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What is RPE?

RPE stands for "Rate of Perceived Exertion" in cycling. It is a subjective measure used by athletes and coaches to gauge the intensity of their training or racing effort. RPE is based on the individual's perception of how hard they feel they are working during exercise, taking into account factors such as heart rate, breathing rate, muscle fatigue, and overall effort.


In cycling, RPE allows riders to monitor and adjust their effort levels based on how they feel during a ride. It provides a way to gauge intensity when external measurements like power meters or heart rate monitors may not be available or reliable. RPE is typically assessed using a scale, often ranging from 1 to 10, where lower numbers represent low effort or easy exertion, and higher numbers indicate a higher level of effort or intensity.


Riders can use RPE to guide their training by targeting specific intensity zones based on their goals. For example, they might aim for a moderate RPE of 5-6 during endurance rides, where they can comfortably carry on a conversation. On the other hand, interval or high-intensity sessions might require a higher RPE of 7-9, where breathing becomes more labored and conversation is difficult.


While RPE is subjective and can vary between individuals, it is a valuable tool for cyclists to regulate their effort and ensure they train at appropriate intensities for their desired outcomes. It helps in managing workload, preventing overexertion, and optimizing training adaptations.


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