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What am I too analyze from the power agent software;

1. My HR is at race and/or max pace the majority of my ride
2. My power output is at endurance most of the ride with some in the race pace

Should I look at doing intervals to get my power up or do more endurance rides?

My normalized power over a 50 mile ride is 245.
 

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Its difficult to tell anything based on the information provided. Things such as weight, age, riding style, training style (do you have an adequate aerobic base) are all relevant to saying whether the 245 watts is good or bad.

For a person of my weight, 245 watts is very good as its about 4watts/kg.
 

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if you have a power meter, ignore your HR and train by power.

read "training and racing with a power meter" by Coggans.
 

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Keep your HR monitor. You can use it to gauge how hard your efforts will be over time. I use it to map my fitness over time.


Alright, well based on that information I would say to focus on zone 2 and zone 3 efforts. You will likely need to build up more aerobic endurance. This will take time.

For zone 2 stuff try to keep your power within the range for 45% or more of the ride. I would suggest keeping these rides to 2 hours in length, building up to 3 hours. The goal for this is to build aerobic capacity, build capillaries in the legs for better blood flow, and build some leg strength.

For zone 3 you want to push power that you feel that you is hard, but not too too hard. You want to be able to maintain this for an hour or slightly more. This should feel hard, but not overly difficult.

Try to keep zone 2 efforts as your primary effort as they will be the main building blocks of your training. Harder efforts should be minimized to one to two days a week. And remember to rest anytime you feel like you are tired. When I was building fitness at age 22 I was doing 2 days on 1 day off and it worked wonders for me. But age certainly plays a factor in recovery and only you can be the judge of your recovery.
 

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Wrong number

obiwan kenobi said:
What am I too analyze from the power agent software;

1. My HR is at race and/or max pace the majority of my ride
2. My power output is at endurance most of the ride with some in the race pace

Should I look at doing intervals to get my power up or do more endurance rides?

My normalized power over a 50 mile ride is 245.
You have the wrong max HR. I'm guessing it was calculated by some formula using your age. Besides, max HR is not the right number on which to base your training anyway (if you're doing HR training). Since you have a power meter, get one of the "training with power" books and use that to guide you. From there on, HR is mostly "of interest" since power is a much more relevant number. If your HR spikes way high or you can't get it to rise to normal levels, then you're either sick or over trained. Otherwise, train based on power.
 

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Reasoning

Alex_Simmons/RST said:
Because max HR is a number that most people have wrong, but more functionally because maximum sustainable HR (essentially lactate/anaerobic threshold) is a better number on which to base training. This number can easily be determined in the field.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Because max HR is a number that most people have wrong, but more functionally because maximum sustainable HR (essentially lactate/anaerobic threshold) is a better number on which to base training. This number can easily be determined in the field.
Testing for HRmax is not difficult (practically speaking).

A single number for maximal sustainable HR is itself a little misleading, since riding at such an effort level (maximal steady state/threshold) encompasses a range of heart rates, not a single number.

Indeed if you ride a max steady state/threshold like effort in such a manner that HR plateaus, then you are not actually riding in a sustainable manner as your power will more than likely be declining during such an effort.

IOW - both methods have flaws, but one is not particularly better or worse than the other.
 

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Alex_Simmons/RST said:
Testing for HRmax is not difficult (practically speaking).

A single number for maximal sustainable HR is itself a little misleading, since riding at such an effort level (maximal steady state/threshold) encompasses a range of heart rates, not a single number.

Indeed if you ride a max steady state/threshold like effort in such a manner that HR plateaus, then you are not actually riding in a sustainable manner as your power will more than likely be declining during such an effort.

IOW - both methods have flaws, but one is not particularly better or worse than the other.

Testing for max HR is difficult in the sense that it can really only by determined through some sort of progressive ramp test.....usually the ones that test VO2 max. Alternatively, I suppose, you could take a max HR recording from some race where you had it pegged on a breakaway to the finish.

My thinking is that max HR, aside from the inaccurate 220-age chestnut that most people use to determine it, isn't all that particularly relevant.

Observing where your HR seems to plateau during sustained hard efforts is what I used to roughly determine my "zones" back in my HR training days....the B.P. era (before power). Yes, it varies based on duration, temp, fatigue, etc.....which, it themselves, can be valuable information.

