I am training for an Ironman 70.3 in a landscape of rolling hills, and I recently started using power as my metric. I used to use HR, and coming out the saddle was easily measurable with that metric, but I’ve been struggling with the power differentiation when I come out of the saddle. For example, I did the CAe8 workout yesterday, and my when I was in the aero position I was diligent to stay within my power zones. But there were a number of times that when I was climbing a hill, I would come out of the saddle, keep an eye on my heart rate, but my lap power zone averages were significantly higher than they should have been, as a result of my climbing work. As a result, my TSS was much higher than it should have been, but my hrTSS was much closer to where it should be.
How do I deal with this? Should I use rolling hills for my zone tests? I fear to do so would make my time in the aero position far too difficult…Or perhaps for cycling I should primarily use hrTSS as the true indication of the stress of the workout?
First, you’re absolutely right to introduce hills into your training if you expect them in your race.
Second, it’s appropriate to go over your power target by 10% when ascending. It’s assumed you’ll be coasting for some time on the back-side, so that margin is a common accommodation for hill work. That 10% should still not put you into Zone 3, as that’s just redlining.
Of course, ensuring appropriate gearing is the best option, a compact crank up front and a cassette (12-28 or similar) that is appropriate for the terrain.