Fitness improvement or just a will to suffer a bit more?
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Fitness improvement or just a will to suffer a bit more?

    Hey cycling people, i have a question regarding fitness on the bike.I have finally managed to improve my time on a climbing segment that averages 10% grade. From last years best at 16.30 to 15.40. It is a segment i test myself on regularly and it took me more than 10 "all in" attempts (some miserably failed before finish, earlier in season) and, well a year.. But all i can see now is, i can hold higher watts for that segment, but my avg HR has increased with this PB as well...so is this actually an improvement in fitness,...or would it be only as far as i was able to keep avg HR for that effort the same as it was with slower time last year? Weather conditions were actually quite the same..
    It is not a thing that would keep me awake at night, more a curiosity...
    ..how much i wish autumn wasn't here yet...
    Best regards from Slovenia.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Not a coach but, have been using power and HR for 10+ years now.

    If I understand you correctly, hell yes this is an improvement in fitness! Being able to generate more power while tolerating (reaching) a higher HR without "blowing up" means you pushed up your threshold (15 minutes at least) closer to your max HR. That is exactly why we train so hard.

    Good job! 50 seconds gain on that segment is really good mate!

    EDIT: Do a search on aerobic decoupling to get a more objective/informative answer.
    Last edited by woodys737; 10-05-2018 at 06:56 AM.

  3. #3
    Cycling Coach
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    All that matters is the power you can maximally sustain. You've increased that by ~5%, so yes you are fitter. What your HR does isn't really relevant.

  4. #4
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    Hey, I rode that same climb a few more times and did last year's PB time at 4 bpm lower HR.
    What drove me to ask/write in the first place, was observing an improvement in time (couldn't tell if 50 sec on 16min is merely marginal or not) came with higher HR, which was a bit disappointing to me..
    Thank you for your kind words :-)

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Congrats on the PR.

    Dont worry about HR because it can vary wildly way too much. Just focus on your watts and holding around 90rpm like all the top GC riders do like Froome, Lance, Big T etc.

    Increase your sugar intake and decrease fat and oil intake if you want your red blood cells to have more fuel and be less sticky. Dietary fat causes platelet aggregation aka 'blocked legs'.
    Over 270 000km cycled as a vegan...

    My youtube channel
    http://www.youtube.com/user/durianriders?feature=mhee

    My facebook page
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