Do you know what your cycling training zones are? Would you like to determine your training zones cycling? This 25 minute heart rate training zones cycling test will do it for you!
Setting Your Cycling Heart Rate Zone
First, you have to determine your lactate threshold heart rate with a short 25 minute test.
The best way to determine your lactate threshold heart rate should be done when you are properly rested and performed on a slight and continuous uphill. Ensure there are no traffic lights or stop signs that may interrupt your test. Also ensure that you get a proper warm up in before starting.
The 25 minute Heart Rate Training Zones Cycling Test
To find your lactate threshold heart rate start a 25 minute time trial and maintain the highest average possible effort, if you have a power meter then it is to maintain the highest average watts. It is easy to start out too fast in a 25 minute test, so ensure you get up to speed quickly, but do not push it too hard as you will tire too quickly and it would result in an inaccurate result.
Once you have completed the 25 minutes look back and see what your average heart rate was for the last 20 minutes. (Ignore the first 5 minutes of the test as it takes time to settle in to your pace and the heart rate to normalize) The average of the last 20 minutes is your lactate threshold heart rate and we will use that number to determine your cycling training zones.
The more times you do this test the more accurate the results will be.
Cycling Training Zones
Cycling Training Zone 1 – Less than 80% of Lactate Threshold Heart Rate
Cycling Training Zone 2 – 81% to 89% of Lactate Threshold Heart Rate
Cycling Training Zone 3 – 90% to 93% of Lactate Threshold Heart Rate
Cycling Training Zone 4 – 94% to 99% of Lactate Threshold Heart Rate
Cycling Training Zone 5a – 100% to 104% of Lactate Threshold Heart Rate
Cycling Training Zone 5b – More than 105% of Lactate Threshold Heart Rate
We emphasize cycling training zone here so much as it is not the same as your running training zones! Your running zones are actually higher than your cycling zones.
Finding Your Cycling Power Zones
Really what you are trying to determine here is your Functional Threshold Power for Cycling. The link to the article provides a similar test, but to summarize you can do the test listed above with a power meter and take the average watts held for the last 20 minutes of the test and reduce it by 5%. So if your average watts were 262.5 then your functional threshold power would be 250 watts.
Cycling Power Zones
These power training zones came from Training and Racing With a Power Meter By Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan. Which is a must have book if you have a power meter!
Zone 1 – Less than 55% of Functional Threshold Power Watts (FTPW)
Zone 2 – 55% to 74% of FTPW
Zone 3 – 75% to 89% of FTPW
Zone 4 – 90% to 104% of FTPW
Zone 5 – 105% to 120% of FTPW
Zone 6 – More than 120% of FTPW
There you have it! You have determined your cycling training zones. Now you just have to implement them in to your cycling training plans. Good luck!