Heart rate curve instead of power curve

So I was thinking about how best to pace efforts on my mountain bike, which doesn’t have a power meter. I wondered if there would be any point in using some kind of “heart rate curve”, similar to the power curve, except based on max HR over time rather than watts. In that way, if I know I have a 15 minute climb on a route, I can look on the curve to see what my historical highest HR was over 15 minutes and use that value to try to pace the effort. I looked on Google and couldn’t find anything… Does such a thing exist? Should it exist? Answers on a postcard…

Mark, this is not an unreasonable request. “HRcurve” is plotted on all common training software including strava. Also recall the powercal strap from powertap?..it estimated power from heart rate, once it had some baseline data. I recently did some work with David Tinker on the same thing, and he now has a model built into intervals.icu. However you want pacing info. If you were satisfied with training load from heart rate that is possible: look up the TRIMP here (https://fellrnr.com/wiki/TRIMP). However these models appear to work best with heart rate zones > HRR > HRmax. The difficulty is you want pacing feedback, which I assume you mean instant feedback on your pace? This could probably be achieved (approximately) by monitoring your HRzones during the first half of the effort. A more accurate model would be numerical comparison against your previous effort / personalized to you. The tricky bit s of course HR lag which is the minutes of effort that HR is “catching up” with actual power and or speed. Against intervals.icu has controlled for this mathematically, I suggest you try uploading some of your rides and see if their HR model works for you. bw alex

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Yes - you can use HR and RPE to pace climbs. Takes some experience to be able to “calibrate” appropriately - but very doable.

I mention RPE above - as I’ve found this is needed in addition to HR. Does HR look right; does RPE feel right; if so, you’ve got the right pacing.


Hi, yes but I would like to remove the need to have to calibrate or use RPE. The idea would be to consult the duration of the effort on the x axis and read off what my max heart rate is, in the same way that I can see on a power curve what my best power is over any given duration…

@ Alex_Fastfitnesstips I took a look at intervals ICU but couldn’t find anything that pulls historical max HR data into a graph…

MaxHR as a graph, no I don’t think they have that. If you think it is important then David Tinker might look at it. bw alex

I have added that to the todo list. Interested to see it for myself! I don’t have power in races (I have a powertap hub for training and deep carbon wheels for racing) and I pace climbs on HR. I know I need to stay under 181 unless there is only a minute or so left and if I go over 183 there had better be only seconds left.


Thanks David!! I’m super interested in seeing the results!!!

This has now been added. You see this info on each activity with HR. Intervals.icu is busy computing the curves for everyone which will take another day or two so yours might not be done yet.


This is really good!! It seems to do exactly what I had anticipated…Thank you!!

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Awesome stuff!

How is this calculated? Is this the highest average heart rate for a given duration?

Yes thats it exactly.