Is a heart rate needed for training w/ Power?
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  1. #1
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    Is a heart rate needed for training w/ Power?

    I'm getting a powermeter and it does not come w/ a chest strap....Is this something I should also purchase to make my training more effective?

    thanks

  2. #2
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    It's cool to see where your HR correlates at certain power levels and how HR drift works. After awhile, though, you'll probably just drop the HR monitor completely. I wore it for the first 2 weeks before giving it up. It feels nice to breathe again.

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    Yes, typically a heart rate is needed for any sort of training......read the thread title and hopefully you will get the joke!

  4. #4
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    It is nice to go without it, it's sometimes interesting for analysis later. I think it can sometimes help to see if you became dehydrated or didn't fuel properly. Initially I think its good to help see some of the differences in training using a powermeter vs. the HRM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonnitro
    It's cool to see where your HR correlates at certain power levels and how HR drift works. After awhile, though, you'll probably just drop the HR monitor completely. I wore it for the first 2 weeks before giving it up. It feels nice to breathe again.
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  6. #6
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    I only found my HR strap for the first time in several years the other day. Put it on for a couple of efforts on the ergo and it did what it always does. AFAIC, it's just an unecessary annoyance to wear a strap if you are recording power.

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    Nitro lasted 13 days longer than me. My 1st ride with p/meter l tossed hr stap in the closet
    never to see the light of day again, went from 220w to 315w in 2 years so obviously not affecting my training.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussiebullet
    Nitro lasted 13 days longer than me. My 1st ride with p/meter l tossed hr stap in the closet
    never to see the light of day again, went from 220w to 315w in 2 years so obviously not affecting my training.
    I admire you, though. My HR monitor strap was on for 13 days too long!

  9. #9
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    I like as many metrics as I can get... HR can be useful to view decoupling during efforts among othr things.

  10. #10
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    i find heart rate to be completely demotivating. watching my power creep up each week is great and motivates me to work harder. seeing that my heart rate is at the limit puts negative thoughts into my mind with regard to how long i can hold it til i blow up. not to mention when doing blocks of hard efforts. heart rate on those latter days just doesn't get up very high.

    if you were to relate this to weightlifting, the power you produce is like how much weight you can lift. that's all that matters. i could care less what my heart rate was while i am lifting weights.

    what is important is to get a sense of what a certain amount of power feels like (RPE). This becomes important in a race where you ride at the front or put in an attack and need to hold an effort and don't have your powermeter. otherwise you just need to ride at whatever pace is being dictated to you by the rest of the field.

  11. #11
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    Both a HR monitor and a powermeter can provide information, which if analyzed and acted upon correctly, can help you to improve performance. However, neither can predict the future. Some days you can maintain your nominal FTP for an hour, some days 5 minutes is the limit. Experience is probably the best ways to predict which day will be which. Develop a good internal sense of how much work you're doing and how much more you can do. Neither a HR monitor or a powermeter will help you much in any race except a time trial or a long solo break away (when's the last time that happened?).

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    Quote Originally Posted by StillRiding
    Both a HR monitor and a powermeter can provide information, which if analyzed and acted upon correctly, can help you to improve performance. However, neither can predict the future. Some days you can maintain your nominal FTP for an hour, some days 5 minutes is the limit. Experience is probably the best ways to predict which day will be which. Develop a good internal sense of how much work you're doing and how much more you can do. Neither a HR monitor or a powermeter will help you much in any race except a time trial or a long solo break away (when's the last time that happened?).
    Actually the Permormance Manager and other similar impulse-response models using power meter data do provide a degree of predictability for performance.

    For example, there is data showing a good correlation between personal best performances over various durations and a rider's Training Stress Balance.

    What can HR tell you that will impact your training?

    I've used a PM to assist me during a long solo (then 2 man break) to win a criterium.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Simmons/RST

    I've used a PM to assist me during a long solo (then 2 man break) to win a criterium.
    A power meter can only show one thing. The power you are currently putting out. That one thing is also a function of the calibration and consistency of the power meter. All software performance models do nothing more than make educated guesses based on what good (or bad) data they're fed. The real question is how accurate are the guesses and how appropriate they are to any particular rider. My feeling is that although the information provided by analyzing power meter data is helpful, it's no more helpful than the perceptions of an experienced rider.

