Cycling Dynamics and Physiological Measurements

By monitoring key aspects of your running and fitness progress, you’ll see your current level of performance and what you need to do about it. If your device is showing you stats, but you want to know more about what they mean, then you’ve come to the right place. What can you do with this calculated information? That’s up to you, but we have some suggestions.

Physiological Measurements
Training Status

Training status gives you an idea of your long-term training habits. It gives you a powerful insight into how your training is really going.

With Firstbeat, Calculation uses several dimensions of your personal physiology. It considers changes in fitness level (your VO2 max), your current acute (7-day) training load and changes in training load, giving you guidance to help you refine your training decisions.

To explain simply, when you stop training, your fitness level will decrease, but depending on your previous training load, a break from your normal training routine can lead to an increase in fitness level. Similarly, it is expected that regular hard training will improve our fitness levels, but be careful – push too hard too often, and your fitness levels will start to decline due to the phenomenon of overtraining.

As an example of how this works, imagine that you have been training consistently for a few weeks, and your fitness with increase and decrease day after day increases. This trend is automatically identified and your current training will be classified as “productive.” Similarly, you could find yourself training very hard yet with your fitness starting a pattern of regression. In this situation, your training will be identified as “peaking,” and additional recovery will be recommended.

Recognized training states are below.

Peak – You are in ideal condition to compete. You are currently reducing your training load to restore your body and fully compensate for previous training. This Peak state can only be maintained for a short period of time.

Productive – Keep up the good work! Your training load is moving your fitness in the right direction. Be sure to plan recovery periods into your training to maintain your fitness level.

Maintaining – Your current training load is sufficient to maintain your fitness level. To see improvements, try adding more variety to your workouts or increase your training volume.

Recovery – Your light training load allows your body to recover, which is important during times of heavy hard training. You can return to higher training loads when you feel ready.

Unproductive – Your training load is at a good level, yet your fitness is declining. Your body may be struggling to.

Decreased Training – You’ve been training much less than usual for a week or so, and it’s affecting your fitness. Try increasing your training load to see improvements.

Past Peak – Your training load is very high and becoming counterproductive. Your body needs rest. Give yourself time to recover by adding light training to your schedule.

No Status – You usually need a week or two of training history, including recent activity with VO2 max results from running or cycling, before we can determine your training status.

Max VO2

Your VO2 max score is key to seeing, understanding and, more importantly managing your personal fitness level. On a technical level, it describes the maximum rate at which you can bring oxygen into your body, carry it to your muscles and use it to produce efficient aerobic energy. On a personal level, it is an amazing and versatile tool with a wide range of health and performance implications.

When understanding your VO2 max value, it is easy to remember that a low VO2 max value represents a poor level of fitness, and a higher VO2 max value indicates better performance capacity. As with most aspects relating to physical performance, there is a genetic dimension to how efficiently your body uses oxygen and, by extension, your VO2 max. This being said, your VO2 max value is dynamic, and reacts to how you live and train. With the right approach, almost anyone can improve their VO2 max score.

The people least likely to be able to improve their VO2 max are elite athletes, as they are already in top condition. This is great news for everyone else.

Studies have shown that being more active can make you happier and live longer. VO2 max is a key metric used to study and verify this from a scientific perspective. If you want to improve, your device also offers the tools you need to head in the right direction.

For those interested in performance, VO2 max can be used in a slightly different way. The more oxygen your body can use during exercise, the more power you can generate and, as a result, the faster you can run during races.

Power and heart rate data are required to record VO2 max cycles.

Tips for Cycling VO2 Estimation

The success and accuracy of VO2 max calculations increases when your ride is a sustained, moderately hard effort and where heart rate and power don’t vary too much during your 20-minute ride:

  • Try to keep your heart rate over 70% of your max heart rate
  • Try to maintain a fairly constant power output
  • Avoid rolling terrain
  • Avoid riding in groups where there is a lot of drafting

Load Training

Training load is a measure of your total training volume over the last 7 days. Your Edge® 1030 Cycling Computer compares this weekly training load with your long-term training load – also taking into account your fitness level – and shows you whether this load is in the optimal range. Your training load is an indicator of whether you are training too much, too little or just the right amount.

