Increasing resting heart rate over time

I’ve been using TR for a couple years. I also have a couple years worth of HR data from my Apple Watch. Over the last couple years I’ve noticed my resting heart rate gradually climb up from about 54 to 60 bpm. Am I just getting older? Will turn 45 start of next year.

I know there are tons of variables but I feel like my training, sleep, etc have all remained fairly consistent. from 2019-20 I didn’t rest a lot during the off season. I felt a bit burned out by the end. for the 2020-21 season I rested quite a bit more and felt pretty darn good this last season. But lately I feel like my HR is getting to high too early in my workouts. Like I’m doing SS working but getting to 90-95% of max HR instead of hitting that HR when I’m doing harder workouts with over under intervals etc.

I’m back to the off season now and won’t start hitting it hard again until February or so. In the mean time just ride for fun, do an occasional train now workout when I feel like it etc, lift weights, etc.

Just wondering if I should ignore this gradual HR change or not in the mean time.

I actually thought it was the opposite it decreased by age but according to this we were both wrong.

I’ve found conflicting information. IDK who to believe. Some sources say it increases, some say it decreases and some say there isn’t any effect lol.

1 Like

Well…does that mean when I was young and physically fit at 18 my heart rate which tended to be in the low 70s really wasnt my heart rate? I was a runner in those days, half mile to 10k. At age 55 I started riding after years of inactivity after getting a major couple of surgeries that gave me my life back. Three years later my resting heart rate was around 45. Current age is 61 with a heart rate in the 44-47 range.

Not really sure how my sample size=1 impacts this.

I’ve seen the exact opposite over the last 2 years. My resting HR has come down from 68 to 58 as I’ve got fitter and lost some excess weight (I’m down about 6 kg from 86 to 80 kg, although I’ve been down to as low as 75 kg over last summer). I’m 53 years old and 184 cm tall for reference.

So for me at least it looks like my resting HR is closely related to my fitness and perhaps weight to a lesser degree. Definitely not age related, at least over the last 2 years. I have no idea what my resting HR was 10 or more years ago. All I know is that my max HR has dropped around 10 bpm from when I was in my 20s and hasn’t changed significantly over the last couple of years.

1 Like

I am in my 70’s and my resting heart rate is still 49. However, resting heart does change with stress.


Increased resting HR can be a sign of overtraining. So your plan to take it handy for the next while might be spot on. If overtraining was the cause it’ll just come down of it’s own accord over the next few weeks.

1 Like

I’ll turn 45 in December and have 3 years with TR. My resting HR is similar to yours. After burning out in 2020 I took essentially a 2 month off season. I started structured training back up in Oct 2020 and finished my race season the beginning of Oct 2021. I’ve hit all time PRs, hit my highest FTP and had a better than expected race season.

My lowest resting HR was after my 2 month break has slowly increased over the past 12 months. I was definitely in need of a break this October and it’s no surprise my HR is up for the month of Oct 2021.

1 Like

Interesting. I’m 41 and have noticed the fitter I get/more consistently I train, the lower my resting HR is.

interesting topic as mine is doing the same thing. I’m also in my early 40s. . @MI-XC , you are saying that when you picked your training up again, your heartrate started to rise?

It’s also a sign of fatigue from over training.

1 Like

It did in my case, but that was also my first attempt at SSBHV. I was able to complete all the workouts but I remember it being quite the challenge. Then I went through ShortPBHV and my resting HR went down and leveled off for months into SpecialtyHV. Finishing my first MTB 100 and being in the thick of XC racing (June 2021) my HR went up again. Added in a mid season break (June/July) and my HR lowers. Finishing the season with more XC races, another MTB 100 (11.5 hours) and declining fitness and my resting HR peaks for the year in October.

1 Like

Also; illness, anxiety, over reaching, climate, dehydration. More variables to think about…

Similar experience, although its more about building more zone2 and fewer intervals into my plan. FWIW I’ve seen roughly a 6bpm drop in resting HR, and lifting my entire power curve, by doing more zone2 and few intervals. I’ve posted charts of HR and TR over a season,

Your experience, and that of the coaching community, makes you wonder why Plan Builder will give you 52 weeks of training by default if you have no A event. It is easy for someone to leap to thinking that is science based training, based on TR marketing, despite TR blog posts/emails on the importance of recovery and taking an off-season (this one doesn’t seem to get covered as much).

