Today Ride Fatigued?

Today I was about to do some 6x5 min intervals on Threshold.
When I have intervals like Zone 4 or 5, I like to do my warm-up in the final part of zone 2 riding with some steps in the efforts I’m about to do. I do this cause I want to wake-up my metabolic systems to that particular level of intensity, so usually, when I go for a Threshold workout (~300W and 170-182 bpm) I use my workout to reach that levels 30s or 1 min.
In today’s training I was doing my warm-up, getting excited to the intervals and my power was there but my HR was low… I said “ok, could be just in the warm-up”.
I did my first interval and again, I could get in the watts zone but the HR stubborn to be low… like 3 min in the zone and HR mid Zone 3.

With this information, I aborted the training. I have a race Sunday and I did no intensity this week. Today was suposed to be my intensity day but I think I was too fatigued (probably from the last weekend)


Was this the right call? What you think?
PS: If you need more values ask me and I show you kindly!

Looking at your data, you were ~15-20 bpm down? If so, I would guess fatigue and you were right to stop the session.

Good luck for your race!


I didnt know a low bpm was an indicator of fatigue when you hit the Z4. I thought it would be an indicator of getting better as in you need less bpm to hold a certain Watts?

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Its not an indicator of fatigue per say, but rather that the OP was experiencing that his HR was not rising as quickly during the warmup as expected. A HR that is slow to rise can be an indicator of fatigue. Its all about context of the training and events leading up to this workout.

You are correct though, as you become more aerobically efficient, you would expect/ want to see your avg HR for a given Wattage reduce. Again, all about context.


thanks a lot!

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HR can be a funny thing. It can be impacted by so many life variables day to day. There is an argument that if the OP was hitting the Watts then proceeding as planned would be a sensible option. With the context provided though - hard weekend race prior and a race coming this weekend, combined with knowing trends on how his HR should respond to these types of effort, shutting it down on this occasion was I think the right call.

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Generally, yes. Inability for HR to rise, in a given session, is an indicator of fatigue. If, however, you see a general trend towards lower HR then that could indicate improvement. If you’re still fatigued from the weekend and since a race is upcoming then be sure to rest a lot. Do a few openers on Saturday. (Openers: 1-2’ x 2-6x @ building from vt1 to just above vt2. Do all with perfect form and composure; if either drop off in the slightest or if the system is unwilling to budge then stop.)


Maybe less than that, but I couldn’t reach what was supposed with 3 min so I turned it off.
Thanks mate :slight_smile:

It could be both. In this case the legs were hurting like a Z4, the RPE was there too and I was not felling well in the interval, the HR just did not get there so it’s fatigue.

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Exacly! Thanks!

I think so too. I thought it was the right call, but in the moment, when you check your HR and think about the options, you get fustrated cause you couldn’t get the intevals done, ahaha. But, let’s say, if I did all intervals caring less about the HR not rising up, I could be just blown out the rest of the week. Like you said, context is king! It feels a little meeeh, when you don’t do the intervals prescibed but in the end it was the best option cause if your HR don’t get there, you’re wasting time on that intervals.

I will. My plan is today recovery day, 1h or so. Friday day OFF (I will drive to the course here). Saturday just 1:30h Z1/2 with openers (btw, thanks for that :stuck_out_tongue: )

Recovery means recovery. If you’re training then you’re not recovering. :wink:


I had typed a reply and then got distracted Ted with work related matters.As there are few further replies, this doesn’t include other comments prior to @Olly_Thomas’ reply.

6x5 at threshold leading into a race 4 days later is not is advised. Then again, if this is a B or C race, and it’s part of the block of training for another A race later on the calendar then it’s possible. I certainly would give my athletes 30-mins at/above threshold so close to a race; it would be shorter duration intervals like 15s sprints.

Then, do you score your workouts based on Feel and RPE? I see it isn’t showing in your screenshots.

As @Dave_Diston has mentioned, a lower than normal HR for the same type of effort indicates fatigue. The RPE and Feel scores would be your subjective score on how you felt it went.

Being fatigued also doesn’t mean you need to stop, You can do the workout at a lower intensity, as threshold is a range from 90-105% of FTP. On the weaker days you ride lower range and on the stronger days you ride the upper range.


Sorry, I didn’t put here that information. And yes, you’re right, this is a B race. My A race, for championship is the next Sunday after this one.

You mean “wouldn’t”? The race has long climbs here mainly it’s going to be threshold efforts. Why should I go for sprints? Shouldn’t it be race specific? Or this race specific should be done weeks before? I need more info about that btw to be a better self-coach btw

Here, never. Just when I’m riding, if I’m feeling too tired, my HR doens’t go up in intervals etc, to decide what should I do and modify if needed. I never write them down.

Exacly! I started my effort and stopped, then I did the rest at zone 2, the same volume in hours that I would do with efforts that day

Yes, meant wouldn’t. Thanks for checking.

Race like work is done about 3-6 weeks out. These last 2-3 weeks are classified as Peak and Taper in a periodised approach. Low volume and high intensity, so you end up fresh for the race.

Think of the base and build period as saddle time. You get a lot of TSS through building high volume at (relative) low intensity. The volume builds fatigue, which you want to get rid of leading into the event. But you need to keep fitness up.

So to do that you have easy recovery rides.
You also keep fitness high with high intensity

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Yeah, you’re right! Unless I’m still in build with some prep-races, right?
Could that last weeks be 40/20 intervals and VO2Máx?

And when you want to peak more times in a month?
Imagine I have a A race every 2 sundays. 1 off and 1 race. Should I do different periodization?

“Normally” an A race is the most important for the season, and can be 2-3 times in a full year. The example of racing every second weekend would then make these B races; important, but not “the one” you would taper before. Your A race is the one or two events that you want the best possible result.

These B races would form part of your build block of training (phases) and can include an A race. Once the A race is done, then there’s usually a rest week followed by base and build before the final A race of the year.

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Yesterday’s episode was also a good one to listen to.


40/20 at VO2 is good, but it depends on the number on repetitions and sets. It’s a lot of work with minimal recovery/rest in between each repetition.

I’ve used 4 sets of 6x40/20 which is 16 minutes of work at 110-120% of FTP. It’s a lot of work, so will have long recovery in between (about 40% of FTP). I would prefer to do it outside as part of a 90-120 minute ride, on relatively flat terrain. The legs “feel” better compared to doing it on hills.

I prefer 30/15, but that’s me; I’ll do 40/20 at the lower range if VO2 and 30/15 at the higher range.