Plan for Sunday 17th

First off – if you don’t want to do the test don’t worry – we are going to work it that testers and non testers can still train together – if you’re not testing it will be a typical Sunday session for you… so don’t be put off.

After a good few weeks (months) of turbo sessions we are after getting lots fitter ? … so it’s time to test our zones.

For most people that will be testing heart rate (HR) zones and for a few people with power meters (either on the bike or the turbo) it will be testing their Functional Threshold Power (FTP)

Why test?

The idea is to find out your heart rate zones (or power zones) – these (HR) can be used for running too.

This allows you to train effectively & get the most ‘bang for your buck’ out of your training

It also stops you from making the biggest training mistake of going ‘kinda hard, middle of the road’ all the time…it’s well known now that you never get much better doing this and you just end up wrecked all the time… the best way to get fitter is to do the hard stuff hard and the easy stuff easy!!

What do I you need on the day?

Apart from the usual (bike, drink, towel, turbo etc) you will need …

Your heart rate monitor strap … be sure it’s working and paired up with your bike computer

Ideally .. have a cadence monitor – it’s very good to have this if you can…

Also, if you can measure speed or distance (this requires you to have the magnet & sensor for cadence on your wheel) this is ideal as it gives you something to compare to if (and when!) you test again

Your bike computer charged and ready to go.

Ideally have a gel to take in the ‘rest’ period, just before the actual test.. you want to be able to produce your best effort. (this is not compulsory but I find it helps)

MUSIC… a really good idea is to have motivational music in your background – I can push my ‘turbo playlist’ thro Spotify if ppl want but ppl prefer their own playlist that’s fine (ye can take a vote on this!) – once your computer is on mute you can have anything you want blaring in your background!!

What else do I need to know?

You need to know where the LAP button is on the bike computer and if you have any AUTOLAP function set up (eg for every 10km to be counted a lap) turn off the Autolap ..

Its important to get this bit right – the test session needs to be isolated as a single ‘LAP’ so that we can take the reading across it…you press lap at the start of the test and lap again at the end of the test, and then the test is isolated as a unit…

If you need to trial this, set it up and make sure its correct on the Thu session. the last thing you want to do is do the test and not have recorded it properly!!! (you will cry)


For anyone with a Garmin computer (or watch), make sure you have the Garmin connect app downloaded on your phone… this gives a really useful data analysis after… we all love looking at the impressive graphs we produce!!!

Also you need to be rested and fresh on the day. Take Saturday as a rest day and take Friday as a light day… treat the test as if it was a race, eat a good carbohydrate meal the night before, drink (non alcohol!!!) plenty and get a good sleep.

If you are on before 10am on the Sunday morning go really easy before we start… ideally we all start together but just keep it on the easiest gear and gentle until we start.

Once we have the test done everyone will save the data and then either proceed with the session (after a big recovery) or leave it at that if you’re spent (acceptable!!)

So how will I know if I am improving by using my heart rate zones?

If you’re using power meter it’s very straight forward to see improvement as you will simply be producing more watts as you get fitter.

For heart rate, improvement means that at the same HR you are moving faster… so for example if once you were in a high zone (eg zone 4) doing 25kmph and after a few weeks of training you were only in zone 2 doing the same 25kmph that would represent improvement. The same 25kmph speed was now easier for you to produce. So ideally you will also measure the speed and/or the distance you cover in the test, then the next time you do the test you will see that as you get fitter you will cover more distance (and/or have higher speed) for that same duration.

Another way you will see the improvement is that if, for example you find out that now your zone 3 heart rate is 155 and that you hit that when you cycle in a particular gear…. As you get fitter (and stronger) you will have to move to a harder gear (which also equates to producing more power and speed) to get to the same zone 3 heart rate.

On the day itself what would be helpful is if when you are joining the meeting change your name to:

first name + TEST HR’ if you are testing with HR, (eg Sinnead TEST HR)

first name + TEST PWR’ if you are testing with power (eg Sinnead TEST PWR)

And just first name only if you are not testing

Then during the test itself I will do the talking to the testers (female voice) and Gary will do the talking to the non-testers (male voice) so you will know straight away if what is being said applies to you or whether you can ignore it.

I hope this all makes sense .. if anyone has any queries lets try and get them sorted before Sunday… ?

Finally, remember, testing is training too so this will be a quality session, equivalent to a race effort.

Looking forward to it.. this will be fun!!!