Heartrate over time (years)

How does heart rate change over time. I know max heart rate drops as you get older, but does FTP HR stay pretty much the same? How about LT1HR? If my memory is correct from 15 years ago, they seem to be pretty similar to then and now, but for something like a 5 min full gas effort, my HR certainly doesnt get as high on each interval as it did when I was younger (i’m doing intervals by power, just observing HR). Is this typical?

I can’t say about LT1, but my 1m, 5m, 10m, 20m, 60min max HR are all several beats lower at 41 than in my mid 30s (5-8bpm less).

On the flip side, I have the highest power numbers ever recorded for those same durations.

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I guess there is probably quite a bit of individual variation with heart rate. I’ve been using a heart rate monitor since I was in my early forties 10 years ago and my max HR only seems to have dropped by about 2 or 3 bpm. As for FTP, this summer mine was at its highest ever, up around 4.5W/kg at its peak. Short sprinty efforts are more of an issue…

That’s a good question on specifically HR at FTP or LT1. We’re familiar with the age-related declines in HR max, and that seems to be the most pronounced decline. We also see declines coming from maximal stroke volume and our ability to extract the O2 at the peripheral level. So with those maximal reductions, that must flow down to sub-maximal intensities where the changes are there, but maybe not as pronounced as @smashsquatch and @novet suggested based on their experience. A couple beats here and there. Cycling is one of those sports where the declines in efficiency don’t seem to show up to the same level as we would experience in running, so that could help explain how we maintain and improve those power numbers and PRs, but with slightly lower HR numbers.

It could be that I’m just too tired to suffer after having a kid :crazy_face:

Or switching HR straps.

Based on the other thread in EP. 185 - Comparing Training Methods Across Endurance Sports, with Dr. Stephen Seiler

I feel like I really am just not doing a good enough job pushing myself on the bike these days … I clearly just need to go Sprint up a hill and see what I’m capable of.

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I’d say from mid 30s to mid 50s my maximal HR has seen an average decline of about 1 bpm. My resting HR hasn’t really changed in that time. That’s mostly dependent upon current fitness level and weight.

I’ll caveat that with my cycling interest have changed in that time from mtn biking to ultra distance. The demands and bikes are different. The amount of muscle max involved is different and will affect max HR seen.