Heart rate and overtraining?

Fairly new to TR so this may have already been brought up but I’m finding it difficult to finish some of the SS B1 workouts even when I’m just in the middle of tempo HR. Struggling to maintain power and breath. I completed the first few weeks of the LV plan but seemed to run out of gas. Question is multiple: Can over training result in decrease HR or is it just conditioning? I’ll be 64 soon BTW and have been riding for a couple of years so I do have a good idea of my HR zones.

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Decreasing HR for the same power is a sign of increasing fitness rather than overtraining.

It’s also extremely unlikely to have any risk of overtraining on a LV plan.

Overreaching Markers to lookout for are really things like when you can’t elevate your HR, and increased resting HR

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How did you determine your HR zones? Doing things for a couple of years doesn’t mean it’s correlating.

Overtraining, it’s too early to speak of that. But, you could just be fatigued/tired. Overtraining takes a long bit of accumulation to reach.

HR lags efforts as well. The sweet spot efforts should take a good while to bring HR up and it should (generally) be below your LTHR, which may be a good bit below your max HR.

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Reduced HR at the same power could be due increased fitness, OR it could be due to acute fatigue/overreaching. The difficult part is determining which it is.


I should mention a correction. Not reaching threshold HR Staying in mid/high tempo. Eg today doing laconte HR around 150 at near threshold power but struggling with it

Leconte is week 5 of SSB2 and not the first few weeks of SSB1 that you opened with.

So, 11 weeks in? Did this problem happen prior, in week 1 of SSB1? Or is this something you experienced in week 11?

Are you doing other work, other than the 3 workouts?

You have a rest week coming in week 6. Add another week of recovery and see how you do?

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If your heart rate is suppressed, that would be a bit of an alarm bell. In other words, despite the level of effort, you are unable to get your heart rate up.
For me, the there are two things that stand out just as much as your heart rate. Firstly you are struggling to complete the sessions and secondly you are a more senior cyclist. Most older cyclists need more recovery weeks, so might be doing 2 weeks then and easy week as opposed to a younger cyclist who might be able to sustain 3 or 4 weeks of training before needing the recovery week.

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It’s what was on my calendar for week 5 of ss1 LV

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I am 57 and developed a tachycardia issue in 2020, and the first indicator that all was not right was my heart rate just wouldn’t respond to the efforts I was putting down. I also couldn’t get near my max HR anymore in any situation. I felt ok, performed well after working through SSB HV (Plan Builder recommendation) with extra TSS from weekend group rides. Kind of felt bulletproof until I wasn’t … the tachycardia started and progressively got worse.

To avoid other solutions, I have backed off in my training. I’m slightly down (-6w) on my peak FTP, and still riding strong. Less is actually more for me, and I can do maximal efforts again, as good as they have been pretty much, and I haven’t triggered the Tachy for a couple of months.

The point of this i am a slow learner of the fact I need to listen better to what my body is trying to tell me. If you think your heart is not recovering from your training, it probably isn’t.

I found this podcast enlightening. The relevant topic starts at 22 mins. It covers amongst other things the signs of overtraining with reference to not being able to hit max heart rate anymore.

Maybe this podcast will help with your understanding also

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Overreaching can reduce your ability to reach peak HR. I can only hit max HR when I am very fit and very well rested. If I am overcooked, my heart rate does not hit it’s normal max if I do a 20 min ftp test.


Thanks everyone for the reply’s really appreciate it!

@iamholland: Wow do i feel like a newbie! I checked SSB1 And SSB2; I must have clicked the wrong box because I’ve been doing the B2 plan! No frickn wonder I’m struggling. Back to the drawing board and SSB1 :v:

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The SSB plans are pretty intense, IMO. I would pull back a bit and add an extra week of recovery/Z1/Z2 work until you feel normal. You can use TrainNow, for example. Select endurance, and then throw in some tempo and threshold work to feel yourself out. I would say you should go into SSB1 fresh.

Also, given the age, don’t neglect the body. If you feel you need to add an extra recovery week in the 6 week block, do so. Here’s a post with example variations.

It might take a bit to get accustomed to the work, so maybe even go to a 2:1 loading:de-loading. If doing that, I wouldn’t take TR’s recovery week, I really don’t like that, but would use low Z2 work, and then throw in some short intensity mid week such as some tempo and a some short threshold work, and finish with mid Z2 work. It’s more of a taper and then reload.

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