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  1. #1
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    Strava fitness and suffer score

    Hey.....can someone try to explain this;
    My friend has cca 85kg, i have 57. He smokes, i do not. He is 41 and i am 42yrs old...
    We have about the same cycling history for several years...i do about 25% more climbing meters a year than he does (2016&2017). Distance is about the same.
    We both combine road cycling and "enduro".
    He has ridden 2000km this year and i have 1800, He has 31km of climbing this year and i have 33km
    He rode a few longer rides than i did this year, but i also do many more short "sprintish" rides...(1,5-2h full gas with chasing personal uphill PB's) he never goes to "dark red" HR, which i do often...
    He is a little stronger on flat and i am a lot on climbs (naturally)...
    His "natural" HR is just a bit lower than mine...
    How come his fitness level on Strava is at 85 and mine at 42?
    How come he always gets much higher suffer score on a ride we do together?
    At the moment we are both at best fitness level of our lives...

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Darling of The Lounge
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    What fitness monitors are being used to upload data to Strava?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    What fitness monitors are being used to upload data to Strava?
    He uses heart rate monitor on all rides and i use heart rate monitor+PM on both bikes, on all rides...if i select to show fitness based only with HR, it gives even lower value; 38...
    This year there hasn't been any bikepark asisisted lifts fr any of us, which has proven to skew fitness level estimation a lot.
    I think we both have HR zones calculated and witten in Strava corectly.
    Last edited by ROOTS; 06-12-2018 at 03:44 AM.

  4. #4
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    I would guess it has something to do with how your heart rate zones are set up in Strava.

  5. #5
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    It's likely your HR measurements and zones. The issue is compounded if you don't use power meters but have to rely upon suffer score and estimated power.

    Explanation here:

    https://medium.com/strava-engineerin...s-5d1057d67fac

  6. #6
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROOTS View Post
    Hey.....can someone try to explain this;
    A) some people are just naturally gifted.

    [FONT=arial]We have about the same cycling history for several years...i do about 25% more climbing meters a year than he does (2016&2017).
    What happened 1-2 yrs ago isn't really relevant. I know guys who've taken a year or so off the bike and within a few weeks are back to their previous riding levels.

    How come his fitness level on Strava is at 85 and mine at 42?
    Either he's super gifted. Or his HR data is set up incorrectly. You said "he never goes to "dark red", so how does Strava even know what his Max HR is? Did he enter it manually or is he letting Strava gustimate it?


    Are his body weight and bike weight entered correctly?
    Since you're using a PM and he isn't your not really comparing similar data. Fitness is calculated from Training Load. Yours should be someone accurate, him maybe not so much.
    "Training Load is also used in the Fitness and Freshness chart. Therefore, if you are using a power meter then the Fitness and Freshness graph will be using Training Load scores rather than Suffer Scores."

    How come he always gets much higher suffer score on a ride we do together?[FONT=arial]
    Maybe he's just suffering more.
    But it doesn't make sense that he's supposedly 2x as fit as you but suffering more. It should be the opposite.

    IMO it's a fools errand to compare anything on Strava with someone else.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  7. #7
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    Garbage in Garbage out, as they say.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by factory feel View Post
    Garbage in Garbage out, as they say.
    This.

    It's the same with people who use power. Some get uber obsessed about raising CTL as if that's the only thing that matters. If they set their FTP way low and ride hard (for their actual fitness) the TSS for the ride is through the roof and CTL magically rises. They feel better but, in reality nothing actually happened physiologically.

  9. #9
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    The strava fitness score numerically isn't comparable person to person. What you can compare would be your 1 minute, 5 minute power and ftp in w/kg.

    Strava's algorithm doesn't match up as well as trainingpeaks, in my experience. Power meter data is the gold standard- even HR is pretty variable day to day for me, so tss for a ride based on power data is more reliable than one based on hr data. His hr zones sound like they're set up wrong.

    Plus, who cares about strava numbers or even power numbers anyway? What really matters is race results.
    I like to ride fast.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by marathonrunner View Post
    Plus, who cares about strava numbers or even power numbers anyway? What really matters is race results.
    What really matters is KOMs!!!

    Only a few people race, but everyone can ride a segment and see how much slower they are than the KING!

  11. #11
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    1) Suffer Score / Relative Effort are based on how you set your HR zones.
    2) Quite frankly Strava's default HR zones are absolute garbage. Don't use them.
    3) Why? They're basically power zones mirrored into HR, but your HR scales differently than your power does. And anaerobic power zones function independently of HR.
    4) Use Friel's HR zones if you have the means to find your LTHR. Basically go as hard as you can for 20min and see where your HR plateaus. You should pretty much get there after 5-6 minutes, but you should keep going just to make sure it really caps off.

    For example my LTHR is around 161bpm. My max is somewhere around 175bpm but I don't really care about that.

    I have set my zones as follows:

    Z1 <128bpm
    Z2 128-142bpm
    Z3 142-148bpm
    Z4 148-160bpm
    Z5 >160bpm

    As a result I never see those "Historic Relative Efforts" my friends always manage to get on century rides. My 100mi/10000ft rides only garnered a Massive Relative Effort of 185.

    Anyway this is all passive stuff. I primarily train with power.

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