November 15, 2020 at 8:25 pm #9269
My A race is Mar 13, 2021 which is 16 weeks from this Saturday, Nov 21, 2020. My goal is to break 1:20 on my favorite course which won’t be easy. I’ll be 64 yrs old on 1-30-21, I’ve done 3-4 sprints/yr starting when I was 59. I love it and I do well at local races but I’ve been injury-plague thru 2019 and 2020 hence my relief in finding & educating myself on the 80-20 approach. In 6 days I wrap up a 6-wk ham rehab program that I truly adhered to (integrating Nordics this week) & my good 3-mile run this morning makes me feel I will be 100% by this coming weekend since I’ve also been able to do 20-25 mile bike rides without ham soreness for 2 weeks now.
So I would prefer the extra volume of L2 but it is a 19 week plan. Is it wise to start a plan late? How might I adjust it if I go for the L2?
TIA, AllanNovember 16, 2020 at 7:46 am #9273
March 16 is only 16 weeks away? What the heck? What happened to my off-season? Oh, yea…I’ve been binge watching “The West Wing” for 3 weeks.
Two options to switch to the L2 plan:
– Start the L2 plan a few weeks in. You’ll need to be prepared for 8 hours a week, long ride of 1.5 hours, and long run of 70 minutes. This may be a bit aggressive, particularly on the run, with your injury background.
– Start the L1 plan and switch to the L2 plan in 6-ish weeks. This gives you enough time to ensure that you running is rock-solid, no injuries, and you are managing the volume. Yes, there will be a bit of a jump, but likely less of a shock to your body than starting on Week 4 of the L2 plan now.
DavidNovember 17, 2020 at 3:01 pm #9294
I think I will opt for Plan B (“Start the L1 plan…”). Thank you very much!
Speaking of my injury background, I believe that a crucial part of my jump away from being injury-prone will be the reasonable incorporation of run workout management using the 80-20 online heart-rate table calculator.
As such, a follow-up question: in the previous 4 years as a competitive 5k 60+year-old runner, my heart rate was typically 165+ in both workouts & races. I think there are 3 reasons for this: 1) I was training too hard; 2) I am competitive; 3) my system is prone (works better?) at a high hr.
Therefore, it is crucial that I get my zones right. But I don’t want to do a 30 minute run at threshold because my left hamstring may not be ready for that (needs 2-3 weeks more to be safe) even though I think my cycling has kept my cardio in good shape. So I took my best 5k race time and added 30 seconds to get 7:55 and I used that in the 80-20 table.
Now my question: my Z2 result is 138-153 bpm. Is that a reasonable Z2 range given my particulars?November 17, 2020 at 8:06 pm #9297
Allan, do you have the HR data for that 5K? We can use that same workout to establish HR zones as we do for pace. A zone 2 of 138-153 means your LTHR is 170bpm. That’s on the higher end for a 65+ male, but not unheard of. I’d feel better if I knew the HR from that 5K.
Also, if you plug in your 5k time into our Zone Calculator, you’ll find a better estimate of zones based on that 5K.
Finally, consider just using pace and not HR as your primary measure. Pace has enough advantages that you can become less reliant on HR.
DavidNovember 18, 2020 at 1:52 pm #9311
David, my last race was Thanksgiving, 2019 & it was only 2.96 miles, my pace was 7:24 and my max HR was 175 and my ave HR was 157 (see link below). since that time I have seen a 180 max HR.
Because I don’t have experience regulating the intensity of my workouts in a rational way and wanting to avoid erring on the high (fast) side due to my not-yet-complete ham strain recovery, I used a 7:55 pace for the table(s) on your website.
The results for Zone 2 were: 138-153hr, and 9:06-10:25pace which seems reasonable to me. However, when I do my long runs with a 9-9:30 pace my HR can increase to 160 or 170 and a brief walk may or may not bring it down for the rest of the run. Most recently, I have on a couple of occasions obviated this problem by first jogging 1-2 miles and then waiting a couple of minutes before starting my long run but I don’t know if this will always work. I don’t have any arrhythmia problems or the like.
So, if I just use pace I was afraid that I would do a Z2 workout at a HR that is too high. TIA, AllanNovember 18, 2020 at 5:54 pm #9315
OK, there is usually a 10-15 beat difference between LTHR and MaxHR. So, an LTHR of 165-170 against a 180 max is right in line. Although your 5K averaged 157, there is clearly a increase in HR that plateaus well over 160, which further support 165, so I’d lean to 165 as LTHR.
