Hart Rate HELP!!


New Member
May 21, 2003
hi there,

i have just purchased a Polar Coach heart rate moniter a few months ago but do not feel i am getting the benifit i could out of it. I record my low and high and average rates per ride but strugle to work out how to really utilise this on my rides. I know this is a pretty broard subject but i would really appriciate it if there was anyone out there that could shed some light on exaclty how i can utalize this with my training rides.

Also is there anyone out there that feels they could help me with a training program or should this be up to me to work out?

any help at all would be a huge godsent.



New Member
Mar 26, 2003
First of all, it is very important to determine what you want out of cycling. Do you want to lose weight, have fun riding with friends, or race???

Training with a HRM is a little dated now, although heart rate data is still valuable. Power-measuring devices that display watts are the best measurement of training intensity. Training with a HRM requires an accurate measurement of your current max heart rate.

Accurate max heart rate is determined from all out maximum efforts on the bike and not from texbook formulas like "220 - your age."

Books also say your max heart rate declines 10 bpm per decade of life. I started mountain biking in 1989. I got my first HRM in 1990 when I started road riding. My max then was 183 bpm. Today, 13 years later, my current max is still 180 bpm (saw it yesterday)!!! If I would have used the textbook fma's, I would have been way off!!!

Once you know what your current max is, you can derive the various training percentages you need to meet your goals.

Although there is a direct correlation between increased intensity and increased heart rate, There is not a strong correlation between watts and heart rate. What this means is that riding harder will always raise your heart rate, but it is possible you could put out more power(watts)today at a lower heart rate than you did yesterday. If you were using percentages of max heart rate to guage intensity, you would see the lower heart rate value, and go home because you were "overtrained."

In order to successfully use a HRM, you must know your current max heart rate. Do a short 5 minute time trial. Ride at your limits to complete the distance. Sprint as hard as you can the last 30 seconds or so and completely blow yourself up. look at your heart rate. Use hard group rides, hills, or any hard training to also determine your max.

After several hard "tests" you will get a good idea of what your max is. Without getting too technical, in general, 55-65% is considered a "recovery" intensity, 65-85% an "aerobic" intensity, 85-93% an anaerobic/lactate threshold intensity (aerobic+anaerobic), and over 93% "anaerobic" intensity.

Your goals will determine where you should spend your time training. If you just want to lose weight, you don't need anaerobic intervals, but if you race, you will not survive without them.

Good luck!!!


New Member
Oct 30, 2002
Do a quick search for heart rate threads on the forum, a lot of this stuff was discussed in detail in a few other posts

developing a program will depend on what you want to achieve and what you are currently doing