A Rant on Power-Based Training

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

Moderator: Moderator Team

Post Reply
Nefarious86
Moderator
Posts: 3187
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 4:57 am
Contact:

by Nefarious86


iheartbianchi wrote:
Nefarious86 wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:10 am
You're saying Hunter Allen, Andrew Coggan, Stephen McGregor, Joe Friel, Stephen Seiler etc are nobody's? There are years of Studies on the subject not to mention the amount of research material on the subject that's a little more credible than a gander at Strava segments...
Did you actually read the Seiler study, or his other research? In fact, I was the one who cited the Seiler study, before Aero or somebody else called it "hideous" and "vague."

Seiler is actually a huge proponent of HR based training and his major research on polarized training actually exclusively looks at HR-zones.
Yep have read it, he also uses power based reference points for training and has also stated that the models produced by Coggan are equally as effective when used correctly.

Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk

Using Tapatalk

iheartbianchi
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:17 am

by iheartbianchi

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:20 am
I don't get your beef with power based training. The only time I don't train based off power is when my HR is busted and clearly a limiting factor. In that case, I'm better off taking a break. When HR and power are both working as expected, I use power because it is an instant metric. Training off HR simply doesn't work for short intervals. Even when doing 5x5s, my HR ramps up too slowly during that time.
My beef is with the copy/paste McDonalds mass-production coaching that seems to be prevalent. I think power-based training, being so new as it is, deserves to be handled with care and caution. But I'm encountering more and more cyclists these days who's only concern is increasing their average power, and FTP, as much and as quickly as possible! When I tell them it will take years to achieve sustainable, long-term improvements, and tell them to plan on a 5-year plan, lol they just go numb and silent.
Bianchi Oltre XR4
Celeste Matte
Campy SR 11spd mechanical
Bora Ultra 50 tubs
Viseon 5D / stock bits and parts

Bianchi Specialissima Pantani Edition
Campy SR / Chorus 11spd mechanical
Fulcrum Racing Speed 35 tubs
FSA / Deda bits and parts

by Weenie


iheartbianchi
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:17 am

by iheartbianchi

Nefarious86 wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:24 am

Yep have read it, he also uses power based reference points for training and has also stated that the models produced by Coggan are equally as effective when used correctly.
That's the thing. Telling recreational riders to go off and do a 20minute FTP test, unsupervised...is that being used correctly? There are so many things that can impair your FTP test, especially for unfit riders who lack the ability to recruit muscle mass with weak responses to lactic acidosis. Ideally a rider will have months if not years of consistent riding under their belts before even attempting an FTP test. Or if desperate to do an FTP test despite being unprepared from a muscular-development perspective, then put on a heart rate monitor and make sure you're in HR Zone 4 for most of the 20 minute session.
Bianchi Oltre XR4
Celeste Matte
Campy SR 11spd mechanical
Bora Ultra 50 tubs
Viseon 5D / stock bits and parts

Bianchi Specialissima Pantani Edition
Campy SR / Chorus 11spd mechanical
Fulcrum Racing Speed 35 tubs
FSA / Deda bits and parts

AeroObsessive
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:42 am

by AeroObsessive

iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:14 am
Did you actually read the Seiler study, or his other research? In fact, I was the one who cited the Seiler study, before Aero or somebody else called it "hideous" and "vague."

Seiler is actually a huge proponent of HR based training and his major research on polarized training actually exclusively looks at HR-zones.
And for very good reason, a huge swathe of sports don't have the ability to map power output. Those that can, do (rowing for example). Hence, the bulk of Seiler's work uses the data that can be extrapolated more broadly, that which can be monitored, namely HR.

(Not to mention in interviews he gives plenty examples of power distribution when dealing with cycling topics - because power meters.)

Once again, training volume and intensity distribution is not confined to HR. Runners use pace, rowers use watts etc.

If using a polarised approach to training, then this can be easily expressed in watts for the zones.

If other sports could measure power relatively accurately I guarantee you they would use it (as well as all the other metrics that can be gleaned).

