Help finding threshold and zones | 80/20 Endurance

# Help finding threshold and zones

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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• #6809
sboss
Participant

Just wondering if anyone else has had issues with finding their correct zone? According to my age my max should typically come in around 170(220-50=170. The issues that I have is that I have raced marathons at 170. I estimate my max hr to be around 190. What do people do when the numbers don’t seem to match the MAF method of calculating he and zones? Thanks

#6817
David Warden
Keymaster

sboss,

We have great respect for the MAF method, but feel that our 80/20 protocols to identify threshold described in both Intensity Guidelines for Running and Intensity Guidelines for Triathlon are superior.

Additionally, let’s distinguish between maxHR (which the 80/20 system does not use) and LTHR (which the 80/20 system does use). maxHR is the maximum HR/intensity you can maintain for perhaps 30-60 seconds. It would be Zone 5 in our 80/20 system. Lactate Threshold HR (LTHR) is the maximum intensity you can maintain for 30-60 minutes, and we use 30 minutes in our protocols.

If your maxHR is 170, your LTHR is probably closer to 155, for example. Fortunately, you don’t have to guess using a broad (and often unreliable formula). You can perform the field test described in our documents and know precisely what your LTHR is!

David

#6866
Charles
Participant

sboss touches on one of the more difficult topics getting things set up with 80/20 running.

My experience is that the 80/20 calculators are invaluable getting started. I use a 5k or 10k race performance (where I am actually making a race effort). Then in Training Peaks I will look for my sustainable heart rate max and the normalized graded pace (to account for hills) and plug those values into the calculators.

This procedure gives me a good match of pace and heart rate at levels 1-2. The correlation drops off at the higher levels because of heart rate hysteresis. For those workout sections I monitor pace.

#8334
Danrl
Participant

Hello, just wondering if you can clarify part of this question, which I am struggling with while setting up my zones as well (I have tried looking for an answer in the books and resources and apologize if I have overlooked it somewhere).

What do you do when your VT falls in the middle of zone 2. My maxHR is 181 and my LTHR 166, from the same test. That puts my VT at 141, but my 80/20 zone 2 is 134-149.

Should I be trying to always stay in the bottom half of my zone 2? Is it okay to go above VT because my LTHR zone 2 goes up to 149?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Dan

#8335
David Warden
Keymaster

Dan,

Can you clarify for me how you determined that your VT is 141? I’ll then be able to respond in full.

David

#8336
Danrl
Participant

Thanks for the quick reply David.

I went with the 78% of maxHr from 80/20 Triathlon. Recognizing this is just an estimate/guide.

Just wanted to be sure I was sticking to the right numbers, either that ceiling for zone 2 or the LTHR zone 2.

Thanks so much,
Dan

#8337
David Warden
Keymaster

OK, this can be a tricky question. Let’s set he stage:

– First, the gold standard in 80/20 is VT, which is the threshold between Zone 2 and X.
– But, since VT is expensive and difficult to identify, we estimate VT from LT and calculate zones accordingly. LT is much easier to field test.
– We have had great success using this method.

The 78% of MaxHR is an estimate, and often an estimate of an estimate. A true MaxHR test can only be performed as an actual MaxHR test. MaxHR is not the highest HR recorded as part of another test, MaxHR needs to be a dedicated lab test to be accurate. So, your MaxHR could easily be 190 which would put you square with your LT zones.

Even if your true MaxHR is just 185, again, the 78% is an estimate. You could be 75% or 85%.

Therefore, unless you get a dedicated VT test, rely on the LTHR system and don’t worry about where VT might “lie”.

#8338
Danrl
Participant

Awesome thank you so much for clearing that up for me. I figured I was over thinking it with all the numbers and percentages.

Truly appreciate that you take the time to answer these questions on a forum like this.

Dan

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