How is Average Pace for a workout calculated? | 80/20 Endurance

How is Average Pace for a workout calculated?

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    My Level 1 10K plan has some intriguing Average Pace values for the forthcoming workouts that I can’t get my head around.

    My threshold run gave me a threshold pace of 5:28 min/km which I entered into the Run Speed/Pace field in Settings->Zones before choosing Threshold Speed and 80/20 Running to give me my zone paces. This gives me a pace for Zone 2 of 6:17 to 7:12. Slow, but realistic. 🙂

    So, how come my first week of workouts have foundation runs with an Average Pace entry of 6:28? There is no way I’m going to be under 7:00 with 5 minutes of Zone 1 and 25 minutes of Zone 2. I can’t see where this 6:28 prediction might come from.

    Even more intriguing is that the fartlek run the following day, which clearly should average a faster overall pace, has an Average Pace of 6:31. How can a workout with 8 runs in Zone 5 average 3 seconds per km slower than an easy run in Zone 2????

    Has something gone wrong with my workout Average Pace calculations, or does the plan drop some almost arbitrary figure in for the average page that I can safely ignore?

    David Warden


    TP predicts your average pave by using 75% penetration for each range (to be clear, the prediction is done by TP, not 80/20). You might choose to be just 10% penetrated into the zone and be much slower. 6:28 for the easy run is about right.

    For the Fartlek, this also seems right to me. You’ll be in Zone 1 for so much of the run, possible the majority of the run, and the intervals are so short that they will not skew the numbers down much at all. You’re only spending a few minutes in Zone 5, but 30+ minutes in Zone 1 and 2.

    But, I’d just ignore it. It’s not a helpful prediction. You could be 5, 10, 90% penetrated into each zone, or 90% penetrated into one zone and 1% penetrated into another. You certainly won’t be exactly 75% penetrated for every segment.



    Thanks David.

    I’ve done 3 week 1 foundation runs now in zone 2. All 3 have had an average pace prediction of 6:28, and yet running near the top of zone 2, all the runs have actually between 7:30 and 7:37. Strangely, the TSS and IF have been pretty much spot on though. TP has my zone 2 pace as 6:17 to 7:12, so clearly my threshold pace is miles out. I don’t know if adjusting my threshold pace and recalculating the zones until the predicted paces are closer is worthwhile, as I don’t want to ruin the TSS and IF.


    I used to wonder about these predicted paces, but soon learned that I would either be over or under them depending on whether I was bouncing off the top of zones, or keeping it at the easy end. I just ignore them completely now and just aim to keep in the right zones at the right time and that’s plenty good enough.


    Thanks Martin. I seem to be hitting the predicted TSS figures and I’m staying in the upper end of zone 2 religiously and checking I’m at a conversational pace by talking to myself (!!) so I think I’ll do the same as you and ignore that pace prediction.

    I’m much more concerned with my plantar fasciitis right now than my predicted pace being incorrect. 🙁

    Thanks again Martin and David.

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