Zone 2 Run pace is a fast walk | 80/20 Endurance

Zone 2 Run pace is a fast walk

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    Hello All, I am currently getting ready to use the
    80/20 Triathlon: 2022 Edition Olympic Level 1 (Pace and Bike HR, 6 to 9 Hours per Week) workout. I just ran a 5K this last weekend at 33:38. I used the zone calculator to calculate my thresh hold pace at a 11:11/mile. My issue is I have some pre-training runs I’m doing and zone 2 has me at 12:51 to 14:43. This is nothing more then a fast walk for me. Anytime I try to jog slowly in that zone I end up either in high end of zone x or zone3. If I try to slow my jog it starts to hurt as it shortens my stride so much. Is there something different I should be doing or is this acceptable? BTW 6’1″ @238 lbs, working on getting the weight off also.



    One of the coaches may be able to provide a better answer. From my experience I have come to prefer using heart rate for both recovery and foundation runs.

    The goal is aerobic capacity with those workouts, so if something is hurting something is wrong. Even if you retreat to a run-walk and can stay in the target heart rate zones you are doing meaningful work. You can also use the talk test as a check the your are in the correct zones.

    You may also find that your heart rate is below zone and your estimated training paces are set too slow, especially if your 5k had hills. – just a guess…

    David Warden


    Two thoughts:

    – The difference between 11:11 and 12:51 is just 1:40. It’s unusual for someone to have only 1:40 be the difference between a walk and as fast as they can run for 30 minutes. Therefore, I suspect that your threshold pace is far greater than 11:11, and that maybe you held a bit back at the 5K. We assume the 5K is all-out effort. If you made it an “easy” 5K, then all your zones will be too slow. This applies to HR as well, if your 5K is underperformed, all intensity types will be too low. Instead, use the protocols for testing in our documentation.

    – Until you re-establish your zones, Zone 1 and 2 should be jogging as slow as you can without making it artificial. Don’t force Zone 1-2. Walking for a minutes after a hard interval is OK, but otherwise long periods of Zone 1-2 should be natural.

    The risk is that if you use your perception for “easy” you’ll fall right back into the Zone X trap. That’s why getting your zones right will be important.



    Thanks David. I think I figured part of the problem out. The zone calculator seems to only dividing by 3 instead of 3.1 when using the recent 5K setting. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot. My true 5K pace is actually a 10:49 instead of 11:11. For me that difference was enough to get my zones correct and wasn’t as much of an issue to jog closer to the 12:26 max for zone 2. I’m still fighting to stay out of zone x but that is just me having an all or nothing attitude.

    David Warden

    The 5K zone calculator does not divide by 3.1, just like the marathon portion does not divide by 26.2. It just so happens that a 5K is the closest to our 20 and 30-minute threshold test protocols, which means 5K and threshold pace are very close for just about every athlete.

    So, threshold pace is not 5K pace. Threshold pace is 100% of a 30-minute TT or 95% of your 20-minute TT. In your case, again, a 5K and 30-minute TT are almost the same.

    Regardless, estimator is just an estimate. The formal 20- and 30-minute protocols will give you better results.

    But, I’m glad you got this tweaked so your perceived effort is closer to the prescribed zone!


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