Heart rate zones target are they important?

With the Wahoo system training plan after I did the 4dp test and completed a few training sessions, I noticed that I wasn’t always in the right heart rate zones during the intervals and even during the breaks. 10 strokes over. But the training was doable.
Should I continue like this or should I reduce the percentage performance, otherwise it might lead to overtraining?


Hey @Vice7, welcome to the forums. This question gets asked A LOT!! :rofl:

A search in the forums for “heart rate zones” reveals a pretty long list of results.

That said, many people find that when they train in SYSTM, they often find themselves below the HR targets, but, during the interval rests, it is not uncommon to be over as the target doesn’t realize you just kicked your own ass :wink: . In any case, HR is highly individual and influenced by many factors (diet, sleep, hydration, stress, temperature etc etc) and your results might vary.

If you have a power meter, or a smart trainer that records/controls power, that is the metric you ought to focus on (or RPE). Most importantly, if you are finding the training “doable”, I would just continue with it and not worry at all about overtraining.

Full disclosure: I am not a coach, sport scientist, or elite level athlete. I’m just a guy who’s been around here for a bit.


One thing I find helpful is to view the HR graph during a workout as it makes it easy to see how my HR is trending. Since HR is slow to respond, seeing the trend tells me if I’m heading the right direction in an interval and over multiple intervals. Also I can see if it’s holding steady or increasing/decreasing. Unfortunately, unlike all other training apps, Systm only shows one graph at at time so you can’t see the power graph and HR graph at the same time. You have to go into the workout settings during the workout to switch between the two. Showing both would be best, but at least providing hot keys to quickly switch between the graphs would be helpful.


If you are steady at 10 over, that’s ok. It’s when your HR either goes way up or you just can’t get the needle to move when it becomes worrisome. It takes me about a 1/2 hour to get mine into the correct zone. I have a cardiac health issue and I’m also older and conditioned.
TL:DR You are fine. Your hearts reaction will change over time. Overtraining takes a while and if you follow a good recovery program, you’ll never reach that level.