Heart Rate Training

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Could a Virus Be Responsible for My Fallen Heart Rate?

I'm 32 and been riding for 16 years, but I've just begun using a heart monitor. Last winter, when I was training only three or four times per week, I checked my max HR on a hill and it was 189 bpm. My average for a time-trial effort was 170-175 bpm. Now, after several months of increased training, my maximum is down to 175 and my TT average has fallen to 165. When I go past 165-170, I often flag and my legs sting, although last winter I could ride through this. I had a virus that hung on in the spring. Do you think that's what's causing this? 

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Is My High Heart Rate Normal?

I'm 38 years old, 170 pounds and ride 5-7 hours per week doing a mix of intervals, hills and endurance. My heart rate has always been high compared to guys I ride with. I'll see a max of 194 bpm during a big climb and average 165 bpm at 17-18 mph on flat-to-rolling terrain. Also, I struggle to follow training schedules that advise recovery rides at 60% of max heart rate. That's 116 bpm for me, a number I hit by the end of the driveway! My HR has been like this for many years no matter the level of fitness I'm at. Is this normal?

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Why Does My Heart Rate Decline During Long Rides?

I do a lot of long-distance rides, including double centuries and brevets. During the first few hours, I can raise my heart rate to 160 or 170 bpm for several minutes at a time with few ramifications.  However, as the ride goes on, particularly after the first 100 miles, it's impossible to get my heart above 150 bpm. My legs don't burn, but I feel like I just can't get enough air. This seems to happen even if I stay below 160 bpm early in the ride. What's making my max heart rate decline? 

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Does Fatigue Depress Heart Rate?

I race in the 45+ masters division and use daily bike commutes for training. After a day or two off the bike, I can stay above my lactate threshold heart rate for long intervals. However, after commuting 30 miles per day for a few days, it becomes increasingly difficult to achieve a high heart rate. Is this normal? Or is it old age? 

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