General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Fatigue effects on heart rate. Rss Feed  
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2019-07-29 2:45 PM

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McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: Fatigue effects on heart rate.

On Saturday I rode the same 36-mile bike course as I had done five weeks earlier.  When I rode it five weeks ago it was the first week of a new trying mezzo-cycle with a focus on building volume as my race distance goes from Sprints to 70.3's.  When I rode the 36-mile course on Saturday I was coming off of a full week (8 days) of recovery. 


My slow recovery pace is typically 100-112 BPM heart rate. My easy rides are 113-118 BPM heart rate. My normal rides are 119-127.  My interval training is 128-150 BPM. 


When I did the 36-mile course 5 weeks ago I got an average HR of 123 BPM.  It was at an uncomfortable pace but I wasn't racing through the workout.  The average pace of the work out was about 19.3 MPH.


When I did the 36-mile course on Saturday HR of 112 BPM.  It was a recovery week and I hadn't done any speed work or anything intense for 8 days.  I was finishing out the rest week with and easy Z1 ride.  I felt like I was spinning quickly and moving well, but I never felt stained or uncomfortable on this ride.  I expected my speed to be in the 18.7 to 19.2 MPH range so when I say that I was at 19.6 I was really surprised.  


I don't typically see that dramatic of a change in performance from a recovery week.  Is that typical? 

Should I shoot for those type of recover weeks every time in the future or keep to shorter recovery (i.e. 5-6 days) with higher intensity work out in the recovery week?


I am not sure what to think of the data from Saturday.  I am not sure if I should toss it out as an outlier or if there is a lesson to be learned that I could use to improve my training.  What does Heart Rate tell about fatigue?  How do you use heart rate to manage your fatigue?


2019-07-29 5:32 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Fatigue effects on heart rate.
Originally posted by BlueBoy26

What does Heart Rate tell about fatigue? 

there is this, but it's only a small piece of the puzzle

2019-07-29 10:29 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Fatigue effects on heart rate.
In my experience significantly lower than normal HR usually indicates major fatigue or overtraining. There tends to be this feeling of "No matter how hard I push, my HR (and usually my power, to a lesser extent) doesn't go up much." It hasn't happened much in my case, a few times in IM training and sometimes for HIM training when I'm working full time. It's generally been stress from work or other issues (like moving, jet lag, allergies, heat waves, poor sleep from a noise issue near my building etc.) that pushed me over the edge with training that I could normally tolerate.

But if you felt normal/good, could also be something else like cooler than normal conditions, or just the monitor being weird. Mine occasionally gives me wacko data for no clear reason--it can take a long time to show a HR higher than what it initially reads, usually in the low 70's. Usually I have to work up a sweat first, but occasionally it just won't give any sensible data for a workout, even after a few hours.

FWIW my HR is way higher--not sure if I'm incredibly inefficient or maybe related to gender, body size, or something. If I'm doing anything other than just sitting on the bike, my HR will be 110 or higher. "Recovery" for me would be anything below 132, normal Z2 in the 130's and 140's. For HIM watts (high Z2, low Z3) I am usually in the 140's to 150's, and there are plenty of interval workouts where I see HR in the 160's. I average low to mid-170's on FTP tests. I think the only ride where I would ever average 112 would be rolling downhill!
2019-07-30 2:43 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

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Subject: RE: Fatigue effects on heart rate.
There's the side that HR data isn't 100% reliable.
I assume is was the same HR monitor.
Batteries good.
No drops.

Weather can play a factor. Cooler temps. Less humidity.

Recovery plays in.

Sleep quality plays in.

Nutrition that week plays in.

Hydration plays in.

If you did the ride and felt great and didn't have to kill yourself to get that speed, you could be looking at fitness gains. If you go into your next block and the workouts that seemed hard are not as difficult, it might be time to test fitness and reset your zones.
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