Heart Rate vs FTP, which drives the bus?


I’m no cardiologist, but just looking at the HR trace on the graph you posted, I’d say it is not the normal shape for the workout.

Take a look at any of the completed Mist +2 workouts and you’ll see traces that are much different in shape:

Heart rate should climb fastest at the start and then start to level off. Your trace climbs linearly for the whole interval. The sixth interval looks particularly strange in that HR doesn’t climb until about half way through. It should also be much smoother than it’s shown on your trace.

I don’t know what any of this really means, whether it a problem with your HRM or something else but it doesn’t look the way I’d expect.



Well I went and got checked out by a cardiologist. Given a bunch of other issues I have he is not overly concerned that my HR goes up that high. There was no “OH, you got to stop that” discussion. He said that if it didn’t recover then he’d be much more concerned. But it does and he’s seems OK with it.

I did a ramp test last night and I increased my FTP by 2% and now I sit at 255. Max HR still peaked at 225.

So I still don’t know what to think.


Given that everything seems to check out for you and you are seemingly just an outlier when it comes to “normal” HR levels for your age (and probably most people regardless of age…) and getting back to your original question - - I would still let FTP “drive the bus” for your TR/bike training. Unless you’re doing longer steady state rides and want to be in a certain HR zone, basing your training off power will be of most benefit. I would again suggest to ignore MAF training on the bike, especially making use of the standard formula, and if you’re going to work in HR zones on the bike or otherwise, you need to calculate those based off your max HR (or threshold HR, depending on which you want to base your zones off of) and not any pre-existing simple age based formulas.


I’ve just read this top to bottom. The problem is that 220-age was the de facto HR max for years until someone realised it actually wasn’t.

You’ve had the ECG/exam by a professional. He was not overly concerned.

Your performance is fine and as he says the recovery is critical. I used to race MTB back in the 90s and a pro had to stop as his HR peaked (higher than yours) and wouldn’t recover.

My brother & I both ride and share our data his HR Max is 15 BPM higher than mine and we’re genetically similar ( :wink: )

I’d not worry you’ve been OK’d by the Doc - the professional - we’re all arm chair fanatics AND you don’t feel bad so why worry?!

By the way Mist +2 is a toughie!


Dude, if a doctor says that you’re okay, and you’re okay with him being okay, then I’m okay. Okay?


Just watched this 14+ minutes in about HR.


^^ This! There are so many statements in the replies here that are not rooting in fact (or if they are they need to provide sources).

Heart rate is very individual. Yes the fluctuations seem very large (a link to an example workout would be ideal @mortonspoint) but 220s is hardly unheard of, and certainly doesn’t mean you should ‘stop immediately’ as some people seem to be suggesting.

As many others have suggested seeing a doctor seems like the best bet going forwards, but if this turns out to be accurate then that is the way it is!

Another point to bear in mind it the extreme feeling regarding HR monitors in this thread. I also use a chest strap for the majority of my workouts over the optical sensor on my 935. This is because I have seen the optical sensor jump 20-30 bpm in seconds at higher effort levels (but steady effort), clearly demonstrating sensing issues. I don’t see these jumps using a chest strap, leading me to believe it is more precise. What I don’t know is how accurate the chest strap is! The difference between accuracy and precision is often overlooked and is important in discussion such as this one.


There isn’t a big “precision” issue with HR measurement - you are counting events and dividing by time, both tasks that do not introduce imprecision. The issue is “counting events” - not ending up measuring cadence on an optical HR sensor when running, for example, as the sensor is subject to cadence-related fluctuations and can confuse those with HR-related signals. A chest-mounted sensor on a trainer can only suffer from dropouts - on the sensor side (e.g. a dry sensor), or the transmission side (e.g. interference). It won’t be 3% off. It will be really off.

Re-read your post - you can change “precision” by “accuracy” above.


generally very good, however I do have issues once or twice a year when its cold & dry. The issue lasts for about 10-15 minutes until I start sweating, or moisten the contacts on the strap, or avoid the problem by applying a small amount of electrode gel to the strap’s contact pads before leaving for the ride.