I agree, a lot of detraining can occur in 4-5 weeks. It is always good to do a 7 Day FitnessTest Prep Training Plan. Of course Full Frontal is difficult, but it will give you the most accurate assessment of where you are right now. And after 6 to 12 weeks of consistent smart training, ideally following a SYSTM training plan, you test again and will likely see improvement.
The 4DP results that I’m using currently were reflective of my last 4DP full frontal I did in June of 21, which were an improvement over the results from March of 21 and a significant improvement over the Half Monty results from when I started in February.
I switched to outdoor cycling during the warm weather, which as everyone knows it’s much different. Power levels increase, (I’ve got a crank style power tap), because there’s wind resistance, hills, mph averages etc. Other aspects change though because it’s not consistent like it is indoors, so things like a 4 minute recovery period may not come for 20 minutes, or you may have 1 minute recoveries every few minutes. Pros and cons of outdoor and indoor cycling. Training Peaks kept wanting me to raise my power outdoors, and now that I’m indoors it keeps wanting me to raise my heart rate.
That being said I’ll do either a half monty or full frontal to reset things for cold weather indoor cycling now.
As for heart rate targets, I’m a firm believer in their value, likely because of my age and realizing after years of cycling how closely intertwined heart rate, power and mph are. Outside the ultimate goal is average mph. Whatever you can do whether it’s body weight, wheels, keeping your breathing in check, being in just the right gears, staying in the drops, etc. that’s what gets done. When I was 35 years old, heart rate was the last thing I thought about. At 55 it’s the first thing.
Back to SYSTM what I try to do every workout is keep ALL targets. Currently heart rate will typically be higher than the training session calls for, and when relaxing, deep breathing, and changing positions doesn’t help bring it back into the correct zone, the rest of the session is altered. In other words a moderate intensity ride becomes a high intensity ride, which of course alters the course of an intended training plan.
For software, I guess I just assumed that it would be simple enough for it to automatically adjust to keep a rider on track with the training parameters since that’s probably the most important part of an indoor training plan. Indoors you don’t need to worry about any certain position with the group, maintaining an average speed, etc. Future improvements would benefit from that, if the software monitored the rider and adjusted accordingly. More important in a training plan than an individual workout, but important nonetheless.
Learning about the on the fly adjustment is cool and I didn’t know that existed but I’ll try it as a workaround. Between redoing the 4DP and having that available will help.
OK I see now why you want to keep an eye on Heart Rate.
There’s a SUPER easy way to do this while maintaing the same power target on the smart trainer.
When your heart rate creeps above the top of the zone, lower your cadence. I.e. if you cadence target is 90 and HR is too high, try riding at 80 rpm. It should (after some lag) being your HR down. Power will be the same but because cadence is coming down, torque/resistance will go up.
Likewise if HR is too low, push your cadence up.
The other approach is to use the ± button or up/down arrows on the keyboard to drop the power targets mid ride.
Within a single training plan, as your power numbers go up, I’d expect your cardio system to get more efficient and for to find it easier to stay in zone. My HR is sometimes at the top end of target HR at the start of a plan on fresh numbers. By the end of a plan, when I need to test, my HR is sometimes 1 zone lower.