Big mis-match in Power and Heart Rate (HR) - How to proceed?

After a long winter on the turbo and making some FTP gains, I have started to ride outside with the warmer weather. After a week off for a skiing holiday and 2 weeks of illness, I started easy with a couple of endurance rides with the focus on riding power Z2. with an FTP of 280W just before the break, my endurance zone is 150-210ish which i expect to have a heart rate of 125-140bpm. I knew I would have lost some fitness, but to maintain a lower heart rate, I had to ride 50/50 between power Z1 and Z2. I ended with a NP of 146W, which I expected to be more like 170-180W.

So, should I continue to do these easy aerobic rides according to power or keep a focus on trying to keep my HR down to? I know I have lost some fitness, and will need to retest soon, but I can’t have gone backwards that much in such a short period of time.

Sounds normal. 2-3wks off, especially the 2wks of sickness is more than enough to decondition. Ease back into things. Train by power and/or feel for a few weeks. You will see your HR come back down before you know it.

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You don’t specify if you see using the FTP from before your break and illness or from a test taken after.

  1. If your FTP is still set at the “higher” old value, reduce it. That is not your FTP now. Maybe a 5-10% drop is appropriate for a guess.

  2. If you retested and have a current FTP (likely lower than before), take it a bit easier if you feel the efforts are still too taxing, and pace yourself back into the plan.

Cardiac drift is the term - and this is one of the key things I monitor to avoid burnout (failed two years in a row but I know what to look for now).

Given these circumstances no reason for alarm. As Chad said above you could retest and new FTP would be lower and I bet the mis-match wouldn’t be so great.

You could keep firing away and try to catch back up, but you may struggle on things like threshold.

I personally just missed 1.75 weeks and came back to this. I went for a lot of EN first to get things back in order, then threshold (4x8 min blocks, i did 1.5 of them) and then a race. By the race I was back at it.

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