Ever had your form numbers 'greater' than your fitness on Strava?

Tricky one to describe in a sentence!

By this I mean, have you had say -50 form and just +40 fitness.

Basically your form is so bad that the number is ‘higher’ than your fitness. I’m guess ultra cyclists have this a lot? Anyone know what happens there, or does the body function differently when form gets super bad and you keep pushing on day after day?

I’ve spoken to a record holder about distance riding and he said you really do ride into form. You feel like you’re breaking down for a few days, then your body gives up the resistance and power returns and you function within a range for the weeks ahead. How does all this work. Sorry two questions in one here I guess.

Just noticed by fitness now is +61 but form is -45. Have a chance to experiment here and see what happens as it’s not that common for me to be in this spot.

And yes I know, Strava fitness/freshness is whack! I still like it and use it as a rough guide.

Do you have your FTP and Max HR recorded in Strava accurately? That form number can quickly go from a -20 to a -40 after a couple of high RE sessions.

Form is just Fitness minus Fatigue, but they way they calculate Fitness and Fatigue can be way off if FTP and Max HR is wrong.

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Honestly haven’t used HRM in a year out of sheer laziness. Used it every ride for years too. Just power meter at the moment and FTP is just a rough stab in the dark. I move it up and down a bit depending on how things are going on the road, though I’m always a touch conservative there.

Ahhh ok, so it’s probably calculating from the 10 point Perceived Exertion scale too.

Don’t use the Strava chart, but similar to the TrainingPeaks PMC. I wouldn’t expect those kind of values unless my training was all over the place. Would be possible if you did nothing for a fair while and then went and knocked out a big ride or two. If you had figures like that in a consistent training plan, that would definitely get the alarm bells ringing.

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I think this would be a good deep dive discussion for the AACC podcast.

I’ve certainly experienced this for hours at a time, on basically no sleep during ultra endurance races. Usually you get the other end of the spectrum too though, where you experience massive lows where you barely have enough energy to even stand up or pedal at 100 watts and a you want to do is lay down and cry/sleep.

I think at some level it’s a deep flight or fight response, and your body protects itself and it’s organs by making you feel awful so you’ll stop and rest. There’s always energy there though, and sometimes a surprising amount of it.

I think the other aspect may be that what you feel you’re doing might be massively different from the numbers of what you’re actually doing during those peaks. Going through a low and then having power “return” may not really be happening. The powers probably still really low relative to a fresh version of yourself, but you feel okay mentally so it feels like your producing more power than your expectations.

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You have to really ignore the actual numbers on the Strava charts, but pay attention to the trends. And it really needs all the rides to have power and HR data to be accurate. The longer time period it has data for, the more useful it becomes.

Don’t know about strava, but on TP this happens fairly easily when you suddenly throw a long ride in. Usually its a good sign you need some rest.

One consideration is Strava doesn’t use different HR zones for running vs cycling so if you have it set for cycling and do a lot of running you can easily get massive fatigue numbers versus setting for running might make cycling looks substantially easier per se. Example would be my HR zones for running where LT is idk , 165-170ish vs cycling where it’s around 152-153 would be dramatically different.