High heart rate at zone2

Hey guys

I have just finished SSB I, but due to a very bad aerobic base I decided to go for Traditional Base since I do have the time and racing doesn’t seem anywhere near :frowning: .

But here is my problem, I have always had a high heart rate and my heart rate doesn’t seem to correlate to my power zones. I know power should be superior to heart rate but should I lower my Zone 2 rides in this case ?

Here is some data and background of me. Just tested my ftp today, 288 Watt FTP, 63kg and maximal heart rate 203.

Zone 2 being 55-70%: 158w-201w
Zone 2 HR calculated at max HR 60-70%: 121-142

Did the workout Brasstown the other day: HR avg 150bpm, PWR avg 177 → I even saw my heart rate tip into 160 bpm at 200 watts

I wouldn’t worry about if you’re managing your workouts fine and don’t have a medical history. If you’re struggling on workouts maybe your FTP is too high but if not your power output at a lower HR will develop.

But how could ftp be set too high if I just tested today, even saw in increase from my last ftp which was 263 Watts.

I’m able to finish the workouts but I hate the heart rate going that high. Guess it really just is the poor aerobic base

The ramp test over reads for some people, sometimes an 8min, 20mins or a Kolie Moore gets a better number. There’s dozens of threads on the topic. I wouldn’t sweat about it. If you’re managing workouts your HR will develop.

I typically see a significantly higher hr indoors due to heat I presume. When I’m doing z2 work I’ll use power for the first ten mins then switch to hr. From then on I’ll stay within my hr z2 whatever the power readings are.

Your HR zone is wrong, and you don’t seem to have enough information to assess whether your HR is too high for your power or not.

Zones based off maxHR are very questionable at best, and it’s must better to estimate your Threshold Heart Rate and work from that. Particularly for base rides, which should be below your first lactate threshold.

Your MaxHR at 203, could mean your Threshold Heart Rate is in the high 180s region. There are various models available for HR zones, but this would indicate your aerobic threshold HR is in the high 150s, possibly low 160s. Obviously this will lead to frustration if at the moment you’re expecting low 140s!

Check what data you have to see what the highest 60 min heart rate you have maintained is, or if you have a well paced 20/30 min time trial use that to consider what your lactate threshold heart rate is. This is much more valuable than MaxHR in my opinion.

On my side, the highest HR i have seen in the last 12 months is 204. The highest 60 min heart rate I have maintained is 188, and the highest 30 min heart rate average on a test i did recently was 193. When doing base rides i typically use 160 is my ceiling, with the overage average coming in at around 155. I use the power meter only as a ‘throttle’ so ensure I’m in the right zone, but not aiming to hit the top end of the zone the whole time.

To be honest I feel like ramp tests underrestimates my FTP that’s why I never do them and I always go for the 20 minute test haha

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Thanks for this one!! Really insightfull and could explain a lot.
Probably will have to do some kind of test to see where my Threshold Heart Rate is, is there any specific workout/test in order to get your Threshold Heart Rate? From looking at some data don’t really have an hour flat out but my highest heart rate for 30 minutes is 189.

At the image below is a picture of the 20 minute test of today, worth noting that HR was still going up the first 5 minutes and it averaged 190 for the last 15 minutes

The gold standard for identifying your lactate threshold is testing using a lactate monitor, but this is clearly too invasive for most requires a bit of repeat testing to really narrow down the edges of the zones. It’s worth keeping in mind as a general point that these numbers and limits will change a little depending on the usual fatigue, stress, hydration things that affect HR. I know it generates frustration as it varies, but try not to get too hung up on exact numbers, and take them as general points to be used in combination with RPE.

Your test looks good. If your avg HR for 30 mins is 189, then that’s probably a fair indicator that your second lactate threshold is around there - so that adds a bit of evidence that a zone 2 upper limit of 142 is being too harsh on you. Have a look at the zones in:

TrainingPeaks zones

Sufferfest Zones

RPE is useful as well, so if it feels right (speaking is fine, you’re not breathing too hard etc) so use that in combination. If it feels hard, ease back.

Thank you so much!!