Author Topic: Average Heart Rate - is it a useful performance comparison?  (Read 1364 times)

Re: Average Heart Rate - is it a useful performance comparison?
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2020, 09:40:59 pm »
Thanks all, the opinions are all actually quite helpful and provide some useful perspective.  I'm preparing for the Highland Fling 1000km audax in May and am trying to decide whether to use the LEL proven MTB or the GT Grade which I not yet ridden over 200km.  I'm not looking for a fast time at all, but would like to make it round within the time limit.  I'll get a longer ride in on the Grade before then and report back.
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

Phil W

Re: Average Heart Rate - is it a useful performance comparison?
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2020, 09:48:10 pm »
Have you tried pacing with HR? I did it on the Poor Student on Sat. I set alarms at 120 bpm and 140 bpm.  At 120 bpm I’d up the effort and 140 bpm I’d back off. Got round an hour faster than the Santa Special two weeks before. This is despite having 1.5 times the climbing of the latter.  I put this down to not burning my matches early on, using more fat for fuel, leading to no second half fade. I also felt great at the end of PS compared to a bit wrecked at end of Santa Special.

The most illuminating thing was how hard I was working when starting audaxes, and no wonder I faded later on and didn’t feel quite so great after a few hours.

Hadn’t worn a chest strap on audax for 7 years, but plan to do so for next three 200’s. In that time I’ll learn to associate with perceived exertion, ready for the longer distances, as my main navigation GPS doesn’t do HR and my old edge 500 that does only has a 15 hour battery life.

Obviously what you set the alarms at depends on whether you have a hamster heart or that of an Ox.

Pedal Castro

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Re: Average Heart Rate - is it a useful performance comparison?
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2020, 07:27:17 am »
Average speed on Strava is subject to what it decides were your stops, as well as whether or not you include the ride to/from the event, and so on.

I note no one has commented on the question in the title - does anyone have any comment on whether HR data is a good proxy for power data?

HR isn't a good proxy for power data as far as I am concerned. For me power is essential for short intervals (up to ~5') but HR is far more useful for keeping to output targets on the road. A common argument PM evangelists use is that power is what you are actually putting down on the road whereas HR is the bodies response to the effort, which is true But it is much easier to keep HR constant and therefore hit the effort target than it is power. If I want to do a 200km as fast as possible I'll just aim to keep HR in  particular range ignoring the power data.

Also interesting is that if I ride for as long as possible at a certain power (above FTP) then the time I can ride for is determined by when HR hits a certain value. As the time varies but limiting HR doesn't irrespective of power that makes HR far more useful for TTs. I do like having power data to look at afterwards although I think my fastest rear wheel is not one with a power hub.

Having said that, everyone is different so it takes a while to work out how your own HR responds to fatigue under different circumstances. Averages can be misleading too, for example yesterday on my hour commute I kept my HR in my endurance training band of 120-135 for the whole ride and the average one way was 127 but only 120 on the faster of the two rides, probably because of slightly more downhills and/or slightly longer waits at the 4 TL/RaBs en route.

Re: Average Heart Rate - is it a useful performance comparison?
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2020, 12:14:01 pm »
Following yesterday's trainer session, I'm just back from my regular 5-mile run and my HR was 10-12 BPM higher than normal for the same pace - av. 164 and peaking at 176. Usually it's in the low/mid 150's and peaking at 160.  I must be sicker than I thought!

Re: Average Heart Rate - is it a useful performance comparison?
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2020, 01:55:18 pm »
Following yesterday's trainer session, I'm just back from my regular 5-mile run and my HR was 10-12 BPM higher than normal for the same pace - av. 164 and peaking at 176. Usually it's in the low/mid 150's and peaking at 160.  I must be sicker than I thought!
Maybe it's the shoes? ;)

bludger

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Re: Average Heart Rate - is it a useful performance comparison?
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2020, 02:00:10 pm »
It depends on what you are doing. When I used to row, if you were doing a 90 minute steady state UT2 piece where the idea is just to chug along at a low-intensity pace, with your HR not deviating by more than 12-15 BPM from start to finish, it was good. But I definitely wouldn't be using it for intervals.
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