AeroObsessive
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:42 am

by AeroObsessive

iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:24 am
My beef is with the copy/paste McDonalds mass-production coaching that seems to be prevalent. I think power-based training, being so new as it is, deserves to be handled with care and caution. But I'm encountering more and more cyclists these days who's only concern is increasing their average power, and FTP, as much and as quickly as possible! When I tell them it will take years to achieve sustainable, long-term improvements, and tell them to plan on a 5-year plan, lol they just go numb and silent.
You've just describe every single person who starts ANY training ever and wants to be an athletic god tomorrow.

No disagreement on cookie-cutter plans and sham coaches at all, but I assure you they predate FTP or power or whatever.

The very first triathlon program I had in '03 was indentical to one a mate received. That being said, it worked really well, until it didn't. HR all the way baby.

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:24 am
My beef is with the copy/paste McDonalds mass-production coaching that seems to be prevalent. I think power-based training, being so new as it is, deserves to be handled with care and caution. But I'm encountering more and more cyclists these days who's only concern is increasing their average power, and FTP, as much and as quickly as possible! When I tell them it will take years to achieve sustainable, long-term improvements, and tell them to plan on a 5-year plan, lol they just go numb and silent.
Crap coaches are crap. This is not news. This is the same whichever metric you track.

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 5:52 am
mattr wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 5:50 am
iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 5:33 am
How many people do you know that use power meters that have any concept of HR training zones?
Almost all of them.
And if you limit it to properly coached riders, it's an even higher percentage.
Then you are living in a completely different world than I am. Because I rarely see any heart rate monitors on group rides, and most of the Strava accounts I am looking at don't even have HR data.
Whut? Did you read the question you asked?
Training without an HRM doesn't mean you don't know what your zones are, or how hard you should be going to achieve a certain HR.

Maybe you could look at the power you are producing and use that as a gauge of effort?

User avatar
853guy
Posts: 226
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:48 pm

by 853guy

AeroObsessive wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:34 am
iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:14 am
Did you actually read the Seiler study, or his other research? In fact, I was the one who cited the Seiler study, before Aero or somebody else called it "hideous" and "vague."

Seiler is actually a huge proponent of HR based training and his major research on polarized training actually exclusively looks at HR-zones.
And for very good reason, a huge swathe of sports don't have the ability to map power output. Those that can, do (rowing for example). Hence, the bulk of Seiler's work uses the data that can be extrapolated more broadly, that which can be monitored, namely HR.

(Not to mention in interviews he gives plenty examples of power distribution when dealing with cycling topics - because power meters.)

Once again, training volume and intensity distribution is not confined to HR. Runners use pace, rowers use watts etc.

If using a polarised approach to training, then this can be easily expressed in watts for the zones.

If other sports could measure power relatively accurately I guarantee you they would use it (as well as all the other metrics that can be gleaned).
Power output has relevance for cycling and rowing because human effort (Fapp) is coupled to a mechanical lever (the pedals/oars) producing measurable force (Newton’s first law of inertia) resulting in motion against the road/water and air (Newton’s second and third law).

Given almost all other sports do not involve mechanical levers, it’s not so much that a huge swathe of sports don’t have the ability to map power output (since it can be at the very least calculated theoretically/mathematically), it’s that there’s no incentive to do it, since power output as a metric has limited relevance to sports defined by skill, mobility, and dynamic changes in state.

However, since cycling as a sport is defined by continual motion over time (who crosses the line first) power output (the metric) needs to be mapped to either the athlete’s HR (efficiency) or weight (performance) in order to provide a meaningful real-world indicator.

Even in sports in which power is very relevant in terms of actual force applied (lifting, sprinting), it must still be coupled to another metric, since weight lifted and time spent are what ultimately define progress/results. No-one cares about the watts expended, only about whether the athlete lifted the weight off the ground (how heavy) or finished before the others (how quickly).

I post this as a clarification, not a criticism.

Best,

853guy

TheRich
Posts: 418
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 5:58 am
Nefarious86 wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 5:53 am

I'd say most, if not all of the people I ride with who use power have a decent understanding of HR and how to use it as a measure of fatigue and training adaptations..

