Threshold HR value?

I have a basic Training Peaks account, which I never use. I get plenty data from TR, Strava and Garmin connect.

Anyway, from time to time, TP will drop me a threshold notification. I’ve never done anything about this, but after receiving a notification today I got curious.

Currently, my HR zones are based on max HR. I can get to my max HR when running, but when riding, I never hit it.

Anyway, my question is the difference / benefits of basing HR zones on threshold HR as opposed to max HR.

Some of it depends on how you determine your heart rate max. The heart rate formulas based on resting heart rate are usually pretty bogus. True max heart rate determined from races/workouts are usually more accurate. Using HR to determine training zones can be tricky without a lactate blood test and zones will be different for swimming running and biking.

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To set your cycling zones, you have to use your max HR you’ve achieved while cycling. Those are just your running zones now.


True they were derived from running, but I default them to my Garmin Edge also.

However, we’re not talking about night and day, on the bike I can get within <5bpm of my running max. Close enough not to make a huge difference in zones?

I reckon with a monumental effort I could achieve the same max on the bike also.

it’ll be about 5 beats lower then, and that is perfectly normal due to the types of movements involved in the two, with running using more of your overall body than cycling which is focused almost entirely on your legs.

Many consider LTHR a better way of calulating your zones. Using HRmax is more generic; 2 people with a HRmax of 190 could have very different HR’s at threshold.

I’ve calculated mine in TP based on LTHR using the Coggan method.

This is a good article explaining how to estimate your LTHR:

Determine your lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR) with a short test. (Do not use 220 minus your age to find max heart rate as this is as likely to be wrong as right.) This LTHR test is best done early in the Base and Build periods.

To find your LTHR do a 30-minute time trial all by yourself (no training partners and not in a race). Again, it should be done as if it was a race for the entire 30 minutes . But at 10 minutes into the test, click the lap button on your heart rate monitor. When done, look to see what your average heart rate was for the last 20 minutes. That number is an approximation of your LTHR.

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