Heart Rate and FTP

Hi New to TR. I did a Ramp test and it came up as 186W significantly lower than Zwift at 219W. Did the first session today that was 3 x 12 minute intervals 80% FTP. They felt pretty easy and my HR was 120 bpm and increased to 133 when I increased difficulty to 113%. My max HR is about 175bpm. Do you all think that the HR’s I was working at are indicative of the right FTP or too low? I was expecting to work harder but maybe its inexperience as I’ve never done structured sessions before. It would be nice to have your views before I start ramping up the difficulty when I don’t need to.

I don’t suppose you happen to have done a race on Zwift recently? Preferably one of over 30 minutes.

If so, your average power and normalised power for the race might be a useful data point.

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Thanks Helvellyn. Yes my last race a few weeks back (pretty sure I haven’t lost any fitness) was 33 mins and average power 217w with NP 235w. Looking back over several before that it appears to be one of my better ones as the others are more like 200 w / 214 NP. How do you think that leaves me with FTP?

Maybe you didnt execute the ramp test properly, or didnt go hard enough?

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Yes, he should look at the max heart rate during the test and compare that to what he has achieved before.

HR really doesn’t have much to do with FTP. For example, take a well-trained runner and throw them on a bike, and they will likely struggle to produce much power despite a low HR.

Perceived exertion is a better guide, and you said that the intervals felt easy. Then again, steady state exercise at 80% of FTP is bread-and-butter endurance training, so it should.

If it was my training I’d manually set my FTP at between 200 (sensible) and 210 (bullish) and do 2 × 20 aiming for 5 watts below that figure to feel it out.

If you’ve not done 20 minute threshold intervals before, probably best to try 3 × 10 or 3 × 12 first.


My power-to-HR is fairly repeatable and reliable. But yours may not be. So for me personally, yes, that HR is about what I see on even longer 90 minutes intervals at 60% ftp. But for you? I have no idea!

my thoughts on that are just above this post:

My max hr is 174, ftp was 236 last I checked, my hr runs around 120 @ 70% ftp. Closer around 130 @ 80%. My LTHR is a pretty solid 157 bpm, so if I pedal over ftp for 4+ minutes I’ll usually be above 150 bpm at the end and climbing if I stay with it.

How long were you 113% ftp? That hr doesn’t really jive with my heart rate at threshold

My HRmax is 175bpm. About 270W ftp. My he runs around 136bpm at 70% ftp. Closer to 144bpm at 80%. My LTHR is around 160bpm.

Those are pretty reliable and repeatable, outside, and very different from your HR at 70% and 80% ftp.

Which is why I said “But for you? I have no idea!”

Read again. 113% of 80% of FTP :+1:

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Which is 90%. Or 90.4% to be precise. Basically 90% FTP.

Which is vvveeerrrryy different from 113% of FTP! Ask me how I know! :rofl:


I’ve always said that is the most confusing UI decision ever made by TR.


I’d probably have to be a TR user to have understood that. :grin: I’m on a dumb trainer and ride HR outside.

BTW, Thx, at least that makes more sense from a training perspective.


Your FTP is way above 186w.

Just answer the post ride survey honestly and within a few workouts adaptive training will have you serving the right workout difficulty even if your FTP is off by 10-15%


this right here.

Don’t rely on HR but go by RPE. HR will probably come down in zones below FTP once your stroke volume increases - eg getting fitter. HR is an interesting metric but not to measure exertion but rather adaptation I think.

Welcome to TR @Cervelo73 !

I am sorry to hear that you had a poor Ramp Test, per your comment on your Calendar.

While Ramp Tests are great for testing your FTP, there are outside factors that can affect how you perform on that given day and thus give you poor results.

In your case, we’d recommend you bump your result about 5-10 watts and see how subsequent workouts go. But it sounds like you roughly know where your FTP should be at. So, go ahead and try the next few workouts on your Calendar at the FTP you changed it to (200) and see how they feel.

To give you some guidance, here is a list of the Difficulty Levels and how they should feel:

Achievable workouts have a Workout Level at or below your Progression Level in the workout’s training zone and are comparatively easy relative to other workouts you’ve recently completed.

Productive workouts are just above your Progression Level. They’re great for consistency, maintaining the balance between growing your fitness and not overloading yourself with too much fatigue.

Stretch workouts are further above your Progression Level than Productive ones and will be tough in relation to your current fitness. While doable, they are challenging to do consistently and require additional focus on recovery.

Breakthrough workouts are even higher than your Progression Level than Stretch workouts, meaning that successfully completing a workout of this type will be very difficult.

Not Recommended
Not Recommended workouts are far above your Progression Level, and attempting them will likely add significant fatigue and do little to improve your fitness.

If your workouts are feeling in line with the above then great! Keep your FTP where it’s at and like @ArHu74 mentioned, your Progression Levels will work in tandem with Adaptive Training to fill in the gaps.

Additionally, once you complete 10 indoor TR Workouts you can make use of AI FTP Detection to predict your future FTPs instead of completing the tedious Ramp Test and potentially getting another poor result!

More info here: How to Use AI FTP Detection

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Wow. That’s awesome that you replied in such detail. Thank you and yes I will train at 200w for now and hope this feels more appropriate. Great customer service. :grinning: