Level and HR v Pace Plan Questions | 80/20 Endurance

Level and HR v Pace Plan Questions

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  • #13958

    I am loving my current plan, but I’m also wondering if I should have purchased a plan higher and if heart rate is the best for me.

    My original thinking was that 1) since I am training for my first ever marathon I should go with the Level 0 plan; 2) felt the amount of time needed per week in that plan fit in well with my family and work responsibilities; and 3) I went with heart rate thinking it would be a better way to train rather than focusing on what felt like would be a static pace, whereas I felt heart rate might improve throughout the plan and therefore, so would pace.

    I am starting my third week (which I know isn’t a long time) in the plan and while I am getting a feel for the pacing using just my HR, which is more feel based, I can’t help but feel it would be easier, particularly during speed work, to stick to a pace range rather than a HR range, though, that might not be “better” as getting a feel for how hard I’m working might actually signal better overall improvement?

    Lastly, how hard should I feel I am working and are the first couple of weeks a little easier? For context, I am 44 years old, 6’6″ and currently weigh around 232 lbs. I have played basketball pretty much my whole life and within the last 1.5 years started dedicating myself more to running and at the beginning of 2021 I was doing stationary bike work on the Peloton pretty much every day, up until I began my marathon training.

    Long story short, I’m just looking for some advice on whether I should move up to the Level 1 training and if my interpretation of HR training vs. pace training is accurate.

    Thanks and loving the 80/20 plan so far!


    Hi! I can only speak from my very limited experience (running newbie) and only on the HR/PACE question. I’m currently in my 4th week of the level 1 HM plan and changed from HR to pace for almost all my runs in weeks 2-3 as I felt the same.

    I did the test outlined Here and captured all three metrics in the one go.

    As I progressed through the runs I found using pace zones a lot easier than HR. I could more easily settle into a consistent pace and get feel for each zone a lot easier without constantly looking at my watch, it really made the run more enjoyable as my confidence with the feel increased. When it came to the “speed” parts I found pace caught up a lot quicker than HR, providing improved accuracy to the planned workout.

    Even though I used the Garmin HRM Pro, HR would sometimes bounce all over the place, or by the time it caught up to my speed zone the section was over. Just made staying in zones more mental work and distracted me from getting in the groove. 🙂

    I still use HR to “backup” the pace zone which has up until now been very accurate, however, iv lost a bit of weight and increased fitness and now starting to consistently see almost a 10bpm drop in each zone..which I think maybe an indicator to me to do the test again and update my zones! If you use the 80/20 running app, just create a new data screen with HR and either let it auto-scroll between the 80/20 pace screen and the HR screen or simply switch over for a few seconds to HR to backup the pace zone. Best of both worlds.

    From what I have read the recommendation is to use pace over HR but still use HR in the runs which only target zone 1 and 2.

    My 2 cents is to seriously consider changing from HR to PACE. If you subscribe to 80/20 or get in contact with the team they can provide the exact same library of workouts in pace as your HR plan. All you need to do is replace workouts you want to change the metrics on and hit the road. (assuming both HR and PACE zones are set correctly).

    • This reply was modified 12 months ago by Rev0pt.

    Thanks for your reply Rev0pt, I am going to make that change and I also think bump from Level 0 to 1 as I was just initially nervous to tackle anything being a new runner myself. I’ve done the intensity tests you linked to as well, so I’m already set up there and your comments regarding your HR change is helpful.

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