Run optimization and progression markers

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    Hey, I’m new to the forum but a 4-year veteran of 80/20. I used it to complete my first full Ironman.

    I’m about 1 month into my workup for an end-of-May marathon. I came into the plan with high hopes but middling run fitness. So far everything is going according to plan (I am doing the Marathon Level 1 based on power, paired with TP Premium). I hope to be competitive for a Boston spot (age 60), but it may be a stretch given my current run performance.

    Being a bit of a data geek, I am looking at the vast sea of data available on both TP and Stryd and trying to track my progress and potential. Here are my questions:

    Efficiency Factor: TP calculates this and describes it as a “good measure of your aerobic fitness,” and defines it as a ratio of normalized graded pace to average heart rate. First, has anyone had success using this as a progression metric? Second, should I invent my own EF using power instead of HR since I have the Stryd?

    Aerobic Decoupling: This is also buried in the TP sea of data, and is described as the comparison of the Efficiency Factor of the first and second half of any aerobic interval. In English, I understand this as your ability to keep a steady pace going for a steady effort without having your performance break down over time. Does anyone track this as a progression metric?

    My most efficient pace: As a 80/20 devotee, I know I will be spending a ton of time in Zone 2 and racing hopefully into Zone X. Zone 2 is a big place for me and goes from 238-275W on the Stryd pod or 128-142 BPM on the HRM. I’m trying to figure out at what pace I am optimizing my effort. I’m thinking of running on the treadmill at every 5W step between low and high Z2 and getting a pace and HR to go with it. Charted together, I should be able to see a better picture of where to target for my Z2 intervals. Any insights?

    Thanks for reading!


    I look at it all, but with few exceptions they are just a curiosity. I haven’t found anything but a description of what these metrics are, an nothing about how to use them.

    The problem is that any given day is the sum of your training CTL and ATL, and the impact on workout performance. That coupled with the fact you are manipulating your training distribution artificially when following a periodized training plan makes workout comparisons more art than science.

    I do look at aerobic decoupling, but the number is useless. Instead I look at my heart rate and power curves on training peaks – any decoupling is obvious and in may occur as a spike at the the beginning of a workout, or as cardiac drift late in a workout. Determining why is best looked at on the day. You “might” learn something about fitness, for example if I see a cardiac drift I will make a mental note to look at the color of my pee so see if I might be experiencing some dehydration rather than reaching the limits of my fatigue resistance.

    I think that the Stryd power center gives a better spot report on where you are at and how you got there. But, Stryd only looks at Stryd data. For my current build I am doing about 25% of my general training by cross training that is not reflected on the Stryd Power Center; so I see a huge hit in my performance metrics that does not reflect my actual fitness level.

    For these reason (and my prejudices) it is better to do periodic tests or training races to get an accurate measure of progress, and more importantly an accurate snapshot of training zones.


    Thanks, Charles. That was some good feedback.

    During my last 80/20 work up, I did notice my pace getting faster progressively for a given power level, which was a good indicator that the program was working. Maybe it is no more complicated than watching for that.


    I don’t really look at stats, but I do a simultaneous test 20 min test to get HR, pace and power zones and see how they change over time. This helps as sometimes my power may not go up much but my pace does – someone here pointed out this would be due to improved technique.

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