Training With Zero Metrics

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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TheRich
Posts: 473
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

AeroObsessive wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:08 pm
iheartbianchi wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:41 am
I find this to be such a common statement but is incredibly misleading.

Heart rate lag is extremely overrated, and I think this point is emphasized by people who have very limited experience using HR monitors in the first place (I'll explain why below), and is often repeated on websites touting power meter-based training programs. But it's funny, people make this claim about heart rate lag, but I have actually never seen anyone who makes this claim actually quantify the lag. Either they don't know or didn't bother to check and are just repeating what they heard (lazy or negligent), or they don't want to tell you to mislead you into thinking HR monitors aren't as good (fraudulent). I suspect the latter in most cases....

Easy to demonstrate in any recording of power and HR where power increases rapidly. The lag is exactly as you describe, a few seconds behind the power increase. Nothing mor,e nothing less. And conversely can remain elevated when no power is being produced.

People's lack of understanding about a tool is not the fault of the tool, rather that of the person who either can't or won't understand its purpose.
Exactly, and when HR change is detected, the overcorrections begin.

by Weenie


tarmackev
Posts: 494
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:59 pm

by tarmackev

I have no doubts that power is the best metric but for me personally as a weekend warrior doing around 10 hours a week it’s about enjoyment.
Sure if I was a pro and it was my job I’d live by the numbers.

I do have a power meter on one bike but it’s not often used.
I totally understand why others do use it.

After reading this entire thread (which is super interesting) I think the psychological side of training is often overlooked.
I have seen with the newer guys who come to the sport, get very quick in only a couple years using power that more than I’d expect seem to just stop riding or switch to another sport.

Last night I went out on the bike and did 50k, my legs were empty so I went really steady just spinning over the hills. I probably averaged around 180 watts.
With a power meter and Strava I wonder how I’d have felt after the ride?
With zero metrics I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt no pressure.

With power and Strava there does come an expectation, pressure to be fast.
Very similar to social media, the pressure to stand out.

I’m not saying a power meter is bad, far from it. They’re an amazing tool just not for everyone.


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TheRich
Posts: 473
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

tarmackev wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:29 pm
I have no doubts that power is the best metric but for me personally as a weekend warrior doing around 10 hours a week it’s about enjoyment.
Sure if I was a pro and it was my job I’d live by the numbers.

I do have a power meter on one bike but it’s not often used.
I totally understand why others do use it.

After reading this entire thread (which is super interesting) I think the psychological side of training is often overlooked.
I have seen with the newer guys who come to the sport, get very quick in only a couple years using power that more than I’d expect seem to just stop riding or switch to another sport.

Last night I went out on the bike and did 50k, my legs were empty so I went really steady just spinning over the hills. I probably averaged around 180 watts.
With a power meter and Strava I wonder how I’d have felt after the ride?
With zero metrics I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt no pressure.

With power and Strava there does come an expectation, pressure to be fast.
Very similar to social media, the pressure to stand out.

I’m not saying a power meter is bad, far from it. They’re an amazing tool just not for everyone.


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10 hours is quite a bit for someone with other obligations. My job entails riding my bike once or twice a week and I max out around 15 hours simply because that's a lot of time to be doing one thing.

But in your example, I use how I feel to set my expectations and use power and hr to to stay within them. Basically I feel this good, and at the hr I want to stick around, I do this power, so I try to stick around that power. If where you ride involves climbing, power is the best way to maintain a steady effort so that you feel better after a couple hours, because it's so easy, and so common, to overextend yourself early in a longer ride...you really have to see it to believe it.

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

by iheartbianchi

TheRich wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:36 pm
If where you ride involves climbing, power is the best way to maintain a steady effort so that you feel better after a couple hours, because it's so easy, and so common, to overextend yourself early in a longer ride...you really have to see it to believe it.
Power is one way to maintain a steady effort on a climb, but I think that's a bit backwards.

What you first want to do when you approach a climb is come to some internal understanding on what you want to achieve on this climb. A KOM? Just to survive? Enjoy the scenery? Or is it meant to be a "workout?" If so, what level of workout are we talking about?

