Aerobic Decoupling ant Pw:Hr

I’m working with 18 weeks of SS training. and starting to analyze my power file in TP. I’m learning a little about Aerobic Decoupling and Pw:Hr. It seems useful for understanding my progress in building that aerobic engine. Can you share how to best use this data to see my progression from Z2 efficiency to Z3 and Sweetspot efficiency?

Best regards #FTFP
Rich Williams

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Aerobic decoupling can be very useful. The most important thing to realize when looking at decoupling is that (1) the efforts must be steady, otherwise average power is not representative of the effort; (2) the efforts must be long, greater than 15-20 mins, to cancel out the short period of time where the heart rate is ramping up from a resting state (3) you must stay adequately hydrated because your blood plasma volume is related to your VO2 max; and (4) weather conditions should be roughly equivalent between sessions that you are comparing because you will fatigue faster in inclement conditions.

Aerobic decoupling is more of a gross mile-marker of your aerobic fitness than a precision measurement stick. Given the amount of variables involved it can really only tell you that you’re moving in the right direction.

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Right on @richardwilliams - analyzing your own power data is one of the BEST ways for you to understand your training and capitalize on #FtFP’ing.

In addition to FtFP’ing and “Making it [trainingpeaks] turn green” the next biggest part of your data to pay attention to is your CTL - chronic training load. Use the PMC chart in TrainingPeaks to do so.

Pay attention to your ramp rate, your CTL increasing (from following your plan) and your ATL - to how tired you are and then TSB when you take your rest weeks and how much more power you make.

Set it up like this here

Then read and listen to it here:

With regards to aerobic decoupling Pw:HR - its one of those ‘shits n giggles’ metrics that’s neat to pay attention to but varies widely for so many different reasons (what workout, length of ride, terrain, etc…)

That said, take a zone 2 ride a look at your decoupling after a 2 hour ride or 3 hour ride. Then follow your plan and look at that decoupling for an equivalent 2-3 hour zone 2 ride and see if you decouple less.

Hope that helps - have fun with your data!

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Hi Frank,
Thanks for the reply. I’ve got my PMC setup 42/6 but change to 42/7, noting the screenshot in the article. I’m a 48 years old (5’9" 65Kg) and know I can maintain a CTL of 70 pretty easily. To what value should I set my ATL constant?

What interests me about Pw:Hr metric is understanding progress towards building a big aerobic engine… more watts, fewer heartbeats… perfect formula for long endurance rides. I’m somewhat familiar with metabolic efficiency (based on what I’ve read). It seems to be by training right below my aerobic threshold heart rate in steady blocks for long periods of time, I can improve my aerobic power. So, setting 30min to 90 min ergo blocks right at my aerobic threshold power (say 170 watts) and focusing on getting my Pw:Hr below 5%. Then, increase power on ergo block (say 180 watts), then working to reduce Pw:Hr for the power level under 5%. Is this just another way of looking at sweetspot training or measuring the outcome of sweetspot training? Maybe it’s just a crazy thought and I’m over-analyzing. Thoughts?

My goals is to build a big aerobic engine for Gran Fondo, then top off with a strong VO2 Max… Thankfully, I’m blessed with a pretty high natural VO2 max of 55 ml/kg/min. I’m currently scheduled to start the Climbing intervals in August post the end of the 18-week base training plan. All in prep for a killer California Fondo season run: Mammoth, Levi’s, Phil’s, Nosco.

Thanks for entertaining my curiosity. Oh, and love the plans so far.


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I am more into measuring those watts with a 20 minute field test (which you’ll see in your plan :wink: AND is more specific to those Fondo’s esepcially Phil’s and Nosco that have legit 20 minute climbs (and then some)

My thoughts: if you follow your plan, you’ll build that aerobic engine you so desire. The plan has taken all the guesswork out of your training so you don’t have to worry about Pw:HR - that will naturally improve week to week. You can follow along for fun.


This as a great thread. Thanks all!