Heart rate | 80/20 Endurance

Heart rate

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  • #13192

    I’ve ran a few marathons and I’ve done the Pikes Peak marathon a couple times now so I am not a running newbie but I am new to this more structured training. I totally buy in to the 80/20 idea because when I felt my best was when I ran with friends who just naturally gravitated towards a slower pace which kept me from too much intensive running. Also we typically ran at a certain pace and distance. We never used HR to train. However, now that I run mostly on my own, I need to force myself to slow down to maintain the 80/20 mindset.

    Given all of that, when I use HR as a primary intensity metric, to stay in zones 1 or 2, I have to walk. Even walking at a brisk pace, I see myself going into zone 3 at times. I’m not sure if my HR has just always been high and I’ve never been aware of it or if I am facing a much more steep curve in training than I thought. I know I could use pace instead of HR but from that I remember in the book, it still all has to come back to HR. So, my pace would still need to match the HR I should be in. If my comfortable pace puts me in a much higher HR, then I am not following the intensity guidance even though it feels like I could run like that for an extended period of time, right?

    So my questions are:

    Is HR more important to the 80/20 training than actually getting to at least a jogging pace?
    Is there any possibility that walking in the right zones produces the same training benefits as running?

    Thank you in advance.


    Hi there!
    I’d recommend to use either pace or even better power.
    How did you determine your HR zones? Did you do the field test?
    It’s power over pace over HR over RPE.
    If you use pace, it’s always smart to have an eye on HR when running uphill or so.

    There is a lot of great information on the resources page of this site.


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by winoria.

    I’m using the zones on my Garmin and since I purchased a training program, it is loaded into my Garmin via Training Peaks. Then it is my understanding that those zones should be dictating my pace.

    From what I understand, if I use a pace I feel is low to moderate, if my HR doesn’t agree, then I should modulate down even further.


    The zones on your Garmin are bound to be wrong – you need to do a field test as Winoria already suggested.

    Check out this page https://www.8020endurance.com/intensity-guidelines-for-8020-running/

    perform the field test, and then set your zones properly

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by MartinH.

    I second the OP question. I think what they are getting at is if the seemingly comfortable zone 2 pace is not corresponding with a zone 2 heart rate, should they really just use pace instead? My zone 2 HR is no where near as low as it should be and if I followed the zone 2 pace I would spike to 3 or 4. Are we really getting the benefit of 80/20 if the corresponding heart rate is not low enough for aerobic capacity building? Thanks!

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