1 Like

I kind if wish I could point to some spikes and look back and correlate with illness, anxiety, climate, etc etc to see some type of pattern. But for me, it just a steady increase over the last couple years. Doesn’t appear to be seasonal or anything. Just gradually increased.

1 Like

Maybe you were a lot more aerobically conditioned a couple of years ago?

Absolutely, but I think in the context of feelings of burnout, and lack of breaks in training mentioned above, that there’s a good chance it’s overtraining.

I’m all in on Z2 on the bike at the moment. My only intensity comes from doing my local Parkrun 5km (mostly social, but I bust myself occasionally) on Saturdays and the occasional track run with the club. The difference in freshness and sleep quality is pretty phenomenal. I plan on keeping it up till Christmas and then adding in some interval work.


Joining in here - my RHR behaves pretty strange too. Never monitored it really before this year so not sure what it’s about. (38 years, 180cm, 66-68kg)
Last year I had huge knee problems from April onwards, and that meant less and less sports until November. Kinda problematic that I lived over summer in Cyprus and I cannot motivate myself to sports in the heat - and kitesurfing 4-5 hours a day as before if the wind is on wasn’t possible anymore due to my knee. Had no bicycle and running not possible either. Mid November got my cartilage in my knee fixed (10cm² were filled up/missing before) and only last week of December managed to slowly get on a hometrainer. Then 2 weeks hotel quarantine and on 14.01 finally started to train.
Beginning January RHR around 65-70. I trained as much as possible without overtraining symptoms - decided to ignore my heart rate and train in what I supposed to be heart rate zone 3-4 only to get some power on my pedals. By beginning February I had a week of RHR 50-55. I kept the training up and trained for 800-1200 minutes (1500 intensity minutes according to my garmin Fenix 6x) per week - plus maybe 2-3 hours of riding bike in the city for commuting. Started some longer rides, FTP test and clearly overtrained - RHR at 65, one day around 70. That was end of February. However my fitness numbers kept on improving - and my max heart rate kept on increasing too. From 185 or so in January to 195 by now! My FTP (20 minute test) is 3.8w/kg (after being around 1.8w/kg end of December - however that was likely 80/20 power balance on the pedals with my left leg without any muscle…
My fitness/endurance keeps on improving week by week - I hit 55 cycling Vo2max yesterday on my Fenix 6. But my resting heart rate stayed around 60-62. It’s clearly 5-8 beats higher than beginning of February.
All a bit strange. I hope to get to 4.5w/kg FTP late summer - and 65 Vo2Max or so by then. That would be about the same form as I last had 2 years ago, or 5-6 years ago sometimes (only when I was 17-18 I was still considerably better - but then 3 knee surgeries within 1 year after bad accident got me down). As long as week by week I get a bit stronger, and sleep well - I don’t think I’m overtraining. Surely some time off would get me into competition shape, but that would also rather stop my progress. On the days I’m not cycling I hit the gym to get my left leg muscles back or go easy hiking. Getting the knee to heal is my main importance (and that will work best if I can generate lots of growth hormones by training hard, building back muscle). I’m still a bit below my average form of the last 10 years.

The strange thing is - I can keep my heart rate for 10 minutes or so at 95% max, so the 20 minutes of FTP test I averaged 185 heart rate (while hitting a new high of 193). People riding around with me usually have 10-15 beats lower heart rate at endurance speed, are faster for maybe 10 minutes until I easily drop them from the 10 minute mark. So my heart seems to be able to run quite fast and fast for long. Right now 8 hours or so feels like max riding time per day - but I always used to be the guy doing 10-14 hour rides quite easily while being bad at any kind of sprinting.
Usually while riding I feel it’s quite tiring at 130-140 hear rate, but once I get to 150-160 I feel right at home and keep it up for 3-4 hours for training.
I do wonder how and if my RHR will decrease again though.