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I can do a flat tempo road ride and my HR will be around 150 and I feel fine. But a tempo ride on the stationary mag trainer has me working my a** off JUST to get to 150. I've tried adjusting gears, tensions, etc., to try to achieve the same HR. A LOT of work

Anyone else have issues like this? Do I just have to say, OK, tempo on the trainer should have me at 135 ? (#s are for example)
 

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i have NO science for you, but I also agree, that it "feels harder" at a lower hr.

you are right that a lower aerobic ride feels fairly hard (for you and I at least).

i think it just has to do with the lack of movement, that it is basically just all legs, no wind, totally boring and you really notice how much it sucks and every minutes feels like an eternity...
 

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Yup, not that uncommon. Indoor HR (and power for that matter) varies a bit from inside to outside. Loads of factors to consider, but the most common, is motivation/stimulation. Body just fights the urge a bit and your head may not be as mentally fresh as if it were a ride outdoors.

I'd suggest (since you are in the NorthEast and gonna be on the vomitron a bit) to do a Field Test, but base it on heart rate and use it for your winter training
 

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Same here and I have read it's pretty normal. I usually use perceived effort when on the trainer, especially for tempo rides. Since I'll spend some time inside over the next few months, maybe I'll throw tests on the trainer to get zones for training on it, makes sense...
 

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My perceived exertion and resultant HR is not much different indoors vs. outdoors. (Watts to HR relation is about the same).

I think it is mainly because I use rollers. Rollers has a similar excitement factor to riding outside due to the balance that has to be maintained. Many of the same stabilization and balance mechanisms (within the body) are used. Using these mechanisms raises your HR (I believe).

The other factor is heat. Going into my unfinished basement using a fan works pretty well keeping me cool. My basement is about 60 degrees and most times, I wear no shirt. For me, heat is the big factor affecting the ability to raise heart rate, and/or reducing perceived exertion.

Another small factor is pedal RPM. When I go +10 on the RPM (100rpm vs. 85-90), that adds about 5 bpm, at the same power level. An inadvertant low rpm could be lowering your HR.
 

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PE/heart rate

kevbikemad said:
i have NO science for you, but I also agree, that it "feels harder" at a lower hr.

you are right that a lower aerobic ride feels fairly hard (for you and I at least).

i think it just has to do with the lack of movement, that it is basically just all legs, no wind, totally boring and you really notice how much it sucks and every minutes feels like an eternity...
Perceived effort to heart rate ratio is way higher for me on the trainer, although power/heart rate is similar. Leads me to think it is psychological, although my other theory is that there is a low effort part of the crank arc when free rolling that does not exist on a stationary trainer; leading to a higher PE...but I have no science to back this up.
 

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Simple explanation, really.

Cardiac drift as a result of a) overheating and b) dehydration (which is partly caused by overheating, and can also cause overheating).

Basically, as your core temperature continues to rise, your HR goes up in an effort to cool the body (pumping more blood = more blood to the skin in an effort to shed heat). And it keeps on going up, and up, and up. Similarly, when the body experiences extreme cold, it pulls blood away from the surface in order to keep the core as warm as possible.

Anecdotally, I am capable of 30w less indoors on the rollers than I am outside, when doing a 20min interval. That's almost a 10% loss.

So, break out the box fan, set it on high, and get buck nasty. Or, ride outside, and suffer through that. Or move to AZ/CA.
 

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jasondean said:
HR test inside or out? Or both? Being that there's no way I could maintain certain HRs from outside on the trainer? I have no idea (other than my lack of intelligence) why I'm not grasping it.
Do the test indoors, and use the indoor test for setting zones for only when you are on the trainer, use your regular zones when you're outdoors.
 

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I also use rollers and have found that HR and RPE are pretty consistant with outdoor training. I actually enjoy riding on my rollers, usually. Sometimes it takes a bit of motivation but I definately find it more enjoyable than a stationary trainer.
 

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My findings... in order from lowest HR per a given wattage...
trainer
rollers
road.
mtb.

ymmv. dont worry about your hr being lower... it seems like its the norm. I would follow jason's advice regarding the test.
as a side note, whenever I field test (indoors) my HR is up to par with what it would be outside on the road...
 

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duke of kent said:
Anecdotally, I am capable of 30w less indoors on the rollers than I am outside, when doing a 20min interval. That's almost a 10% loss.

So, break out the box fan, set it on high, and get buck nasty. Or, ride outside, and suffer through that. Or move to AZ/CA.
Yes that's my experience as well.

