% of max heart rate at threshold

Going hard up alpe du zwift I’m at about 95% or max HR most of the way. 185 average for the climb and my max hr is 196.

I think I could probably go a bit harder too and be holding closer to 190bpm. Average power was 249 but think I could have held 260 at the time.

As it’s almost an hour long (54 minutes), I’m assuming this is around my threshold hr. But this seems way off suggested zone 4 HR percentages. Eg some say zone 4 tops out at 80% mhr.

I’m pretty sure my max is my max - hit 195 or 196 in ramps tests or on 3 minutes climbs where I really give it everything.

Any thoughts appreciated!

And what %hr do you hit at threshold?

Tonnes of discussion and info here:


I can’t hit my max HR in ramp test. Without looking at my stats I think I hit about 93% of it. I wouldn’t get too worried about hr however (unless doctors have told you otherwise) and use power.

Cheers, I’m interested rather than worried. Pretty sure I’ve been hitting my max but maybe not.

Out of interest, when do you hit your max hr?


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I find the british cycling heart rate calculator useful and using that you wouldn’t be a massive outlier.

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At the end of a 20mins test or a TT in the past Ive hit 100% but in the last 4 months the most I’ve hit is 99% (and averaging what I max for in a ramp).

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LTHR is 174bpm/190

My max is from both ramp tests and having to do anaerobic sprints at the end of threshold efforts (otherwise known as zwift racing)

The power vs HR chart in Intervals.icu is good for this question (shameless plug!). So for me approx 89% max HR is threshold. And I haven’t managed to get as fit as I was last year :frowning:


For an hour long INDOOR effort like this, your HR may be elevated to deal with rising core temperature, versus shorter efforts like the ramp test.

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Then either A) you’re just not motivated enough, B) you’re undertrained as a cyclist, or C) there’s something up with your measurements.

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Aren’t those Coggan’s guidelines? I thought they were suspect.

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D) I suck at ramp tests perhaps. I get better motivation/output on a longer test. I don’t feel I am under trained (perhaps the opposite since I joined TR, I think harder but sub hour turbo sessions suit my 45yo body batter). My equipment seems to be giving me consistent information too as are external results. I think I am just one of the bell curve outliers, roll on adaptive training :+1:

This is a good site to look at for MHR and RHR and power profiles

In Lamarack, my intervals at threshold were 156, 162, 165, 167 bpm, which is 85.7%, 89.0%, 90.7%, 91.8% of max hr (182).

My max hr in that workout was 173, which is 95.1% of max hr.

Relative to past levels of fitness, I am currently on the untrained side. When trained, I would have been closer to 87%.

The only place I have ever hit max hr is during a ramp test. Never seen it anywhere else. Those last two minutes are brutally hard and it often does take me quite a while to recover.

Threshold HR (LTHR) as % of Max HR varies wildly. FWIW my LTHR is 92%.

The Coggan and Friel heart rate zones are based on LTHR. In the Training and Racing with a Power Meter book, Coggan notes they are merely guidelines due to individual differences (even when referenced to LTHR).

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My is 90% and 80% from OP example would be middle of tempo for me.

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Last time I hit my max HR I nearly blacked out. You REALLY don’t want to hit your max. You will definitely know when you have when you fall off your bike.


I’ve hit 99% a few times and been ok. I haven’t hit 100% for a while, not that I really want to, as you say it’ll be on the edge of nearly blacking out and crashing :+1:

Or the ramp test is leg limited rather than heart limited.

When I took time off for the off season, my first ramp test I hit max hr. I’ve come within 2 bpm since… once (zwift race) and apart from that I’ve not even hit 97%… even doing vo2 work

Also for reference, 1 hour hr is 174bpm, max is 190 (so 92% threshold hr)

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