For KOM, sure you probably could be looking at your power meter and also know what kind of power numbers you need to be hitting. Or alternatively, you could have already done this climb several times so you know what your time/speed should be at various checkpoints and you can pace yourself that way.

What if it is to be a workout? Are we talking sub-threshold? Steady state? Or interval/tempo (depending on reps)? Whatever the intent, power meter (assuming you are using FTP numbers) is not so good for this given that FTP testing has been shown to be as much as 12% off your lactate threshold (for someone with a MaxHR of 190, that is a margin of error of 23bpm!!!!). Unless you have done LT testing or computed your target power numbers based on your LT or MaxHR or LTHR, %MaxHR or %LTHR are the only reliable metrics for you to determine what level of effort you are currently doing.

So yeah, if you're using just an FTP-based power measure on your climb, you could be in the entirely wrong physiological zone for that particular climb.
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AeroObsessive
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by AeroObsessive

^ I mean, do you actually believe the hyperbole you write? Again you seem to be incapable of uncoupling the concept of FTP from the use of a power meter.

So, personal recent example: on Sunday I raced a TT. Then went for a ride with a mate after. HR was elevated throughout, but RPE and power was kept on target. Had I been riding to HR the output would have been negligible. By observing multiple data points I was able to to efficiently extend training time without blowing gaskets. Limitations with any, but some have fewer than others.

AeroObsessive
Posts: 58
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by AeroObsessive

Double post
Last edited by AeroObsessive on Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

by AeroObsessive

Double post

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

by iheartbianchi

AeroObsessive wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:31 pm
^ I mean, do you actually believe the hyperbole you write? Again you seem to be incapable of uncoupling the concept of FTP from the use of a power meter.

So, personal recent example: on Sunday I raced a TT. Then went for a ride with a mate after. HR was elevated throughout, but RPE and power was kept on target. Had I been riding to HR the output would have been negligible. By observing multiple data points I was able to to efficiently extend training time without blowing gaskets. Limitations with any, but some have fewer than others.
Let me ask you straight up - if you were to go out today and do a 250 watt ride for 15 minutes, what would be your lactate measurement at the end of that ride? Be honest, you probably have no clue. I doubt even 1% of the people reading this post would have any clue whatsoever. But I bet you and most people reading this can tell me what % of FTP they would be at.

So don't sit here and tell me that Joe Schmoe power meter user is using anything but FTP as the basis of his/her power meter training, because you and I both know that Joe Schmoe probably never had his finger/ear pricked before in his life.

And yeah, it's great that you're using your HR monitor to control your efforts. But the post that you are replying to was in response to a statement that a power meter is the best tool to pace yourself up a climb. I said that's true if you're shooting for a target time (such as going for a KOM or PR), but on a normal day you'd want to listen to your body or use a HRM to make sure you don't go over your lactate threshold (or better yet know your corresponding HR to your LT) because once you cross that threshold you're stuck with legs full of lactate.
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tarmackev
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by tarmackev

Never had my ear or finger pricked.


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TheRich
Posts: 473
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:31 am
TheRich wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:36 pm
If where you ride involves climbing, power is the best way to maintain a steady effort so that you feel better after a couple hours, because it's so easy, and so common, to overextend yourself early in a longer ride...you really have to see it to believe it.
Power is one way to maintain a steady effort on a climb, but I think that's a bit backwards.

What you first want to do when you approach a climb is come to some internal understanding on what you want to achieve on this climb. A KOM? Just to survive? Enjoy the scenery? Or is it meant to be a "workout?" If so, what level of workout are we talking about?

For KOM, sure you probably could be looking at your power meter and also know what kind of power numbers you need to be hitting. Or alternatively, you could have already done this climb several times so you know what your time/speed should be at various checkpoints and you can pace yourself that way.

What if it is to be a workout? Are we talking sub-threshold? Steady state? Or interval/tempo (depending on reps)? Whatever the intent, power meter (assuming you are using FTP numbers) is not so good for this given that FTP testing has been shown to be as much as 12% off your lactate threshold (for someone with a MaxHR of 190, that is a margin of error of 23bpm!!!!). Unless you have done LT testing or computed your target power numbers based on your LT or MaxHR or LTHR, %MaxHR or %LTHR are the only reliable metrics for you to determine what level of effort you are currently doing.