Going to Az next week! Can't wait to get some serious distance in again.
 

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I have been experiencing the same problem when I'm on the trainer. It's very difficult to get pass Z1. With the trainer on high resistance and pedaling out of the saddle I can get to upper Z2 but cannot sustain that effort for very long as my legs will start burning. The perceived effort however is fairly high and my legs definitely feel the effort even with HR on Zone 1. I stayed on the trainer for 90 minutes and felt it was as tiring, at least on my legs, as riding outdoors. So my question is, following on Zippo's post, am I still getting a good aerobic workout even on Z1, since muscular effort is high, or the work outs on the trainer are mostly to develop muscular endurance/power and for tempo/interval workouts?
 

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Your heart doesn't know if you are indoors or out. Zone 1 is zone 1. If your workout calls for zone 2 or 3, you have to get there, even if it is really hard. If you are not pouring in sweat, you aren't doing it right. Personally, I need about 15 minutes of spinning to get my heart going, and then I have no problem getting into whatever zone I need to after that warm-up.

As to your last question, you should be able to do spinning Zone 1 stuff up to out of the saddle sprints on the trainer. They are for all aspects of training - minus the fun.
 

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Poncharelli said:
I think it is mainly because I use rollers..
My thoughts exactly and a little theory behind it ( I really read this somewhere before, just can't recall where) relates to the work you do on a trainer vs road vs rollers. On a trainer your upper body is minimally involved, that is you don't have to engage your upper body for balance since you are locked in. On rollers you tend to get closer to your road HR because of the work required to balance.

It is still, for me at least, more difficult to reach a HR zone on rollers vs the road. My hunch is the lack of wind resistence, road friction etc. causes this.
 

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Zipp0 said:
Your heart doesn't know if you are indoors or out. Zone 1 is zone 1. If your workout calls for zone 2 or 3, you have to get there

My understanding is that HR zones are just an approximate reflection of what kind of conditions, aerobic or anaerobic, the muscles are working under. People who train with power devices don't pay as much attention to their HR as power is a more precise way of messuring effort. So my assumption is that if my legs are producing the same power on the trainer as on the road even though at a lower HR becuase ,as was mentioned above, I'm not moving my arms, torso, no wind, etc then the training session will be aerobic and it will promote the development of slow twicth muscle fibers, mitochondriae, etc. If the effort and power really goes up, even though again HR may not be in zone 6, then my leg muscles are working under anaerobic conditions. In other words the way I understand it is that it's the muscle work and power that we have to pay more attention to rather than the HR. But not having a power meter then HR monitors, and perceived exertion, are the closest one can get. So as it was mentioned in another post above maybe we need to have two differnet HR zones one for indoor riding and one for outdoor riding. Maybe an exercise physiologist in this board could clarify this for us. It would be greatly appreciated because winter here is long and not conducive to much training outside.
 

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El Yeti said:
Zipp0 said:
Your heart doesn't know if you are indoors or out. Zone 1 is zone 1. If your workout calls for zone 2 or 3, you have to get there

My understanding is that HR zones are just an approximate reflection of what kind of conditions, aerobic or anaerobic, the muscles are working under. People who train with power devices don't pay as much attention to their HR as power is a more precise way of messuring effort. So my assumption is that if my legs are producing the same power on the trainer as on the road even though at a lower HR becuase ,as was mentioned above, I'm not moving my arms, torso, no wind, etc then the training session will be aerobic and it will promote the development of slow twicth muscle fibers, mitochondriae, etc. If the effort and power really goes up, even though again HR may not be in zone 6, then my leg muscles are working under anaerobic conditions. In other words the way I understand it is that it's the muscle work and power that we have to pay more attention to rather than the HR. But not having a power meter then HR monitors, and perceived exertion, are the closest one can get. So as it was mentioned in another post above maybe we need to have two differnet HR zones one for indoor riding and one for outdoor riding. Maybe an exercise physiologist in this board could clarify this for us. It would be greatly appreciated because winter here is long and not conducive to much training outside.
I'm sure there's a difference in indoor vs. outdoor heartrate, but honestly, I can't imagine there's enough of a difference for it to be hard to get out of zone 1. IME, the times indoors where I'm struggling to get my heart rate up I'm also struggling to get my power up as well. It's a sign for me to bag the session and rest. I'd guess for a lot of people it's the fact that ALL they have to concentrate on indoors on a trainer is the pain of the workout. I find my heart rate generally drifts up during my session for the same power as I overheat and dehydrate a bit.
 
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