Demystify your Training Ride Report

Each session at CycleZone will target a particular energy system or multiple, depending on what is set out in our schedule. The intensity at which you ride is directly related to your measured FTP, and therefore matching your output to the “load” is your most important metric.The “load’ metric during a session is essentially the target watts for a specific interval during a session. Training at the correct percentage of FTP and consequently improving your FTP will lead to the desired physiological adaptations and performance improvements.

The Summary

Below is the brief highlight you get via email after sessions:

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Power

Power = Force x Speed

The greater the power, the faster your can propel a bicycle forward. Unfortunately we tend to focus on the building blocks of power in isolation – by either pedalling really hard to increase force or pedal really fast to build speed. Neither is an accurate method of training and one is not more fatiguing than the other because ultimately the muscle fibre needs to either work really hard or more frequently so the energy cost is often the same. It is in repetitively performing a skill at the most naturally selected way that will improve power.

Heart Rate

Heart rate is a slow responding variable to changes in physiological stress and is not a direct correlation to work done, but rather responds to the demand. As power outputs increase, heart rate will consequently increase. However, power and heart rate do not share a linear relationship and should not be compared, but viewed for their individual purposes.

Cadence

A cadence of 90rpm is a default setting in the system however there is no evidence that an “ultimate cadence” exists so whether you match it or not is irrelevant. What is important is that you pedal at a rate you find most natural or comfortable and as the intensity changes, you may adjust yourself to what is most comfortable for you. You will find over time that as your fitness improves, your natural cadence will tend to be higher and your pedalling during the sessions is more “smooth” or rhythmic. Our training software will adjust the resistance on the trainer to match your natural cadence and keep you at the required “load” during a session.

Speed and Distance

These two metrics are totally irrelevant for indoor training, especially in Erg mode on a Computrainer, and they are also not indicative of true speeds or distances that would be covered on the road. In Erg Mode the Computrainer will automatically adjust resistance to match the wattage being produced to the desired load, irrespective of what gearing or cadence is being produced by the rider.

 

The Full Ride Report

In the summary you received via email is a link where you can view the full ride report online.

The purpose of the report is to see what was actually done in training and if you are on track in terms of your overall training plan. There are many variables measured during a session, and some are more useful than others. This guide will highlight what is important and useful information and what are considered inconclusive metrics.

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Above are the “Performance Statistics” and as already explained in this guide, most of what is recorded there is not relevant for indoor training sessions. “Total Coasting” which refers to how much time you spent not pedalling should ideally be zero.

Your “Power Statistics” are important to look at and below is a breakdown of what they mean.

Average Power

This is simply the mean power output produced during the session. Average power is not a good indicator of physiological cost for interval type sessions and is better to rather look at Normalised Power described below. Average power is useful when the session is steady in nature.

Maximum Power

A recording of your highest power produced during the session. Due to the nature of our sessions, this is not an important metric.

Functional Threshold Power

Your FTP is pre-loaded into the system and is displayed in the report. If you changed your FTP manually during the session then it will record the last loaded figure. In the case of you expecting an improvement in FTP, a test is recommended and not manual shifting.

Work

Energy expended during the workout.

Average Load

The mean of resistance loaded during the session.

Normalised Power

This is an important metric to determine the true physiological cost of the session required to propel the bike forward. Especially in sessions where it is highly variable, such as intervals, it is recommended to use normalised power as the true physiological cost of the session.

Intensity Factor (NP/FTP)

An intensity factor of 1 (100%) equates to your best race performance or FTP for 1 hour. For sessions that are 1 hour in duration, an intensity factor of 0.85-0.89 has shown to have the best adaptations when training in zones 4-6, and is also most sustainable in terms of managing fatigue and stress levels. Calculating IF is meticulous in looking at the actual percentage of FTP throughout the session and then extrapolating the stress of that intensity for the indicated duration.

Variability Index (NP/AP)

Should a session be totally steady, then average and normalised power would be the same giving you a VI of 1.0. Interval type sessions are highly variable, which is why your average and normalised powers are not the same and therefore would have a higher than 1.1 VI. It is generally recommended to not have sessions more variable than 1.25. VI is important in racing in combination with NP to ensure you are pacing well.

Training Stress Score

Based on training duration and intensity, training stress scores are there to quantify the total training done and assist in planning recovery days and overall periodisation. A TSS of 100 for a 1 hour sessions is equivalent to 1 hour at your FTP. Based on the IF used in our sessions for 1 hour, TSS will normally be between 60-90 points.

Aerobic Decoupling Factor

It is theorised to indicate heart rate efficiency by comparing steady state of heart rate between the first and second half of sessions. However, we do not look at this metric at all due to lack of evidence that it actually works and therefore we recommend it to be ignored.

Efficiency Factor

An equation of normalised power divided by average HR for the session. As proven, there is no linear or direct relationship between power and heart rate. Therefore this metric is also ignored.

 

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The above table simply states your maximal power for each time interval. So 5s refers to your best average 5 seconds and 20m to your mean maximal 20 minutes of the session. These metrics only become valuable in race environments and not during controlled Erg Mode sessions.

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The above table indicates how much time was spent in each zone during the session so you can see which system was mostly loaded. In the above example, the training session was obviously a threshold session as most time was spent in that zone. However, this cannot be dictated manually as the session is controlled in Erg Mode.

Heart rate zones are also displayed as the above table and in general heart rate and power zones will be similar in terms of time spent in zones. But they don’t necessarily need to compare completely as there are many factors impacting heart rate.

 

Graphs

Each ride report will have a graph. All that is important to look at is the red line, which is your FTP and the green line, which is Normalised Power. The blue lines show what you did in the session so you can see how you trained in relation to your FTP and what the consequent NP is for the session. Your cadence and heart rate response will also be evident on the graph.

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