Letters to the Coaches: Trouble Staying in Zone 1 HR

Hi Guys,

I am planning buying 80/20 program (not sure in 1/2 marathon or marathon) but I want to prepare myself for it, as I am out of shape to start it now. On my first run after long break I noticed that pace to HR ratio decreased over the course of 5k, where in the end I had to almost walk to have it in aerobic zone. I have read that such ratio dropping is sign of lack of aerobic base. And my question is while building base do I always keep myself in aerobic space? And secondly is there a benefit to push longer and slowing the pace, or rather stop once HR starts spiking despite constant or even decreasing pace.

Thanks!

BTW: are all 80/20 plans the structured workout version on training peaks? (so I can download automatically on Fenix 5?)

M

Dear M,

Great question!

In our 80/20 plans, you’ll find that 80% of the workouts are done in Zone 1 and Zone 2. This is the “easy” 80 percent. The other 20 percent is moderate to high intensity. It is possible that at the beginning of your training you will have trouble staying in Zone 1 when Zone 1 is called for. That is OK. As long as you stay in Zone 1 or 2 when the workout calls for Zone 1 or 2, you’ll improve faster. If the workouts calls for Zone 2 but you are tired that day and stay in Zone 1, that is ok. If the workout calls for Zone 1 but your slowest run pace puts you at Zone 2, that is ok. As long as the combination of Zone 1-2 is 80%.

It is of course better to spend the time in Zone 1 and 2 exactly as the plan is prescribed, but you’ll be able to do that after a month of training.

When using HR, I would only walk in between hard intervals. If you are running a long Zone 2 session (and there are many of these) and your HR spikes above Zone 2, don’t walk, just run as slow as you can.

However, this HR problem does not exist if you use Pace or Power are an intensity guide. If your Zone 2 workout calls for a pace of 6 minutes per kilometer, you can your HR. If the plans calls for Zone run of 200 watts, then just hold 200 watts and ignore HR. Our plans support both Pace and Power and translate Zones to pace, power, and HR. In fact, when you purchase our plans, you choose HR, Pace, or Power as your measure of intensity.

Please see our Zone Calculator to see the different ways to measure intensity. Also please see https://8020endurance.com/8020-run-plans/marathon-plans/ to read about the three different types of intensity plans for the marathon.

All of our 80/20 plans come in either structured workouts or original plans. The two types are identical, but you really want the structured workouts as they will indeed export and sync automatically to supported devices, including the Fenix 5.

Finally, we offer a Level Guarantee for our plans. If you buy the Level 0 plan and find it is too easy after a month, come back to me and I’ll get you the Level 1 plan for free, and if Level 1 becomes too easy, I’ll get you the Level 2.

David

Matt and I periodically publish anonymously your inquiries to us, particularly when the answer may benefit the community. Have a question about 80/20 training or training in general? Feel free to e-mail me. David W.