Turbo with just HR

jlloyd
jlloyd Posts: 131
Hi all,

Just bought myself a basic turbo. I have a garmin 500 with HR monitor, but do not have the cadence/ speed sensor.
Can I effectively train using just HR (am thinking intervals mostly) or is it worth investing in the cadence/speed sensor?

Am looking at general fitness + weight control during the dark months.

Cheers

Comments

  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    Perfectly possible to go without speed/cadence.

    But do look up trainerroad.
  • fat daddy
    fat daddy Posts: 2,605
    oh god yes ..... people trained a long time before HR, power, cadence, speed, sensors ... its just not as fun or efficient.

    you can do a decent amount of work just doing intervals on the turbo .. ie full out for 30 seconds as hard as you can go, recover for a minute, repeat.

    spin for an hour .... but be true to yourself, if you just pedal lightly for and hour it wont accomplish anything .... pedal a hard work out as though you were pushing it on the road, and it will b urn through a decent amount of calories.

    Start to add gadgets like a HR monitors and you can start to train in HR zones, its more effective as it creates accountability
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    What you won't easily be able to see is progress - so if you train correctly then you'll be able to go faster for the same HR. Trainerroad etc will track this and let you see your improvement - but with just HR you won't know - and its easier to jack it in as you can't see anything improving on the turbo..
  • stevie63
    stevie63 Posts: 481
    I would recommend at least getting the speed/cadence sensor as this will work as a way of gauging your effort. I don't currently have a smart trainer so I aim for a particular speed on the intervals and then use HR to determine if I have judged that correctly. If you are just aim for a HR then you will start the intervals too hard and then fade as you reduce the power to get your HR back to where you are trying to hit.

    Whereas with speed you can keep it at a constant speed and then on subsequent sessions you can either try to increase the speed by say 0.5mph or increase the length of the intervals.
  • cgfw201
    cgfw201 Posts: 674
    Invest in sensors and software for the best Turbo experience.

    Bit of a waste of time without the data in my opinion, but once you have TrainerRoad/Zwift set up properly with HR/Speed/Cadence and structured workouts based on your FTP - it's a fast track to being the fastest you've ever been.
  • jlloyd
    jlloyd Posts: 131
    Nice one, Thanks for all the swift replies, got a few things to take on board there.

    Going to press on with just the HR and see where its limits are. May well add speed and gadgetry down the line.

    One further question. Would I able to record these sessions on strava? I would like to see HR/time.

    Is it just case of turning the gps off on the garmin?
  • cgfw201
    cgfw201 Posts: 674
    JLloyd wrote:
    Nice one, Thanks for all the swift replies, got a few things to take on board there.

    Going to press on with just the HR and see where its limits are. May well add speed and gadgetry down the line.

    One further question. Would I able to record these sessions on strava? I would like to see HR/time.

    Is it just case of turning the gps off on the garmin?

    Yeh should be able to. 520 has an indoor mode which switches off the gps, assume 500 has something similar.
  • jlloyd
    jlloyd Posts: 131
    Cheers, Yep, you can turn it off
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,323
    Yes, I have recorded HR-only traces when I have used bikes in hotel gyms etc. before - works just fine.

    Remember for short intervals your HR will lag quite substantially so perceived effort is better (think high intensity efforts, like sprints). I like Sufferfest videos, especially Nine Hammers which has 9x 3 minute intervals at high perceived efforts (apparently intended to correlate to FTP or VO2 max, roughly), HR is not all that much use for those as it takes a minute to come up.

    I never look at speed while actually on the turbo, I occasionally compare it from known workouts to see if it has gone up, and I also have my turbo's power curve in a spreadsheet because I am a geek, but don't really use it for anything. If I wanted to, I could determine my functional threshold wheelspeed and devise a pseudo-power based training plan which would be essentially identical in principle to the TrainerRoad system (which does power-based training by correlating wheelspeed to power using your turbo's power curve). Using wheelspeed for anything meaningful means keeping your settings as close to identical each time as possible.

    However I decided to just use TrainerRoad instead, which seems quite good so far.