Setting HR zones

I’m curious how other TR users set their HR zones. I know there are several methods of calculating zones, each of which gives a different result.

Currently I’m just rolling with zones based on % of Max HR (based on max HR from recent rides), which for consistency I use both Garmin and Strava.

Is there a better/more meaningful way to establish HR zones?


I have been using Pete Pfitzinger’s HR chart from his advanced marathoning book for running. For cycling I use watts for my zones based on the chart in Matt Fitzgeralds 80/20 triathlon book.

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@mancunian, the question is how to did you get your maximum? I’ve found I can only get it at the end of a road race in the final sprint.
One method I suggest is to record the highest HR at the end of a long threshold/VO2 effort when you’re breathing through your backside (on the limit), relating this as being at 90%, and do the maths to work out the maximum.

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Good point, which I hadn’t considered. My current ‘max’ usually comes about during fast group rides when I’m on the front and we hit a ramp.

I guess during a 100% balls to the wall sustained effort, I could maybe nudge it higher.

Oh dear, sounds like this means I need to put some effort in :joy:

Thanks for chiming in, I’ll take a look at that :+1:t2: