Hr zones vs TR Workout type

Hi Everyone,

I need some guidance with regards to heart rate on different types of TR workout types. Which zones can one expect from the different types of workouts.

What should your hr zone be for example on a sweet spot, threshold ride?

The reason I am asking is that I recently did a FTP test, which put me more or less on the same FTP as before. When doing a sweet spot session like Tray Mountain-2, which has 3 x 12minutes intervals at 90% of FTP. The work out type for me was Streched on this particular workout.
My heartrate for these 12min intervals were high zone 4, low zone 5. Ended up 36% of the ride in Z5 and 28% in Z4.

Threshold rides normally put me mostly in z5.

How does others compare to the above? Could it be that my heart rate zones is incorrect?

Below is my current hr setup. Intervals estimated my lactate threshold heart rate to be 172.

Thanks in advance.

Whether its right or wrong I use %max hr for zoning so its not directly comparable but HR is such a fickle thing; if you have power I’d only pay attention to it on recovery and endurance rides and treat it as a after ride curiosity only for HIT sessions. For example looking back, I did the 4.8 SS Workout Antelope-5 with 43% what I am calling Z3 (based on Max HR) and 22% Z4 but this week’s 4.8 SS workout (Tallax-2) which is slightly more intense never saw me get out of Z3HR (based on my % max zones). Who knows what the difference was, perhaps I was coming down with something when I did Antelope-5 or the ambient temperature was just greater, or perhaps in the more recent Tallac -2 I was more tired stopping the HR rising or the opposite stronger so it was more comfortably controlled. There’s too many endless possibilities with HR whereas power is more constant.

1 Like

Seems to high for me, your FTP might be set too high or maximum heart rate too low. Sweetspot should be zone 3-4 with the end of the workout only being high zone 4 but definitely not zone 5. Zone 5 heart rate should be possible for more than 2-3 minutes but probably less than that

Thank you for the reply. That is what I thought, hence redoing the FTP test, but it came back with the similar FTP. (Ramp test). For the workout mentioned here I was almost 25 minutes in Z5. My max is about 195. (45 years old). The way I calculated that was to look at garmin over the last 6 months and that was the highest recorded. Perhaps my Lactate threshold is to low. What is good heart rate zones based on max hr? When I google that, there is so many different brackets for each zone, it is actually confusing :slight_smile: .

My heartrate bears no correlation to anything i do on trainer road, a V02 max session can barely push it above zone 2.5 at the end of the hour, 30 mins sweetspot and i want to die, given up as any indicator for cycling, its now boiled down to these 3.

Feel Ok
My lungs want to explode.
I am your legs and i will not work anymore for you.

Nothing to do with HR at all now. (i feel better for it)


I’m not saying it’s not possible, but that’s a pretty high max for your age. Are you sure it’s correct?

Yes. Pretty sure it is correct. I always have a higher heart rate compared to my cycling buddies. I have measured the max, indoor and outdoor, with different straps.

If you know MHR is correct, I think my next step then would be to test LTHR with a true 30 min test to see if that estimate is correct.

1 Like

I’m 46y and have a max HR of 197bpm (I’ll usually hit 183-194bpm regularly); my mate 45y has a max of 202bpm and hits it regularly. I’ve saw a lot of people with high hr and conversely a lot of folk with low ones its mainly down to your genes


I’m using these zones based on %MHR but as you say there 1000s of different bands. I don’t pay much, if any, attention to zones but what I do know for me if I keep things below 85% I can go a long time like that 85-95% is a good sustainable TT effort for 1-2hours at least (they usually work out to be 89%) and punches 90-95% I can recover from pretty quickly on the move but 95%+ is a final sprint and will need a long stationary time for recovery :joy: But whilst I can sit relatively comfortable at 85-95% on a TT on a less steady group ride with sprints that’ll probably come down, upto 10% :joy: :joy:

It’s probably even higher still, it’s just not possible to stay in Z5 for 20 minutes, not even the best athletes can

1 Like

Simply put: TR workouts are based on power (FTP). Power doesn’t correlate well with heart rate so you should basically disregard HR zones.

HR could still be useful evaluating trends in similar workouts and such but don’t waste any time over zones not lining up.

1 Like

After getting a power meter I personalized my HR zones as a % of lactate threshold HR (LTHR). With my personalized zones I see great consistency between power and heart rate, across most of my workouts.

1 Like

I’ve always use %Max HR and because I’m used to it I know where I am but I was looking on a few coaching web sites the other day and they recommended using %LTHR over %MaxHR. I think the clearest argument was that genetics may give you a high hr but not all athletes can perform repeatedly towards it; whereas %LTHR is more specific to the individual at any given time and in time it might rise to meet the genetic HR but a percentage based on that genetic potential cant really come down. I’m off for a turbore (trainer) session before my dinner but later I might look at some of my TT’s (preferably 30mins ones) the average after 10minutes for 20mins is supposed to give me my LTHR.

A simple story to tell yourself - power zones are % threshold, do the same for heart rate zones, make them a % hr at threshold.


There really isnt a correlation between power and HR. 150w is always 150w. On a well rested day, that may be low z2 HR. On another day with 2 coffees, chinese for dinner the night before and 3 hours of sleep, that may be mid z3. Theres tons of variables for HR, theres none for power.

If an hour long SS workout put you 25 mins into z5, you need to do a different type of FTP test or see a cardiologist. The whole point of sweet spot is to stress you but in an easily recoverable manner. World tour riders can recover from that…us mere mortals cant.

Something worth trying… repeat that workout but scale back the power as needed so you never hit z5. Look at your avg power from that ride compared to this one and see how different it is. Can use this as an estimate as to how much you should decrease your reported FTP going forward and then let AIFTP move it as needed.

1 Like

Mines 191bpm and I’m 50,

I think we’re referred to as high rev’rs.


I must be a diesel. I’m 54 and mine is 168, although it’s probably lower. I haven’t seen that number in a while.

54yo and 179. I’m in the middle. Mediocre. :smile:

Although maximum heart rate tends to trend down with age there is a very large spread of maximum heart rate at any age and there will be plenty of 70 year olds that have a higher max heart rate than 20 year olds ( I can even see a 85 y/o woman scoring better than some of the 20 year olds)

1 Like