General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Cardiac drift? To stay in Z2 or not? Rss Feed  
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2014-12-03 11:40 PM

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Subject: Cardiac drift? To stay in Z2 or not?
Over months of running - and seeing a very enjoyable improvement - I noticed a minor detail that brought up a question: lets assume I go for another 1 hour run, and I will try to run in Z2. Months ago I would at the start of my run find my HR inside Z2 relatively quickly, it would maybe take just a few minutes and there I was right smack inside Z2 and pushing Z3 (but backing off of course). Now - I presume as my running base has improved - it may take 15-20 minutes until I get out of Z1 and into Z2.

Would you in the beginning of the run "step on the accelerator" to reach Z2 quicker, or would you just let your HR gradually reach into Z2?


2014-12-04 3:22 AM
in reply to: #5071927

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Subject: RE: Cardiac drift? To stay in Z2 or not?
I would run at the same intensity throughout, if your intention is to run slow. Z2 is not just a HR zone, but it can also be a speed zone if you will. I upload my data to Strava where i set my zones and there i check both my hr zones and pace zones after a workout. Its not a bad thing to start out in z1, as long as it doesnt take too long to reach your target zone, nor that you overshoot it. It should not become a fartlek. Consider re evaluating your zones if theyre not working for you.
2014-12-04 6:01 AM
in reply to: Snaaijer

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Subject: RE: Cardiac drift? To stay in Z2 or not?

Originally posted by Snaaijer

. . . Consider re evaluating your zones if theyre not working for you.

x2

Don't know how or when you calculated your zones but it sounds like it might be time to re-calculate.  You can review this article - http://beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=633 - that describes in detail how to do a field test.  It also suggests regular re-testing to keep zones current.

2014-12-04 11:40 AM
in reply to: rpistor

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Subject: RE: Cardiac drift? To stay in Z2 or not?

are you doing your runs at the same pace as before?  if you are then yes you should speed up since your fitness has improved and you should be going faster at the same HR.  this isn't necessarily cardiac drift as it is improved fitness.  cardiac drift is when you are in your Z2 power zone on the bike but pushing 180bpm instead of the usual 130bpm all while the effort feeling the same. 

2014-12-04 11:48 AM
in reply to: rpistor


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Subject: RE: Cardiac drift? To stay in Z2 or not?

The cardiac drift (increasing HR in the middle of a single long workout) happens a fair amount, especially once you start getting into those 90+ minute workouts. 

 

I play it by ear and time of season. If I'm feeling great, or I know that I should be sharpening in peak race season, I'll err on the higher side and start Z2, left it drift to z3 by the end, with a net average of high z2. 

 

If it's early season, and/or I'm feeling like I'm dragging, I'll start in Z1, and end up in Z2, for an average of lower z2.

 

As you get in progressively better shape, you'll get less and less cardiac drift. Also, hydrating well during the workout helps lessen the drift on those long workouts.

2014-12-04 11:59 AM
in reply to: Clempson

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Subject: RE: Cardiac drift? To stay in Z2 or not?
Originally posted by Clempson

 cardiac drift is when you are in your Z2 power zone on the bike but pushing 180bpm instead of the usual 130bpm all while the effort feeling the same. 




I think what you're describing is best ascribed to bonking Cardiac drift is, as the name hints, a tendency of the heart rate to increase without actual increased intensity.

Here's a good article: http://www.uni.edu/dolgener/cardiovascular_phys/Electronic%20Articl...


2014-12-04 11:59 AM
in reply to: Clempson

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Subject: RE: Cardiac drift? To stay in Z2 or not?
Originally posted by Clempson

 cardiac drift is when you are in your Z2 power zone on the bike but pushing 180bpm instead of the usual 130bpm all while the effort feeling the same. 




I think what you're describing is best ascribed to bonking Cardiac drift is, as the name hints, a tendency of the heart rate to increase without actual increased intensity.

Here's a good article: http://www.uni.edu/dolgener/cardiovascular_phys/Electronic%20Articl...
2014-12-04 12:06 PM
in reply to: Snaaijer

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Subject: RE: Cardiac drift? To stay in Z2 or not?

Originally posted by Snaaijer
Originally posted by Clempson

 cardiac drift is when you are in your Z2 power zone on the bike but pushing 180bpm instead of the usual 130bpm all while the effort feeling the same. 

I think what you're describing is best ascribed to bonking Cardiac drift is, as the name hints, a tendency of the heart rate to increase without actual increased intensity. Here's a good article: http://www.uni.edu/dolgener/cardiovascular_phys/Electronic%20Articl...

see bold. HR effort at 180 feels like normal effort at 130.  just because your HR is higher doesn't mean you are doing any more actual work.  which is why HR pacing on a bike is completely useless when you can actually measure your effort/output instead of a single random response by your body.

2014-12-04 12:45 PM
in reply to: #5071936

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Subject: RE: Cardiac drift? To stay in Z2 or not?
Except what youre describing is not a drift but an anomalous heart rate, unless you mean that the heartrate slowly crept from 130 to 180. Then its just a very long cardiac drift I guess. Either way the topic starter talks about drift into z3 which most likely is not 180.
2014-12-04 1:06 PM
in reply to: Snaaijer

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Subject: RE: Cardiac drift? To stay in Z2 or not?
Great responses. In my case effort is the same, pace is the same. So - I guess Clempson has it right: its just a result of improved fitness, that staying in Z1 longer before hitting Z2. My question was: is the lower Z1 heart rate in the beginning of the run (and sometimes for 20 minutes) somehow not as effective for your training as getting into Z2 as quickly as possible?
2014-12-04 1:39 PM
in reply to: rpistor

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Subject: RE: Cardiac drift? To stay in Z2 or not?

Originally posted by rpistor  My question was: is the lower Z1 heart rate in the beginning of the run (and sometimes for 20 minutes) somehow not as effective for your training as getting into Z2 as quickly as possible?

If your fitness has improved, but your pace is the same, then you are creating less 'stress' for your body (it should take less effort to go at that pace now than it used to when you would get to Z2 very quickly, or you will be able to maintain that pace for longer before you feel the effort level really increase).  If you create less stress, then you induce fewer adaptations--which is what drives improved performance over time.  Whether that is good or bad really depends on the workout, your goals, etc.



2014-12-04 1:41 PM
in reply to: rpistor

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Subject: RE: Cardiac drift? To stay in Z2 or not?
Originally posted by rpistor
My question was: is the lower Z1 heart rate in the beginning of the run (and sometimes for 20 minutes) somehow not as effective for your training as getting into Z2 as quickly as possible?


Going by the physiological adaptations listed here: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/article/power-training-levels, it would appear that it is better to get into Z2 ASAP since there are simply no checked boxes in the Z1 column. There is probably negligible carry over from that Z1 time as good Z2 adaptation. It will still be good as 'time on your feet', but there is no downside (recovery-wise) to running in Z2 vs. Z1. Certainly, HR lags behind effort, but that should only be a couple minutes at most.

That said, if you take 20 minutes to roll into Z2, as mentioned above, it may be high time to reestablish what pace you should be going in that zone.
2014-12-04 7:16 PM
in reply to: dfroelich

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Subject: RE: Cardiac drift? To stay in Z2 or not?
If you have a 60 min zone 2 run... get in to zone 2. No reason to stay in zone 1.... start your run easy and pick it up till you are in zone 2 then back off as needed. If you are running the same effort and same pace and in zone one... push harder.
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