General Discussion Triathlon Talk » FTP Test? How To Measure Improvement With Heart Rate? Rss Feed  
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2013-12-17 8:43 PM

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263
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Denver, Colorado
Subject: FTP Test? How To Measure Improvement With Heart Rate?
Hi all,

I have the Sufferfest "Rubber Glove" FTP test. I performed the test a month ago. I have since bought a new bike, Fuji Altamira 2.0! And am ready to test again. I only use a heart rate monitor though and do not have a power meter. My previous test showed a HR of 143BPM In terms of improving fitness:

1) Do I want my heart rate to increase or decrease?

Note that I had very little bike fitness previously (and it still is bounds behind my running). My muscles are extremely sore before my heart rate can elevate to number near my running HR, my leg strength has drastically increased over the last few months though.

-Does an increasing heart rate imply I can "work harder" without tiring or that I am WORKING HARDER and tiring faster. Thanks for answering and helping out a bike/tech/tri newbie Cheers,


2013-12-17 10:11 PM
in reply to: #4914833

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Veteran
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Cloverdale, BC
Subject: RE: FTP Test? How To Measure Improvement With Heart Rate?
Your threshold heart rate should increase as you gain bike fitness. Your legs can work harder and produce more power, so your heart has to pump more blood to keep up.
2013-12-18 4:37 AM
in reply to: 1st Time 70.3!

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Champion
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Montague Gold Mines, Nova Scotia
Subject: RE: FTP Test? How To Measure Improvement With Heart Rate?
Generally you will see your HR increase from an early test to the next. Part of this will be that due to training you are able to do the test at a higher intensity and part of it is due to the fact that you will get better at testing.

However, after a few tests you'll likely not see much change in your HR from test to test but what you should find is that you are able to generate more power (or higher speed on your trainer) for the same HR.

Shane
2013-12-18 9:11 AM
in reply to: 1st Time 70.3!

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Not a Coach
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Media, PA
Subject: RE: FTP Test? How To Measure Improvement With Heart Rate?

As Shane notes, you'll want another metric to track performance--HR is only good as a reference for relative intensity, not for tracking performance gains.  If you don't have power, use speed.  Especially if you are doing this pon a trainer, the speed should be reasonably consistent (and, therefore, correlate well with the power being produced) as long as you take some care to set up the tension, tire pressure, etc. the same way each time.  If you test outdoors, you want to use the same course and have conditions be as similar as possible to get a good benchmark from speed.

2013-12-18 10:28 AM
in reply to: 1st Time 70.3!

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Subject: RE: FTP Test? How To Measure Improvement With Heart Rate?
As others have said heart rate is far too variable a factor to use to trace progress for something like ftp. Since you don't have a powermeter speed on a course you can repeat over and over in similar conditions is a good option. Another excellent option if you use a trainer is TrainerRoad. It can give you virtual power for your rides which while not as accurate as a powermeter is still consistent and will allow you to track progress over time.
2013-12-18 11:09 AM
in reply to: travis_lt

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Subject: RE: FTP Test? How To Measure Improvement With Heart Rate?

Originally posted by travis_lt As others have said heart rate is far too variable a factor to use to trace progress for something like ftp. Since you don't have a powermeter speed on a course you can repeat over and over in similar conditions is a good option. Another excellent option if you use a trainer is TrainerRoad. It can give you virtual power for your rides which while not as accurate as a powermeter is still consistent and will allow you to track progress over time.

Per the first sentence, what they actually said was that HR doesn't quite measure the right thing to determine progress. It's for helping to monitor effort level within workouts and working at appropriate levels will lead to progress. Another metric is needed to determine said progress. The difference might not seem significant at first, but one can become substantially faster with little change in HR values.



2013-12-18 11:26 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: FTP Test? How To Measure Improvement With Heart Rate?
Excellent synopsis of what has been said in this thread.
2013-12-18 10:17 PM
in reply to: ultramike

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263
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Denver, Colorado
Subject: RE: FTP Test? How To Measure Improvement With Heart Rate?
Thanks guys, great information here.

I'll definitely keep recoding other metrics as well as HR until I get my hands on a power meter. On a qualitative note my cycling is improving drastically! FTP also increased 10 BPM but I'm on a new bike, and the 1st test I didn't go all out so I'm calling today's result a baseline, square 1.

Cheers,
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