Unsure of training zones | 80/20 Endurance

Unsure of training zones

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  • #15479
    hafizhisham
    Participant

    I just purchased the level 2 Ironman Run Pace and Bike Power 23 weeks plan and I can’t wait to start next week. Question, so I just did my LTHR test few months ago and I got an average of 4:37 min/km and an average heart rate of 177bpm for the 30mins test. Now I have set the zones into Training Peaks and I really find it hard to believe that my zone 2 pace is between 6:04min/km – 5:18min/km as all this while I used to run my tempo runs at 5:10 min/km. Fyi, my best half marathon pace was 5:16 min/km which I find it hard to believe that I ran it slightly above my upper zone 2.
    So do I continue with these zones? I know I should trust the process but I’m really afraid of overtraining and burning out before my first full IM in July 2022. I also find that my threshold heart rate of 181bpm is a bit too high for me if compared to the RPE scale. My average heart rate for the last 20 mins of the test was 181! So now my zone 2 heart rate is between 147-163 which is kind of hard to believe as I thought my Ventilatory threshold was about 152bpm, anything above that I’ll start to breath slightly heavily. So should I reduce the numbers or carry on with it? I am really afraid of starting the plan if I don’t get my zones right which is why I’m asking this question. Thank you for the help in advance!

    #15545
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Hafiz, there is a disconnect between your 30-minute test and your HM performance. You’ll note in our Zone calculator that you can also put in a HM time to estimate zones. If we use your 30-minute test, your lower Zone 2 is 6:04. If we use your HM result, it’s 6:39. While it’s normal for the 30-minute test and HM distance estimate to be slightly different zones, that’s a large delta.

    But, there are may ways to address this.

    First, I trust the 30-minute test over the HM estimate and feel great about your zones based off of the 4:37 test. Your slow end of Zone 2 is 6:04. That is very, very easy for you. Your old Tempo runs at 5:10 actually confirms that this is right set of zones for you, as Tempo should be Zone X to Zone 3, which is exactly where your Tempo pace lands with the 4:37 benchmark.

    However, if you are worried about still going too hard, remember that you can always use Zone 1 to replace Zone 2. You can’t go too easy. When the workout calls for Zone 2, and 6:09 is still too hard, just go slower. Easy is easy in the 80/20 system. Sure, we prescribe Zone 1 and Zone 2, but either zone can be swapped for the other per the athlete need.

    Regarding HR: don’t use HR. Use Pace. HR is an unreliable measure of intensity. But, my argument remains the same. 147 is still below your VT, so just hover at 147. Or, like Pace, just stay in Zone 1.

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