There are various techniques that are used to establish your heart rate zones. The auto calculators on Map My Tracks create recommended zones based on either a maximum heart rate value or threshold heart rate value.
Establishing your threshold heart rate
To establish your threshold heart rate you can complete a simple but hard test. You'll need a flat road in a loop of 20-30 minutes long or using a turbo trainer.
- First warm up easy for 20 minutes.
- Don't start too quickly. Over five minutes gradually increase your effort every 30 seconds until you can only manage short sentences.
- Now start your heart rate monitor and hold the same effort for a further 20 minutes. Make a note of the average heart rate for ONLY these 20 minutes.
- To establish your threshold heart rate multiple the 20 minute average by 0.95. This is your threshold heart rate.
Once you have established your threshold heart rate use the calculator in the profile settings to create your five heart rate zones.
Establishing your maximum heart rate
To establish your maximum heart rate you can complete a simple but hard test.
- Ride easy for 15-30 minutes finishing at the bottom of a long steady hill approximately 5-6 minutes long.
- Ride up the hill at a brisk pace then coast down to the bottom.
- Climb the hill again. Start at the same brisk pace, but this time increase your effort every 30 seconds. When you reach the point where you can push no harder, stand on the pedals and sprint until you have to stop.
- Coast to the bottom and repeat this previous step.
- You'll probably hit your maximum heart rate somewhere towards the end of your second effort.
Once you have established your maximum heart rate use the calculators in the profile settings to create your five heart rate zones.