Training with purpose is the foundation to all our training methodologies and it’s how we are able to get awesome results from our clients in such a short time. One of the ways we do this is to ensure that our clients start training in the right training zones at the right time during their training program.  If you have a heart rate monitor you already have a powerful tool to help you do this too.  So, here is how to work out your cycling heart rate zones. Here is how to work out your cycling heart rate zones.

Once you have your Max Heart Rate you can calculate your Heart rate zones. If you haven’t read our article about working out your max heart rate click here to read it first. Also, using the Heart Rate Zones is described in this article.

So how do you work out your cycling heart rate zones?

You use this formula: HR Value = Max HR times your HR percentage

Here is an example:

To work out your E3 Heart rate Zone. That’s 85% to 91% of your Max Heart Rate. You’ll need to calculate two values. One for the start of the zone (85%) and one for the end of the zone (91%).

If your max Heart rate is 197.

To calculate 85% of Max Heart Rate take 197 and times it by .85 = 197 * .85 = 167
To calculate 91% of Max Heart Rate take 197 and times it by .91 = 197 * .91 = 180

So this means that your E3 Zone starts at 167 beats per minute and finishes at 180 beats per minute.

Here are the zones in percentages for you when you Work out your cycling heart rate zones:

Description Intensity Code % Max Heart Rate
VO2 MAX Boosting Very Hard – Can’t speak VO2 92 – 100 %
Anaerobic Threshold Endurance Hard – Difficult to speak at all E3 85 – 91 %
General Aerobic Endurance Moderate – Talk in short sentences E2 75 – 84 %
Base Aerobic Endurance Easy – Able to carry out conversation E1 65 – 74 %
Recovery Easy – Able to carry out conversation REC 50 – 64 %

Once finished you will have a table that looks like this (based on a Max Heart Rate of 197):

Description Intensity Code Heart Rate
VO2 MAX Boosting Very Hard – Can’t speak VO2 181 – 197
Anaerobic Threshold Endurance Hard – Difficult to speak at all E3 167 – 180
General Aerobic Endurance Moderate – Talk in short sentences E2 148 – 166
Base Aerobic Endurance Easy – Able to carry out conversation E1 128 – 147
Recovery Easy – Able to carry out conversation REC 99 – 127

 Heart rate zones can be measured on the bike with the following bike computers

  • Garmin – GPS bike computers, turn-by-turn navigation, bike-specific routing, cycling awareness accessories and so much more. Get detailed data about your performance or just plan your next ride.
  • Polar – Integrated GPS and barometer, and track your speed, distance and route.