percentage of your FTP, then you are training the appropriate energy pathways. IMO the gains come from time spent in the appropriate zone, so increasing the stress would come from adding additional sets to your intervals, not neccesarily from increasing the intensity within the zone itself. This would also address your concern at arriving in the desired zone too late in the interval.

    I don't train with a PM and I usually keep things pretty simple. Dunno if this helps but maybe someone with a deeper knowledge of the minutia can offer more detail.
     
  3. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    Heart rate is pretty useless for intervals above threshold, because as you observed it lags far behind. Some argue that heart rate is useless for intervals at and below threshold as well.

    What do you mean by "Virtual Power"? Are you using speed and comparing it to the power curve for the KK?

    http://www.kurtkinetic.com/powercurve.php
     
  4. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    I beg to differ, it is a poor conslation to training with power, and threshold shifts along the HR scale as fitness waxes/wanes, but if a rider is in tune with his current state it is certainly helpful. HR lags, but if one is running a 2 or 3 minute effort (or anything beyond) they will hit target HR within the timeframe. If they went to hard, and cannot complete the set then the effort needs to be dialed back as both a component or perceived effort and HR. This is a process of trial and error wheras a PM makes it a no brainer. What did pros train with before powermeters? What did Moser use to train for the hour? Of course he had the benefit of regular blood lactate testing, but I think to write off HR for folks who don't own powermeters is a little extreme.
     
  5. Freddy Merxury

    Freddy Merxury New Member

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    I have found this not to be true. When I did the Friel 4 minute ramp threshold test I got all the way to 340w without reaching my threshold heart rate. My legs gave out before I got within 10 beats of my threshold heart rate.

    Repeated mutliple times and got the same result each time.
     
  6. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    If your goal is to target VO2MAX, there is a simple approach that doesn't require a power meter or HR monitor. Basically, you want to find (by trial and error) the speed that you can maintain for 5 minutes maximum. IOW, after getting warmed up (and warming up the trainer), your ride at a constant speed and you can maintain the speed for 5 minutes but not longer than 5 minutes. You can back off of that speed a bit in order to do multiple efforts. For example, if your 5min max effort is 25mph then back off to maybe 24mph for repeat efforts. I'd suggest an equal rest duration between efforts. Don't worry about trying to figure out what your power is and don't worry about your heart rate. Measure your HR if you want, but don't use it to manage your efforts. BTW, this method assumes that you can repeatedly set your trainer resistance and tire pressure and that you use the same tire. If you change these, then all bets are off.
     
  7. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    I don't disagree for L1-L4 work with durations of 20+ min, but for L5-L7 you have to use RPE or a power meter because heart rate doesn't reach steady state until near the end of the interval or not at all.
     
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  8. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, but if ones target is say 89-91bpm (which was my last targeted 3min interval some months ago at approx 100-105% of my threshold), I knew that if I was hitting say 93bpm (looking at my post ride data, or even during the workout after the interval) and was unable to complete the effort I'd have to adjust my starting RPE accordingly. Essentially using an imperfect tool to help define a metric based on "feeling". Then again for my first 3 seasons racing I used RPE exclusively, from endurance work all the way up to 30/30 sec lactate loading so maybe the HR is coincidental to my effort and not indicative of it. As I mentioned, a rider needs to know his/her body for an effective workout in this fashion. It would definitely be a tall order for a neophyte to get right out of the box.

    As for the L1-L4, I also agree that is an intensity and duration that one could use HR as a metric "as it's happening", vs the short interval where it is really a tool to see how effective the workout was as a whole after the fact. I.e. did I hit my desired intensity in each rep/set, did the HR I was able to achieve stay consistent with my RPE, taper off, or actually increase, etc.
     
  9. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    This is sorta what I meant. For me the HR is a post effort tool (whreas RPE is used to manage the effort itself), to view the physiological consistency of my efforts beyond a metric like speed, etc, or any variable that could change (on the open road vs. trainer).

    Is this a flawed approach?
     
  10. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    The main problem with using HR to manage intensity is that HR is inconsistent, not only from day to day but within the same ride on the same day. I'm sure if you examine your ride files you will find this to be true. When we measure HR, we need to understand that we are measuring only (about) half of the heart's response to exercise intensity. The other half is stroke volume and both increase substantially from a resting state to maximum exercise intensity. The problem is that HR (beat rate) is easily measured whereas stroke volume is not. So, we measure half of the response and then try to draw conclusions from it. We don't really know how the heart responds to increased demands for blood by our muscles. Does HR respond first and then SV responds if necessary or vice versa or simultaneously? The only definitive statement one can make about HR is that it responds to exercise intensity. To go beyond that and to attempt to use it as a precise measurement of the level of exercise intensity is to attribute to it a precision it simply does not have. I do capture HR on my rides but for only one purpose. When I go hard (e.g., 90%MHR) and then stop, the time it takes for my HR to drop to a resting rate is indicative of my fitness. The more fit, the faster it drops.
     
  11. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    Typical HR response from power based indoor trainer workouts:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this. A picture tells a great story. Seems I've been doing myself an injustice on longer intervals (trying to maintain a flat HR curve), but effectively using HR after the fact to gauge consistent short interval efforts. Obviously trying to use them to gauge short interval intensity at run time is pointless.

    I'm making the assumption the rider was maintaining a flat power curve for each of the efforts in the graph above.
     
  13. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Would it be accurate to infer, when doing my 20min and 30min threshold intervals and trying to maintain a flat HR curve during the effort, that my actual power output (if measured on a PM), would be dipping slightly during my effort (compared against the HR curve in the graph that rises slightly against a consistent power output for the duration)?

    And if that inference is correct, would it behoove folks training without PM's to aim to achieve an HR curve similar to the one displayed on the graph for the TTI's to maximize the efficiency of the interval?
     
  14. iceskater77

    iceskater77 New Member

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    That's right! That is my concern. I was thinking to stretch interval time so HR stays longer in the intended VO2max zone. But your approach makes sense too.
     
  15. iceskater77

    iceskater77 New Member

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    Thanks your advice. The lag in HR during intervals is indeed far behind. But as I understand from all feedback I do train correctly.

    By Virtual Power I mean that I am using the TrainerRoad software to calculate the power. This sofware uses the speed/cadence sensor to calculate the power in Watt. The software knows the power curve of the Kurt Kinetic trainer. They support loads of different types and brands of trainers. It seems to be quite close to a real power meter results once you keep tire pressure and other variables the same.
     
  16. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    Some examples from different riders.

    1 hour of solid tempo/sub threshold:

    [​IMG]



    Some threshold efforts:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    What happens at threshold if you run a flat HR (and HR rises too quickly to start with):

    [​IMG]


    Bill Black's HOP:

    [​IMG]


    One more, shorter harder efforts, emphasising how HR is pretty useless as a guide to such efforts:

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Another interesting chart would be the flip side of the analysis. I'd like to see watts and HR, but with intensity of effort managed by HR, especially charts for two different days but using the same ride plan (e.g., 3x20s or 5x5s).
     
  18. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    My guess would be we would see a jump in power out of the gate with fluctuations of power as one try's to keep HR within their zone, but an overall falling power curve. Maybe a kick towards the end of the effort, for sort of a choppy U shape curve.
     
  19. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    I should toss my PT on a friends bike and put my Garmin in his pocket and we could find out.
     
  20. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Or change the Garmin display to not display watts or average watts (or just put masking tape over the watts data on the Garmin display) and ride an effort based on HR only.
     
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