Great questions Justin! It’s easy to not ask questions if you aren’t using HR zone training. But if you are, there will always be questions because it’s a big learning curve. So thank you for asking…
1. Everyone has a different LT. The more fit you are, the higher it can be. The younger you are, the higher it can be. However heart rate in the 200 range is very unusual. Usually I see this with wrist HR monitors. However I am surprised to see it with a chest HR strap. If you are getting more readings this high, you may need a new battery or even a new monitor (if you swim with it a lot). For this reason I don’t recommend you swim with your HR monitor except to race.
Walk those hills if you must to manage your HR 🙂
2. As for your LT going up or down, it should go up IF you get more fit. The only reason it will come down is with deconditioning or you are overly fatigued and can’t hit a similarly high LT. If you are getting fitter, it should get higher however there is a point where it won’t get up any higher (depending on a lot of factors including age, fitness, etc). So if it is going up, you are improving!
Also, I am holding a heart rate zone training and pacing seminar on June 17th. I encourage everyone to join because you can never stop learning! See you there! And great work out there Justin!