Heart Rate vs FTP, which drives the bus?


For whatever it’s worth my garmin with built in wrist monitor is way off unless I use a chest strap.


I haven’t had great results with my optical sensor on my Garmin 935 either when it comes to interval work (run or bike)–it’s fine for steady state stuff though and I’ve had a few runs where I didn’t even realize I forgot to put my strap on until many km’s into the run lol. I still use my old hard front HR Garmin chest strap that continues to serve me well to keep things as accurate as possible.


Good question. IDK, I’ll have to see. I only have the one unit. but if it’s faulty then I would rest much easier.


Well, I feel like I’m climbing up a really steep hill. But never does it feel like my chest will explode! Ever.

I’m going to see a cardiologist in a few weeks. I’m going to get a stress test done. I had one done before, about 15 months ago. he had my HR up over 180 and I kept it there for like 5 minutes. He was impressed. Then, he tracked my recovery and was equally impressed that I recovered so quickly. But, that was then, this is now and the workouts are somewhat harder now. So, we shall see.


I’m a little suspect of the 220 down to 100 swing as well.

I have a pretty quick heart and it’s not unheard of for me to get into the 200s on something like repeated VO2Max intervals, but my easiest recovery rides still have my heart in the 140-150 range.


Man, 220 BPM is straight up “oh my God I want to die, I don’t know if I can take this one second more of this” territory. This, combined with the rapid drop to 100 BPM puts me firmly in the “bad heart rate monitor” camp.

If I was putting my heart rate above 200, I would stop whatever I was doing, immediately. I strongly recommend getting a new HRM and possibly seeing your doctor to get a confirmation.


But you’re not @mortonspoint so your max HR, threshold HR how quickly your HR recovers etc…have zero relevance to his. Back before PM’s most of us used HR for years and years. Those new to it always wanted to compare threshold or max HR’s for whatever reason thinking a higher or lower number was superior. HR metrics are only relevant to you.

@mortonspoint while I too think 218-220 is high the drop in the context you describe is completely normal or at least nothing to worry about. If anything that kind of recovery is very encouraging. One thing I have to ask, and this sounds stupid, but, are you training near some high tension power lines by chance?


@mortonspoint I think you’re safest bet is to get the stress test done. HR’s of 220 for a 58 year old are high, but not unheard of. I think for peace of mind, you want to clear out any electrical issues that might lead to an arrhythmia. If the cardiologist gives you the all clear, then go for it. You’ll be one of the lucky ones with high HR advantages!

Just remember, that the PO will drive the adaptations to your metabolic and cv system, The HR looks at the internal stress - you’ll have a slightly altered approach to monitoring your internal stress than most.


Power is what your body is doing to the bike. Hr is what your bike is doing to the body.

They both drive the bus but which one you listen to will vary across the season, and there can be big oddities that make you listen to one over the other.

For me it’s power unless I am at the end of a block or nearing a peak then I monitor by hr more. If I ever see significant oddities in cardiac drift then I switch to hr for a few days.

The numbers you provide are wacky as others have said. I’d continue to train by power for a few more weeks to establish more data points.


I found this very interesting. I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t already been said, but I would like to know what comes of this. Be sure to post what you find out from your stress test.


Nope, I’m my basement in a residential suburb of Detroit, MI. I use a KickR unit that ants with my laptop computer that sits on a shelf next to my bike.


Ok cool. Just ruling that out as that situation always spikes readings. Usually higher but, just checking.


This is Mist +2. As you can see the peaks are all at or slightly above 200. It takes the entire recovery period to settle back down. But I do after each interval recover all the way back to around 100 +/-. My cadence is at least 85, MPH over 19 and the watts during the interval is like 290 and 99 for the recovery periods.


I can have similar readings and my heart rate can sky rocket to over 200 on some high effort rides. I have had some tests and they have told me (ECG) I have ectopic heart beats which are extra ones. If I wasn’t wearing a HR monitor I wouldn’t know it was that high…it would feel hard work but doable. I am 66.


That looks like a fairly normal HR behavior for that kind of interval to me.


your chart doesn’t look like a bad HR monitor. But, those are big swings. How high did your HR get during your FTP test, 240s? When I do under overs I get to threshold HR at the end of the set; I still have 15ish beats to go to max.


It was similar, 224 bpm when I did the ramp test.


IDK anything, but how does your HR react to a VO2 set? I only ask because if your shooting up to max during TR efforts maybe your FTP is set too high?


Ok, after looking at your graph, I see by “quick” you mean about 5 minutes, lol. I was thinking 1 minute. Your HR monitor appears to be functioning normal although your HR reaches pretty high. Your peaks are just more peakier and your valleys are deeper, but are consistent with what I see…


@mortonspoint hey just talked to my Dad (retired M.D.)…he had to take my Mom into the ER a couple of night ago for Afib. While talking about that he told me about a buddy they used to train with (Nordic skiing with HR monitors) while in their 60’s. All the guys had HR’s in the 150-160’s doing some intervals and one guy had 220+. Long story short he suffered a stroke shortly there after.

Not to scare you but, go get checked out is where I’m driving this. Afib is common and treatable especially if caught sooner than later. Let us know what you do/find out…lot’s of aging athletes here.