General Discussion Triathlon Talk » HR, FTP, FTHR arg... Rss Feed  
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2013-11-24 7:27 PM

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Subject: HR, FTP, FTHR arg...
Well I'm in week 2 of my power meter and so far I'm liking it but I'm definitely running into some discrepancies for HR data that I was curious about. I'm taking via power zones but since Z2 is so easy, I thought I'd ask this question. I did an FTP test a few weeks ago and came up with a FTP of 250 watts and a FTHR of 167.

Now looking at The Triathlete's Bible (Table 4.5), it comes up with this data:

Zone 1: 109-135
Zone 2: 136-149
Zone 3: 150-155
Zone 4: 156-166
Zone 5A: 167 - 170
Zone 5B: 171-176
Zone 5C: 177-182

Fair enough. I can go forever in that Z2. In fact I did my IM a little bit higher than that (more on that later). Well I did my FTP test and looking at Training with a Power meter, and also using Golden Cheetah for my analysis, it comes up with these zones:

% of FTP % FTHR
Description Min Max Min Max Min Max Min Max Typical Duration Typical Duration of Interval Effort
Active Recovery 0% 55% 0 138 0% 68% 0 114 30-90 mins N/A
Endurance 56% 75% 140 188 69% 83% 115 139 60-300 mins N/A
Tempo 76% 90% 190 225 84% 94% 140 157 60-180 mins N/A
Lacate Threshold 91% 105% 228 263 95% 105% 159 175 N/A 8-30 minx
VO2 max 106% 120% 265 300 106% 150% 177 251 N/A 3-8 mins
Anaerbic Capacity 121% 150% 303 375 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 30s - 3 mins
Neuromuscular Power N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 30 secs


It seems like there is a discrepancies for zones in these two books. The main thing that gets me is that this year I trained and raced at 150-155 on the bike and held it there for 5:55 for my IM (used my old cheepo bike computer and not Garmin GPS so no online data). I guess I have three questions:

1. It seems like I was training and racing in my tempo range for up to 6 hours, which doesn't seem possible, at least according to the things I've read. Does anyone else race like this?

2. Training on power is interesting but my Z2 workouts are stupidly easy. Me being in zone 2 power and trying to get a HR of 130 seems like I'm not doing much. I did a sub-threshold test last night (20min intervals of 88-94% FTP), and my HR would get up to 150 momentarily and reach about 19mph on the trainer. This was just the speed I trained at for every trainer ride last year, except for my intervals. Maybe my FTP is off but I've done two tests now. I can't see myself doing Z2 power during a race. I'd be going at ~16mph on races vs the normal ~19mph I averaged on my old method of 150-155 HR. Everywhere I read, said 65-75% FTP is the rate to go for IMs. Is this true?

3. Why the discrepancy between Triathele's Bible and Training with a Power meter? You'd think these numbers would be close but one has my HR in zone 4 and the other in zone 5. Any thoughts about this?


2014-01-04 4:18 PM
in reply to: Blastman

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Subject: RE: HR, FTP, FTHR arg...
I'm surprised no one commented on this thread. Ok, I don't know much, but I do know your heart rate will vary with temperature. I'm mostly curious about it all, and in no way am I giving any advice, simply asking questions in an effort to learn more.

Was your test done at the same temperature and cooling winds as in a race?

Also does/can your heart rate really get up to 251? Why would the Cheetah thing suggest that as your HR max for VO2 max unless you could achieve it? I've seen my HR get up to 205 on a hard, all out, up hill effort at the end of a 4 mile run, but I haven't tried doing that for a couple years now.

Ok, I'm going to do some reading and see what I can learn about this stuff now.
2014-01-04 4:36 PM
in reply to: Blastman

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Subject: RE: HR, FTP, FTHR arg...

Originally posted by Blastman Well I'm in week 2 of my power meter and so far I'm liking it but I'm definitely running into some discrepancies for HR data that I was curious about. I'm taking via power zones but since Z2 is so easy, I thought I'd ask this question. I did an FTP test a few weeks ago and came up with a FTP of 250 watts and a FTHR of 167. Now looking at The Triathlete's Bible (Table 4.5), it comes up with this data: Zone 1: 109-135 Zone 2: 136-149 Zone 3: 150-155 Zone 4: 156-166 Zone 5A: 167 - 170 Zone 5B: 171-176 Zone 5C: 177-182 Fair enough. I can go forever in that Z2. In fact I did my IM a little bit higher than that (more on that later). Well I did my FTP test and looking at Training with a Power meter, and also using Golden Cheetah for my analysis, it comes up with these zones:

 % of FTP% FTHR  
DescriptionMinMaxMinMaxMinMaxMinMaxTypical DurationTypical Duration of Interval Effort
Active Recovery0%55%01380%68%011430-90 minsN/A
Endurance56%75%14018869%83%11513960-300 minsN/A
Tempo76%90%19022584%94%14015760-180 minsN/A
Lacate Threshold91%105%22826395%105%159175N/A8-30 minx
VO2 max106%120%265300106%150%177251N/A3-8 mins
Anaerbic Capacity121%150%303375N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A30s - 3 mins
Neuromuscular PowerN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A30 secs

