Thanks for the detailed reply. Yes if there’s a way to lower the resistance during a workout that’s awesome, how is it done?
Regarding the heart rate and effort aren’t they usually tied together in professional training plans?
X sets of % ftp power and % ltr (HR) and cadence and effort #/10.
If a certain power # is all that one targeted, it would negate many other facets of the benefits of controlled indoor training.
Outside with a group or even solo you could technically try to maintain a power range, (like in crit racing it’s very helpful so you don’t blow up), but you’ve still got to monitor and try to control heart rate because that’s an integral piece of your power output. Too high for too long and power drops. All sorts of things can alter heart rate but it’s still tethered to your power output. Then to tie that in with mph of course you factor in your gearing your tires your position, whether you’re drafting or not etc. The human body is a terribly weak propulsion system, but if you can work within your personal parameters it all works out. Too much of any one thing can alter the outcome. Outdoors however, there’s opportunities for relief and resistance… Headwinds hills, wind to your back, downhill, drafting, etc. and power varies with giant swings, from 50 watts to 1000 watts possible over the course of a mile depending on terrain, conditions and demand.
That’s the beauty of indoor training is that it’s controlled so over the course of weeks or months you can build and alternate to improve your outdoor riding or racing.
For example, if my FTP is 195’ish and my LTR is 163 BPM, that’s pretty much a constant. If it’s hot, or I’ve had a short warmup or there’s hills or pace changes and I’m trying to maintain 300 watts, or 180 bpm, it’s not going to last long. Sooner or later heart rate and power have to equalize to maintain propulsion. On an endurance ride that’s planned for several hours, it’s critical to keep your heart rate in a particular zone with less emphasis on power output.
With good training one can increase physical fitness and improve incrementally, so that you’re making more power at the same heart rate or raising your heart rate to make more power, or increasing both.
Perceived effort is essentially one’s instantaneous assessment of how they feel… Which is a mental gauge for FTP and LTR combined.
I’m not a physiologist or trainer, but I’ve been cycling quite a long time and that’s pretty much how it feels and I’ve read plenty of books that seem to validate that approach. Whether I’ve got sensors and meters or if I’m riding without any gadgets, it’s still important to keep tabs on either the stats on the head unit or the feeling in your head.
It would be totally impractical to set off on a 150 mile ride trying to target anything other than a zone 2 or 3 heart rate and likewise it would be unwise to race a 45 minute crit without being warmed up fully and targeting the highest % of LTR and FTP you can maintain for that duration. It’s duration and intensity that dictate keeping FTP and LTR in check.
At least that’s how I experience it and understand it… But I’ve been wrong before so perhaps this is just hog wash.