How does MFDJ Scoreboard Edition calculate working zones? 

 

First, it approximates an MFDJ Max watt reading for each bike / rider combo for the ride, as bikes vary in calibration and some rider's ability varies from day to day. I understand the desire for perfection and respect those who measure thresholds with absolute precision, but I'm an imperfect athlete who teaches at less than perfect studios with amazing (and sometimes imperfect) riders. I fear that our industry sometimes lets the perfect become the enemy of the good. 

 

For me, an effective approximation system which is accessible to all is preferable to a perfectly precise system that works for only some. Further, the time and resources involved in measuring each rider's precise numbers is an over-qualification for the style of metric rides I teach. 

 

MyFitnessDJ Scoreboard system starts each ride with a clean slate. I purposed this system to offer something of value to every rider. Requiring advanced testing and synching a rider's data to a specific bike adds complexity and reduces value to brand new riders. 

 

During the first track or two, rider data is shown without working zone color, giving riders a chance to warm up their body and warm up to the system. Early in the ride, I include a drill that encourages a few "All Out" efforts. This may be relatively short ON/OFF intervals or fun team race intervals. Anything that encourages riders to give a few All Out efforts without obsessing on a number is key. 

 

MFDJ Max is monitored and updated by the system as the ride progresses. Short bursts alone will not raise the rider's MFDJ Max, as the algorithm includes the average watt for the rider and profile, the number of high and low zones and length of time in high zones. 

 

I could bore you with the formula, but I'd rather you observe a class with diverse riders and see how effective the estimated number is for everyone. I don't claim perfection, but I'm really proud of a system that works pretty well for nearly everyone. 

 

Once MFDJ Max stabilizes, working zones are calculated and displayed for each rider. Under 40% is Easy (green), 41% - 60% is Moderate (yellow), 61% - 80% is Hard (orange) and 81% or above is Best (red).  

 

Four zones equals three thresholds which is both effective for experienced riders AND accessible to new riders. 

Green to Yellow feels like going from a casual stroll to a purposeful walk. 

Yellow to Orange feels like going from a solid effort to a real challenge. 

Orange to Red feels like going from almost all out to all out.

 

To me, it's simple, accessible and effective. I know there are many other systems available and am a fan of any data driven ride system that fits an instructor's style and is accessible to a diverse group of riders. MFDJ Scoreboard is the system I choose.