What objective methods are available to identify volume and/or intensity of intervals to best autoregulate? I look at HR profiles after sessions but I’d like to better identify when to terminate/extend a session or increase/decrease intensity based on more objective measures than RPE.
Hi @brothermoose, love the call sign!
I will personally say that RPE is always the best measure for determining how to continue with your intervals. Pros spend a lot of time developing that feel and knowing when they are having an off day and when they are just not as motivated.
That said, if you want something that’s measurable, the best metric is looking at heart rate vs power. You first have to account for mitigating factors (training in heat or cold, poor sleep, dehydration, or being sick.) But, those things being equal, you should see a pretty consistent heart rate response to your intervals if your power is the same. If you do an interval workout and heart rate seems sluggish or low relative to power, that’s generally a sign that you’re fatigued and should back down or pull the plug.
If heart rate is fairly quick to respond and hitting the numbers you generally expect to see for the interval work, you’re having a good day and if you’re feeling up to it, can even think about adding an effort or two.
That said, if heart rate is high and you’re not training in high heat, you may either be dehydrated or fighting an illness. That’s where you may have to be careful.
That’s the basics, but comparing heart rate to power is a powerful tool that can tell you a lot.
Hope that helps!