I’m 54 and the oldest rider that rides in my group. Some of the guys are 17- 27 years old and they have max HR of 190 +. They will ride around at 170 bpm then sprint to 190+. They routinely are no where near their HR max but I’m there all the time. My heart rate is close to theirs but I’m at max.
The recommended heart zones of 90%, 80%, 70%, 60%, and 50% for zones 5-4-3-2-1 seem way to low.
166 X .90 = 149 bmp.
Previously on group rides, I would be working with the group then blow up on a long pull and get dropped.
I started monitoring my HR and would draft whenever my pulse was 160 and I would not blow up anymore but I stayed in Zone 5 almost all the time.
Now on group rides I am routinely maintaining 155-165. Usually around 165 I’ll stop pulling and jump in a draft for few min till my pulse is 150 - 155 then I’ll take another turn.
On hill climbs or sprints, I now will tach up 173 or so.
I spend almost all of my fast group rides at zone 5.
I feel fine no chest pain or shortness of breath.
As we age, do the target zones become more narrow?
Should zone 5 be Max HR X 0.95% instead of 90%?
Should I use my actual max heart rate instead of the predicted max?
I know, ask my doctor. The thing is, I am a doctor and the recommendations are geared toward general groups of patients and not so much for specific individuals that may be more fit than the average Joe.
I’m wondering what other older riders are doing and if any of the coaches or exercise physiologists that Zwift have an opinion. If I did a Cardiac stress test, they would only stress me to about 80% of pred max HR which would be 132 for me. I’m not too worried about my heart at 130 bmp but 170-175 or prolonged periods at max HR worry me because I have no info about this.