    I once won a long solo 2 man break in a criterium without using a power meter.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by StillRiding
    A power meter can only show one thing. The power you are currently putting out. That one thing is also a function of the calibration and consistency of the power meter. All software performance models do nothing more than make educated guesses based on what good (or bad) data they're fed. The real question is how accurate are the guesses and how appropriate they are to any particular rider. My feeling is that although the information provided by analyzing power meter data is helpful, it's no more helpful than the perceptions of an experienced rider.

    I once won a long solo 2 man break in a criterium without using a power meter.
    Bringing meter calibration into it is just a straw man argument. Of course we want accurate, calibrated meters and good data. But when you have good data, the analysis is very very helpful in putting objectivity into assessing trends in performance versus a given training impulse.

    All a HRM does is show your HR.

    You haven't answered my question. - What does knowing your HR do that will impact your training to improve performance?

    I never said a PM was needed to win a race. Just demonstrating that it can and has been used that way (given you alluded to it not being of much help).

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    Actually, I find HR as a useful training tool for lower-intensity workouts. My clients have both prescribed power zones and HR zones. Power is most accurate with shorter intensity efforts (when it takes HR longer to respons). But I find HR to be a more efficient training tool when prescribing lower-intensity efforts. Depending on terrain, power can vary wildly, but HR will remain pretty constant. If an athlete gets too hung up on hitting a specific power zone in training at lower intensities, s/he might not be training effictively.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by velogirl
    Actually, I find HR as a useful training tool for lower-intensity workouts. My clients have both prescribed power zones and HR zones. Power is most accurate with shorter intensity efforts (when it takes HR longer to respons). But I find HR to be a more efficient training tool when prescribing lower-intensity efforts. Depending on terrain, power can vary wildly, but HR will remain pretty constant. If an athlete gets too hung up on hitting a specific power zone in training at lower intensities, s/he might not be training effictively.

    you can make the same argument for HR at lower levels. after a block of training, hr is suppressed. If you try to hold a certain hr range in this situation, you may be riding way too hard. i've seen it personally where at 140 bpm when rested i will ride at 220 watts, but after a block of hard days it's more like 240-250. rpe is high, power is high, but hr is low. even for lower intensity, i always find power to be more reliable and accurate.

  17. #17
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    Having HR can be useful. I once spotted an upcoming flu by noting an unusual HR. Normally my HR zones and power zones correspond pretty close... like the pic on the right Getting sick on the left... went for a ride, and felt crappy.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jibboo
    Having HR can be useful. I once spotted an upcoming flu by noting an unusual HR. Normally my HR zones and power zones correspond pretty close... like the pic on the right Getting sick on the left... went for a ride, and felt crappy.
    Getting the flu off that? That's one hell of a diagnosis. You should be a fortune teller.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonnitro
    Getting the flu off that? That's one hell of a diagnosis. You should be a fortune teller.
    Nah, not like that. I felt like crap on the ride. Afterward, I noticed the anomoly. Within about 36 hours the first symptom (fever) showed up.

    Either way, a sudden change is a signal that something could be up. It won't tell you what something is, though. I've also seen a split like that from stress.

  20. #20
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    I'm not an exercise physiologist, but cannot imagine why one would leave HR out of the equation. What a priceless opportunity to track output vs HR. The cheapo Timex HMR is unnoticeable. In the old days some of the Polar monitor chest bands were uncomfortable, I see a replaceable sticky in the future, no band just a little gel and adhesive. Replaceable sticky electrodes/

  21. #21
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    This isn't exactly on topic, but for those of you with power meters, do you race with them, or is it strictly a training device?

  22. #22
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    Dare I mention that I also use RPE with my clients? Power, HR, and RPE are all useful tools if an athlete knows what to do with them.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by velogirl
    Dare I mention that I also use RPE with my clients? Power, HR, and RPE are all useful tools if an athlete knows what to do with them.

    Lorri
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    Cool website Lori
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    Good luck

  24. #24
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    While measuring power is great, measuring actual physiological response to training is more important. I can't imagine trying to optimize training with Power and not wanting to correlate to other training parameters.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerecker
    While measuring power is great, measuring actual physiological response to training is more important.
    Such as?

    What could be more (physiologically) important than the power you can sustain over various durations?

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