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Got a power meter and HRM up and working, suggestions with simplicity in mind

burnthesheepburnthesheep Posts: 675
I finally got my power meter up and working. I got tired of they meat head free weight guys jacking the gym temperature up to 80 F so they could sweat more while I try to do hard intervals on a trainer.

So, I broke down and got a Bolt, crank power meter, and I dug up my wife's running HRM. All is connected and working. I know my actual measured FTP and max HR from this and previous work.

The Bolt has training zones with those LED's based on power or HRM.

Now, I can average about 4 to 5 hours a week riding and/or training. Usually about 45min is active recovery riding. About an hour is a slower pub-crawl group. The rest is whatever intensity I choose.

I can devote to maybe reading ONE book and using ONE website, preferably free. I've seen all sorts of Cheetah stuff posted and other things. I prefer web based vs PC based program because my work laptop is my only. They let us use it for whatever. BUT, we can't download extra stuff to it (security).

Given the above, what is a good setup you've used you like? I've searched and found things, but what works for some crazy Ironman person might not work for me.

Posts

  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 11,356
    What do you want to improve?
  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    First up, seeing as you have a power meter, using this to structure your training is a no brainer. Heart rate is a good metric to follow alongside power, but it's much more descriptive than prescriptive and as such, should be viewed as an interesting aside but NOT to dictate your workouts.

    Secondly, are you looking into structured training options for the turbo trainer? If so, there are tons of options out there varying massively in quality and features; most of these will require downloading and installing a program, due to the technological complexity of connecting with sensors etc although there are a lot of different options out there so someone may offer this. There's always the option of using your smart phone instead of a laptop; TrainerRoad offer both an iOS and Android app as well as a massive range of training plans for different goals and abilities but again, connecting sensors may be a faff depending on your setup.

    If you provide some more details as to what specific gear you have then I'm sure people will start jumping in with suggestions.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    As above, if you are measuring power, HR won't really add anything useful..
  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    Imposter wrote:
    As above, if you are measuring power, HR won't really add anything useful..

    I didn't say that at all.

    I think HR is immensely useful, especially in structured turbo trainer workouts, but as I said, more in a post-hoc descriptive manner than an ad-hoc prescriptive manner.

    For example, in a lot of training plans you'll spend training blocks repeating the same or similar workouts e.g. x repeats of 3 mins @120% FTP, y repeats of 8 mins @ 105% FTP, z repeats of 20 mins at 100% FTP, 1-to-2 hour steady-state workouts at 90% FTP etc etc etc.

    Looking back at your peak and average HR values for these intervals as you progress through a training block and repeat these workouts can be a useful indicator as to physiological training adaptations. As always, there are some caveats to be aware of with HR, but it's still useful data IMO.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Imposter wrote:
    As above, if you are measuring power, HR won't really add anything useful..

    I didn't say that at all.

    I think HR is immensely useful, especially in structured turbo trainer workouts, but as I said, more in a post-hoc descriptive manner than an ad-hoc prescriptive manner.

    For example, in a lot of training plans you'll spend training blocks repeating the same or similar workouts e.g. x repeats of 3 mins @120% FTP, y repeats of 8 mins @ 105% FTP, z repeats of 20 mins at 100% FTP, 1-to-2 hour steady-state workouts at 90% FTP etc etc etc.

    Looking back at your peak and average HR values for these intervals as you progress through a training block and repeat these workouts can be a useful indicator as to physiological training adaptations. As always, there are some caveats to be aware of with HR, but it's still useful data IMO.

    I must have misunderstood you. Either way, HR is pretty useless if you are already monitoring power. There are far too many variables that affect HR, and expecting HR to be linear in terms of training adaptations is 'optimistic' at best.
  • VamPVamP Posts: 674
    It's not altogether clear what you are asking?

    If it's analytical soft, then Golden Cheetah is the best free soft, but it's not cloud based. Training Peaks (paid version) is quite good, and in the cloud so that would be your best option.

    The Coggan/Allen book is still probably the best intro to using a PM effectively.

    Steering clear of the usefulness of HR discussion - but I haven't used HR since I started using a PM.
  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    Imposter wrote:
    I must have misunderstood you. Either way, HR is pretty useless if you are already monitoring power. There are far too many variables that affect HR, and expecting HR to be linear in terms of training adaptations is 'optimistic' at best.

    Trends in HR don't have to be linear to be informative; in fact anyone who has given even a cursory glance at data over a workout or even whole training blocks will quickly see that it's not.

    Granted, it's certainly secondary in usefulness when compared with power and sure, there are outside variables that can affect the consistency of heart rate data but these aren't so insurmountable as to make the whole process "useless".
  • burnthesheepburnthesheep Posts: 675
    I have a trainer at the gym available if necessary, with power. But, I don't care to spend all summer indoors.

    I'd like to use it to do intervals outdoors. I'd also like to use it to work out my power zones for longer rides.

    I have done 1 min, 5 min, and 20 min work indoors before, with power. But I have no rhyme or reason to it. I know my 20 min ftp so I take a stab at what I figure I should try to do for 5 or 1 min intervals work. Trial and error.

    I'd also like to work out what my 1/2 IM bike power should be and work on that.
  • joe2008joe2008 Posts: 1,919
    Imposter wrote:

    I must have misunderstood you. Either way, HR is pretty useless if you are already monitoring power. There are far too many variables that affect HR, and expecting HR to be linear in terms of training adaptations is 'optimistic' at best.

