Burnt Matches Calculator

Hi @Nate_Pearson!

Performance Analytics is a very useful tool! Do you intend or plan to incorporate a tool that allows us to calculate “burnt matches” for our workouts / races based on a defined set of parameters that take into consideration time and % of FTP? This can help us users determine if we went too strong in the begininng of a race which is too spiky in power.


A potential (and personal) solution for this would be to go to the specific ride/race, and then to ‘Add Zone’ (top right of Power Zones section) add a custom zone based on either a watt number or a % of FTP and take a look at your time spent above a certain %/wattage.

You can use the selection tool to zoom in to take a detailed look at race/ride segments to see time spent in this zone, and create separate intervals to analyze sections even further and compare. I do this often for multi-lap races so that I can compare the start or 1st lap vs other laps, compare power data on climbs, long fireroad sections, and so-on.
Then in my post race notes I can mention how I felt and when, some notes on the post race analysis, and so on.

Doing the above won’t tell you the number of instances you went into that zone (you’d basically have to look and count), but I think since ‘burning a match’ is pretty subjective - being able to create custom intervals/zones and really drill down into your own race is a very awesome tool to have at your disposal.

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It took a bit of time to figure out but I think I’ve found a pretty good correlation to how many matches you have to burn. The key is to have a good hr zones set up using your power numbers. For me, I’ve worked out that I have about 25-30 min (or matches) of Z4+. I keep track of how many mins using an app on my watch that shows hr zone accumulation.

This is Baird+2. Each one of those 15 1.5 min VO2Max efforts accumulated to about 30 min of Z4. I think the other zones also should be taken into account when thinking about this too. Note there wasn’t much Z3 time compared to Bondcliff, which has 4 15 min sweet spot efforts (with a 30 sec sprint at the beginning of each rep).

Here I spent more time in Z3 than Baird+2 and therefore had fewer matches to burn. I could see if you punched into Z5 you’d have even less matches.

I hope this makes sense. I haven’t put this into race practice yet and I’m interested to see if this holds true in real life.


Would the interval search do this?
So do a search on intervals above 300W for 1 minute etc?

In terms of matches, if I class a match as 300w for 1 minute, but do two minutes at 300W, is that 2 matches or one? Are you looking for separation in these intervals?

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What’s that app?

This one I think: Heart Graph by Smoky Cat Software Ltd


That’s the one. Worked with the dev a few years ago. Top notch app for hr analysis on iPhone

Regarding burnt matches, it refers to W’ & W’ bal.
Interesting info can be found there:
see section

W’ Expenditure and Reconstitution - W’bal

More info can be found there:

Let me know what you think :yum:

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I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule on what defines a match. I think it’s relative to max effort. Correlating it to HR made it easy for me. The last few Build workouts have pushed me right to the brink of cramping and failure. So I’ve been keeping track of my % zone accumulation. I don’t have power on my bike so HR is more relevant for me out on the trail.