Ever increasing Heart Rate question

45 y/old. Been riding 3 yrs now, with last two winters on TR structured plans.
Current FTP 250. Resting HR 45, max 189.

All my workouts look like the image in that my HR just climbs with every effort until it max’s out and I cant continue. Sometimes I get though the session, sometimes I dont. My HR never seems to plateau at a sustainable level.

Am now doing SSBII after reducing FTP by 30W but HR still ramps up to max every ride.
I never get any chest pain or really breathless and don’t think there’s any underlying medical issue. Just find it weird that my HR climbs to max during every ride.

Any thoughts on what’s going on?

Perhaps look at your fan/cooling setup? HR can increase with indoor workouts over outdoor rides, as the body circulates blood to dissipate heat as well as delivering oxygen.


Cardiac drift is normal. Other than that your FTP is probably overestimated.

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Similarly I’d consider your cooling, then your FTP setting, or possibly a lack of endurance work but it seems strange that EVERY workout sees this type of behavior.

So even if you do a purely endurance ride like 60% FTP it still climbs to the max or does it “only” happen at higher intensities?

Too high FTP and maybe you need to focus on (low) aerobic fitness?

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This is pretty much every interval session that happens. It’s normal your body is tired and is doing the same interval effort.

Like these efforts aren’t supposed to be easy. From the graph it looks like you aren’t hitting you max. You’re hanging at under 180, you theoretically you still have like 10-15 more beats per minute to reach max.

My max hr is like 195 or something and I regularly get into the the high 170’s on my TR workouts.

Can you link to your TR profile / rides (if public)? It would be interesting to see your current interval sessions and HR response compared to your ramp test.

Hi Marked,

To my knowledge this is called cardiac drift. This also seems to happen when energy levels are low and can be used as an indicator to train less or easier for a bit as others have replied.

During the last set its clear that you heart rate doesn’t recover, this may a sign that the workout has reached its effect and you may stop a bit earlier :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the responses!
I have a fan but have been running it on a lower flow to stay warmer in the winter months. Will give it a try on high now.
Also noted regarding endurance. My outside FTP and best indoor test is 280, but for rides over an hr I do fade very quickly. Boredom prevents me riding indoor for 2 hrs but my usual outdoor rides are 60-80miles which I’ll start in 6 wks when Spring temps arrive.

Thanks again for the suggestions!

To me that HR graph looks perfectly normal. The first interval is often a bit like a warm up HR-wise. And if you look at interval 2-4 in your graph the cardiac drift is marginal and just what you could expect from an interval session.

May want to get one of those remote outlet controls for your fan so that you can adjust the fan while you’re riding. Typically I’ll turn the fan on and off during warmups / rest intervals etc. I’d rather have it set to what I want during the work intervals and off otherwise.

That remote is one of the better 10 dollars I’ve ever spent on bike related equipment.

Re: the cardiac drift, as mentioned, it’s normal. That amount seems kind of steep to me but I’m not sure what the underlying workout is and people are fairly individual.

Not enough info to answer the question. :wink:

Could be normal. Could be not.

@Marked can you name the workout for HR graph in first post? It may be just fine. Do you know your Threshold Heart Rate (“LTHR”)? While HR is very individual, here are a couple of my examples.

Sweet Spot 4x15 Tallac +2 with a weaker aerobic base and HR rising each interval:

Sweet Spot 5x15 Tallac +3 with a stronger aerobic base showing a distinct “plateau” of HR: