Signals to canx training (suppressed HR)

This has probably been asked about but I couldn’t find any immediate threads. I know it’s been discussed on a couple podcasts. When do you cut training short, change training, or cancel entirely?

I’m doing a 90 minute z2 ride today and where my normal HR at 65-68% FTP is around 125. Today I’m doing 70% and can’t get my hr above 119 unless I drastically pick cadence up. I feel good though. My legs feel normal and RPE is a little easier than I expect, so i finished today’s ride. It’s relatively easy so probably easy to recover from. Or, is reduced heart rate a signal I might not be absorbing the stress because some of the “life factors” mean I oughta cancel and go to bed? Is 6bpm off of expected enough to make you hit pause or do you check for this pattern over a couple days in a row? I’m probably overthinking this as a one-off, but I am competing in 3 weeks so might be feeling a little edgy.

Sleep - about normal.
Nutrition - about normal. Binge ate two bags of snap crisps yesterday.
Training - did a 5hr group ride (way longer than typical) two days ago at a pretty low average power this weekend. Most of my time was z1 or z2 sans a 9 minute hill climb and a short tempo segment at the end… overall tss was 220. So a decent ride. volume last week was a bit higher than normal but not wildly outside the bell curve.

Slightly lower heart rate on its own isn’t usually a sign of needing to back off, and more importantly it can be a sign of improved economy or fitness especially if coupled with lower rpe and higher power output. You might commonly see this after a harder block of training or racing, and this can be seen as a positive adaptation.

Pay attention to rpe, power, and HR. If rpe is high vs power, and/or it’s hard to hold power at or above ftp, and your HR is also low, then you may be overreaching and it can signal a need for some recovery time.

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That’s kind of the logic I was thinking but summed up more nicely. I was just surprised to see that as a big change in just 48 hours.

Another possible thing I didn’t think about… In Feb I took about 10 days off and AI FTP dropped me down 25 watts. The %FTP / HR seemed about right, but a few weeks later it could be a bit of a rebound back to my previous levels.