So I’ve been riding following my coach’s plan for about a month now. There have been moments when the intervals and the tasks totally fit and flow, a day when I felt like my “old pre-surgery self” and those other moments.
She has me using Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) only for now. Power meters and heart rate monitors can wait. And frankly, I think RPE is working just fine when I used the scale for targeting how hard to ride. I know when I’m going as hard as I can go; I sense progress as I’m able to take that one particular hill a little smoother, easier or faster. So I was intrigued when Carmichael Training Systems questioned “Is Perceived Exertion Accurate or Meaningful to Your Training?“
Context of your ride and progress toward goals along with relationship to tests in labs are touted in the article. However, I think the biggest seller is the “fun factor” or how using RPE exclusively can “liberate you from data” according to CTS. It’s true I don’t get wrapped up in the analysis of why “weren’t all my HR intervals held in the correct HR range.”
The only catch I gleaned is they advocate recording the data of your RPE…well that takes a bit of fun away from the ride. And fun is too good to miss!