Resting Heart Rate

So I just got my wisdom teeth all out, under general. They kept my under observation for a few hrs. The heart rate monitor alarm kept going off, as it turns out my RHR is ~45bpm… which I’m astonished by!

How does RHR impact cycling, and particularly the ability at altitude?

I’m planning on doing HR Dolomites next year which will have a few 2000m + mountains.

Sorry, I don’t know the answer to this, but would love to be able to blame my slow progress up HR Ventoux on my low resting heart rate, this is an excuse i’d not thought of!

You probably have a big heart that pumps more blood per heart beat, making things about equal.

Only issue I suffer from is getting up too quickly from the sofa and feeling a bit light headed for a second or two.

There may be other consequences, but I don’t think it will be holding you back much, if at all.

I’ve got HR Dolomites in the calender too, should be a great event

Probably side effect from the drugs they gave you…

RHR is a funny thing and low ones are common in cyclists. A low RHR can indicate that you’ve got fitter since you’ve been training but it can also indicate you are overtrained and thus less optimally fit :exploding_head:

For me if my RHR jumps up by a bit its usually a sign I am coming or about to come down with something.

I would not worry. I have an RHR of 40 and get up fine. Just a bit dizzy when standing up too quickly after a big day. Just get the training in and go for it.


My RHR is 42 BPM and I have good fitness, but nothing special. FTP (Ramp Test) of +/- 330) and V02max (Garmin) of 63 ml/kg/min. As I am still around 88kg, my absolute V02max is around 5.5 l/min, which is quite ok. I think this could be the reason, why my RHR is quite low and vice versa. But I am definetely not a successful or talented athlete. According to this image (Sourve: Fig 2. Distribution of average daily resting heart rates. The average...) you are probably in the lower 3% of males:

I have a RHR of 33 it really doesnt affect anything that I know of. Except they have to turn the low HR alarm off if being monitored in hospital / Doctors. My daughter has a low HR as well (42bpm, not sporty), they can just adjust the alarm to the lowest setting for her.

I have never rode at 2000m plus but expect red blood cell count would make a difference, I would not expect RHR too.

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Armstrong was famous for having a low resting heart rate. 32 if I remember. Here’s an interesting read:

Anything below a certain level (60bpm?) is technically considered bradycardia, however it’s very common for endurance athletes and fairly unlikely to cause problems if it’s due to that rather than an underlying health issue. Also genetic to some extent- my RHR was in the low 40’s as an untrained person and it’s decreased a bit since then, which isn’t uncommon in my family.
Not any impact on altitude cycling to my knowledge, and in general as long as you have your HR zones set correctly everything will scale to that. HR is highly individual (within reason) so as long as you’re otherwise healthy it’s just how you’re set up- everything still works the same :slight_smile:

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My resting HR is 35bpm…it’s been under 40 since I took up cycling/running/triathlon at Uni 32 years ago - it drops with fitness - that said as mentioned I do get dizzy if I stand up quickly when I have been sitting in front of the TV - low blood pressure I assume…but better than the opposite! :laughing:

Out of interest, for those who have very low RHR do you also have low Max HR or is it normal (assume normal equals something close to the old 220 minus your age formula)? Read some research a while back suggesting that HR range could be linked to performance. I.e. Somebody with a RHR of 40bpm and a max of 200bpm can effectively increase their cardiac output 5x from resting where somebody with the same max but a RHR of 50bpm, or with the same RHR but a max of 160 can only increase it 4x. Kind of makes sense and anecdotally correlates reasonably well to what I know of HR among people I train with. Could also be pure bro science though!

I’m 55 yrs old with min 42 and max 181. I am very average athlete (FTP 240). I do find vo2 max much easier than threshold sustained power but I don’t feel I have any performance benefit from a slightly wider HR range. N=1…

My RHR and Max HR are coming closer together as I age but in the past its been in the low 40s bpm overnight and 205bpm max. Now at nearly 46years the RHR hovers around 48-50bpm according to my vivioactive and maxes at 198bpm.
I can’t take HR as gauge of fitness Ive seen folk with both much lower and higher extremes than me been stronger.

No and nothing to worry about. Enjoy the Dolomites :+1:

My RHR is about 41 and maxHR I’ve seen on the bike is 187. 38y male, 184cm and 76KG (ftp around 290). So quite a big range but I don’t know if it really matters that much.

I’ve always thought of the 220 thing as such a blunt instrument that it’s effectively worthless.
I’m M50, RHR 46, Max HR when running 186, cycling 182. 73Kg. 185cm.

Yeah 220 thing is totally useless.

How many days of not training (and not drinking!) do you think to get your true resting heart rate?

Is there any correlation between losing body weight and RHR coming down a few beats?

No doctor or anything but that would make sense to me. Less bodymass so less blood needed (?).

Agree the 220 formula is pretty useless in terms of setting heart rate zones as there’s so much individual variation. Probably does give a reasonable idea of where the average is though I.e. If your actual max is 20bpm higher or lower than the formula you’re a bit of an outlier.