Request for Talk Test Validation

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • #9682
    David Warden

    80/20 Community,

    Matt and I are excited about rolling out our new 2021 Edition Run plans. They will be announced in our next newsletter. These have been completely overhauled from the ground up. A part of these new plans includes updated documentation and a new testing protocol: the Talk Test.

    We’d love you feedback on this new test, which we feel is incredibly accurate and not nearly as severe as the 30-minute TT.

    To try it, visit our updated Intensity Guidelines for Running document and scroll down to the Talk Test section. Enter your results in the respective Talk Test field at the Zone Calculator and compare the results with your current zones. How close are they? Maybe even try using the 80/20 zones identified by the Talk Test for a few weeks and see if they more accurately reflect the intensities you can maintain.

    Note that we don’t yet have the Talk Test field in the calculator for Pace. This is coming soon. However, you can still complete the Talk Test protocol and reverse-engineer the Threshold Pace field by entering values until the top of Zone 2 equals your result from the Talk Test.

    Thanks for your consideration!



    Hi David,

    In the talk test, there is one big subjective factor – talking comfortably. I have no idea what is comfortable for vast majority or what comfortable should be even for me. Is it talking without taking any big gasps of air or how would you describe it?


    Matt Fitzgerald

    Hi Karl,

    That’s the brilliance of the design of this particular protocol. As explained in the instructions, if you’re not sure whether you are able to speak comfortably, that counts as no, plain and simple. Your VT1 aligns with the highest pace/power/heart rate at which you are SURE you’re able to speak comfortably. And don’t tell me you’re never sure! Say something out loud right now. Were you able to to so comfortably? Are you sure? I’ll answer for you: yes and yes. You can do this!

    Coach Matt


    Hi David,

    I tried the talk test this morning, running on a local oval to make sure I was on the flat. I found it really hard to manage my pace and gradually raise it when on the field, but looking at my results afterwards, I wasn’t too far off – I jumped by about 20 seconds per step.

    For me, like Karl, judging what is “comfortable” was hard. There were times early on in the run when I had to take a deep breath in the middle of the 50 syllable statement and wondered if that meant I was uncomfortable. But I was going so slow at that point that I knew it couldn’t be right.

    I eventually called it after about 11 minutes of the test, and then hovered around that level for another couple of steps to see if that was about right. When I got home and analysed the run, my power rating was very close to what I had before, my pace was about 4 secs/km slower (which seems off because I feel a lot fitter than I was last time I tested myself), and my LTHR was way off, by about 20 bpm. The heart rate is the telling part for me – I know I can maintain 170bpm for an extended period, because that has been tested and proven in races, so I’m guessing my subjective assessment of what’s comfortable is lower than what you’re expecting. Are you able to provide any more guidance?


    Matt Fitzgerald

    Hi Chris,

    It sounds like you did a pretty good job executing the test. One thought that comes to mind is that perhaps you rushed the recitation somewhat. You’re allowed to pause briefly between sentences as you normally would in conversation. It would be interesting to see where your heart rate settles when you’re running at the lactate threshold power predicted by the test.


Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Posted in

David Warden

You must be logged in to create new topics and to reply to topics.