What % Of Your Maximum Heart Rate Do You Reach During Sweetspot & Threshold Workouts?

As a bit of background to my question, I’m a 57 year old “|ife-long cyclist” returning to TrainerRoad after a two-year complete break from cycling due to a (thankfully, apparently one-off) brush with the dreaded AF.

My main fear with the AF, is getting another attack when I am 20 miles from home, so I’m starting my rehabilitation riding on the home-trainer until I get a bit more confident that my heart rate is behaving itself under (moderate) stress. On that basis, the last thing I want to do is a maximal effort to get an accurate FTP.

As such, I’m manually setting my FTP to a level that enables me to keep my heart rate at a “moderately extended” level in the drills, and I’m just wondering (on a totally subjective basis) how far “under” I am. I’d emphasise, I’m not trying to guestimate any kind of meaningful FTP value, I’m just looking to get a view on how much under the correct effort level for each workout I’m actually working at.

Prior to my AF issue, at 55 I used to try and cap my efforts on the road under 165BPM, although my actual max heart-rate was well into the mid-high 170’s (I had a premonition that I shouldn’t be pushing it too hard, as my resting heart rate was starting to resemble a particularly lumpy old diesel).

With my current “pseudo-FTP”, I’m staying under 150 during sweetspot workouts and maybe drifting up to 155 on Threshold. In both cases subjective exertion is moderate.

Any feedback on what HR% any of you hit would be much appreciated.

Many thanks


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A quick look at some of my past workouts shows me that I sit around 80-85% of Max HR at sweetspot


Many thanks for that - that would suggest that the current level I’m working at is pretty close to where it should be.

Much appreciated.


At 44 and using TR since December I generally max out around 80% HR during SS. Just looked at last indoor SS workout (Galena) and I was around 133bpm with a max of 167. Looking back at some o/u I end up closer to 85-90% once I get past the 50 minute mark during the Threshold intervals.

I am 40 and after 3 sets of 15 minutes my HR gets to 90% (170s out of 191).


I am 56, My Max HR is 175, i sit about 150 to 155, in sweetspot and threshold respectively.

Thanks All, I really appreciate the replies. It looks like the FTP I’m currently working at is pretty much where it needs to be - which is a “good-news” / “bad-news” thing…The good news is that the sweet-spot sessions should be working as they are meant to, the bad news is that I have lost as much of my pre-incident FTP as I thought I had!

Also remember…
your HR will vary a lot, specially indoors… its hotter and no breaks… So higher HR dont really mean much…as long as you can complete the wo

So for a threshold workout/interval currently I sit at an average of 176bpm which would be 90% (196 max for this season), last sweet spot was around 166bpm so about 85%.

I’m a year older and some data:

  • 175bpm max HR (cycling)
  • 160bpm lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR) which is HR when riding 20-60 minutes at FTP
  • 155-160bpm (89-91% HRmax) at end of threshold intervals
  • 145-150bpm (83-86% HRmax) at end of sweet spot intervals

hope that helps.


I don’t keep very good track of which workouts have V02max or threshold efforts in them, so can only use my FTP tests as my data points. I do 20-minute FTP tests, and keeping in mind that one should probably be somewhere in the ~105% range for that 20 min, this can be taken with a grain of salt.

But in my last 3 tests, I have almost exactly the same pattern for HR. One minute into the 20-minute effort, my HR is at 70% of max. It steadily climbs and maxes out at around 85% of max HR between the 19-20 min mark. So I would guess for most threshold efforts, my HR is probably in the 75-80% of max HR range.

Will also mention that I am a 45 yo guy.

Many thanks - that is brilliant information for me. I’m pretty sure my Max HR is also still around the 175 mark, I just don’t want to put it to the test at the moment.

Your sweetspot percentages are pretty much where I am at the moment, and I think I’ll stick with sweetspot sessions for the time being and only move onto threshold sessions when I am a bit more confident. The main thing is, it sounds like I’m at the effort level I need to be for the sessions to do what they are meant to.

About 85% (175bpm) is comfortable for me. On my 4th interval today of the sweetspot session (Ericsson) I took it to 88% but still didn’t feel stressed. On my last randomly chosen indoor session (Deerhorn-5), which punched over threshold occasionally, I took it to 90% (180bpm) and at no point felt burn out. I might raise my FTP again.
It was 308w last year pre my bowel cancer op but I was 11kg heavier than I am now.
At the end of April it was 281w and I was 2.5kg heavier than I am now.
I am currently going off 272w (approximately the same w/kg) based on my average weight for June.
I’m actually 1kg lighter again that puts me in the 5.04w/kg category. Perhaps I won’t raise it as I don’t feel mentally stronger than that at the moment :thinking: My HR pre op though would go higher. Post op I’ve not took it higher than 96% (192 bpm) during that last 20 mins test at the end of April :thinking::thinking:

Just checking Eclipse +3…last 3 minutes of the last interval avg 170bpm/185bpm so about 92%. However, same part of the interval for the first three intervals was 160bpm, 164bpm, 164bpm. So that’s more like 85% to 88%.

Last time I did an hour @ threshold my HR averaged 169 for the last 10 minutes of the hour. So that’s ~91% of max.

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sorry the end of threshold % were wrong and now fixed in original post. The correct % are also below:

  • 155-160bpm (89-91% HRmax) at end of threshold intervals

@Joelrivera, 90% of Max HR is threshold in my view. Sweet spot should be tolerable and be able to get a few words out. I find it to be upper Z3, lower Z4, which for me is 128 bpm off a max of 158.

at 170 i talk broken sentences. I set my bike hr 10 lower than my running max (200).
Im not sure whats my max bike HR. Ive got to 189 at the end of a vo2 max… :man_shrugging:

but yes… I agree that the HR is almost at Threshold… but my hr seems to love to be elevated…all the time… i blame the heat.


Max hr on the bike - 190. My threshold hr is 172 (90%) - usually reached after 10-15 minutes of work. SS is usually 154-165 bpm range

Of course it varies with temperature and humidity. Since end of May my HR is elevated from the heat and humidity - at the beginning it was 10-15 bpm, recently about 5 bpm during threshold but still it is pi**ing me off.

Greetings from a 53 year old who is also coming back from AFib, having had 2 operations to cure it! My max HR I’ve pushed this year is 184, I’ve seen 173 doing workouts like Fish -2 (4x15-minute intervals at 95-99% FTP with only 4-minute recoveries between intervals) after an FTP reset

Threshold: 88%