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2805 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Sep 16, 2008 7:07 AM by Timeyo
Timeyo Pro 71 posts since
Jul 21, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Sep 15, 2008 9:19 AM

Is a disparity in my heart rate during running vs. biking indicative of effort or ability?

I bought a heart rate monitor last week and started using it to monitor what my heart rate has been during my training. I am 32 year old male as I assume that will come into play. Anyway, on Saturday I ran 6 miles and my heart rate was pretty much in the 170-176 range during the run after the first mile or so. It was a good effort run as I maintained the same pace I would had I run 3 miles. Anyway, the following day, I had a 20 mile bike ride and had my heart rate monitor on and noticed that during my ride, at my regular pace, my heart rate was only really about 140-150 bpm. So I thought that I must not be working hard enough considering the day before I was able to maintain a 170+ bpm for approx. 50 minutes.  Would this be an accurate assessment or do I need to treat my bpm for the different sports separate.


As a result of the disparity, I put up more effort on the rest of the ride feeling that I was chumping out on my bike workouts. I brought my heart rate up to about 160-162 for a good amount of the ride and consequently increased my average mph by 2. But I was unable to sustain it the entire ride, I'd slip back into what my regular ride was like.


So I guess the question if it isnt clear is: If I am averaging a certain heart rate during one of the sports and it is considerably higher than in another, is that an indication of lack of effort? Is it an indicator that the running is my weakest event?


At this point I dont know what to think. Your advice is much appreciated!



  • triitout Expert 51 posts since
    Aug 15, 2008





    The exact same thing happens to me, my heartrate is in the low 170's on the run, and 130-140's on both the swim and bike.  I've talked to a few other people that say it's the same way with them.  I just chalk it up to the running is more aerobic than either the bike or the swim...I dont have many answers for ya, but maybe just knowing that it's the same for others might help ya!



  • Joe_h1 Community Moderator 1,833 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Sep 16, 2008 6:30 AM (in response to Timeyo)

    your max HR for swimming and cycling is typically lower than running (something do w/ t hem not beint weight bearing exercise) but you should do afield test to figure out your max HR. your HR for a workout would depend on what sort of workout it is (easy long distance vs. hard interval vs. recovery)

    goals for 2011:

    break 19minutes for 5k

    break 2:42 for olympic triathlon probably Anthracite olympic

    break 3:16 for marathon ( a long shot but it's fun putting yourself out there)

  • niemsco Legend 189 posts since
    Sep 24, 2007

    You should do a time trial on both bike and run to figure out what your threshold is. Then you can use calculators to figure out what z1-z5 are for bike and run. My bike is about 10 beats off my run. Basically what it is, is after a warmup, you start going at a pace in which you think you can last for 30 minutes. After 10 minutes into the trial you hit the lap button on your HR as you want to get your average HR for that last 20 minutes. These are hard efforts, but not so hard you are dying before its over. I try to keep the exertion even throughout or finish off strong. It should be like you are racing.


    That HR should be around your threshold HR. Check out this link .I think it explains everything.


    Don't use the 220 minus age stuff, or the others.. determining by threshold is best. Of course you can spend some money get a v02max test, but you need to do it for bike and run.

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