General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Confused about Run HR Zones Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply
2012-11-01 6:27 PM

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Montreal, Canada
Subject: Confused about Run HR Zones

Hi all,

I am trying to calculate my run HR zones but I am not sure I am doing  this right.

1. The protocol

2. The data

  • Me: 38 years, second year of tri, casual running before that. Vaguely followed the BT HIM training plan this year for my first HIM in June. I hate intervals and rarely push high in training.
  • 10K race on oct 21st. Started too fast for my capacity (so not exactly the warm-up from the protocol). HR went down in the last 30min Vs the first 10 min.
  • Did use the data from training peak (last 20 minutes of the race, average HR=186)
0:21:43 - 0:42:58
2.95 mi
47 (1.11)
06:47 min/mi
246 ft
- 220 ft
0.2 %
Speed (mph):1.88.415.1
Pace (min/mi):33:1907:1103:59
HR (bpm):168186193
Elev (ft):95138246

 3. The result

HR/Pace labelRange data label 
1 - Recovery123 - 158 
2 - Extensive Endurance159 - 169 
3 - Intensive Endurance170 - 177 
4 - Sub-Threshold179 - 185 
5a - SuperThreshold186 - 190 
5b - Anaerobic Endurance191 - 196 
5c - Power197 - 206

 4. The confusion

  • I do not recall I ever went above 195 in my hardest work-out. Zone 5c limits  seem way too high, like impossible to reach?
  • Zone 2 range starts at 159. Looks also very high for what I understand should feel very easy?

All comments welcome.


2012-11-01 9:22 PM
in reply to: #4479609

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Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Confused about Run HR Zones

Well, z2 is not 'very easy' -- that's z1. But I would say that z2 is an effort that you feel you could hold until non-muscular limiters (joint pain, general pounding) become an issue. I.e., my view of z2 is that having to stop or slow down while running z2 has more to do with pain and pounding than it does with muscular (and certainly aerobic) fatigue. FWIW the percentages that I use would put the lower end of your z2 a bit lower more like 153.

As for the upper zones -- it is very difficult to use HR as a guide at the very highest zones like 5c (in the scheme you use). The amount of time spent (if any!) in that zone during training is so small that you might not actually get your HR up that high even if you are doing the appropriate effort, because of the delay between effort and heart rate.. For those efforts (workouts such as 400 and 800 intervals) you are much better off (IMO) using pace and maybe RPE if you have that dialed in. But I'd also emphasize that a lot of things need to be in place before training at that intensity even for short periods of time makes any sense.

2012-11-01 10:17 PM
in reply to: #4479609

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Melbourne FL
Gold member
Subject: RE: Confused about Run HR Zones

When in doubt do the test!

Race efforts are typically higher than what you would see doing the test. IMHO your LT is a bit lower.  Did you read the article that came from the thread? There's a chart at the bottom of it correlating HR zones and RPE.

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