Elevated heart rate after time off

I’m entering my 3rd year using TR (love the product). I had a tendinitis issue at the end of the year which put me off the bike for 6 weeks. I use a heart rate monitor regularly, and workout on a dumb trainer with power meter (Favero). I am planning to resume structured training 2/1. Since I’m doing better I’ve decided to get in some endurance riding to ease back into things. FTP prior to injury was 234. I figured I’d drop some fitness, and based on where I started last year I dropped my FTP down to 200 to see how things went. I’ve done Baxter 3 times this week. All three workouts certainly “felt” like Z2 work, however I noticed my HR was sitting around 150. Looking back, my HR in Z2 is usually around 125-130. So what gives? Could I really have lost that much more fitness (over 34 watts!!!)? Is my HR elevated because I haven’t done anything for 6 weeks (I was on crutches, non weight bearing so literally did nothing)? Other possibilities? I’ve been searching here and the web and can’t find an answer. Help!

Another note: I did Taylor-3 today (V02) and nailed the intervals! I usually have a hard time with V02 max workouts (like have to drop 5-10% to finish them) so I was pleased to see this, but also more confused about what my HR is telling me.

Heart rate most likely high due to lower blood plasma levels and this comes back fast.


Using the standard 2:1 ratio, you should be back to where you were in 3 months.

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As well as just fitness, you may have lost some heat acclimation that you would normally get from indoor riding, which would also lead to a higher HR for a given effort. This should come back in a couple of weeks.

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I took only 9 days off and my HR was elevated for my ride that tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and only started to come back Saturday, fully recovered that Sunday. Yours may take longer to come back but it will. Also for reference, when I came back and was doing my rides, even though my HR was elevated, I did not feel differently so it was quite peculiar but totally normal


Yes losing fitness and seeing HR is normal. TR podcast has discussed, I’d bet there is a blog post or support article on it too.

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I believe fully rested muscles use more oxygen and require higher heart rate. I only ever see my true max HR after a week or so off the bike.

Thanks everyone. I suspected this, but was having a hard time finding something solid to back it up. The thought of losing 25-30% FTP had me in a solid state of WTF? I’ll just keep doing the easy rides with a little intensity over the next two weeks and re-test when I start my plan on February 1. Cheers!

This ^

Typically HR should be back to normal in a couple of weeks (although to get back to the same level of fitness will take a bit longer.)