HR Guidelines For Training Zones

I’ve been doing some thinking about what different zones should feel like…and was kind of pondering whether just largely giving up on power to set training zones, and using heart rate might be more effective.

Thoughts? I guess I was thinking that this avoids a whole lot of the guesswork about wondering whether a ramp test works, whether you suck at sweet spot or whatever.

You live where its flat and getting cold, right? Thinking of experimenting with this approach on the trainer? I’ve been pretty happy with the HR zones I created the first season before getting a power meter, but since then I train by power and RPE with an eye towards HR if its starts shooting up. Well, except when coming back from 2+ weeks off the bike and then I’ll use my HR zones for endurance riding until cardio fitness is reestablished.

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It’s not a bad idea, especially if you can control your workout environment (i.e. temperature) … but one caveat is that I’d really only use it for intervals over 10 mins in length because of it being such a lagging indicator. I’m using a HR cap for my workouts right now, and it’s going remarkably well … but my shortest interval is 20 mins.

It also takes a while to establish a baseline and not let outlier days throw you off.

As always, I’m not a physiologist or a coach so I’m probably wrong about everything.

Good luck🤘

Get both? I’ve been using HR for about 7 years, so I have it pretty dialed. I have power on my stationary bike and have been paying more attention to it the last couple years, which is great for doing high intensity work (especially with short intervals, because HR does lag). So now I have a pretty good cross reference between the two.

But your HR and your HR monitor will give you sketchy readings from time to time, and you should be prepared for that and recognize it, so you don’t let it get in your head (really bad for those if us with bad anxiety). For instance, my wahoo ticker last Friday seemed like it was reading low, and it was hot and humid, but it was moving up and down (sometimes you’ll realize it hasn’t changed in a while). Seemed ok after I got home and rinsed it (compared against a pulse oximeter), but did it again the next day. Took the battery out and there was liquid drops on the circuit board.

Yea I have both.

I guess I’m thinking of heartrate as a way to set power expectations. I think I’doften wildly off just going off of ftp when using a ramp test or AI ftp. Looking to use heartrate sort of as a way to reinforce my rpe based idea of ftp and power targets, and then power to manage in workout power.

Meaning, for a random example…based on my HR and rpe…I should be doing say 240 watts for sweet spot. Look at power while riding, put it at 240. Hopefully confirm hr is within an expected range, rethink things when it is not or rpe seems way off.

20 something years ago when TrainerRoad was just a twinkle in Nate’s eye - I was in my garage with a “dumb” trainer and a new heart rate monitor that I paid a couple hundred dollars for so that I could dial in my training zones. So yes, I have done it all from RPE > Heart Rate > Power > Smart Trainer…add in some HRV and TSS metrics and my conclusion is…Power is great, provides objectivity that can help show if you are increasing in fitness over time. But on a day to day basis, for an experienced rider, RPE or Heart Rate are probably just as good, and sometimes could be better, as the numbers can mess with your head some times.

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