Adjusting difficulty - what happens to the numbers?

A question for clarity:

When I adjust the difficulty of a ride (e.g. reduce difficulty by 5%) should I expect to see the power target on the screen change? …and what happens to the numbers that are recorded with the workout?

The reason I ask is that from my (very half-arsed) testing this morning, the on-screen numbers don’t seem to reflect difficulty changes. This begs the question: What happens to the recorded numbers? Do they reflect the reduced difficulty or does the app record a full difficulty test that was actually easier than the figures would suggest?

It’s quite possible I haven’t tested this thoroughly, but thought I’d check what should be happening.

The numbers on screen should change, but:

  • By default, the rest period numbers are set to not change. It is likely that at the point you are changing targets you are in a rest period, so these would remain the same
    ** You can get these to change in line, but it’s a separate toggle in the settings
  • By default, if you’re simply adjusting “difficulty” it will change all metrics equally, but you can set these to separate so you can reduce FTP targets while maintaining MAP, AC and NM for example.

What device are you using for SYSTM (Desktop computer, iPad, Android device, iPhone)?
How are you changing the difficulty and where? In the settings at the start of a ride, by keyboard during?


Ah, that could explain it - I had inconsistent evidence about whether numbers were changing or not, and the fact that they’re not supposed to change for the recovery sections could explain that!

For reference I’m using Systm on an Android phone, and changing difficulty in the settings during a ride.

Thanks for the advice!

The recorded power in the workout graphs will change but the numbers recorded as your “4DP Profile Used” won’t change.
You may need to add some workout notes as a reminder of any changes made that you can look back on.

Good call - thanks!

I see this topic has been here awhile, and I found it when was looking for the method to adjust your difficulty up/down depending on an unexpected level of energy or motivation on a given day.

It looks like the developers were listening to you. When I found the settings, it actually had a checkbox that indicated whether rest periods should be considered.

Anyway, sharing the love…