HIM Hilly Run Course Prep | 80/20 Endurance

HIM Hilly Run Course Prep

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  • #11320
    thegapitts
    Participant

    My race is Chattanooga 70.3 in May.

    Some general thoughts after my long run today. This is my first 80/20 experience. This will be my 4th HIM. Based on my previous race experience (flat and hot), I have some concerns about how exactly these long runs are preparing me well for Hilly + Hot.

    In previous races I’ve always done the whole run split as intervals – as were my training runs.

    Todays’ run, like all the previous 1.5hr+ long training runs – have all felt pretty good. In the last few weeks I decided NOT to walk hills and just get through them – allowing my HR to creep into Z3 for all hill sections. I don’t know if thats a mistake – but these long runs involve maybe HALF the elevation gain (400’ish vs. the course 800+) I’ll experience in my race run.

    2 questions really.

    1. There is no way I wont be walking a fair bit of this course – how do I prepare for that? Should I seek out more hilly long routes? Should I start forcing myself to walk every time my HR creeps into Z3? Today was warm and I felt a bit fatigued from yesterdays 3hr ride. My HR was really hard to keep in Z2 and I drifted into Z3 for about 30mins of my 1:45 today. But I never walked. I just am wondering what my game plan is for finding myself on race day staring at a watch that is constantly yelling at me b/c my HR is through the rough for 13 miles….how do I pace that?

    2. I am really struggling with these Z1 intervals – especially since they seem to be growing in duration for long runs. I don’t understand the Z1/Z2 interval long run at all – what is the benefit? I can barely hold a run in Z1 – and just can’t bring myself to do it, so I nose breathe ‘z1’ and just try to keep it as low 2, as possible. Can someone explain what the purpose of the z1/z2 intervals are? What does that do for my run fitness and am I missing out by basically running MOSTLY Z2 (with some Z3 hill drift) long runs?

    Thank you so much!!!

    #11322
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    thegapitts,

    Thanks for using our plans and checking in.

    – Can you clarify “In previous races I’ve always done the whole run split as intervals – as were my training runs.” I don’t understand what this means, can you give me an example of a run in your previous training compared to 80/20.

    – Don’t be too tied to HR. It is unreliable. The best solution for hills is power, as it is objective. I understand it may be too late to introduce a power meter with the event coming up quickly. So, instead, game plan for both training and race day is to allow yourself drifting into Zone X on the hills, and make Zone 3 your absolute limit.

    – If you are getting in 400 feet of elevation gain in long training runs, that’s plenty to prepare for 800 feet at Chatt. No need to introduce more hills.

    – The Zone 2 interval piece of the RAe runs (I’m sure this is what you’re referring to) are meant to be performed at race pace. This pace varies by individual, and may even be Zone X for a 70.3 athlete. The purpose is to perform the Zone 2 section at the same pace as race day. This is likely at least high Zone 2 for a 70.3, but Zone X is just fine for 70.3 racing.

    You’ll note the description of the workout confirms this:

    This running aerobic interval set is intended to prepare the athlete for the specific intensity and stress of their upcoming event. The Zone 2 intervals should be done at the expected intensity of the athlete’s next race. For new athletes, this will be low to mid Zone 2. For more experienced athletes, this intensity will take place in upper Zone 2. For advanced athletes, these intervals can even include Zone X, a rare exception to the 80/20 system.

    The Zone 2(or Zone X for aggressive/advanced 70.3 athletes) should be pretty hard, and Zone 1 should be a welcome relief. If Zone 1 feels too easy, I’d push the Zone 2/X intervals even harder so that the Zone 1 rest feels way too short.

    – Additionally, when Zone 1 called for, Zone 2 is totally acceptable. Zone 1 is to give athlete permission to go really easy. My pro athletes walk almost all of their Zone 1 intervals.

    So, you have an option. Make the internals (whether Zone 2, X, 3, 4, or 5) challenging enough so that the Zone 1 rest interval is badly wanted. Or, Zone 2 is totally acceptable when Zone 1 is prescribed.

    I’ll be traveling on and off the grid until Thursday, so any reply may be a bit late.

    David

    #11323
    thegapitts
    Participant

    This is so interesting.

    – Can you clarify “In previous races I’ve always done the whole run split as intervals – as were my training runs.” I don’t understand what this means, can you give me an example of a run in your previous training compared to 80/20.

    I just mean that prior to this program, I just did all my long training runs Galloway style – 3min/1min. (basically 3min zone X+, 1 min walk) For the races I actually couldn’t even hold the 3/1 and it was always more like ‘run for as long as I can, then walk a minute’. Likely from overbiking.

    Your next bit is really helpful, as I forget about ‘zone x’, my garmin just tells me im in ‘3’. My ‘x’, is 145-153. This is where I am on those hills.

    –The Zone 2 interval piece of the RAe runs (I’m sure this is what you’re referring to) are meant to be performed at race pace. This pace varies by individual, and may even be Zone X for a 70.3 athlete. The purpose is to perform the Zone 2 section at the same pace as race day. This is likely at least high Zone 2 for a 70.3, but Zone X is just fine for 70.3 racing.

    Yes the RAe runs. I think the takeaway here for me – is that my zones are just off, they have to be. When I’m running these long runs Z2 feels totally fine – I can breath comfortably. But ‘zone x’ (according to my zones) feels more challenging. My Z1 is laughable. It’s a shuffle. And I don’t ever feel the need for a ‘break’ when running Z2 long runs.

    SO – from now on, based on this feedback, I think I just need to shift my zones. I’m guessing since I’m so deep in the HR training for this plan, I could tweak the numbers so that they make more sense. Basically the top end of my Z2 (145bpm) still feels easy. I’m gathering it shouldn’t….

    Thanks for the input David. I think next time I will def. use a different metric for run!!!

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