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2014-03-26 9:02 AM


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Subject: Heart Rate Zones + Fitness Improvement
I’m in Week 14 of the Fink Competitive IM Plan I’m following for my first IM in July, IMUK. Prior to starting the plan, last year I’d calculated my heart rate zones from the lactate threshold test recommended here on BT. The results of which yielded 186. The test was done around June 2013 and I haven’t retested since then.

As Fink prescribes his own zones based of MaxHR I decided I would go with his recommendation given that’s what then plan revolves around. I took my MaxHR numbers for Bike (196) and Run (200) based on my highest observed. I wouldn't say these we’re actual tests, however both the Run & Bike we’re hill sprints. I’m confident they are pretty close.

As I got towards the middle of the first 10 weeks I started finding it increasingly more difficult to get into Z2, particularly on the run. I was running the same pace if not a quicker at 140-145 and was finding it more difficult to get over 150 without feeling like I was running too hard from an RPE perspective. Its similar on the bike too, although to a slightly lesser degree.

I’m in the second 10 week phase now and asked to hit the Z4 intervals, which so far I've managed, however god they are hard to hit and hold. Pushing my heart rate over 180, and holding is really hard. I know it should be, I just keep looking back to the 186 threshold number that I averaged for 20mins last year….

Is it common to see this sort of shift in heart rate when doing structured training (this is a fist time for me), and likewise should I be make any adjustments to my zones, even though they are based in MaxHR as per finks instruction? I've read about retesting lactate threshold, but don’t really fancy a MaxHR test in the middle of my training plan for fear of getting injured…any help would be much appreciated as I kind of a bit lost for what to do currently i.e do I push harder in to Z2?

Thanks

Paul


2014-03-26 9:45 AM
in reply to: Grundy82

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Subject: RE: Heart Rate Zones + Fitness Improvement

MaxHR is a 'less good' way of estimating your HR zones.  Use an LT test or use RPE to adjust your zones based on how you feel.  I'd suggest a new test, rather than one that is almost a year old for you.  Even after an LT test (which is a 'better' way to estimate your zones), you will have to learn to adjust based on different conditions that may impact your HR.  So learning to utilize RPE is a valuable tool for training and racing.

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