Heart Rate (HR) Low, Power High

Asking for my bf. His ftp via the ramp test is around 225 if I recall. It’s a little on the high end bc there’s no way he can ride an hour at that power ( that’s a discussion for another time, please), but he can finish all his SS2 workouts.
Thing is, on a vo2 max workout, his hr is still n zone 2, nowhere near his max, so he’s not getting a vo2max workout. But putting his power higher would lead to his legs failing. He’s 5’11 and 185.

Any thoughts on how to get a vo2 max workout on his intervals?

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As long as his power is correct off of the ramp test I would not worry about the heart rate, it can be influenced by far too many variables to be a accurate training indicator if you have power to rely on instead.

As long as he feels like his SS intervals are challenging and the VO2 workouts are pushing his legs he will be getting the training stress that he should be.

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Not worried about TSS, want to work his v02 max. How to do this is his legs can’t? Peculiar.

I should also mention this is not a 1 off. His hr rarely gets a workout.

If he is working as hard as he can for those shorter VO2 max efforts that is training and increasing his VO2 max. His heart rate might not be going super high but that is not what you are training in VO2 workouts, you are working to increase the amount of oxygen that you can uptake.

What cadences is he utilizing? My HR goes much higher and up quicker when I increase the cadence from 85 to 100 This is something I have to consciously work on as my normal cadence is around 85


It’s 95 ish. My hr goes up with high cadence too.

How is he calculating his HR zones? The 220 minus age formula is OK for the population as a whole, but it is total rubbish at predicting the HR max for any one individual.

Does it ever go very high? Some don’t, my max steady state hr (like in a time trial) is in the low 150’s and I only see the low 160’s on very rare occasions.

Are we sure his HR sensor is working? Is he using a smart trainer or virtual power? Can you please post one of his workout? is his FTP correct? Most probably he has a higher one but as mentioned above as long as the power readings are correct, you should not be worried about HR.

Good luck

I’d say that if you’re working VO2Max HR isn’t all that important but on the other hand you can’t work at VO2Max without HR going skyrocket unless there’s something wrong. So either mechanical issues with either HR-band or whatever or something is really off with your calculations.

Is he using an optical sensor at his wrist? They are not always reliable.

VO2max work normally correlates quite well with HR and should bring your HR up to >85% at intervals - maybe not 1st and 2nd (dependending on duration) but at least later in the workout…

Thanks everyone for helping figure this out. These are his correct numbers:
Resting hr 56
Max hr 177
Cadence on smart trainer 93-100ish
Ftp 219 ( corrected)
W/k - 2.65 ( corrected)

Just did Taylor -1 (3x 14x30secx30sec at 120% power). HR on that was: 1st set maxed at 140 bpm, with a slight cardiac drift to 143-145 on the 3rd set.
That puts him in zone 3 during the high intervals. 80% of max hr. Not a vo2 max ride. He felt it was a hard-ish ride for his legs.

For those that asked how he gets his numbers…calibrated smart trainer; chest hr monitor strap correlated with Garmin wrist and counting pulse just to be sure; max hr chasing me on mtb ( grin); resting hr counting pulse upon waking.

Obviously we’re all different, but for my Taylor -1, I upped the power 6% on the second set and an additional 6% on the third ( barely made that!), because the felt the power was low for me…while on zone 3 rides, my set power is perfectly “ hard enough”.

What meds is he taking? Beta blockers are a known HR blunting effect.

I think that 30s VO2 max intervals aren’t going to push the HR as high as longer intervals. Riding Taylor-2, the first set (14 intervals of 30 on / 30 off) only gets me to 160 vs a max HR of 187 on the trainer (which I hit during a ramp test).

Also, I’m not a mtb’er, but I imagine it activates more muscles than riding a road bike (particularly riding on a trainer). So his max HR on the mtb is probably a little higher than his max HR on the trainer.

Perhaps showing symptoms of overtraining or fatigue if heart rate is not responding :woman_shrugging:

Nope. Not that either. Coming off a rest week and we’re both feeling great. Plus, it’s the norm.

ZERO meds.

My guess on the first post was directly that this was taylor. I experience the same.

Wait for the longer VO2max intervals… the HR will follow for sure. It’s actually the beauty of the current progression. The VO2 stuff starts easy but ramps up significantly.

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Yes, possibly. It was definitely a v02max so for me. We’ll see.
I like to train with very specific purpose. Each w/o for me is for either recovery, aerobic endurance or v02 max ( for short steep hills, quick mtb passing, or finish sprints). Not sure what Taylor was for him…challenging power wise, yet z2/3 HR wise.

Is he new to cyclong and well trained in other endurance sports ?

I can kill my legs running with relatively low hr.