Why do you feel your anecdotal little bubble should be considered the norm?

Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk
I'm just going to post some random Strava segments. Obviously the leaders will typically be well-trained athletes and are more likely to use HRMs, but even for them, a rough eyeball shows maybe 50% usage. Now if you go to the latter pages, you'll see that a large majority don't have HRMs.

https://www.strava.com/segments/1542452

https://www.strava.com/segments/1389394

https://www.strava.com/segments/853374

https://www.strava.com/segments/568876

https://www.strava.com/segments/624513

Happy to post more segments if that will make you happy, but I think you can see a very clear trend.
There is a prominent button on strava to strip HR data from results, and I can see why some might do that.

It's a silly assumption to suggest that people go through the trouble and expense of getting a PM, but don't have a $50 HR strap...especially when you concede that some strip all data from their rides.

TheRich
Posts: 418
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:27 am
Nefarious86 wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:24 am

Yep have read it, he also uses power based reference points for training and has also stated that the models produced by Coggan are equally as effective when used correctly.
That's the thing. Telling recreational riders to go off and do a 20minute FTP test, unsupervised...is that being used correctly? There are so many things that can impair your FTP test, especially for unfit riders who lack the ability to recruit muscle mass with weak responses to lactic acidosis. Ideally a rider will have months if not years of consistent riding under their belts before even attempting an FTP test. Or if desperate to do an FTP test despite being unprepared from a muscular-development perspective, then put on a heart rate monitor and make sure you're in HR Zone 4 for most of the 20 minute session.
That is such a pompous, condescending and nonsensical statement.

I'm pretty sure "20 minutes, as hard as you can" pretty much covers the bases.

TheRich
Posts: 418
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:08 am
I did an FTP test once and found that the zones were far too divergent from my HR zones and actual lab-derived lactate results, so I discarded it.
The vast majority of people don't have access to a lab, so they use gross approximations like HR and power zone calculators.

It's unsurprising that while trying to discredit FTP based training, you're also discrediting HR based training.

Also, people try to hard to create a real world approximation of FTP. It's a reference point, nothing more, nothing less. It's not an hour, because that depends on mental toughness and fitness and would generally not translate reliably to shorter efforts.

iheartbianchi
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:17 am

by iheartbianchi

mattr wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 11:18 am

Training without an HRM doesn't mean you don't know what your zones are, or how hard you should be going to achieve a certain HR.

Maybe you could look at the power you are producing and use that as a gauge of effort?
Training without an HRM means that you certainly have very little idea what your HR is at any given moment. It takes years of training with a HRM to develop a sense of what your HR is for any given level of effort. And no, you can't look at power and accurately guess your HR or effort level. 150watts when your legs are tired feels very different from 150watts when your legs are fresh. 150 watts after 2 hours of riding feels very different than 150 watts after 1 minute of riding. 150 watts in 90 degree weather vs. 150 watts in 55 degree weather. 150 watts after 2 monhts off the bike vs. 150 watts during a 3-montht training cycle. You get the gist. Unless you are now assuming that there are people who are capable of accurately guaging just how tired their legs are? I think a trained cyclist could probably guess their power output within say 50watts on any given day, which is a very large range.
Last edited by iheartbianchi on Tue May 28, 2019 8:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
Bianchi Oltre XR4
Celeste Matte
Campy SR 11spd mechanical
Bora Ultra 50 tubs
Viseon 5D / stock bits and parts

Bianchi Specialissima Pantani Edition
Campy SR / Chorus 11spd mechanical
Fulcrum Racing Speed 35 tubs
FSA / Deda bits and parts

iheartbianchi
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:17 am

by iheartbianchi

Double post.
Last edited by iheartbianchi on Tue May 28, 2019 6:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bianchi Oltre XR4
Celeste Matte
Campy SR 11spd mechanical
Bora Ultra 50 tubs
Viseon 5D / stock bits and parts

