Training zones using a heart rate monitor.

Sep 30, 2017
This is more for serious recreational riders, who might want to ride closer to the front, on group rides, or blow the doors off that annoying guy at work, not racers who have probably already looked into this pretty seriously.
Once you've figured out your maximum heart rate, you can now figure out your training zones. I have a book on training with a monitor that gives zones and there was rudimentary information, on training zones, that came with the monitor. Both give the same numbers.
60-70% of maximum heart rate for endurance training
70-80% of max for aerobic training
80-90% of max gets you into anaerobic threshold training
and over 90% and your into anaerobic territory.

With a little searching, I came across a different set of zones that I'm inclined to believe are more accurate. Multiples of ten just seems a little too convenient. This set of zones goes like this:
Up to 65% of maximum heart rate is warm up
65-75% of max is your endurance zone
75 to 83% is Aerobic zone
84-95% Is the lactate threshold zone
And 94 to 100% is anaerobic.
So the Ball State formula, for determining maximum heart rate, gave me a number a little higher than the old 220 minus my age formula and this new group of zones gives me numbers a little higher than the zones that were just multiples of ten..
Combining the Ball State formula for finding maximum heart rate with these "new" training zones puts me at a significantly higher heart rate than I would be using with the "old" numbers. Hopefully this will translate into better performance.


New Member
Sep 29, 2018
I would start with 20 min test to set up your Functional Threshold Heart Rate (FTHR), don't use maximum heart rate!
And here you have zones and duration of workouts/intervals.

Zone Lower Range* Higher Range* Intervals Time
Zone 1 – Recovery N/A < 68 % 30 – 90 min.
Zone 2 – Endurance 69 % 83 % 60 – 300 min.
Zone 3 – Tempo 84 % 94 % 60 – 120 min.
Zone 4 – SubThreshold 95 % 100 % 20 – 60 min.
Zone 5a – SuperThreshold 101 % 105 % 8 – 20 min.
Zone 5b – VO2 max 106 % > 106 % 3 – 8 min.
Zone 5c – Anaerobic N/A N/A 30 sec. – 3 min.
Zone 6 – Neuromuscular Power N/A N/A 8 – 12 sec.