Can't get my heart rate up!

On the last couple rides I haven’t been able to get my heart rate much over 155BPM (My Max is 182BPM) My legs also felt like anchors. I don’t have a power meter but it feels like I’m not putting down the power like I did previous weeks. It feels hard to kick up my effort.
Any thoughts on this?

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Over training or starting to get sick?
Heart rate not responding is usually an early indication.


Yeah I’ve had this several times in recent years and it’s always either too much training load and not enough recovery, or I’ve been running calorie deficit for too long. One of the easiest things to fix though. Week off, eat normally, and you feel like a new man. Easy to forget what it feels like to be fresh and genuinely well fuelled sometimes.


It can be hard to tell sometimes. I was struggling last week with this problem when I started Build workouts. I subbed the ramp test for Mills+3 which is a VO2 workout - heart rate never went over 162bpm. Most intervals were around 156bpm. So I was thinking, am I fatigued again or is my FTP wrong or what (I just used Xert’s estimated FTP). Or maybe 162 is alright for a 2minute VO2 interval… something seemed off though.

Today I had the exact same workout Mills +3, and HR was the same like last week - all mid 150s for the first 4 intervals. . Before the next set I noticed text suggesting to add 5%, so I got ballsy and added 5% for the last 7 intervals - heart rate was hitting 170. 172 max on some of the later ones.

I’m thinking that’s more like VO2 work.

Your problem is you haven’t got the power meter, so you can’t experiment like I did with the intervals, so personally if I were you - week off, eat normally.

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I definitely need to get a power meter!

What has your recent training history been? When was your last “adaptation” week? When was the last time you were off the bike for more than a day? How has your sleep and diet been?

Inability to raise HR and legs like anchors are classic signs your body uses to tell you you need to back off. You don’t need a powermeter for that. Trust your body.

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A lot of people, including me, don’t elevate their HR very high on 2 minute VO2max intervals. If Mills +3 also has the declining power over the final minute as regular Mills does, it’s not a surprise that your HR doesn’t elevate. I don’t see real VO2max HRs until I get into the 3-min intervals at 120%… and then I want to fall off the bike.

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Yeah Mills is just a taster, will see later when the intervals get longer how that goes. Wish I could see the list of recently done workouts like I used to last year. I could poke around see other people later HR on them…