Low hr zone in workouts

Hello, After 8-weeks Base+ plan I am currently doing a 4-week Fitness cyclist plan. In ERG mode. Workouts are in anaerobic and tempo power zones. I have done a ftp test a the start of the base+ and my ftp is approximately correct. In the sweet spot workouts my hr reached the endurance zone, in the Hiit workout my hr only reached the tempo zone.
In the past, when I did a Hiit in the gym, my hr reached almost the max hr. My question is, do I have to do the workouts at a much higher power level, and skip the ERG mode, to benefit more form these workouts?

Hello, by no means am I an expert but GCN just posted a video on zone two training. One of the highlights was talking about heart rate and effort. It appears that if you are training and you can’t get your heart rate up, it’s a telltale sign of overtraining. Maybe take a few days off or really low intensity rides and see what happens. I hope this helps

That’s one of the reasons training with both HR and Power is more advantageous.
HR is an internal load metric and Power an external one. If they are proportionally different then under ‘normal’ conditions, your body is trying to tell you something. The specific case you mention, is often misinterpreted by novice and even more experienced athletes. They see higher speed/effort/power with lower HR and interpret that as being in ‘good form’. While your body is trying to limit your intensity because it hasn’t sufficiently recovered from the former activity. It’s all a learning process with still a lot of ‘unknowns’…
It will not immediately get you in the danger zone of ‘Overtraining’, but you should prioritize recovery.

No you don’t. The best way to become fitter is doing lots of Z2 and combine that with sparse higher efforts of whatever is Sweetspot and higher. The higher the intensity, the shorter the efforts and the total time.
If you can’t reach your target, it’s not a sign that you need to train harder. It’s a sign that you need more recovery (as in Low Intensity work) to be ready for those demanding efforts.
It’s a general beginner mistake to think that you need more HIT. You don’t need much HIT if you train consistently and aim for longer term fitness. The general rule nowadays is that 4 out of 5 sessions are LIT and only one is HIT. So most sessions are Z2, and that one out of 5 is Z4 or higher. Skip Z3 unless you have a very specific reason.
Ignoring this will, best case, lead you to a plateau within ~3months. Worst case injury or overtraining.

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What he said!!! :slight_smile:

Alex gave me already the answers to this question.
I don’t know what you trying to say “if you can’t reach your target”. All targets in coach Jack’s workouts are in power, not in HR. I meet all the power targets and my HR reacts very well on every change in power. And since almost in all of the workouts my HR is in Zone 2, endurance. So I don’t see why I should more recovery or even get overtrained with coach Jack’s plans.

Same as MedTechCD. My HR goes up and down with every change in power. My HR seldom reaches Z3 so I don’t see how I can get overtrained. I recently did a new Ramp Test and saw a little improvement in max Power with the same max HR.
I appreciate the reaction, however not relevant for my case.

See my reply to Ale13.
I appreciatie your reaction, but not relevant for my case.

You seem to ignore that the body protects itself by limiting HR when it’s too fatigued. It’s doing exactly the same thing as when you are sick. The body prioritizes its resources to heaI. If you are highly motivated, you can force through but this is never a good idea. And that, in the longer term, can lead to overtraining.
If you feel good, motivated and see HR responses that are similar to what you see in a recovered state, all is good. But a low HR is often seen as a good thing while it can be the opposite. It never hurts to be cautious.
Here’s another quote:
There is much more to loose by doing one hard session too much then by doing one too little. When in doubt, take it easy.

I can see that the body wants to protect himself … but I’m in the same boat as RobertS … I was doing a lot of rinding (inside and outside) without a plan before starting with Trainerday and I just sit in the workouts and I barely sweat anymore…

My max HR in a workout I ever reached was 152 (out of 184) and I was wondering if I should switch to HR based training.

When I do a “normal” ride outside or on Rouvy I can see the HR response fine and I can get “up” there.

I understand the polarized approach … but Tempo Sessions sit for me in Recovery (ven though I cranked up the dials in the workout creator) and I’m wondering if I’m losing fitness here instead of gaining it.

Maybe it’ because I’m using the “Time Crunch” plan? Does Coach Jack go to low when there aren’t enough hours?

I like the whole approach and app itself - just wondering how to make it work for me :slight_smile:

Our base blocks are really base. Meaning the primary reason to do base is because of a period of resting and letting the body prepare for harder training, if you are training enough you will gain some aerobic performance but for many people it’s more just holding on and preparing.

Out base + adds a little intensity but not a lot. Our build also starts easy but eventually gets moderately hard to hard. The peak period is the one where it really goes hardest intensities. This is classic periodiziation.

If you are not consistent and have no event or peak period goals then a base period is less important other than if you have not been cycling lately. It’s generally a smart and healthy safety precaution.

Higher heart rate workouts are a bit addictive, and when you are used to them it’s hard not to do them. Getting used to less stressful (Zone 2) training takes practice. Not everyone likes it. It is usually the best way to hit max performance later in the year.

Now tempo in recovery HR is a bit strange. I know of other riders that have a strong disconnect between HR and power, you could be this case. Can you send me a link to an example workout like this from your activities page in our website?

You can definitly crank up the intensity as hard as you want in Coach Jack, but realize that if you are trying to hit a peak season in May for example you need to start building slowly until you hit your maximum intensities in April. Time crunched will be fine to get in shape. You could also post an image here of all your Coach Jack settings. Ride feel for example you can take way up. I don’t recommend it but if it is just much too easy and you require something harder it helps.

Just looking at this. You said 152/184. Now my max is about 184 also and actually my threshold HR is 152. If 152 feels super easy to you, it’s because you are in a lot better shape then I am. Meaning generally strong cyclists have higher % of HR at threshold.

This is 83% of max which is usuall considered tempo or according to Polar even hard. So, my guess is you are just used to going hard and need to learn how to do easy.

Sorry for the delay, but I wanted to investigate a bit more :slight_smile:

The misunderstanding comes as I discovered from the different HR Zone Models that are available …

I use currently a 7 zone model from Joel Friel based on Threshold HR (which I have of 167) … and you reference the one from Polar based on Max HR (if I read it correctly) …

Therefore my HR is “as expected” in the 5 zone model you show here - the one I use uses a much larger Z1 … It looks like I have to choose one model that is in alignment in between tools :smiley:

No that’s ok. You have a 167 threshold. That is much higher than mine. More like a real athletes threshold :slight_smile: Yes zone differences confuse things as well. But if you are about 150 of 167 threshold, that sounds more like most would consider a zone 3 level (above AeT). Meaning moderate not easy. Easy is probably staying under 140 but you would have to determine your own AeT to know for sure.

Because Coach Jack starts out fairly easy this is not surprising and Coach Jack does not do sustained hard efforts unless you specifically change the settings. I only see HR being ideal for easy or below AeT workouts or “Zone 2.”

If you want to increase the intensity, you can use a combination of

  1. Intensity slider
  2. Custom Block
  3. Ride Feel