HR Mode working like ERG (COMPLETED) - Perfect for Zone 2 HR training. Pedal and forget

Hi, I’ve looked around here and on the blogs for an answer to this and can’t find one. In any case, I tried HR mode out of curiosity yesterday and can’t understand what it does. I assumed it would revert to Level Mode, but it doesn’t seem to. At least, I didn’t see any level options, and though my Wahoo defaults to Level 2 when not connected to an app, TD seemed to make it level “0” which was essentially freewheeling.

Further, I noted that when I selected HR Mode, Erg mode remained selected, so when I unselected Erg, it went to this freewheel resistance I mentioned. So what would HR Mode PLUS Erg mode be doing?

Sorry if this is an absurd question.

No this is an excelent question. HR mode was desided for people with dumb trainers and no power meter so they could see an approximately similar workout, or could design workouts with specific HR targets and follow them and see more of an HR centric view. I assumed smart trainer users could use it the same way or at least just pay more attention to HR this way. What we plan on doing is enancing it for smart trainers so that when you are in HR mode and it has a target HR, then it adjusts your power automatically to keep you at that HR zone but we have not gotten that done yet.

So yes for now what would make sense to me for most smart trainer users is to use HR and switch off ERG and control it yourself.

Does that help? Do you have other thoughts/ideas?

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Thanks for the helpful reply, it totally explains what’s going on.

On thoughts: totally love the idea that we could specify HR and then have the trainer adjust resistance accordingly. This would be especially helpful on longer Zone 2 sessions when HR drifts up relative to power and I need to stay in Z2 HR.

One further question: Is there a level mode? This would be for non erg driven workouts, like all out tabata intervals, or FTP tests, etc.

You can use resistance mode for non-erg mode workouts by unchecking the erg box but we are working on a slope/sim/level mode option very soon which will be an option in settings that will allow you to choose if our app uses resistance or slope more.

HR mode was used by the older TACX app, and it was a very useful option. It would be nice if the HR mode functioned in this way also in Trainerday.

Yeah I am really a fan of HR based training, but still a bit affraid of this task. Needs a lot of testing to figure out how to try to bring peoples HR’s down. I think we will tackle this after the winter season, just not to introduce any rabitt holes or crazy bugs during this winter.

Of course. Controlling the trainer by heart rate makes a lot of sense and application. For example, recovery workouts or workouts with keeping the heart rate in the zone below the aerobic threshold. IMHO is a little less useful training by heart rate in higher zones, where power-based training has an overwhelming advantage.
While maintaining the set level should not be difficult, it takes some time to gradually reach the set heart rate, especially since the heart rate as a response to the load will always be delayed (approx. 20 - 30 seconds).
You might think of a combination of power and heart rate based training that is very useful for polarized training. If only the real-time application could calculate DFA Alpha1 / Alpha2 value in order to estimate aerobic and anerobic thresholds like Fatmaxxer … Or load its calculations;)

Any updates here? Would love to see this feature land.

I seem to think that this may have come and gone. I may be wrong, just some comments on the forum. However, I’ll note that I now use Slop at 2% for Zone 2 rides, and then just the gears. I think it’s a bit better than the erg mode for Zone 2, since I can dial it back if I’m feeling fatigued, or dial it to upper levels of Z2 if feeling fine.

Yes, I agree on slope mode. Actually I have good news. :slight_smile:

We are going to start working on a very simple HR solution versy soon (I estimate a couple weeks). It won’t be intervals HR based automated adjustments but just a very simple single HR target. When you click on quick start you will have another option for HR, and you just use + - to set your target HR. You can either use our auto extend featue so you don’t worry about the length or change +30s to +5m and press it a few times to get your desired length. This just the first iteration of this focusing on the hard part which is to get the power to automatically adjust to target heart rate.

You could press + - to do your own intervals but it seems for people with a smart trainer a single target HR focus is enough (for most), even if just for a warmup then can then merge with another workout. Let’s get feedback on this solution and then we can enhance it.


Hey @Alex ! Any news about ERG by HR? :v:t3:

My developer is finally just starting it now. It’s probably still a few weeks away.

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Hey @Alex : do I understand this correctly (because I believe this is what I’m looking for and with me several cycling friends. What this is about is instead of training blocks based on watts, training blocks based on HR ?

Soooo : I know my zone2 upper HR is 128. With this feature I could say : keep my HR between 120 en 128, adapt the power of the smart trainer as needed ?

If that works, it would make training session a lot easier :slight_smile:

It will work almost like that, but for now it will be very simple. We will keep enhancing it but let me try to explain. It will only work for quick start with no workout selected and you just press + - to get your target HR, say in this case below 129. So if you go over about 5% or below 5% it will adjust your power to push you back towards the center HR target. Does that work for you?

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That would most suddenly work for me to give it a go.
Just a mathematical reaction : the 5% might be a bit of a big gap. If you’re in my age group, it would work to do zone2 training. But if you’re younger and you zone 2 HR is still around 150, the 5% becomes a quite large gap. No idea about the development effort, but putting it at 5 BPM + or - would probably me more realistic for a training session.
And a question : in what time interval would you measure these boundaries? I did some reading on this yesterday and the time interval seems to be the “feature killer”. Trying to explain : imagine you put 129. Do you adjust the power down the second you go above 135 ? And then if it drops again, when do your adjust it down? The most logic scenario I found described is to work with a time interval you can use as an input parameter and use the average HR over that interval (to compensate for the HR lagging and variability due to stuff like cycling body position,…). So, imagine you put it at 30s : you calculate the average HR of the last 30s, if it’s above or below the treshold, you adjust the power. Wait another 30s, same calculation. and the 30s is a variable since depending on your training status or the type of training you want to do, you want to change this number up or down.
Let me know if this is clear. Just a quick write down, happy to document it properly if you want! (I’m in IT, can do it properly if wanted :slight_smile: )

Wow great!!! I would love to have help designing this, especially with someone that is passionate about the end solution.

5% was actually just a simplified example, I had not fully designed it, and you are right 5 bpm sounds better.

If I am understanding you correctly then it was pretty close to my thinking, meaning take last 30s average. I am not 100% understanding what you mean though and would love to further understand. You gave me a thought here is that people that have very fast heart rate recovery should have a shorter interval than people that have slow heart rate recovery at least when you are trying to lower the power to get in range. Probably using some real examples of numbers of HR amounts and power adjustments might help. After I get back from vacation next week I would even be more than happy to discuss this on a call.

Additionally, it would seem like it would be optimum if we looked at trend lines in some way. Meaning is it trending up in the last 30 seconds and maybe make a larger compensation down in power then if it is flat for the last 30 seconds. Also when a person makes a change with + - the initial power target should probably be set based on the power to HR conversion ratios we have in our settings. See below.

So this is HR based is obviously best use for zone 2 and secondly zone 3 and 4. And really we recommend people doing middle of the zone rather than the top if they want to stay in HR zone.

I also know how hard power match is to get right (I believe we have it reasonable for longer intervals) and I feel HR match is like power match on steroids :slight_smile: One of the reasons I did not want to introduce interval HR training yet, is I think people will complain it is wrong trying to do VO2max intervals or something :slight_smile:

Happy to jump on a call after your holiday. I will take some time over the weekend to properly write down my thinking.

This is indeed for Zone2 first, maybe zone3 and 4. Make no sense for anaerobe interval training.
Looking at trending instead of average would indeed be an even better solution, but might be a lot more complex.

I’ll take some time to properly write it down. Enjoy your vacation!

Sweet!!! I think trend in terms of looking at first 15s average vs second 15s average and if it is > X% then do a 2X w adjustment… something like this. Simple trends :slight_smile: My fear is if someone is ramping up quickly then it takes us 2 minutes to get them back on target, especially after a ± change. I will ping you when I am back and caught up. I am always a bit behind so my developer is starting this very soon, so I will tell him to read this thread again to at least get started. One of the keys is obviously “guessing” the right amount of power to increase or reduce.

  1. After + - set to HR conversion difference
  2. If 30s average is too high reduce watts by X
  3. If 30s average is too low increase watts by X
  4. If trend is going up/down by > 5% reduce or increase by 2X

But yes it would be great if you present your ideas, and I don’t know what this X value should be. Probably X should be a X%. Also also depends on how much too high. We should probably set a limit meaning for the first 5 minutes it could be very low and we don’t want to crank the power target up to 600w to fix that :slight_smile: So maybe we never set it more than than Y% > zone conversions other than adding X% each 30 seconds.

I am obviously just brain storming here.

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I was actually just searching the forum to see if this functionality was available so you can imagine my delight to see it’s in the pipeline and being worked on!!

@Alex I do like your concept of rate of delta.

Just throwing out a suggestion for a more rudimentary and simple® solution may be to just track within a target HR range…
Solution example: User sets their target HR range (say 135bpm-145bpm) and your initial % of FTP (say 75%).
You start the workout. “Active HR tracking” only activates after HR breaches the lower limit for 30 seconds.
Once “active HR tracking” is activated, if HR breaches upper limit (145bpm), %FTP reduces by x% for every minute you are outside the upper limit of your set range (ie. if x is set to 5 then after 1 minute above 145bpm FTP will reduce to 70%, after 2 minutes above 145bpm FTP% will reduce to 65% etc…).
Same thing if HR breaches the lower limit (135bpm) %FTP increases by y% (ie. if y is set to 2 then after 1 minute below 135bpm FTP will increase to 77%, after 2 minutes FTP increases to 79% etc…).

EDIT to add: You could play with x and y to dial in HR recovery. A further enhancement could be to add a factor for x and y for every additional minute outside the desired range.

Don’t know if all that is useful or even makes sense :woman_shrugging:

Sorry I did not respond. We are just finishing this HR mode now. It’s going into beta today. I think it will need some improvement but it solves the core problem now.

It only works in quick start not with intervals at this time. You just set your target HR%. If you start a new quick start workout, it starts at 40% of FTP as initial power and slowly rises until you hit your target. In this version below my target is 60% of Threshold HR, which obviously is different then 60% of max HR. As as said this is kind of V1 as a starting point and we can build from there.

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