Heart rate, wattage, cadence?

I’m new to this and not sure i understand what the measurement parameters. In the workouts i’m NEVER in the recommended heart rate zone. always way above, but at as a 55 year old man, my max heart rate should be about 165, and i can stay at 90- 95% during a workout, sometimes even 105%. but never in zone 1 or 2.

and when it comes to the wattage, if i’m going at the cadence recommended, there is little resistance on the trainer if i try to match the power meter number. and when it tells me to hit 130 on he cadence with a power of 90, i’d have to be in 1st gear on my bike. i can not spin that fast with no resistance and stay on the bike.

any tips on this? I’m using an old BKool classic with a wahoo cadence meter and wahoo tikr HRM if that makes a difference

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I suppose it depends on what workout you’ve selected. But a power of 90 and cadence of 130 seems unrealistic, unless the workout is trying to simulate riding downhill in a low gear.

I’m 57. My zone 2 (endurance) HR is 130bpm. But I happily cruse for 3+ hrs on the road at 145bpm. I max out at 175 attacking hills outside but I’ve never got over 165bpm on the trainer using The Sufferfest. Probably because I overheat.

If you think your HR is climbing up too quickly, you may want to try regularly doing some long slow (and boring) Zone 2 rides. (Read up on the Maffetone method). These type of rides build your aerobic base and eventually get you putting our more power at a lower HR, but it takes time.


In my experience, the only metric that REALLY matters is RPE (percieved effort). When training with power, I focus on watts, don’t sweat the cadence targets, and ignore the heart rate data.

For me heart rate is too variable on a day to day basis to be of much use. If I’m a little tired that day, or fully recovered from a rest week, or dehydrated, or it’s hot out, or work is stressful, or a million other things… you get it… my HR can be drastically different.


Hey there,
Firstly welcome to the Sufferfest and I hope you’re enjoying the sessions you’ve completed so far!
How new is new, as I would recommend a few things. To get a good taste of the app follow the 14 Day Trial Plan which can be found in the ‘Special Focus’ section in the Training Plans library. This includes completing the Half Monty workout on day 3 of the plan which will really help you for your HR and power target numbers.
As @Sir_Clayton also mentioned though, RPE is super important too while you familiarise yourself with the app so it may be worth switching off the on screen HR data during your next few workouts (these are still tracked so you can check after but it will allow you to focus on less things during your workout).

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Not new to biking, but absolutely new to any type of measurement for progressive fitness on a bike. I actually started the “All Purpose Road” training plan, since i didn’t know there was an actual plan for the 14 day trial. I tried some different settings, using the app for control instead of the trainer, and was able to match power with cadence while also maintaining some perceived effort. When using ERG mode and allowing the trainer to control the power, it feels like there is little effort at prescribed cadence, but if i set to level 2, it’s a better match for cadence/power. I’ll keep trying different settings until i find something that feels like it covers all the bases. I also don’t yet understand the 4DP settings, but i’ll have to do a half monty or a FF to make adjustments and see if they make a difference .

thanks for your input

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Awesome, sounds like you are on the right track, we usually recommend level 2 or 3 depending on the trainer.

Good news on the all purpose road plan, you will be coming up to Half Monty in Week 7. If you can’t see it or if it is still a way off, I would adapt your plan and take a rest day followed by primers and then Half Monty as this will really help with the power targets on the bike.

This is a great place to find out more about the 4DP with a couple of videos:


@mcbiker, you might read this forum discussion Chainring and Turbo Trainer which talks about ERG versus level mode. I’m new to ERG mode too and it was really jarring to try to get the gearing right. The video in there is really helpful too.

To summarize, in ERG mode: use a high-ish gear and don’t change during the workout, spin your cadence up a bit just before starting a harder interval and slow it down just before a recovery interval.