HR Training - An idiot with a question

So I’ll start by admitting that I’m an idiot. I don’t have power tracking available off-trainer, so rely on HR when I take my rides outside. Wrapping up a long tempo block this month, getting ready for a Century plan to prep for a century ride later this summer.

I like to take the long FTP no-vids out on the road over the weekend - as I’m sure many of us do - and I appreciate that the workouts reference both power AND HR zones for planning. It wasn’t until last week, however, that I really read it closely and realized that the HR is supposed to be % of LTHR, NOT max HR!

Like I said, I’m an idiot. Let’s just say this weekend’s long effort was much more…effortless than the other sessions I’ve done this month.

Anyway, mea culpas aside, I have a HR question: since my last FF, going into this tempo block, I’ve found that for most of my SYSTM workouts my HR has stabilized a zone above where it should be for 100% power output. Usually if I dial the workout back to 90%, my HR will get back into the right zone.

So what’s the best approach from a cost-benefit perspective: should I be trying to stick to 100% power, or dial down the power so my HR is in the recommended zone? Seems like I’m either risking over(s)training the engine or I’m missing out on gains by easing up?

You’d think after all the years I’ve trained I’d know this answer, but there it is…

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@CPT_A I set up the outside rides in TrainingPeaks and then export to my Bolt. I use RPE for my targets. I realize that it is more subjective but it may help with your issue trying to coordinate HR and power in a more variable environment.


Hey @CPT_A ,
There a re many factors that can affect HR during a workout that affect HR drift: temperature, hydration status, fatigue, stress, caffeine, sleep quality, duration of workout/intervals, etc. My initial recommendation is to go with power but use your best judgement if feeling the need to reduce intensity. Also when was the last time you tested either HM or FF?
Make sure you have a really good fan when training indoors to reduce the amount of HR drift.
Here is an article and podcast to check out if you haven’t done so already:

Glad you figured out the %LTHR issue on your outdoor rides.



To keep it simple and ride to real time metrics, I would ride those no-vids to FTP and RPE targets before taking notice of HR targets, based purely on the lad effect of HR response to effort given.

One’s effort (RPE) and resistance (FTP) is almost more instantly felt/read than waiting for one’s HR to meet the demands give at that moment.

A simple example is 30s repeated efforts is that the HR metric is likely to be reading higher than the target description and during the rest period and as such, after the rest period, it may be reading lower during the work effort as I try has just come off a recovery, hence the lag in response is not as instant as the effort felt and resistance ridden against.

This would be my simple non-scientific approach, but I may be just as much as an idiot like you to train to this :man_shrugging:t3: