HR question


Well-Known Member
I have a close competition with a fellow rider in my club. Our ages are the same (40 and 41) He is smaller, more of a traditional cyclists build, and has been competitive cyclist far longer than me. I am a bigger build, more akin to a trackie, have come into cycling about ten years ago from a weight training/competitve team sports fitness background. Our 10 mile TT times are close but he generally beats me (club hilly TT) while any 25 events we enter I just pip him. He also produces average HRs on these efforts far, far higher than I produce (ie he will average on a 10 185 while I will be 165-170) I often get accused of 'not trying hard'!!
However, I reason that I tend to push bigger gears, using my strength, therefore although I almost match my friend in terms of average speed my heart rate will be lower. Is that reasonable or do I need to try harder! (generally feel sick and re taste a little on a10)


New Member
Bromley, Kent
Max Heart rate's and work load are really down to each individual body/person. Your mates average of 185 is very impresive for his age, but I would assume that he is working near his Max heart rate throughout the term of exercise. My average is around 168 in an event and I'm 27. It would appear you have the room for a little bit more hard work yes, but don't go too hard otherwise you might blow out. work on it gradually

Steve Austin

The Marmalade Kid
Average heart rate over an event means little. percentage of overall rate would mean more, IF you wanted to compare to your mate.
Have you got comparable MHR's?
Agree with Steve. You each need to know your 'actual' max HR, not your theoretical one (the 220 - age one), and then you can see how hard you are working as a percentage of it.


Senior Member
Another HR question...Took my heart rate monitor out cycling today to see what effect training was having. Very hard to get heart rate above 120bpm no matter how hard I cycled, though it reached 130 going up a hill, out of the saddle. My aerobic (steady) zone starts at about 138, so cycling today hardly touched the sides, as far as aerobic fitness goes. When my legs get stronger will I go faster and my average heart rate go up? I'm still very new to cycling as training, only started seriously about three weeks ago. I do quite a bit of running however, I'm not fast, but I am fitter than the average bod my age I suppose.


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
I had a club mate who was working hard doing 150-160, whilst mine was 180-190...very individual, and understanding your HR range is important to you alone.
Heart Rate, Heart Rate, Heart Rate...people get so hung up on it.

What really matters is Cardiac Output. That's the amount of blood your heart pumps out every minute. It's a function of HR x stroke volume, the amount of blood your heart pumps out with each beat.

HR=100, stroke volume=50ml. So output=5000ml/min or 5l/min
HR=50, stroke volume=100ml. Output = 5000ml/min, or 5l/min.

Very different heart rates, but the end result is the same.

It's not just how fast your heart is beating, it's "strength" and capacity counts too.

Don't get hung up on the numbers. A HR monitor can be a useful training aid, but it's not a super-accurate measure of how hard your body is working. Chill.


Über Member
when your heartrate remains at a constant 0, that is when you worry.
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