So yeah, if you're using just an FTP-based power measure on your climb, you could be in the entirely wrong physiological zone for that particular climb.
Pinpoint accuracy isn't that important because as I said, and you conveniently deleted, in that example you use power in addition to HR.

Power is more accurate than HR for monitoring your effort, and no matter how many strawman you construct and red herrings you wave around, it's still true.

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

by iheartbianchi

TheRich wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:12 pm

Pinpoint accuracy isn't that important because as I said, and you conveniently deleted, in that example you use power in addition to HR.

Power is more accurate than HR for monitoring your effort, and no matter how many strawman you construct and red herrings you wave around, it's still true.
First off, we're not even talking about pinpoint accuracy. FTP was tested to be off by as much as 12%, or a difference of 23bpm in an adult with a MaxHR of 190. Think about what that means. 23bpm spans 2 zones (maybe 3) in a 5 zone system. That is comically inaccurate.

Speaking in terms of "accuracy" for HR or power is complete nonsense. They are both exceptionally accurate for their intended purposes e.g., measuring power output in terms of watts and real-time heart rate beats per minute. Staring at just a HR or a power number in a vacuum is utterly meaningless and discussions about accuracy of one measuring device over the other is just ignorant.

Let's take a simple example. Peter Sagan does 150 watts over 1 hour on an ergometer. Joe Schmoe 60 year old overweight male does the same 150 watts over 1 hour. Were the power outputs accurate? Probably. But you are saying "power is more accurate than HR for monitoring your effort." What exactly is the effort between Sagan and Joe Schmoe? Was it the same given they both did the same amount of measurable "work" for the same durtion? Let's add in, Peter Sagan's lactate was 0.1 mmol/L with a AvgHR of 100 for this effort, and Joe Schmoe was at 4.5 mmol/L with AvgHR of 150. Now we are starting to see what actually happened. The power number was absolutely meaningless in terms of telling us anything about effort levels. It is only by looking at lactate and HR that we can see the respective efforts of Sagan and Schmoe. Now, in a training progrmam, we can deduce the correlation between power values and lactate or HR through accurate testing (and for more serious cyclists, respiratory rates, Vo2max, etc.) and analysis, and then maybe later, the power numbers can be representative of some level of effort.

Think about this for a second. You keep saying "strawman this" and "strawman that" but your statement, "Power is more accurate than HR for monitoring your effor" is a perfect example of just what I am talking about. A power meter does not measure effort. Again, a power meter does not measure effort. It simply measures work in terms of watts. But strangely enough, you think it does. Just admit that you subconsciously link power numbers to some measure of FTP and be done with it, it is blatantly obvious at this point (if you were linking your power numbers to your HR, you would not make such a statement that power is more accurate than HR to measure effort because that just contradicts the premise you are trying to assert).

To summarize, in order for an HRM to be useful to training, your heart rate needs to correspond to some form of physiological output. In cycling, we connect the heart rate to the work performed through the rotation of our lower body. Likewise, in order for a power meter to be useful to training, the measured wattage needs to correspond to some form of physiological output. In cycling, we can connect the measured wattage to lactate threshold, some heart rate value or something else like FTP. I hope nobody is connecting power values to "perceived exertion" because that is just wrong.

Now if you are ultimately going to say, using the values from your power meter to create a training regime based on the connection of those values to your lactate threshold or HR can form the basis of a sound training program, then we are in complete agreement. But that's not what most people do is it? FTP is one of the most discussed and used paradigms for amateur cyclists, maybe on the premise of "it's good enough." I'm sorry, but you don't spend $$$$ on highly specialized training equipment to get "good enough" results, especially when there are a host of means to get "the best" results at minimal cost (see lactate testing). If you're going to settle for "good enough" guesswork, why even bother with a power meter when a HR strap alone will probably get you the same (if not better) results.
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TheRich
Posts: 473
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:21 pm
TheRich wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:12 pm

Pinpoint accuracy isn't that important because as I said, and you conveniently deleted, in that example you use power in addition to HR.

