How slow should I go? | 80/20 Endurance

How slow should I go?

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  • #7848
    Scobie
    Participant

    How slow are runs supposed to be in zone 1? I’m barely moving and all the same keep ending up in zone 2, or, more often, zone 3. I’m wondering if I should just use perceived effort and not bother with the zones. I feel like I’m hardly getting any exercise! Is this what 80/20 should be?

    #7862
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Scobie, first, let’s verify that your zones are correct:

    1. Are you using Pace, Power or HR?
    2. How did you test your zones?
    3. What was the threshold result?

    Zone 1 is pretty slow, but it usually is most difficult to maintain Zone 1 when using HR, as your HR will drift up over time. Pace and Power are more reliable. However, let’s first establish that your zones are solid.

    David

    #7863
    Scobie
    Participant

    I’m using HR and it’s based on my maximum heart rate of 170. I didn’t test my zones otherwise. I admit I don’t know what my threshold result is. Looks like I need to do more work to get my zones right.

    #7864
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Scobie, yes, identifying threshold and establishing 80/20 zones might address your Zone 1 issue, but it will certainly improve your training overall.

    See our documents Intensity Guidelines for Running or Triathlon to get started on identifying your zones. It’s possible that Zone 1 will still feel too low for HR, but then give Pace zones a try instead, as Pace can be more reliable.

    David

    #7865
    Scobie
    Participant

    Thanks for your help, David. I’ll do that.

    #7893
    Scobie
    Participant

    How would I use power to assess my zones? I don’t quite understand the concept and can’t find it in 80/20 Running.

    #7894
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Scobie,

    Running power meters are relatively new, they did not exist when Matt wrote 80/20 Running in 2012.

    To run with power, you need a running power meter, like a Stryd. Then, you would perform a threshold test using power instead of pace or HR. That testing protocol is found in the more modern book 80/20 Triathlon, or in our document Intensity Guidelines for Running.

    Then, it’s similar to HR and Pace, in that you have a threshold Power value, say, 275 watts. Your 80/20 zones are then a % of that threshold as defined in the 80/20 Zone Calculator.

    David

    #7900
    mgummer
    Participant

    David

    Just on pace, I am using HR and can cruise along in zone 2 no problems until i hit a hill and my area has a few big hills. I can’t keep in Zone 2 up the hill no matter how I slow down unless I walk – the hills are pretty steep. Also my run from home starts with a big down hill which is fine in zone 1 but after 5 minutues when a foundation run switches to zone 2, I have to really go fast to get to zone 2 and then slow down again when it flattens – is this what I should be doing?

    I have ordered a stryd so will switch to power when it comes and then I suppose it will be easier to maintain power – but I am assuming that will mean that my heart rate is probably still going up out of zone 2.

    Appreciate your thoughts.

    Matt

    #7912
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    M,

    As much as I promote power over HR and Pace, it does not solve everything. It can’t “move mountains.” A steep hill will always be a steep hill, and as you have observed, a minimum level of intensity is required to run up some hills, and a minimum level of intensity is difficult to maintain on the descents.

    While a power meter can give you better data to apply to your training, on hills that steep as you describe, you just need to do your best.

    Give yourself permission to walk during recovery intervals if that’s what it takes to maintain Zone 1-2. For Foundation and Recovery runs, again, just do your best.

    David

    #7921
    alanshrimpton
    Participant

    If I’m not mistaken you will get the same results running down a hill using power as you do with HR. I think you will still be running fast downhill to reach your power zone. One of the reasons why I haven’t gone down the power track. When I was running using HR I would revert to pace down hill. I found out the hard way by hurting my hamstring trying to reach my HR. Now I am using Pace the entire way but I use average pace so I can go a little slower up hills and match that by going a little faster down. It works for me.

    #7939
    mgummer
    Participant

    great thanks David and Alan

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