Couple of questions about TP/LTHR test

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    Hello. I have few questions about TP/LTHR test.

    1. I attempted to do the full protocol to test running TP. I started with 15 mins slow jog with 4×15 sprints in the second half. Then began the test aiming for full 30 mins run, but started too fast at around 4:15. After 10 mins I realized I won’t make the full 30 mins and decided just to finish 5k. My 1km laps were: 4:15, 4:19, 4:10, 4:10 and then I slowed down to 4:29 feeling I cannot keep to this pace. Finally, I did 5k in 21:23. I put this time into the calc. TP of 4:23 and zones shown looked too hard for me. I thought maybe I pushed too much and decided to retake the test. Next time I decided to start at 4:30 feeling it should be around my TP. I run full protocol and got this: 1km – 4:31, 2km – 4:29, 3km – 4:29. I felt comfortable at this point and usually have temptation to run faster and my next kms were: 4:18, 4:20, I felt ok and did the last two at my maximum: 4:09, 4:10. The average for 30 mins was 4:21, which is even faster then the TP I got first time. I still do not feel comfortable training with the zones I get from the calc. I guess this is more a psychological aspect. So should I go by calc or by feel setting TP at 4:30 in TraningPeaks?

    2. The other question is about LTHR. Maybe I am getting the guide wrongly. It says – “Wait for your heart rate to stop increasing and plateau. The number you see after it levels off is your LTHR.” Actually, my HR does not level off and keep growing for entire 30 mins. In my last test averages in every km were 167, 169, 173, 177, 180, 184, 188. Well, I understand I increased pace, but actually I never see my HP levels off that quick. At slow pace like 6:00-6:30 it levels off after 30 mins, at 5:00-5:30 it can grow for an hour. So I can take an average for the last 20 mins as it is suggested later – “Your LTHR is your average heart rate in beats per minute (BPM) for the final 20 minutes of the 30-minute test.”, but these directions do not look the same for me. What would you suggest?

    David Warden

    yury, first, thanks for your contribution to the other members on the forums.

    1. Let’s break down your 21:21 5K result. You can obviously run at a 4:15 pace for 21 minutes. We know you can, because you did. If you can hold 4:15 for 21 minutes straight, why would you not be able to hold 4:30 (mid Zone 3) for 3 x 7 minutes Zone 3 interval? 21 minutes is longer than 6 minutes, yes? 😉 4:30 is slower than 4:15, yes? 😉

    If you can run 4:15 for 21 minutes, why would you doubt you can run 5:45 (zone 2) for an hour? For two hours?

    Yes, I think that you are a faster runner that you thought you were, and this is psychological. I’d use the new pace zones with confidence. Feel free to lean on the slow side of the zones for a bit, but you are capable of those zones.

    2. You did the test right, you just happen to have a HR that takes longer to level out than most. That’s not bad, it’s just you. That test won’t work if your HR does not level out.

    Consider not using HR at all. Use Pace. You have an outstanding, reliable and accurate 5K to use for zones. Your particular HR just may not be efficient to use for training, as it may be tough for us to ever get a reliable LTHR for you in the field if your HR just goes up and up. This would be an issue even if you did the full 30-minute HR test.




    I appreciate your detailed and encouraging response. I will use pace.

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