How to convert heart rate zones to pace | 80/20 Endurance

How to convert heart rate zones to pace

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  • #16210

    Hello all,

    First of all, I loved the 80/20 running book and I am very curious what the effect will be on my progression. My current plan has too many fast runs in it according to the 80/20 philosophy.
    To be able to create a good schedule for my training plan I have done a VO2 max test and got my heart rate zones determined.
    I have read the book and in chapter 6 it is explained how you can determine your pace by maintaining your pace while being at the top of zone 2 for instance, note that pace and then increase your effort slightly (max 2 BPM) and note your pace again. Repeat that for the following zones.

    In my case I have a heart rate zone 2 125-138 BPM. After doing this workout I got 5:35-5:10 /km for zone 2.

    Today I did a Long Run 5 in which you run 8,5 miles in zone 2.
    I have set my Garmin watch to do zone 2 in the pace speed.
    In the beginning of zone 2 al went well, I was running just above 5:10 /km, but after running longer my heart rate increased slightly which caused that this higher heart rate went to zone 3.

    And that is only natural that after a while your heart rate slightly goes up.
    How should I solve this? Not running at the top of the zone 2? Or ignore that I end up in a higher zone?



    That is actually very natural for a long run. It is called Cardiac Drift. It happens quite often in heat and after extensive workouts.


    I understand that, but that Cardiac Drift causes my workout to end up in a higher zone that I started in.

    How should I deal with that?
    Not running in the top of the zone and be sure not to exceed the heart rate threshold?
    Or should I ignore it and only watch the pace zone which is based on the heart rate zone before Cardiac Drift?


    This very issue was Matt in a similar post.

    Training by HR vs Power and cardiac drift

    Essentially, as long as you aren’t going above 1-2 zones, meaning zone 2 run pace going into high zone 3 HR, it isn’t a big deal usually. I will defer to the coaches on more detailed explanation. It’s not atypical for a zone 2 pace/power to creep into zone X HR towards the end.


    Thanks, that is almost completely clear. Only need reassurance that this is also the case between zone 3 and 4 which is the threshold between low and non-low intensity. I will ask this in the other post. Thanks!


    You are welcome. Glad it helped.

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