Bianchi Specialissima Pantani Edition
Campy SR / Chorus 11spd mechanical
Fulcrum Racing Speed 35 tubs
FSA / Deda bits and parts

iheartbianchi
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:17 am

by iheartbianchi

TheRich wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 5:00 pm

It's a silly assumption to suggest that people go through the trouble and expense of getting a PM, but don't have a $50 HR strap...especially when you concede that some strip all data from their rides.
No it's not silly. You literally have hundreds of online coaches and Youtube coaches and channels telling you how to train with power without ever mentioning the use of heart rate monitors. You literally have hundreds of online coaches telling you that power meters are an "improvement" or a "replacement" for HR monitors. You even have online coaches saying "if you are serious, get a power meter and later if you can afford it, get a HR monitor." So how is it silly to assume that some guy who buys a power meter and wants to get serious with training, will read one of these articles/watch one of those videos, and conclude that they no longer need to train with a HR monitor? I think that's a logical and reasonable possibility. Evidence of this is everywhere. Open your eyes.

For example, I posted an interview with coaches who were lamenting the fact that cyclists have "buried their heart rate monitors a decade ago."

I also offered my personal experience, as well as Strava segment data to support this. You even have posters in this very thread saying power meters are superior to heart rate monitors. But to you, this is all very unlikely? I find it extremely silly that you believe some guy averaging <25km/h on rides is going to care enough to strip their HR data.
TheRich wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 5:00 pm
That is such a pompous, condescending and nonsensical statement.

I'm pretty sure "20 minutes, as hard as you can" pretty much covers the bases.
I'm pretty sure that is the worst possible advice you can give to someone about to do an FTP test. Would you tell this to someone who took 2 months off from cycling? Or a swimmer who is now trying to become a cyclist and just bought an ill-fitting bike with a power meter? Or someone coming back from injury? Or someone who went really hard two days before? Good luck with those FTP results...

Even lab-conducted FTP tests have been shown to have variability as great as 11% from your actual lactate threshold. That's a huge difference. If you're going to do an amateur FTP test, you should at least try to control for as many variables as possible.
TheRich wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 5:00 pm
The vast majority of people don't have access to a lab, so they use gross approximations like HR and power zone calculators.

It's unsurprising that while trying to discredit FTP based training, you're also discrediting HR based training.
There are smart ways to approximate, and there are dumb ways to approximate. And however you do the approximation, you need to know that your test results could be very wrong, and the consequences of it being very wrong.

Testing outdoors on a bicycle is notoriously inaccurate, especially for unfit cyclists who may lack the basis muscle power to do a full 20 minute time trial. Add in the human error element and it becomes even worse. There are ways to control for this and limit the error, but you need to understand it's still a guessing game, and the results can be very off.

Thus I am a huge advocate of HR zones for amateurs. In fact I think all amateurs should train using HR zones. Why? Because Max HR can be reliably and easily tested and does not require a sustained effort. It also does not depend on fitness levels or ability to recruit muscle mass. A few short all-out sprints after sufficient warmup is all it takes. HR based training is still subject to variables of course. But the variability is in your actual heart rate on a given day...the Zones are more or less accurate and remain stable over time (decreasing over a period of years). The problem with variability in LTHR/FTP is that the actual baseline measure, i.e. 100% of FTP can be off. That throws off every single Zone. This requires a lot of care and monitoring and is nowhere near as user-friendly as people make it out to be.
Last edited by iheartbianchi on Tue May 28, 2019 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bianchi Oltre XR4
Celeste Matte
Campy SR 11spd mechanical
Bora Ultra 50 tubs
Viseon 5D / stock bits and parts

Bianchi Specialissima Pantani Edition
Campy SR / Chorus 11spd mechanical
Fulcrum Racing Speed 35 tubs
FSA / Deda bits and parts

Nefarious86
Moderator
Posts: 3187
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 4:57 am
Contact:

by Nefarious86

So what you're saying is you don't like shitty coaches spreading misinformation. It just took 120+ posts to get there.

Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk

Using Tapatalk

by Weenie


Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post