Power is more accurate than HR for monitoring your effort, and no matter how many strawman you construct and red herrings you wave around, it's still true.
First off, we're not even talking about pinpoint accuracy. FTP was tested to be off by as much as 12%, or a difference of 23bpm in an adult with a MaxHR of 190. Think about what that means. 23bpm spans 2 zones (maybe 3) in a 5 zone system. That is comically inaccurate.

Speaking in terms of "accuracy" for HR or power is complete nonsense. They are both exceptionally accurate for their intended purposes e.g., measuring power output in terms of watts and real-time heart rate beats per minute. Staring at just a HR or a power number in a vacuum is utterly meaningless and discussions about accuracy of one measuring device over the other is just ignorant.

Let's take a simple example. Peter Sagan does 150 watts over 1 hour on an ergometer. Joe Schmoe 60 year old overweight male does the same 150 watts over 1 hour. Were the power outputs accurate? Probably. But you are saying "power is more accurate than HR for monitoring your effort." What exactly is the effort between Sagan and Joe Schmoe? Was it the same given they both did the same amount of measurable "work" for the same durtion? Let's add in, Peter Sagan's lactate was 0.1 mmol/L with a AvgHR of 100 for this effort, and Joe Schmoe was at 4.5 mmol/L with AvgHR of 150. Now we are starting to see what actually happened. The power number was absolutely meaningless in terms of telling us anything about effort levels. It is only by looking at lactate and HR that we can see the respective efforts of Sagan and Schmoe. Now, in a training progrmam, we can deduce the correlation between power values and lactate or HR through accurate testing (and for more serious cyclists, respiratory rates, Vo2max, etc.) and analysis, and then maybe later, the power numbers can be representative of some level of effort.

Think about this for a second. You keep saying "strawman this" and "strawman that" but your statement, "Power is more accurate than HR for monitoring your effor" is a perfect example of just what I am talking about. A power meter does not measure effort. Again, a power meter does not measure effort. It simply measures work in terms of watts. But strangely enough, you think it does. Just admit that you subconsciously link power numbers to some measure of FTP and be done with it, it is blatantly obvious at this point (if you were linking your power numbers to your HR, you would not make such a statement that power is more accurate than HR to measure effort because that just contradicts the premise you are trying to assert).

To summarize, in order for an HRM to be useful to training, your heart rate needs to correspond to some form of physiological output. In cycling, we connect the heart rate to the work performed through the rotation of our lower body. Likewise, in order for a power meter to be useful to training, the measured wattage needs to correspond to some form of physiological output. In cycling, we can connect the measured wattage to lactate threshold, some heart rate value or something else like FTP. I hope nobody is connecting power values to "perceived exertion" because that is just wrong.

Now if you are ultimately going to say, using the values from your power meter to create a training regime based on the connection of those values to your lactate threshold or HR can form the basis of a sound training program, then we are in complete agreement. But that's not what most people do is it? FTP is one of the most discussed and used paradigms for amateur cyclists, maybe on the premise of "it's good enough." I'm sorry, but you don't spend $$$$ on highly specialized training equipment to get "good enough" results, especially when there are a host of means to get "the best" results at minimal cost (see lactate testing). If you're going to settle for "good enough" guesswork, why even bother with a power meter when a HR strap alone will probably get you the same (if not better) results.
This is a strawman holding a red herring.

If you're not going to respond to what I wrote, don't respond at all.

Show us on the doll where the FTP test touched you.

scapie
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:19 am

by scapie

i started a thread specifically about training with zero metrics and you two both can't help yourselves can you? You just have to start dribbling on and on and on about exactly what this thread is not about.

why not go start your own?

someone called me out about not contributing so thats what i did. you want me to call you both out? it would be extremely easy.

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

by AeroObsessive

iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:21 pm
TheRich wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:12 pm

Pinpoint accuracy isn't that important because as I said, and you conveniently deleted, in that example you use power in addition to HR.

Power is more accurate than HR for monitoring your effort, and no matter how many strawman you construct and red herrings you wave around, it's still true.
First off, we're not even talking about pinpoint accuracy. FTP was tested to be off by as much as 12%, or a difference of 23bpm in an adult with a MaxHR of 190. Think about what that means. 23bpm spans 2 zones (maybe 3) in a 5 zone system. That is comically inaccurate.

