Heart rate too high?

Hi all, I have a question, I’m 22, 177–66 kg, been riding my bike and have been quite active all my life, my diet is great last 3 months and I am in the slight calorie deficit . My ftp is around 260 after one zwift training plan and a polarized base on trainerroad.
My maximum HR is around 200, had it reached 207 during the ramp test, but whenever I ride outside, I struggle to keep my HR lower than 150,
and indoors, my HR rises above 150 as soon as I start riding above 0.55 FTP/145w, so to be in my heart rate zone 2, as my WHOOP suggests it, 60-70% of max HR,
I should ride at around 120 - 130 watts, which sounds kind of fine, but when I see other athletes HR while riding, it is
in 90% of cases, lower or significantly lower than mine, in the end, I understand that it is kind of in the normal range and fine, may just be my physiological feature,
but it also wakes me up at night, my hr is very often higher than anyone else’s, maybe theres something wrong here, or is there some hr zones I should include more in my training, or is this
totally fine, and I should just continue with my training and diet? Sorry for bad engrish and i’ll be happy to see your comments🙂

Your maximum heart rate is at least 207 not 200 but possibly even higher so your tempo zone starts at 162, possibly even higher than that


don’t worry, nothing wrong with a high (max) HR and the higher then average HR zones. Just set them accordingly
And as mentioned, if you saw 207 during the ramptest, use (at least) that as a max, or what works better for me is taking the zones from lactate threshold HR, that’s the avg HR over a very hard long effort like a MTB race (not sure if a road race with blocks in the draft will work) or PR attempt on a 45-60 min route/mtb track.


Okay, so I was thinking max HR is more abstact than peak HR during exercise(roughly speaking), looks like mine is at 209 and this makes a bit more sense now, thanks all

What’s your goal when you ride outside? If you’re aiming for endurance (Zone 2) rides, it seems like you might not be staying within that zone consistently. I’ve faced this challenge myself, and upon reviewing my rides, I realized that during “endurance” rides, over 65% of my time was spent in zones 3 and 4. This explained why my average heart rate was higher than anticipated. Ideally, for an endurance ride, I would aim to spend at least 50% of the total ride time in zone 2 or below.

I never reach my max on a ramp test and have only reached it once or twice indoors on a 20mins test or indoor TT. I hit it or near to it more often outdoors (197bpm @ 48years). Its maybe higher than that as an outdoor TT saw me steadily rise to 205bpm outdoors (June22) but I’m treating that as a one off.

A max HR north of 200 isn’t too weird for somebody your age. Max HR tends to decline as we age.

I will say it took me years to be ok with riding at true Z2 paces. They feel very slow compared to group rides or intervals. And to do a true Z2 ride, I basically need to ride solo - as soon as other people are there, the pace jumps up or gets more sporadic. And Z2 on the trainer is mind-meltingly boring - I just won’t do it.

Anyway, if your’e recovering ok, and hitting your targets in interval sessions and harder workouts, I wouldn’t worry about your HR much. If you’re not recovering or having other symptoms, then maybe there’s something to dig into.

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Your max heart rate is literally the maximum observed rate at which your heart beats during a given activity. If you’ve seen 209 while riding a bike, your max cycling HR is 209. It’ll typically be higher if you are running (for example).

I have often had the same concerns.

I’m 38yrs, 67kg and my max HR over the last year has been 202bmp. My average HR is often higher than my cycling partner, partly due to my max HR being higher and partly because he is a better cyclist than me - so he’s cycling at the low end of power zones whereas I’m middle to high a lot more than him.

Don’t compare with others too much, it’s difficult sometimes but jus focus on your own changes.

If you are saying your heart rate is waking you up, then you should go see a doctor and talk it all through so you can undergo any investigations you might need. If you mean the thought of it makes you anxious, try to let it go. If you are at all worried, best to see a doctor for your own peace of mind at least.

I’m currently undergoing medical investigation for Marfan’s syndrome. Pretty certain I don’t have it but the doctors want to keep regular check-ups in. Currently nearly 5 years into annual cardiac scans and checks. They have never told me not to cycle, so it’s worth asking all the questions you need to so that you know what you’re doing is okay for you and your body.

As you build your base fitness, and your ftp rises, your power at the top of z2 will also increase…so you will eventually find z2 to be a more tolerable power/speed, and it’ll be easier to maintain z2 heart rate on outside rides. The trained guys always make it sound so simple, but until you have that good base, z2 can be hard to hold.

I rode (mtb) for a number of years without any real structure to my “training”, but trying to hit all the zones, but z2 was nearly impossible to hold due to hills and sand (and heat and wind in FL). My HR was pretty erratic and once it got into z3, I couldn’t go slow enough to get it back down. I finally started focusing on consistent z2 indoors, and built up some volume, and my power started rising (for my z2 HR). It’s a lot more enjoyable to ride easy at 180 watts, and if I get above that on a hill it will recover to z2 on the down now. It’s a miracle :wink: