About 18 months ago I purchased a bike. Before that I basically didn't get any exercise in all my years of living (besides school mandated physical ed classes, which consisted of very little). Since then I've increased mileage from about 9 miles in 45 minutes and being completely bonked to riding 50-60 miles on long days, average days ~30 miles. Solo rides all flirt around 16.5mph +/- about .5 based on how much climbing there is (from 0 to 3000 feet on average).
All this sounds fine and dandy, it's improvement, it makes me happy. However, in May I got a heart rate monitor and have since been watching HR on my rides. Now, I know everyone's heart rate numbers are different, but I feel I have very high numbers and wonder if it's from training incorrectly, not training enough, if it's just how my body is, or if there may be something wrong. On average it seems as though my rides average ~170HR +/-10 (I've had 2 hour rides average to 181bpm, max 205bpm). This seems pretty high to me, especially for extended efforts. Also the zone break down Garmin tends to give is about 60% of the ride in zone 5, 30% in zone 4, and the rest in zone 1-3.
Also, at the end of August (after 15 months of riding) I tried 2 20 minute steady HR efforts as high as possible indoors on a trainer. End result was holding 182bpm for 20min both times. This again surprised me as pretty high, especially when I hear others who I feel are more trained have their 20 min efforts ~160bpm.
I guess I just want someone to tell me it's ok that some people go on rides at 20mph and have an average of 145bpm, while I can't seem to move on the bike without my heart rate going up to at least 160.
Plus any comments on HR training and what represents improvement would be greatly appreciated
(Resting heart rate is ~90 for a 23y/o 175lb male)