My wife did the full frontal test (she’s an experienced and very active rider new to her KIKR) and her HR zones are definitely different and lower than previously calculated on prior fitness tests. She feels the workouts are generally easy, even the “hard ones” and has a hard time hitting her HR target zones at any point of the workout. What gives?
My 2 cents is that SYSTM and the Kickr are more about power targets than HR targets. There are a lot of people who find that in general the HR targets set in the workouts are set too high (that is, the target is higher than they’ll reach during the workout).
What workouts is she considering “harder” that she is finding too easy?
Has she tried: Long Scream, Violator, Half is Easy, Defender or the A Week with UCI:Road or Giro d’Italia 1
I agree with Sir Glen. I wouldn’t worry about the heart rate targets. If some of the workouts are too easy I would gradually increase the power targets by say 2% and see where she ends up. No test is perfect and it’s possible FF underestimated her power. How did she feel after doing FF? Typically, I’m exhausted after doing it.
You say she feels the workout are generally easy. How did her power numbers compare to previous tests and in particular her 20min / FTP result?
The pacing strategy during the 20min test can be difficult to master and it is this element of the test that sets your cTHR (98% of your average 20 min HR).
If she is finding both the workout difficulty and HR zones too low she may have under paced this section.
Has she completed a Half Monty? This is much easier to pace and will update her MAP, FTP & cTHR results.
Maybe not exactly on point here, but I always suggest testing via the 7 day Test Prep Plan which has a HM on day 3 and a FF on day 7. This gives a consistent lead-in and the HM sets suggested power targets for the FF. I usually try to just be the suggested targets and it’s killer. IMO, the lead-in will also help provide more consistent heart rate response.
If you do this a few times and have a solid handle on your 4DP metrics and how your heart rate responds, that will provide a benchmark to compare subsequent workouts and isolated HM or FF test too.
To answer a few questions. I think she felt the test was hard but not crazy Ridiculous. She’s going to try to half Monty ramp test this week. I don’t know if she’s tried really hard workouts yet. For what it’s worth, we often do the same workouts together, and both are hitting our power targets, and I’m usually very easily in suggested heart rate zones midway through the workout, and she never gets there. I understand that there is heart rate variability per day, but perceived effort is also in my opinion not a great endpoint to measure either.
Interestingly her FTP is pretty similar to prior training tests she has done over the years. Just her HR zones that Systm calculated are very different than before.