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[DATA] Is HR completely useless? With or without a PM?

PalladiumPalladium Posts: 81
So a week or two ago I got a PM on my bike and I've been doing a couple of rides to test out my what wattage I can hit. First of all I was hoping I could hold at least 300W for 20mins, but finding it surprisingly difficult :oops: best I've done was 277W.

I couldn't help but notice how erratic HR data is, so I decided to stick it in excel and see what comes out.

H8xMPkt0T9Ga426hnKhjYQ.png

The data above is in chronological order.

3ADvhUmdTESUpYDifmHriQ.png

As you can see there seems to be no relationship between average HR and average power, or even normalised power.
In fact, I've had two rides on consecutive days, where the ride one day #2 was faster, more power but even my max HR was lower than the AVG HR of the day before...

I've even noticed a difference in whether or not I've had a coffee, so I decided to remove it from my data screen on my cycling cpu.

So why do I still wear this thing? Because everyone else does? I'm not really sure- why do you guys wear a heart rate monitor?

Should I give it another try and see if it 'settles down'?

Posts

  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Yeah - you need to read up more on training. Its not just a case of trying to see how much you can smash out the power.

    For me - when I'm doing structured training I monitor power and hr.

    At the start of it - say - I can do 200w at 150bpm.

    My plan will have me repeating some sessions again - so maybe two weeks later I'm up for it at 200w - and I can see that my HR has dropped 10bpm (or whatever). It's great for motivation and trac king how you're doing.

    If my HR had escalated I'd be thinking illness or overtraining. With No HR to monitor - you'd miss this.
  • I'm of the opinion that every other professional athlete in history aside from the recent cyclists has been bloody good without a power meter (as far as I can see Mo Farah trains mostly on pace) so it's probably not necessary for me at the mo; I'm happy combining how I feel with HR and pace. But, if you find the data useful then crack on.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    I never mix power and HR

    I use Power when following online training programs ie:- that call for 10mins at 90FTP , 45 seconds at 400% , 30mins at 100%FTPetc etc ... not much I can do about HR, it does what it wants to

    I use heart rate when free riding and getting in the miles ... if I notice my average HR is at 138bpm I think .... "lazy bastid, I could be cycling harder" and up my effort
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,737
    Normalised power vs average HR is pretty meaningless.

    I can track TSS on TrainerRoad and SufferScore (which is a measure of HR TSS) on Strava and the relationship between them isn't very strong. The TSS tends to be between 1.2 and 1.8x the SufferScore. They tend to be closer together when the workout has long stead intervals and wider apart when the workout has lots of short sharp intervals and variations. This seems to make logical sense because when you're doing short intervals HR lag has a bigger impact.

    The only thing I can say with any certainty is that when the relationship goes up to 1.8-2x or more consistently it means I really need to do an FTP test because I must have got fitter.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    I'd actually say that there's a fairly good cluster that at around 265W NP your HR avg is around 168bpm. But, as others have said, the averages in this case are pretty meaningless. You can even stop after a hard effort and, at zero power, your HR will still be high.

    Where I've historically found HR useful is on endurance rides: at around 140bpm I can ride all day. Much above that and I start to struggle - so it's a useful tool in that case. I've since changed that to power because power isn't affected by adrenaline or fatigue in the same way HR is. But those measurements are all steady-state.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 5,983
    I always record both.
    I do my longer efforts (I.e. 50 mile TT, runs, triathlon) based on HR as a guide and look at power afterwards.
    Shorter efforts I don't look at anything as I find it can be a limiter.
    When doing interval training I use power.
    Steady training rides I go on feel, I.e. If it's an endurance day, am I breathing easily and able to hold conversation if I wanted?
    Twitter - @NapD
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  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    I ride on feel. the power meter numbers are what they are. For short intervals up to 5 minute I use the power meter as a guide. I dont use a HR monitor anymore all it told me was my heart rate. how I feel guides how quickly I ride.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • Palladium wrote:
    So a week or two ago I got a PM on my bike and I've been doing a couple of rides to test out my what wattage I can hit. First of all I was hoping I could hold at least 300W for 20mins, but finding it surprisingly difficult :oops: best I've done was 277W.

    I couldn't help but notice how erratic HR data is, so I decided to stick it in excel and see what comes out.

    H8xMPkt0T9Ga426hnKhjYQ.png

    The data above is in chronological order.

    3ADvhUmdTESUpYDifmHriQ.png

    As you can see there seems to be no relationship between average HR and average power, or even normalised power.
    In fact, I've had two rides on consecutive days, where the ride one day #2 was faster, more power but even my max HR was lower than the AVG HR of the day before...

    I've even noticed a difference in whether or not I've had a coffee, so I decided to remove it from my data screen on my cycling cpu.

    So why do I still wear this thing? Because everyone else does? I'm not really sure- why do you guys wear a heart rate monitor?

    Should I give it another try and see if it 'settles down'?
    HR response is impacted by many things unrelated to how hard you rode or can ride. It's one of the limitations of relying on HR for managing training.

    Not everyone wears a strap. If you have power measurement, HR is at best redundant, at worst misleading.
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    Power to set your intervals and guide your training, heart rate to use as a trend to monitor fitness improvements, general well being, etc,etc. I purely use power when I'm out riding but I always have heart rate displayed on my garmin just to see if anything is slightly amiss.

    Having said that the one time I use heart rate is long mountain climbs, I know that if it starts to creep too far above threshold then I can't sustain it. No idea whether thats just a legacy mindset but it seems to work for me.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Been using a PM for over 3 years now, I think I stopped using at HRM at around that point. I never saw what the strap was giving me over the PM.

    I also think seeing your BPM is a limiter, particularly when going up steep hills.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Not that I would necessarily advocate using HR but you might see a clearer trend if your efforts were more consistent - it doesn't look like these are all max efforts or very evenly paced judging by the differences between AP and NP.
  • Thanks for the replies!
    Tom Dean wrote:
    Not that I would necessarily advocate using HR but you might see a clearer trend if your efforts were more consistent - it doesn't look like these are all max efforts or very evenly paced judging by the differences between AP and NP.

    Yeah. That might be why, bloody segments messing up my ride :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    Pretty much all my training is done on the turbo these days with a power meter and consistent long intervals. I like to record hr data to look for any inconsistencies. Say I’m doing 250w and I’m finding it hard, then I’ll use the hr data to see if something is up or I’m just being lazy. I’ll use it to see how warm it is and how much temperatures is effecting my performance. My hr is higher for a given effort when it’s warm, I seem to suffer quite badly from this, ginger genes, so for me it’s worth monitoring.

    Finally I use it when doing hard intervals at constant power because I know once my hr goes above a certain number I’m about to pop. I never use this as a reason to stop though.
  • Whilst there may be no direct relationship between avg hr and avg power due to the huge number of potential variables affecting either or both from ride to ride there may be a relationship between the effect of physical stress on hr and therefore power, hence Powertap's development of the Powercal.

    If you could look at the algorithms Powertap created for the Powercal, which I understand was based upon thousands of sets of actual hr and power data, it may go some way to explaining their understanding of the relationship between the two.
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