Rest HR v Cycling HR

Just a query. I have been following a plan from a coach this past 3 months and my HR seems to be running pretty high when cycling. My resting HR was 45bpm yesterday but when I went on a 3 hour spin my HR was between 145 and 150bpm. After the first 1 month of the plan my HR had been coming down for putting out the same effort which is what I was hoping and was doing 3 hours endurance spins at 190w at around 142bpm which was bout 150bpm for 190w at the start but now my HR seems to be higher now than when I started as I’m doing 190w for 3 hours and struggling to keep it below 150bpm. It’s a bit of a mystery to my coach and I. No sickness or real stress or anything like that but just can’t figure it. I am still finding the 3 hour spins fairly comfortable but my HR should be coming down and not up.

Plan contains 2 hard turbo sessions a week along with 2 endurance rides at weekend but I am able to get through turbo sessions although they are pretty tough but that’s the whole idea I guess.

Taking protein shakes and bit of foam rolling after rides

No great changes in Nutrition, Diet , work life…etc…

Experiences greatly appreciated.

Everyones heart rate is different and I feel more context is needed. What is your max heart rate, or if not tested what is the highest you have seen when going all out? What is your age? What is your training history? Are these endurance rides outside now and how is the temperature noe compared to previously=

Personally I don’t pay much attention to heart rate as it is a trailing indicator and varies so much from day to day and situation to situation. Power and feel is what I go by.

Max is 186bpm

42 yo

Endurance background.

Temperature has been much the same this past 3 month , wet and cold!!!

When you are comparing HR, are you comparing indoor rides or outdoor rides?

I know that for me, if I need to compare HR I need to do it in similar environments, otherwise there are too many factors.

Hydration can affect HR, sleep, etc etc.

I think its important to look at the whole picture and not cherry pick rides where you might have had a higher HR.

No it’s all outdoor rides in similar conditions. Not cherry picking rides. I’m aware HR can be different depending on a lot of things but it has been consistently higher the last month or so with as I said no great change in lifestyle.

  • Any cadence increasing exercises? Those increase HR usually.
  • Do you compare workouts within training block different loading weeks? Maybe this is response for higher fatigure, etc?

If you’re user, there is fancy Power vs Heart rate graph that compares different periods objectively over all activities

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I find HR, esp. resting HR a good indicator what is going on in your body.
Right, HR is quite jumpy, but after some time I got a feeling for what is normal and what is different once in a while. So when the HR behaves differently, is higher or lower than usual I know that something is going on: overtrained, rest needed, sickness coming, sickness overcome etc.

I would not ignore HR completely.

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I suppose you could check that both your PM and HRM are accuarate but to be honest that doesnt seem to be that much of a change in measured heart rate - within what I would expect.

Stressing about keeping your heart rate down would probably be enough to elevate it :slight_smile:


I do find that after doing a 3 week block , the last of which went really well , I do struggle after I’ve had my recovery week for some reason , nearly takes a week to get legs going again.

I will add that even though my HR is higher on endurance rides I still feel fairly comfortable.

Is it possible that 2 tough turbo sessions could just be pushing me a bit much??

@teamkennyg You stated RHR was 45 in the initial post, but never stated what your historical avg RHR has been. Was this 45bpm, higher or lower than normal when your endurance ride saw the 150’s.

Do you you track HRV also?

Does your data show a normal progression with HR decreasing as your fitness and endurance have increased? Where are you in your plan 3 months in? When was your last recovery week?

Does your coach also analyze or are they the typical just planning and not data crunching type with a standard “process” and plan they roll out? If the former and not the later, email or have a chat. This is what you pay them for!

HR is such a fickle thing. One conjecture by me (a non expert) perhaps prior to the coach you were not realising your true max hr either overtained or not pushing hard enough and now with the coach you are training at the right level to do that. Which naturally is higher than before.

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I pay most attention to resting HR, but my n=1 seems that it’s normally ball park where I expect it to be. Science says other things may effect, but I do somewhat question the sometime dismissal of it on here. The main variances I see are when I’m sick (albeit I’m never in the heat that some users may experience here in Ireland).

Plan is to dial it back a bit and replace 1 of the 2 tough turbo workouts with one of lesser intensity and see how that goes as I don’t often feel fresh going into a lot of workouts.

For me, outside rides always have a higher heart rate than indoor ones. A well respected coach once explained to me that this is because of all of the additional sensory stimulation (on top of pedaling) when you’re outside.

Also, sometimes, easy rides seem a bit tougher and my heart rate is high. These occurrences are not predictable at all for me. Some days are just a high heart rate day. I’ve learned to recognize when they come and not to stress about it.

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Usually when tired from doing a bit too much you will struggle to lift your HR in efforts, not that it would be slightly high. Your RHR might be elevated, but not your work HR. Though maybe in easy rides, your HR could also be higher? I haven’t observed that, but I haven’t paid too much attention to HR in endurance rides.

Has your clothing changed? Or maybe even your perception of the temperature? - I could see something where you get accustomed to the cold, and the same clothing is now too warm, bringing your HR up.

Cadence increase is also a good suggestion - maybe the training means you’re riding at a higher cadence now, which can also bring your HR up.

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Good points yeah , did feel bit too warm the last spin alright and tried keeping cadence a little higher as well.

Just a point on a separate matter. I done lactate test a while back and I had taken 2 days off before it but was told that I still wasn’t recovered properly and I needed a good warm up to get my lactate back down to 1.1. Could this be a sign of maybe not recovering well enough ???

I presume these 3 hours are on exactly the same route, so we can eliminate that as a variable?

Cheers guys , all tips and advice is very welcome.