    Marcin Bialoblocki 
seems to prefer heart rate over power for training:

    "Five hours zone 2 and 3. I am using heart rate for my zones this year, but I used power last year. I did a lot of experimenting with my time trial position with a power meter. That’s very interesting. You can make changes to your position and see if you are going faster for the same power. I know that stuff now, and if I ride some time trials this year I’ll use it. I know my heart rate zones from experience. I used to have a coach, but I have enough experience now to know what works for me."
  • joe2008 wrote:
    Imposter wrote:

    I must have misunderstood you. Either way, HR is pretty useless if you are already monitoring power. There are far too many variables that affect HR, and expecting HR to be linear in terms of training adaptations is 'optimistic' at best.

    Marcin Bialoblocki 
seems to prefer heart rate over power for training:

    "Five hours zone 2 and 3. I am using heart rate for my zones this year, but I used power last year. I did a lot of experimenting with my time trial position with a power meter. That’s very interesting. You can make changes to your position and see if you are going faster for the same power. I know that stuff now, and if I ride some time trials this year I’ll use it. I know my heart rate zones from experience. I used to have a coach, but I have enough experience now to know what works for me."

    How is that relevant to the OP
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • Imposter wrote:
    As above, if you are measuring power, HR won't really add anything useful..

    I didn't say that at all.

    I think HR is immensely useful, especially in structured turbo trainer workouts, but as I said, more in a post-hoc descriptive manner than an ad-hoc prescriptive manner.

    For example, in a lot of training plans you'll spend training blocks repeating the same or similar workouts e.g. x repeats of 3 mins @120% FTP, y repeats of 8 mins @ 105% FTP, z repeats of 20 mins at 100% FTP, 1-to-2 hour steady-state workouts at 90% FTP etc etc etc.

    Looking back at your peak and average HR values for these intervals as you progress through a training block and repeat these workouts can be a useful indicator as to physiological training adaptations. As always, there are some caveats to be aware of with HR, but it's still useful data IMO.
    It might tell you how your HR responds during such sessions but that is not telling you much about how your physiology is adapting.
  • joe2008joe2008 Posts: 1,919
    joe2008 wrote:
    Imposter wrote:

    I must have misunderstood you. Either way, HR is pretty useless if you are already monitoring power. There are far too many variables that affect HR, and expecting HR to be linear in terms of training adaptations is 'optimistic' at best.

    Marcin Bialoblocki 
seems to prefer heart rate over power for training:

    "Five hours zone 2 and 3. I am using heart rate for my zones this year, but I used power last year. I did a lot of experimenting with my time trial position with a power meter. That’s very interesting. You can make changes to your position and see if you are going faster for the same power. I know that stuff now, and if I ride some time trials this year I’ll use it. I know my heart rate zones from experience. I used to have a coach, but I have enough experience now to know what works for me."

    How is that relevant to the OP

    It wasn't supposed to be relevant to the OP smart censored , that's why I quoted Imposter's statement about heart rate being 'pretty useless'.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    joe2008 wrote:
    joe2008 wrote:
    Imposter wrote:

    I must have misunderstood you. Either way, HR is pretty useless if you are already monitoring power. There are far too many variables that affect HR, and expecting HR to be linear in terms of training adaptations is 'optimistic' at best.

    Marcin Bialoblocki 
seems to prefer heart rate over power for training:

    "Five hours zone 2 and 3. I am using heart rate for my zones this year, but I used power last year. I did a lot of experimenting with my time trial position with a power meter. That’s very interesting. You can make changes to your position and see if you are going faster for the same power. I know that stuff now, and if I ride some time trials this year I’ll use it. I know my heart rate zones from experience. I used to have a coach, but I have enough experience now to know what works for me."

    How is that relevant to the OP

    It wasn't supposed to be relevant to the OP smart ars*, that's why I quoted Imposter's statement about heart rate being 'pretty useless'.

    Pretty useless 'if you are already monitoring power' is what I actually said. If you are not measuring power, then it obviously has its uses.
  • burnthesheepburnthesheep Posts: 675
    Wow. Anywhoo.

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I'll definitely check into that is Barnes/Noble has it as it is too late for Amazon prime for a trip I have coming up where I'll have time to read.

    I think they would. I'll start there.

    Thanks!
  • Just start by collecting data from your rides and learn how to use the equipment correctly (user error is significant a cause of power data error).

    Then use one of various reliable methods to assess your unique physiological characteristics, understand how these relate to your riding goals, and then follow a training plan suitable to develop the abilities most relevant for your goals and which accounts for your current fitness, level of training activity, experience and capacity/availability to train.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    Wow. Anywhoo.

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I'll definitely check into that is Barnes/Noble has it as it is too late for Amazon prime for a trip I have coming up where I'll have time to read.

    I think they would. I'll start there.

    Thanks!

    Training and Racing with a power meter is an excellent book. Stacks of information and training session examples. Big bedtime reading though.

    I switched to a power meter and away from a HR monitor due to issues with the heart. My heart rate rockets as soon as I jump on the bike due to my medical problem, but gives the false impression that i'm always riding in the upper zones, when it isn't the case. The power meter gives a much more accurate result of actual exertion.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • burnthesheepburnthesheep Posts: 675
    I have some layover flight time coming up tomorrow so I picked up the "time crunched cyclist" book. I thumbed the "bible" one and felt the other was newer and more relevant.

    I'm going back over all my old rides and routes to find good uninterrupted areas for some intervals. Flat and hilly.

    I'm interested to re-try the 10 mile ITT loop I made. Both to try it with a PM to watch and to look at the data afterwards.
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