Comparing Power Zones with Heart Rate (HR) Zones

I looked at Chad’s spreadsheet which gives a good picture of the zones using power and heart rate. I did Carson this morning which is a sweetspot workout with six intervals in the sweetspot area.
Now sweetspot is 88-95% of FTP (power) and 90-95% of lactic threshold. (heart rate) and I was very interested to see the correlation between power and heart rate zones as I’d imagined my heart rates were always higher than they should be but as it turned out my heart rate and power zones in this workout were where they should be.
In all intervals my heart rate was between 86-92 of lactate threshold slightly lower than where they should be.
I realize there are a lot more variables with heart rate eg heat, sleep stress but…

Do most others here who are using heart rate find their zones are where they should be in relation to the power zones when all things are equal?

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I would say that “most” pay little to no attention to HR and just focus on power. I’ve tracked HR for almost every ride I’ve ever done. I look at it and say “huh”, but that’s were it ends. Sometimes my HR follows my power zones but usually it’s a bit higher. I’ve noticed on a few occasions my HR is significantly higher and then I surmise I must be tired, stressed, fatigued, etc. Usually the next ride my HR is back to normal and I never give it any more thought.


I just came across this as I have the same curiosity about HR tracking the same zones as Power. I was just looking at one of my workouts and my Power zones were much higher than my HR zones. And I know my FTP is not that far off.
What does this mean. It frustrates me that TR blows off HR value to training @Nate_Pearson . It’s like ignoring your temperature gauge or oil pressure in your car. It doesn’t matter until it REALLY maters. For users that don’t have power on all their bikes, we need to understand this correlation for gauging effort (beyond just using RPE) outdoors.

I’m not sure what workout this is but I think your FTP in Garmin Connect is set wrong. 37 minutes in Z7 and recoveries in Z3 does not seem right.

For why we don’t train with HR you can see our thoughts on it here:

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In my experience HR has a very loose correlation to power and that is about it. I have a background in data science and for fun a few months ago I spent some time trying to build a model to use my heart rate data to predict my power. Despite adding in data points for temperature, time of day, estimated fatigue, etc. the closest my model could come was +/- 10%. I no longer give any merit to heart rate data. I still collect it because I’m a dork and who knows when I’ll want to make a spreadsheet, but it has zero input on my training.

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Your FTP in Garmin is set to 200, and your FTP in TrainerRoad is 295.

Additionally, I don’t know how your HR zones are set up or how Garmin is calculating things, but you only have 45 minutes in any heart rate zone for a 60-minute workout. Where’d the other 15 minutes go?

I will definitely look at the FTP setting again in Garmin, but I’m pretty sure that I have it set to match TR in my Garmin profile. I like the video, very helpful as I have listened to it before. From a non-computer programmer, it seems its not too difficult to include the HR data along with the power data in some sort of chart format. Don’t get me wrong, two thumbs up on TR from me. I just don’t have power on all my bikes and it would awesome to know that i can hold “X heart rate” for 1hr or 4 hrs as a way to monitor my effort. When I did DK200 i spent a bunch of time trying to figure out what HR to stay below to prevent me from blowing up and it ended up working really well.

So i have to figure out how you are seeing what I can’t figure out. I typed in 300 in my profile…
As for the 15 minutes lost, I don’t understand that either???

SO i just figured it out. There is a difference between the “Device Settings” and the “Account Settings”. I had the profile FTP set correctly, but not the device FTP. Thank you for getting me to the answer on that!!

FWIW my recommendation is to follow Joe Friel’s The Cyclist Training Bible and use % LTHR

My LTHR hasn’t changed in years. Its possible to average above LTHR, say 165bpm on a hard 20-30 min effort, but that is due to anaerobic contributions. On longer steady state efforts at FTP, my HR is usually within 2bpm of 161bpm. Other sub-FTP zones do not always nicely fall into zones. Hope that helps.


I don’t know. If I sum up the times spent across all of the heart rate zones, I only get about 45 minutes. That makes it real hard to compare time-in-zone with 60 minutes of power zones.