Heart rate not dropping after hills and efforts

Over the last month I have noticed an increase in resting HR, exercise HR and my heart rate isn’t dropping after hills or efforts which means the next hill or effort I am beginning it with an already higher heart rate.

I am not on any set program at present, mainly riding outside and my usual rides are feeling harder and while my power levels are consistent my average heart rate is up by about 10 plus beats a minute on a two to three hour ride.

I am 66 now and ride 200 - 300 km a week and a couple of times a week I do sweetspot/ threshold and/or VO2 intervals on my rides.

I am seeing a doctor about it next week but I was wondering if this is a sign of over training?

Possibly it’s just the effect of riding in warmer summertime temperatures.

But it is probably worth taking 2-3 recovery days and unloading some training stress, and seeing if this helps.


Have you been ill at all in the last month?

No I’m in general good health as far as I can tell but I will know more when I get to the doctor as I have had detailed blood tests which might show up something.
Also it isn’t to do with heat as we are in winter here…sunny Queensland. :slight_smile:

Greetings from freezing Adelaide. I hope it’s nothing serious, just wanted to add how 200-300k pw is super impressive stuff. Especially now the Qld is only getting 20 ish in the winter

Overtraining would have been my initial thoughts, increased HR and the fact that your normal rides are feeling harder would be an indicator for me.

I would certainly confirm with the Drs as it can be a sign of additional stressors in your body.

With a periodised training approach, I would say it is time to do lower volume/less intense block.

However i think the jury is still out as to whether RHR is a reliable predictor of overtraining.

How much time is there between efforts, and how long does it usually take for your heart rate to drop?

I’m 63 and do very a very similar volume and type of riding that you do. I’ve found that if I do that type of mileage at Z2 levels I’m fine but if I put too many bouts of intensity into them I gradually get more and more fatigued until I do a ride and I can tell from my HR on the first 20mins or so that i’m not right. I just dial it back and then take it really easy for a few days. By the way we’d kill for 20 degrees in the summer here in Lancashire let alone in the winter. Hope it goes well with the Doc.

Are you getting any spikes of unusually high HR at all?

Getting enough iron in your diet?

let us know what the doctor says but it’s probably rising temps and maybe a bit too much riding? HR monitors are finicky also…do you feel any different on the climbs? If not, just keep riding

My heart rate when I attack hills or do long intervals at threshold plus (7-8 mins) will often get up to 200 bpm which for someone who is 66 is not normal. I will feel all right in my self but know that I am working really hard.
It would eventually drop back to around 110-130 and I feel good to go again but just in the last month it is remaining at times over 140 for quite awhile.

“Getting enough iron in your diet?”
My iron levels read all right and I am vegetarian.

Hmm, do you know anyone with an Apple Watch 4 that you could do an ECG on when it hits 200, or someone that owns a Kardia?? If not I think it’d be worth speaking to a Dr, could be a heart arrhythmia. Could simply be interference!

Just an update on my high heart rate concerns.
I wore a HR holter for 24 hours. I have frequent atrial ectopic beats…22% over a day and my maximum hr during exercise was 188 bpm (I am 66)
Until I get to see a cardiologist in August, my doctor has put me on beta blockers, 50mg a day.

This unfortunately has made riding my bike extremely hard as my heart rate struggles now to get over 100 and I feel like I am putting in a huge effort for no results.

I am just interested who else on TR is on beta blockers and how do they effect your riding?

I started cycling years after a diagnosis of highly symptomatic a-fib. My whole cycling “career” I’ve been on a beta-blocker, so I have never had a chance to know a difference. I’m still able to race well, but my heart rate is “governed” by the meds. I can still get it up to ~172.
It’s certainly worth having a conversation with your doctor. See if they can find a different med or dose that will do the job and not affect your quality of life as much. Keep in mind, you may have to adjust your perspective of training and riding. I speak from personal experience. I just moved up to cat1 mtb this season and just today had my 3rd cardioversion due to a-fib. In speaking with the cardiologist today the subject came up that in my follow up visit next week we may have to discuss some new training parameters that will undoubtedly be lower than I desire. My wife and kids need me more than I need to be faster, so I have to mentally prepare myself for the possibility that I may not be racing anymore…

@heypoolboy78 has your consultant discussed any procedures like an ablation rather than cardioversions?

There has been some talk of ablation. The main issue is that I was incident free for 11 years and he wasn’t sure it was warranted and with that long between occurrences was not sure we could determine it’s success. However, I’ve had another incident of a-fib in the last two weeks, so when I go in next week that may yield a different perspective.

@Skulbow…How has this condition affected your training? How’s it going for you? Which beta blocker are on? Curious.


I am on APO-Metoprolol 50mg but I have cut the dose in half to 25mg a day early morning after exercise so the effects are less when I exercise in the morning the next day.
This dosage still works but allows me to exercise (ride bike) at full effort but hugely lessens my heart rate so I can do a hard Z2/3 ride and have an average HR less than 120 but my muscles feel tireder as they are NOT getting the required blood flow it seems…it is definitely different but is working.
On hard efforts my HR will still climb upwards to 170’s - 200’s but my ride’s average will still be in the 120 - 130’s.

During the last six months I have actually felt I have improved and have beaten so many of my PR’s and my FTP was also up when I did a ramp test.

I unfortunately had an accident and rode off the road when sweat stung my eyes on a particular hot morning, broke some ribs etc and although I am back riding those four weeks off the bike spoilt all my breakthroughs…:frowning:


I researched that medicine and I see that some of the side effects are weakness and feeling tired and that doesn’t go well with what we do. I’m sure you know this, but I would not push it too hard and just enjoy the ride. Hope all is well with your recovery from the accident.

I am on blood pressure medicine and I noticed my heart rate back when I got back on the bike would climb to over 200 and now the max I see is 173. I don’t know if it’s the medicine or the aging process or both. I am 53 and was 45 when I got back on the bike in 2012.

Welp, take care…