I know people have discussed power vs heart rate endlessly but I still haven’t found an answer to the below question so if anyone who understands physiology better than myself is able to answer this, it would put to bed a question I have had for a couple of years.
I am doing Zone 2 low level rides.
Power wise this equates to 146-198 watts
Heart Rate wise this equates to 116-154bpm
Whichever data you use, both are trying to do the same thing…work at a low enough intensity to improve your aerobic base which should build new capillaries, increase mitochondria and improve your body’s ability to use fat as a source of fuel on endurance rides.
This post isn’t asking whether heart rate or power is better, (I know why TR prefers power due to its consistency and that heart rate can be affected by numerous external factors) but my question is this:
If I use my zone 2 power to ride to (upper end 198 watts) my heart rate will rise to above 165bpm. How can I build an aerobic base if my heart rate is at 165bpm or higher?
That is 83% of my max heart rate.
(Extra info: I am 45 years old, 73kg, 172cm tall with max heart rate of 198bpm).
I guess what I am trying to understand is if we know what physiological adaptions we want from zone 2 riding and that these adaptions require plenty of oxygen to make them occur, how can power and heart rate zones be so different and elicit such different heart rate responses from the body?
Knowing the answer to this would allow me to understand which one would be better suited to me (and anyone doing low level training whose heart rate is much high when in a zone 2 power zone).
In the meantime I am sticking with heart rate zone 2 as this is the lower intensity so at least I can’t go too far wrong.
The past few years I when doing sweet spot my heart rate can sit at 90% max heart rate so you can imagine how long I last on Over/Unders.
This year I thought lower training initially to see if it helps when I get to the high intensity work that requires active recovery.
I’m not a physiologist so if anyone answers, please keep it simple…imagine talking to your 6 year old lol.
Happy riding all