Should I worry about my HR?

Hey guys. So I know heart rate is a really personal thing and usually I don’t care much about it. My personal experience has been that I can sustain an hard effort for about an hour or so at 178-182 bpm (I don’t have a power meter) but now that in training with power in TR and also “racing” in zwift I’ve noticed that usually my avg heart rate after a race is way way higher than someone with similar power and w/kg as me… Does that mean they are fitter than me? Because I’m usually doing short races where you should be able to go at your ftp or slightly above. so I don’t think they’re taking it easier than me to get those power number.

I don’t know if I should “train” my heart or just don’t care at all about it and keep my riding as is. Anyways maybe in more focused on this subject because all the turbo training I’m doing thanks to the quarantine…



Maybe as a 80 year old racer you should be a little concerned.

To counter to this.

Yes, you should use HR as an additional data point. While it can vary from day to day and hour to hour, its important, in my opinion, to use all the data points you have available to you to inform you how your training is going and the affect is has on your body and health.

Power - How hard are you pedalling right now?
HR - How is your cardio system reacting to the work you are currently doing, and have been doing over the course of the interval or session?
RPE - How does your body and legs feel?

Should you compare your HR to others? No, never. HR at a specific power and max HR are all different for all of us.

Should you monitor your HR over the course of intervals, sessions, training cycles, seasons? Yes. I think of it as a long term metric and an important one to look at. You don’t want to go far too deep staring at your power meter reading and ignore all other metrics.


HR is mostly individual, but there are of course general trends - for example, they might have the same w/kg as you, but if they’re older, their HR is likely lower.
Also, if you’re racing, all those short sharp efforts will bring your HR higher than a long one hour hard effort.
And if it’s warmer, your HR will also be higher. Same if you’re using more muscles than just your legs, when running for example.

And yes, with training, your HR for the same power might come down (or the power at the same HR go up, same thing). Your HR might also respond quicker to changes in load, go up quicker, and come down quicker for recovery.

I wouldn’t worry too much though.

Heart rate is a very individual thing and can vary depending on how you are feeling be it fresh tired dehydrated can all influence it. It is still a useful metric to use along side a power meter and can tell you a lot like if your zones are actually correct. Threshold heart rate generally stays the same give or take a few beats here or there. Max is more to do with freshness.

I use HR for pacing on long climbs. I’m old though. :smirk: :older_man:

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HR varies wildly by individual and you can’t compare them and is no indication of fitness between two people. I too am always typically the highest avg and max HR on zwift races. My avg HR for an hour MTB race once was 191bpm. There was another thread on here a while back where someone posted a higher LTHR than mine which made me feel better, so maybe me having you beat will make you feel better :slight_smile:

But seriously, if its something you are concerned about you can always go see a doctor, I would try and find one who has some kind of experience with sports tho, I’ve found that even regular doctors are kind of taken aback by my resting HR (which is only in the high 40s so it’s not even really that low) so I’m not sure I’d fully trust what htey had to say on that particular subject because they can be unfamiliar with it.

Heartrate is very individual but generally it is…1/ Lower if you are older 2/ Higher if you are female 3/ Lower resting if you are very fit 4/ Higher if you have eaten or are ill or fatigued 5/ But you won’t be able to get it as higher if you are tired. But generally it is useful to know your resting HR so you can check it in the morning to see if you are fatigued or ill (especially at the moment!) and to notice any irregularities but since we nearly all train with power now it is a more useful metric to track health and fatigue rather than training.

Thank you all. I guess i’ll continue to handle this as I have been… Don’t care about others and just focus on my HR zones while working… Something I never really pay attention to is my resting hr since I only mesure it during my workout. I’m gonna look maybe for a hr band just to track this and see if it helps me to understand my body a little better regarding of how tired my body is vs how I feel.

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I watch my HR very closely, especially these days, its a good leading indicator of illness!

I like to keep track of my power in HR Z2 especially on long rides. If its steady then I have some aerobic base. You do need to consider the conditions (thirsty, hot, different time of day etc.) but its still valuable.

I also watch how quickly my HR comes down after an above threshold HR effort. If its hard to even get it to threshold or it takes a long time to come down then you might need to take some recovery.


Yep - resting is very useful - mine is about 36-38 bpm normally if I take it in bed with my HRM before I get up - if I have had a drink the night before it is often 40ish and the day after a hard tt about 46-48bpm . When I had flu last year… the normal version I new I was ill when I woke up and it was 62bpm. During the middle of that illness it was 72bpm in the morning and took a month to drop back below 40bpm so it is a very useful fitness/fatigue and health tracker. I religiously check it every morning at present for obvious reasons! :smile:

I don’t have one, but the whoop heart rate tracker is supposed to be pretty good if you have money to throw around. But yeah, tracking your resting HR is super beneficial, both for optimal training and also just general life stuff. It’s a pretty good indicator of when you are stressed, or fatigued, or getting sick and you can adjust accordingly. Would highly recommend doing so.

Yes I looked into that a few months ago watching one of the Phil Gaimon videos on youtube and is crazy expensive for some who’s only training for fun. I already think I’m paying to much with both TR and Zwift memberships! haha

I was looking into the garmin vivosmart 4, something simple and have a few garmin things that I like… Maybe I’ll get that to check my heart more often.

Thanks again to everyone for your opion!

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