Can barely reach HR zone
September 14, 2020 at 5:12 pm #8552PlantpoweredathleteParticipant
So, I am supposed to do a long Z2 run but it’s getting really difficult to reach even my low zone. I am running a fast pace and my HR is in zone 1 still. My RPE is high. These runs feel very difficult. These past runs were on a treadmill due to bad air quality.
I just feel like I’m workin really hard and the gear rate isn’t matching. Any thoughts? Time to redo my baseline?September 14, 2020 at 6:13 pm #8553alancraigParticipant
I’m not one of the coaches around here. But in situations like this, my suggestion would be to go by perceived effort. It could be that your heart rate monitor is not reading correctly. Also, I think the way you propel yourself forward on the ground (which you don’t do on the treadmill) might also affect your heart rate (making it lower on the treadmill).
In my opinion, even when you’re training by another method (HR, power, pace), RPE should always be the trump card that can override anything else. Just my two cents based on my experience. Hope this helps!September 15, 2020 at 9:24 am #8562
@Alan we absolutely love it when other athletes pitch in! No need to wait for a coach. We want to build an 80/20 community on the Forums, and welcome all contributions.
@Plant Alan is right: RPE is a great method to override intensity when something feels wrong. That’s really only a short-term solution, for the long term, let’s see what we can identify for this issue.
The most obvious variable is the treadmill. This presents two issues. First, indoor training will always present HR at 5-10 beats lower than outdoor. You almost need a separate set of zones for training indoors and outdoors when using HR. Give yourself some buffer when training indoors. Second, your treadmill may be really off calibration, and what appears to be Xmph is really Ymph. You’re running at a “really fast pace” may not be the pace you think.
Next, can you confirm how you identified your LTHR and zones? Let’s make sure it was best-practice.
Finally, yes, it may be time to retest, but if anything your LTHR should be going up, or at least pace for a given LTHR. This is why I’m leaning towards the indoor HR phenomenon as the primary reason for what you are seeing.
DavidSeptember 16, 2020 at 8:17 am #8574PlantpoweredathleteParticipant
That all makes sense to me. So if I am doing a treadmill / indoor workout, should I just increase my HR zones 10 BPM and go off that? If RPE is the best way to do indoor, for winter training should I change my plans around to satisfy that? (Utilizing RPE?) Or just increasing my BPM zones for indoor + some internal RPE analyzing? I am still new so I am not great with RPE.
Secondly, at the start of my plan I did the 30 minute run for both pace and LTHR. That was a month ago and I intend to update them this week during a recovery week.
Any other things you could offer me? Thoughts? Thanks!!
(Love this training, FTP went up 26W today!)September 16, 2020 at 2:29 pm #8575
You’ll want to decrease your zones by 5 1-0 beats indoors. If your current outdoor LTHR is 170, I’d use 165 as a maximum and possibly 160 as your indoor LTHR, and use the Zone Calculator to find your “indoor” zones for that proposed indoor LTHR.
You could use RPE, but why not Pace instead? It’s more reliable, and you have pace at your fingertips on the treadmill. When you do your retest, you can test for both at the same time on the treadmill. Then you’ll have both HR and Pace indoor zones (Pace indoor zones do not suffer from the same issue as HR, but your treadmill might not be calibrated perfectly, so in reality, your outdoor threshold pace could be +/- 30 seconds per mile on your treadmill).
DavidSeptember 18, 2020 at 1:12 pm #8592
I was gonna create a new thread with my question, but reading this one, I think I’ll just chime in instead.
I have a similar issue. I usually do my weekly running workouts on the treadmill because I train really early and it’s still too dark outside. And my weekend long runs I do them outdoors. I use pace as my primary means of measuring intensity, and when I’m running outside, my pace zones and my HR zones are usually pretty spot on. But when I run indoors, at the same pace I would run outside, my HR is usually about 10-15bpm lower due to the fact that treadmill running usually tends to feel a bit easier.
Would you recommend switching to HR as my means of measuring intensity when running outdoors and sticking to pace when running outdoors?September 18, 2020 at 1:47 pm #8593
*** Switching to HR as my means of measuring intensity when running INDOORS, and sticking to pace when running OUTDOORS***September 19, 2020 at 2:47 pm #8601
If you can perform a indoor threshold test, test both Pace and HR within the same test. Don’t do an extra threshold test just for indoor testing, but as part of you regular rest-week testing. Then you’ll have both indoor HR and Pace, and then I would use Pace for indoors (and that threshold pace and zones are specific to that treadmill).
If you don’t do an indoor test, then yes, HR is going to be more reliable than Pace in this scenario, because we DO know that HR is almost always 5-10 beats lower indoors, but we DON’T know how much different your indoor pace is compared to outdoor (i.e. how close/off your treadmill calibration is).
DavidSeptember 19, 2020 at 2:57 pm #8602
Thanks a lot David, I’m not 100% confident on my treadmill calibration. It’s seen better days and I wouldn’t trust the pace to be accurate enough to do a reliable threshold pace test. I think I’ll stick to HR for indoors running and pace for outdoors. I’ll try training this way for a couple of weeks to see how my zones correlate.
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