Mixing HR and Pace Zones within the same workout

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    Hi all.

    Usually run workouts are either HR based or pace based. There are benefits to both. Recently I started experimenting with a mix of both within the same workout and I wanted to get your opinion about it.

    For instance, when I’m running in a Z1 pace (lets say 6:00 – 6:30 min/km) sometimes I find my HR start to creep into Z2. So I stopped focusing on pace when I’m running in Z1 and focused entirely on HR to make sure my bpms stay low regardless of the pace.

    Once I’m warmed up and move on to Z2 or higher efforts, I switch my focus entirely to pace, regardless of HR. And when I’m done with the main portion of the workout and get into the cooldown phase, I switch to HR again to get my bpms as low as possible regardless of pace.

    I also use HR instead of pace as my main metric when I’m doing “RRe” workouts, since they’re meant to be done entirely in Z1.

    I’d love to get your thoughts on this.


    David Warden

    G, I love this approach. It’s a great example of using a primary and secondary measure of intensity. I think it is an advanced technique, not recommend for newer endurance athletes, as new athletes tend to be more easily “fooled” by HR. An Advanced athlete understand their heart rate, and how it responds to different intensities, temperature, stress, etc. and can create a more elegant solution by mixing Pace and HR.

    I’d think of it as a pilot. Pace or Power is flying using instrument readings, HR is flying visual. Instrument readings are always safer, but every now and then, there are situations where visual flying is a critical tool.




    Thanks a lot for the insight. I specially loved the aviation analogy 😅 Coincidentally I’m an aviation technician, so I could relate perfectly.


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Retired Mexican Navy Aviation Officer. Age Group Triathlete. 80/20 Endurance Certified Coach and Brand Ambassador. Lvl 1 Certified TrainingPeaks Coach. Stryd Certified Coach. ONTargetEndurance head coach.

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