Can I test my aerobic base?

For me, I aim for 65% FTP, and even that may be a bit high based on where my HR decoupling is coming in. But it’s an individual thing, and with a bit of trial and error, you’ll determine the right intensity.

Here’s a recent 90 minute ride. After 15 mins warmup, next 20 mins were at 132bpm, final 20 mins were at 144bpm - so clear HR drift.



I’d knock that down to 60% and see if you end up with flat HR. If not, then drop down to 55%. Rinse repeat.



as someone training for a 555km cycle, what kind of distance or time in the saddle should i go up to before decoupling starts.

555km??! :flushed:

Wouldn’t worry about it. You’ll be dead before decoupling starts! :dizzy_face:


Lol. Probably

Yes you can, the maf test is probably the best one to use in my opinion. See the link

Didn’t see any test in that intro to maf white paper…

Try this one…if you search for maf test you’ll find all the info you’ll need

Not sure why MAF felt the need to make up a new name for AeT.

The 180 Formula is not a replacement for properly executed laboratory tests that determine the AerT, Fatmax and other metrics, although it usually corresponds with them. Given that the 180 Formula is applicable to a majority of the population, it can help individuals monitor workouts, improve fitness and build health. This makes it very useful to those who do not have access to regular laboratory testing.

I’d say to distinguish it from lab derived metrics/threshold(s) … and probably helps for the marketing as well.

You don‘t need the 180 Formula. It is a rough estimate to find the aerobic treshold. Since you allteady know your heartrate at ftp, your aeT HR is 80% of your ftp HR.

Although, if you got a huge aerobic base, there might be just a little space between aeT Hr and FTP Hr.

I think he is trying to make it clear and simple as there are a few different definitions for aerobic threshold, depending on who you ask. It gives you a something solid as a reference and a way to test your aerobic base, which is what you asked for?

We’re all welcome to go and pay for a real test in a lab…which I did and my actual aerobic threshold HR was measured at 143, if I used maf to calculate it, it would’ve been 144. And that’s good enough for me


@teamkennyg When I calculated my MAF HR I get 135 bpm. When I did a talk test (thanks to @sryke suggestion), my HR at VT1 was 143bpm. VT1 will correlate much more closely to what you’re after than MAF. I understand using formulas except when you don’t have to.

Maffetone formula (along with all its caveats) get you in the neighborhood. But I use a HR cap for long(ish) endurance work and I consider 143bpm to be very very different than 135.

You get this then you don’t have to use % of FTP for these types of rides, which as you’re seeing can vary quite a bit

For me it’s quite different, if I were to use the talk test I can quite happily buzz along at 155+ BPM. Feels fine, not hard at all but puts me right in my black hole zone and after maybe 6 months it can end with chronic fatigue, unable to ride hard enough for my hard rides or complete those workouts. That or I get ill. Keeping it ultra low keeps me away from that and Maffetone himself will say that the 180 formula is purposefully on the low side due to the variances in individuals with little to lose for riding under your maf but plenty to lose from straying over it slightly for extended periods.

@Tom_Gurden I’d give my left nut to cruise along at 155 bpm. hahaha…but I hear what you’re saying.

I used to only train by hr, only got my first power meter a few months before joining tr. I don’t really have the time to do many rides over 2 hours so it is interesting to see that 80 to 85% of ftp is what currently takes to get to an average hr of 135ish. Looks like i should be entering some longer events instead of getting whooped in some of the short events.

If you use power on your long steady outdoor rides and are on strava, the calculation in the first link that @mcneese.chad posted is really easy to do. I’ve just looked at the last long steady 4hr ride and worked it out in less than a minute:-)

Have you got a link to this post @tshortt?

At this point I’ve always used the Phil Maffetone formula of 180 - age. This gives me an estimation of AeT at 142 bpm. I’ve also read other sources suggesting AeT should be around 77% of max HR. This also gives me 142 bpm. I want to try the talk test to see if it aligns.

@oggie41 make sure you read the comment above that post from @sryke about VT1 and how to train it. Good points there. FWIW I generally do “rides” below VT1 but will design some interval sessions to target slightly above it. I consider those “sweet spot” sessions.

(Also, sorry for the “Americanization” of my version of the test as @bbarrera pointed out afterwards, you could also talk on the phone. You have to really pay attention)

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If I’m doing a competitive 12 hour time trial 132 to 145 bpm is what I target. Based on nothing other than experience. If I try really hard I can get my hr up to 190 bpm.

So I guess 70% to 75% of max HR is something I can hold for a good long while.

If you want some anecdotal data, take a look at the last leg of the Dirty Kanza 200+ race. Lots of racers will just have their power data up on Strava & you can track them down by looking at DK historic results. If you can hold 170+ watts over that last leg you’re pretty good. 180+ you might be elite. 200+ & you’re probably Ted King.

But that’s still a lot fewer miles than teamkennyg’s ~350 endurance odyssey! Sounds like fun. If you want to see where your base is at, why not just go out and do a hundo? That’s the way I do it…

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