Normally I’d say let’s just use Pace, and don’t even worry about the cardiac drift you are experiencing. A high HR is not bad and does not reflect actual intensity, it’s just a response to the environment.
But, if your Zone 2 run is drifting into Zone 3? That’s rare and I don’t feel good about that.
If you can get medical clearance to allow your HR to remain at 165 for hours at a time, then just use Pace and ignore HR. If your doctor gives you an upper limit for multi-hour exercise, then you just need to use that as an upper limit and walk.
This issue is a bit outside my expertise! In summary Pace is better as a primary measure long as there is not an underlying medical condition that requires HR to regulate the intensity.
DavidNovember 30, 2020 at 4:12 pm #9426
My run heart rate situation is good now and my run zones work well. I would like to do a 20-30′ time trial on the bike tomorrow to update my cycling zones. I am in week 2 of the 16 week sprint plan. I thought I would just substitute this tt I’m talking about for tomorrow’s cycling workout. Is that ok? I expected to see cycling tt’s in the workout because there was a swim 400/200 tt in last week’s schedule – for run and cycling tt’s is the athlete expected to sub them in? TIA, AllanNovember 30, 2020 at 7:14 pm #9431
We address the timing of threshold testing at the very end of the document Intensity Guidelines for Triathlon. Each rest week is where testing is done. The RT and CT workouts on those weeks are the test working. Depending on the plan, these are 30 minutes at Zone 3. But, many plans don’t exceed more than 20 minutes for the RT and CT workouts that week.
The short answer is that you can substitute a 30-minute TT for any RT or CT workout, but just not in the same rest week. Pick one or the other, and perform the one you are not going to do the 30 TT as-written.
DavidNovember 30, 2020 at 7:32 pm #9433
sorry but I’m still befuddled. I think my first rest week is still 2 weeks away but I think I need a somewhat accurate power zone table sooner than that, ie – near the start of my training plan. So I’ll go for it tomorrow on the bike.
Also, I infer from your answer that a tt for either running or cycling ends up being at least 6 weeks after its precedent tt since the 2 can’t be in the same rest week. For some reason I was expecting to adjust thresholds/ranges several times before tapering.November 30, 2020 at 8:15 pm #9434
Testing is every rest week: every 3rd or 4th week in your plan. But, two 30-minute TT’s in the same week are brutal. You can do it if you feel you can recover and move on fast. So, we have alternative testing protocols that are less onerous. The document Intensity Guidelines for Triathlon lists all the alternatives to the 30-minute formal test.
Below is the section from that document that lists how to use CT, RT workouts every rest week for testing.
Using Scheduled RT, CT, and STT Workouts to Verify Zones
Because your fitness level and lactate threshold can change quickly, it’s important to keep your zones current throughout the training process by retesting your lactate threshold every few weeks. Repeating your chosen field test in every recovery week (recovery weeks fall ever third or fourth week in our 80/20 Triathlon plans) is the theoretical ideal. As a practical matter, however, this is onerous for many athletes.
Fortunately, your 80/20 training plan includes Swim Time Trial (STT), Cycling Tempo (CT), and Running Tempo (RT) workouts that may serve as zone testing sessions. Most of these sessions feature Zone 3 effort that are less than 30 minutes in duration. Advanced athletes can replace these with the full 30- or alternative 20-minute time trials described above. Another option is to use the “backing in” method of verifying running threshold pace or cycling or running threshold power. Because LTHR changes less than TP and rFTP over the course of a training plan, you can retest either of these variables in the context of CT and RT workouts featuring Zone 3 efforts as short as 10 minutes by adjusting your effort until your heart rate levels off at your previously determined LTHR and observing the pace or wattage that corresponds to it.
Note that CT and RT sessions occur less frequently in the L2 and L3 plans because 1) the high volume of these plans makes frequent high-intensity/high-duration testing risky, 2) we assume advanced athletes have a longer training history and are already confident in their lactate threshold, and 3) advanced athletes tend to experience smaller changes in lactate threshold than do beginner athletes. But if you ever feel you’re “outgrowing” your zones, feel free to insert one of the easier testing options into your next recovery week if it does not already contain a CT or RT session.
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