Resting heart rate not dropping in spite of training, is it relevant?

Yeah, stack some days and a focused VO2max block if he’s a younger guy. Doesn’t seem to work as well for older masters, where I’ve had more success with a steady diet of MAP/VO2 work over the course of months, about one per week.

Keep intensity low on the endurance and try to go longer.


I think I have an idea what my problem is: Not recovering enough. :smiley: I’m on the fatigued side. I do 1-2 long rides (>3 hours) per week, longer ones in the summer (5-7h).

Keeping the intensity low on the easy rides is super hard (being quite slow going up hills, or feeling too fresh in Z2 rides). This are probably beginner mistakes. Also I get insecure if I don’t beat a power record for a long time, then I start hammering again and burn out after some weeks.

But I’m learning: So far I never got sick from training this year (happened several times last year).

Thanks for all your valuable input!


Oh and I love+hate VO22Max workouts :smiley: they are fun to do, but also kind of hard.


Sorry I was watching the Giro finish. Inability to raise HR is a definite, and Google suggests you are right about RHR too. I’m maybe wrongly associating with my ex coach telling me some years back I was overtraining, when in fact I had a more serious health issue. On the few occasions I get a significantly lower RHR its after I get a post ride bonk and I feel worn out (like today :hushed:) perhaps I’m not worn out after all :exploding_head: Then again it could just be a misreading by the watch. :exploding_head: :exploding_head:


There’s some really interesting stuff out there on autonomic nervous function as pertains to HR. I think its value is being overstated in the day to day applications other than maybe acute illness, but over longer periods, a week up to months, there’s some goodness there IMO.


Can you give examples? I am interested into looking some things up :slight_smile:

Some already mentioned here: dropping RHR and rising HRV trends over long periods seem to be indicative of improved aerobic fitness. More acutely, an elevated RHR and inability to raise HR to high % of max relative to your normal ability can indicate the body is dedicating resources to fighting infection or inflammation and your heart is thus reverting more toward its autonomic normal HR (read some places that this would be about 60bpm on average).

I’ve been tracking HRV and RHR overnight for a couple of years and find it of little practical value day to day unless I’m getting sick, and then it seems to lead by a day or so. Normally by the time HRV and RHR trends tell me anything, I already know I am cooked.

But then it might be of more utility to people who struggle with “listening to their bodies”. And it might be informative to remote coaches like me. That said, I have two athletes who track HRV and RHR data in trainingpeaks, but I can usually tell when they’re cooked by their training data (HR and subjectives) before it’s ever revealed in HRV.

As an aside, this is why I kinda eyeroll at TR talking about using HRV to improve adaptive training. Good luck with that being useful. HRV response can be very individual, so it kinda falls in with saying stuff like “4.0mmol is your lactate threshold”.



About 4 years ago I started to wonder the same as my RHR was in low 70s (US gov considers normal at 60-100bpm). Mine seemed high for all the cycling I was doing, so I did some reading. Prior to that I had been training hard, first two years self-coached, and then 2 years with a lot of TR intervals. When I dug into my own data, I noticed majority of time above my personal zone2 HR (“all day” climbing HR).

My interpretation of the science is that easy aerobic training, things like walking, easy jogging, and easy cycling, allows the heart muscle to develop “big full, elastic, strong beats” (increased stroke volume). So I’ve been doing easy aerobic training for 3 years now, slowly pushing my weekly average to 5+ hours of endurance cycling. And my RHR dropped from low 70s to 58-62bpm. And for a given HR (upper third of my personal zone2 HR), my power has increased from 150W to 205W (ftp from 250 to 275). In addition, my HRV was really low, in the 10-20 range, and now its something like 25-35 range. Overall really great improvements in both health metrics and power curve & endurance. You can get an eyeful of similar comments from certain physiologists/doctors/science folks on Twitter.


During the pandemic we started doing a lot of walking nearly every day for 2-3h (we have a nice hill around the block). That gave me a lot of energy and endurance, but I’m a bit bummed that I don‘t see more results, even after I startey cycling. Surely my expectations are too high and it means nothing.

Or my body can‘t adapt to all the movement/exercise I‘m doing simolar to your case (trying to find out at the moment). I’m glad it worked out for you. :slight_smile:

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for what its worth, given all my work stress, it took 18 months before I saw a change. From comments by an exercise physiologist on Twitter, that shouldn’t be a surprise. He said it can take 2 years to undo years of neglect or too much intensity. FWIW.

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Aerobic adaptations take a long time… but also the thing that limits cycling is the movement is very limited and very specific. I see lots of cases of runners who come to cycling with great aerobic fitness but their thresholds take a long time to develop. Conversely, cyclists who turn to running seem to have a better time of it once they adapt to the impact. I’m sure there’s a reason for it… I just wouldn’t want to hazard a guess as to what it is.

But it’s not terribly surprising that long walks didn’t translate to cycling fitness… but they were certainly good for your overall well being!!


That‘s interesting, thank you :slight_smile:

Apologies for hijacking this thread but it may be a helpful second example - I’ve been a determined cyclist following a structured 10hr+/week training plan for 15 years+. Now in my early 40s. Weight has stayed the same. In the top half of athletes but not near the podium at national level events, so I’m at an ok level. Had the same job with similar variable (but almost always high to some extent) stress levels during that time. Two young kids.

My RHR has been steadily increasing in recent months and either with that, or causing that, is a feeling that I’m in a worse state of mind and higher levels of general anxiety.

What could cause RHR to steadily increase even if most other variables are largely the same?!

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When using a cycle trainer on its own my resting heart rate is noticeably higher than it is when I actually get outdoors too. I’ll just have to keep on getting out in the winter!

This, stress is big!

There’s some basic math re working out your resting HR vs your max HR. It’s used to generate an estimated VO2Max.

It can be surprisingly accurate in many people.

Basically, if your resting HR is 30bpm and your max HR is 200bpm, you have a high VO2Max.

Long term your RHR should lower, particularly compared to off the coach.

When I’m most fit and not over reaching, my RHR is at it’s lowest.

Don’t overthink day to day fluctuations. However, if it’s not moving over a season, you likely need to re-think your training.

Here’s the math.


With knowledge of my Vo2Max I calculated my theoretical resting heart rate. The given number is lower than what my Garmin watch reports, but Garmin calculates it like this:

Daily RHR is calculated using the lowest 30 minute average in a 24 hour period.

Others take the lowest minute, or the first minute after waking up. In my case these numbers are lower than the lowest 30 minute average. (Meaning my Vo2Max has potential?)

I think Garmin takes the 20minute low average in 24h. I usually find it reports circa 50bpm for me but if I zoom into the graph its regularly recording 1-2beats lower. Lol and if I’m seudo watching a film before I go to bed it often drops the average again. It also often records that as REM sleep :joy:

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I can get values between 58 and 73 depending on how I use RHR and maxHR values… I mean. That’s a pretty good range for me but damn, it’s a hell of a range when you’re talking 25% of the value, lol.

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