It seems like there is a discrepancies for zones in these two books. The main thing that gets me is that this year I trained and raced at 150-155 on the bike and held it there for 5:55 for my IM (used my old cheepo bike computer and not Garmin GPS so no online data). I guess I have three questions: 1. It seems like I was training and racing in my tempo range for up to 6 hours, which doesn't seem possible, at least according to the things I've read. Does anyone else race like this? 2. Training on power is interesting but my Z2 workouts are stupidly easy. Me being in zone 2 power and trying to get a HR of 130 seems like I'm not doing much. I did a sub-threshold test last night (20min intervals of 88-94% FTP), and my HR would get up to 150 momentarily and reach about 19mph on the trainer. This was just the speed I trained at for every trainer ride last year, except for my intervals. Maybe my FTP is off but I've done two tests now. I can't see myself doing Z2 power during a race. I'd be going at ~16mph on races vs the normal ~19mph I averaged on my old method of 150-155 HR. Everywhere I read, said 65-75% FTP is the rate to go for IMs. Is this true? 3. Why the discrepancy between Triathele's Bible and Training with a Power meter? You'd think these numbers would be close but one has my HR in zone 4 and the other in zone 5. Any thoughts about this?

1. Low Tempo or high?  There is a big difference between 6 hours @ 76% FTP (not a big deal) and 6 hours @ 90% (pain and suffering).

2. You have a mix-mash of power and HR stuff in there.  I suggest picking one and training with it - since you have the PM, I'd go with power.    The comment about going 16 mph in a race in Z2 means nothing as your speed on the trainer is unlikely to correspond to speed outside.

3. Dunno but I go back to my comment about picking one - power or HR.  You don't have to stop using your HR monitor but I'd say train with power and just watch HR to see how it lines up with power numbers.

The data you get from training with power can be mind boggling (as you have found out).  

2014-01-04 4:36 PM
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Subject: RE: HR, FTP, FTHR arg...

Fat fingered DP



Edited by axteraa 2014-01-04 4:37 PM
2014-01-04 5:17 PM
in reply to: Blastman

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Subject: RE: HR, FTP, FTHR arg...
Was this your first ever threshold test? If so, it can be a bit tricky to get the pacing correct, so it's possible the numbers could be off bit. How stable was your power and/or heartrate for the test? Do you have a screenshot of the power profile from your test you could post?

A couple of points...

1) Friel's zones (Training Bible) and Coggan's zones (Training with Power) are different - so don't try to compare zones from one to the other. Frustrating, I know, but it is what it is. Pick one "system" and stick with it.

2) When you're contemplating heart rate as it relates to power, think more in terms of heart rate AT threshold than threshold heart rate (if that makes sense...). For most people, "Threshold Heart Rate" - roughly the max heart rate you could sustain for about an hour - remains relatively stable over time. But with training, you will see your sustainable power output increase at that heart rate.

Another thing to consider is that your level of fitness at this moment might not be exactly the same as it was when you did your IM (you didn't mention when that was), which could also affect where your heat rate falls within Coggan's zones.

HTH!
2014-01-05 6:33 AM
in reply to: jsnowash

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Subject: RE: HR, FTP, FTHR arg...
A couple of blog posts that may help clarify...

Friel's Blog Post defining heart rate zones:

Bike Zones
Zone 1 Less than 81% of LTHR
Zone 2 81% to 89% of LTHR
Zone 3 90% to 93% of LTHR
Zone 4 94% to 99% of LTHR
Zone 5a 100% to 102% of LTHR
Zone 5b 103% to 106% of LTHR
Zone 5c More than 106% of LTHR

Notice the difference in these zones vs. Coggan's zones...

And one more from Friel discussing Heart Rate vs Power zones.


2014-01-05 8:23 AM
in reply to: Blastman

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Subject: RE: HR, FTP, FTHR arg...
HR & Power ranges and zones are arbitrary constructs that lay over a continuous spectrum of energy usage.

Friels definitions and Coggan's definintions are just different. Just like my dress up clothes probabaly look different than your dress up clothes.

What matters is that 1) You learn to listen to yoru body by doing exactly what you are doing, comparing current effort with past sensations you've had in training & racing.

Your fitness may have changed as someone else said, so don't worry about HR not being as high as it was before.

Also, there ar e lot of different philosophies about training. Zone 2 should feel easy, not quite like walking but by definition you should be able to carry on an easy conversation. If it FEELS easier than you did your IM race, then the zones are too low, regardless of teh HR number. Add 10 W to your FTP & recalculate. It's OK if it's different than your test.

You don't say what test you did intially to calculate your FTP.

You mention a subthreshold "test" at a prescribed %age of FTP....what was that test for? Testing is usually time trialing for given duration and / or sets. eg. 2 x 20 all out with the goal of sustaining the highest power across both intervals. if your FTP is too low, and then you did a 2 x 20 prescribed interval at sub threshold you're not testing as much as just doing an effort that you can compare to future efforts.

it's hard to give training advice based on what's given, but I agree with the above...since you've got a power meter, focus on teh power. HR is a curiosity for now. Focus on yoru RPE vs. yoru power, and over time you'll get more comfortable with various testing protocols...there are a bunch. 1 x 20, 2 x 20, MAP, 5 min blowout prior to the 1x20, ramp test, etc,e tc.

Lots of fun in the future.
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