Heart rate zones

I am curious about the heart rate zones applied to my profile and the role they play in training. Having just read the knowledge base material on the subject , I am left wondering if I have been working hard enough. This is in no way another complaint about the workouts being dialed down, so please consider the following:

I have been “suffering” for a few years with a dumb trainer and virtual power, often struggling through tough workouts, so I have a history.

Just upgraded to an interactive trainer coinciding with the change to SYSTM.

Recently did Full Frontal, proper effort. Attacker with Repeated strength and Sustained weakness.

Currently following an all purpose plan.

Finding that my heart rate and perceived effort have been quite low.

For example, rode The Bat with an average of 121 bmp and max 144. The “bat” intervals show zone 5 on the peaks and zone 4 in between. My zone 4 is 167- 175 bpm.

Rode The Way Out with an average of 121 and max 147. This max is well within zone 2 for me, whereas the targets are in zones 3-4.

Sorry for the long question, but what is the net effect of being so far below the targets?


I stopped using a heart rate monitor in training a long time ago. Only use it for FF and HM.
I find that in training, especially with short sharp efforts like in The Bat that heart rate is an unreliable measure. By the time your heart rate has reached the desired level, the effort has long finished.


The highest HR zone is equal to a steady state effort close to FTP as far as I know. Your HR could take a minute or two to rise but on the Bat I am a bit low for first intervals and spot on for the later ones. Low pulses can also be a sign of fatigue. But even so your values seem low (for you) . Try doing a steady effort and see what happens maybe? And maybe dial up your athlete settings or even retest - a quick half monty might bring clarity. Good luck anyway!

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I’m also finding my heart rate to be lower than the zones served up by Suf. I was told not to worry about it, power targets are more important. that said, I rode G.O.A.T. today and felt really fresh when I got off my bike, and the rest of the day as well. Probably time to retest. Was thinking about riding The Tool Shed tomorrow to see if I need to redo Full Frontal.

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