Speaking in terms of "accuracy" for HR or power is complete nonsense. They are both exceptionally accurate for their intended purposes e.g., measuring power output in terms of watts and real-time heart rate beats per minute. Staring at just a HR or a power number in a vacuum is utterly meaningless and discussions about accuracy of one measuring device over the other is just ignorant.

Let's take a simple example. Peter Sagan does 150 watts over 1 hour on an ergometer. Joe Schmoe 60 year old overweight male does the same 150 watts over 1 hour. Were the power outputs accurate? Probably. But you are saying "power is more accurate than HR for monitoring your effort." What exactly is the effort between Sagan and Joe Schmoe? Was it the same given they both did the same amount of measurable "work" for the same durtion? Let's add in, Peter Sagan's lactate was 0.1 mmol/L with a AvgHR of 100 for this effort, and Joe Schmoe was at 4.5 mmol/L with AvgHR of 150. Now we are starting to see what actually happened. The power number was absolutely meaningless in terms of telling us anything about effort levels. It is only by looking at lactate and HR that we can see the respective efforts of Sagan and Schmoe. Now, in a training progrmam, we can deduce the correlation between power values and lactate or HR through accurate testing (and for more serious cyclists, respiratory rates, Vo2max, etc.) and analysis, and then maybe later, the power numbers can be representative of some level of effort.

Think about this for a second. You keep saying "strawman this" and "strawman that" but your statement, "Power is more accurate than HR for monitoring your effor" is a perfect example of just what I am talking about. A power meter does not measure effort. Again, a power meter does not measure effort. It simply measures work in terms of watts. But strangely enough, you think it does. Just admit that you subconsciously link power numbers to some measure of FTP and be done with it, it is blatantly obvious at this point (if you were linking your power numbers to your HR, you would not make such a statement that power is more accurate than HR to measure effort because that just contradicts the premise you are trying to assert).

To summarize, in order for an HRM to be useful to training, your heart rate needs to correspond to some form of physiological output. In cycling, we connect the heart rate to the work performed through the rotation of our lower body. Likewise, in order for a power meter to be useful to training, the measured wattage needs to correspond to some form of physiological output. In cycling, we can connect the measured wattage to lactate threshold, some heart rate value or something else like FTP. I hope nobody is connecting power values to "perceived exertion" because that is just wrong.

Now if you are ultimately going to say, using the values from your power meter to create a training regime based on the connection of those values to your lactate threshold or HR can form the basis of a sound training program, then we are in complete agreement. But that's not what most people do is it? FTP is one of the most discussed and used paradigms for amateur cyclists, maybe on the premise of "it's good enough." I'm sorry, but you don't spend $$$$ on highly specialized training equipment to get "good enough" results, especially when there are a host of means to get "the best" results at minimal cost (see lactate testing). If you're going to settle for "good enough" guesswork, why even bother with a power meter when a HR strap alone will probably get you the same (if not better) results.
Your knowledge of how to base training distribution and intensity as derived from power data seems to be sorely lacking, despite your continued bashing of it. I am not sure if this is due to some particular agenda, or to mask an actual lack of knowledge.

1) you point of FTP being "off". In what context, and how was it tested?
2) wattage IS the one output that is the most important. Everything else we measure (HR, gas exchange, lactate) is *usually* as a result of that work being done. HR is an outlier as it can fluctuate regardless of work being/not being done. Power, and power alone (over time), can be used to develop very accurate, and effective training. The extra data sets help confirm. Information either confirms or informs, and in this vein more is better.
3) RPE and power - personally, I find these highly informative. Especially when there's a clear disconnect.

Thought experiment: if you had only one source of data, HR, power, speed, lactate, gas, whatever -combined with time, which would yield the most certain information of the work being done and hence the adaptations likely to take place?

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

by AeroObsessive

scapie wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:29 am
i started a thread specifically about training with zero metrics and you two both can't help yourselves can you? You just have to start dribbling on and on and on about exactly what this thread is not about.

why not go start your own?

someone called me out about not contributing so thats what i did. you want me to call you both out? it would be extremely easy.
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by Weenie


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