80/20 newbie!

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    I have a few questions I’m hoping to get clarification on.

    I have been active the last 10 years but gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy about a year ago. I am officially down 30 pounds with another 40-50 to go. Although I’m heavier than I’ve been in the last few years, I’ve stayed extremely active. I have a big goal of running a marathon at the end of this year with several half marathons as well. I signed up for the Half Marathon Level 1 as well as the Marathon Level 0
    Immediately after finishing the half marathon program.

    Prior to these plans, I wasn’t as educated on zones. After reading the book and buying the plans, I noticed that most of my runs (up to 10 mile long runs) were all in zones 4 and sometimes 5. I would hold and sustain those zones for hours sometimes. After getting more educated on zones and reviewing my plans…I feel like I’m starting back at square one due to my fastest pace originally being 12 min mile (usually in zone 4). I tested out a zone 2 run today and I was basically walking or jogging extremely slow to stay within that zone 2.

    I wanted to confirm that walking is okay in order to stay in zone 2? If I start to slowly jog and my HR creeps into zone 3, slow it back down correct? As I lose weight and patiently commit to these programs, that zone 2 pace will improve over time?

    Also, I plan on incorporating strength training 3-4x a week in addition to my runs. Should I be keeping my HR in zone 2 for those workouts as well?

    Hoping to get the most out of these plans and improve my health overall.



    Let me start off by saying that it sounds like your zones in Training Peaks have not been properly set up for your situation and plan. Read through this document on how to set up your zones in TP:

    Understanding Your TrainingPeaks.com Structured Workout Plan

    Also, read through this article on how to establish your lactate threshold:

    Intensity Guidelines for 80/20 Running

    To your last question, yes things will improve over time.

    Now, allow me to explain why I am 99% confident your zones are off. For most people (I want to say none, but I hate absolutes), it is not physically possible to sustain a zone 4 and especially a zone 5 effort for hours. A low zone 4 is typically a 5K effort which is 15-30 minutes at best. Zone 5 is sprint efforts. You just can’t maintain those levels of output for any extended length of time if you wanted to.

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