The available Training Load ranges include the following:

High – Based on your current fitness level and recent training habits, your training load may be too high to produce positive results.

Optimal – This range is ideal for maintaining and improving your fitness level. Keep up the good work!

Low – Your training load is low for your current fitness level and training habits. If you stay in this range, you are unlikely to see further improvements.

Recovery Time

Recovery is a critical yet often overlooked part of the training process. The recovery period is characterized by your body adapting in response to training and replenishing vital resources. In fact, insufficient recovery can lead to a complete loss of gains in fitness and performance. Tracking your recovery rate will reveal when a hard workout will be beneficial and ensure your work is rewarded with the results you expect. You gain the ability to update and optimize your training program with confidence.

After each workout, your device shows the number of hours before you’ll be back near 100% and able to perform more strenuous workouts or runs. Provided by Firstbeat, the calculations are produced and personalized using your unique digital physiology model. It uses a combination of the session’s training effect score, performance and fitness level assessments made during the session and the number of hours of recovery time left on your clock at the start of your workout.

Recovery time ranges up to 4 days.

For best results, it is useful to first run a few times with this watch to allow the device to accurately learn your overall fitness level. Once this is established, subsequent recovery time results may be more accurate.

Functional Threshold Power (FTP)

Your functional threshold represents the maximum power output you can withstand for 1 hour. Your estimated FTP will be the basis for your personal power zone and for most strength-based training plans.

Compatible Edge® bike computers can detect your functional threshold either through a guided ride or automatically during a normal ride. Either way, by collecting heart rate data across a range of power outputs, the device will estimate your threshold in terms of power output. You’ll find your estimated FTP increases over time as your device learns your overall fitness level. Your Edge device also shows your FTP in relation to your weight as a watt/kg value and displays it on a simple rainbow gauge. This allows you to quickly compare your own power to weight ratio to riders of different sizes.

Tip for Getting Your Functional Threshold Power:

Guided tests:

Using heart rate and strength data, we take you through a warm-up, followed by a gradual increase in targeted effort in 3 to 4 minute increments for 15 to 20 minutes.
Based on your heart rate response to the increased power effort, we calculate your FTP value.
You have the option to accept or reject this value. If you accept it, your power zone will automatically recalculate based on the new value.
It is recommended that this test is performed on a road with a constant gradient or on an indoor trainer.

Automatic FTP Detection:

If you set a personal 20-minute average power record, and if 95% of these values exceed your current FTP estimate, we will ask you to accept the new FTP value.
Again, you have the choice to accept or reject this value.

Training Effects

Because of how our bodies work, the type of training you do determines the type of results you can expect and the type of performance you’ll be prepared for in the future.

Training effect is a metric that gives you a snapshot of how each training session is expected to affect your future fitness levels. Of course, to get the full benefit of your training, it is important to incorporate a proper recovery schedule.Edge 1030 features the following 2 types of training effects:
Aerobic Training Effects

Measures the aerobic gains of the workout, which correlates to the fitness improvements you expect from it.

Aerobic Training:

  • Develops aerobic energy production
  • Utilization of fat for energy
  • Endurance and stamina
  • Prolonged performance capacity

Effects of Anaerobic Training

Your body’s most efficient method of converting fuel into energy requires oxygen, but sometimes your energy demands exceed the level at which enough oxygen is available. Luckily, your body has a backup process ready and waiting. Although not as efficient, the anaerobic energy process can kick in and keep going. The downside is that it gets depleted quickly.

Anaerobic exercise:

  • Develop anaerobic energy production
  • Improves running ability
  • Resistance fatigue
  • Maximal performance capacity

Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise effects are mapped on a 0-5 scale that describes your fitness level and exercise habits.

0 – None, 1 – Minor, 2 – Maintaining, 3 – Increasing, 4 – Greatly Increasing, 5 – Reaching Peak.

Leave a Comment