Actually, if you're riding at a sustainable threshold pace, your HR would typically rise, as would VO2 consumption as part of the VO2 slow component.
 

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patchito said:
Testing for max HR is difficult in the sense that it can really only by determined through some sort of progressive ramp test.....usually the ones that test VO2 max. Alternatively, I suppose, you could take a max HR recording from some race where you had it pegged on a breakaway to the finish.
Yes, a progressive test to exhaustion is a good method, essentially similar in the way one tests for Maximal Aerobic Power.

There are other ways, such as using a hillclimb and going til you blow after a sufficient warm up and progressive increase in effort:
http://www.cyclecoach.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=118&Itemid=145

For some people finding a suitable hill is easier than terrain in which to perform a TT like effort.

So my point is that one method is not better than another, especially when talking about HR which has enough slop anyway. Both have their value.

patchito said:
Observing where your HR seems to plateau during sustained hard efforts is what I used to roughly determine my "zones" back in my HR training days....the B.P. era (before power). Yes, it varies based on duration, temp, fatigue, etc.....which, it themselves, can be valuable information.

Actually, if you're riding at a sustainable threshold pace, your HR would typically rise, as would VO2 consumption as part of the VO2 slow component.
Correct, and was my point about "LTHR" - there is no one HR when doing such efforts. Indeed if HR does plateau, then you have most likely not paced the effort very well.

Either testing method are suitable and work for the purpose, i.e. to define levels or ranges of HR that (typically) correspond with levels of effort.
 

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Alex_Simmons/RST said:
Yes, a progressive test to exhaustion is a good method, essentially similar in the way one tests for Maximal Aerobic Power.

There are other ways, such as using a hillclimb and going til you blow after a sufficient warm up and progressive increase in effort:
http://www.cyclecoach.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=118&Itemid=145

For some people finding a suitable hill is easier than terrain in which to perform a TT like effort.

So my point is that one method is not better than another, especially when talking about HR which has enough slop anyway. Both have their value.


Correct, and was my point about "LTHR" - there is no one HR when doing such efforts. Indeed if HR does plateau, then you have most likely not paced the effort very well.

Either testing method are suitable and work for the purpose, i.e. to define levels or ranges of HR that (typically) correspond with levels of effort.

Either testing method are suitable and work for the purpose, i.e. to define levels or ranges of HR that (typically) correspond with levels of effort.
Sure, but from my experience back in the mid 90s and training with an HR monitor, it was easier to note my HR on longer threshold efforts, which tended to range from 168 - 170, 171. It was pretty consistently in this range, which I could then use to determine lower level zones. For example, my endurance zone was in the neighborhood of 130-150, but I knew from PE to keep it on the lower side. Threshold and lower is the only place you can apply HR anyway.

Interestingly enough, I recently had a VO2 max test and my HR topped out at 163. Back in 1998, the highest I'd observed was 183. In 2002 during the Sea Otter MTB race, I saw a max of 180. Age and time can explain a lot of that, but that's a big drop. I'm speculating that perhaps cycling over the course of several years has made lasting changes to my heart...i.e. increased stroke volume and higher cardiac output at lower BPM. Don't really have power numbers from back then, but I think power is in the ballpark to what I was doing in my late 20s, early 30s.
 

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patchito said:
Threshold and lower is the only place you can apply HR anyway.
That's for sure. I usually post this graphic to show the difference between the HR response when riding threshold efforts versus riding harder 4-min supra-threshold efforts. Clearly you can still use HR up to threshold but after that and it becomes pretty useless:



patchito said:
Interestingly enough, I recently had a VO2 max test and my HR topped out at 163. Back in 1998, the highest I'd observed was 183. In 2002 during the Sea Otter MTB race, I saw a max of 180. Age and time can explain a lot of that, but that's a big drop. I'm speculating that perhaps cycling over the course of several years has made lasting changes to my heart...i.e. increased stroke volume and higher cardiac output at lower BPM. Don't really have power numbers from back then, but I think power is in the ballpark to what I was doing in my late 20s, early 30s.
Yes, you will have greater stroke volume and that can account for some of it but it will drop quite some with age, but how far and when that drop happens is different for everyone.
 
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