Updating running zones and other thoughts

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    Hey, I’ve recently updated my zones as I’m now on W4 of the 10k level 0 power plan and noticed I could run at a higher power whilst speaking comfortably and also, that my HR had dropped significantly for the talk test power.

    Firstly, all things being equal, with no improvements in running efficiency and assuming this is on flat ground, am I correct that the relationship between power and pace will remain the same?

    The way I’m envisioning things progressing is that as my fitness improves, my ‘talk test’ power will go up due to my body generating power more easily but the pace linked to that power will stay the same (again, assuming flat ground here). Is this correct?

    Should I expect HR to also drop significantly throughout training or will it quickly plateau? These are my changes, W1 vs W4:

    W1 – talk test HR 153bpm, Power 190W
    W4 – Talk test HR 140bpm, Power 200W

    (though this can possibly go even higher, 220W also feels comfortable to talk with a slightly higher HR, more like 148bpm. Depends on what ‘comfortable’ means as is a bit subjective)

    I think I’ll eventually perform a 20 min time trial. Do you agree that I may as well use my calculated threshold values for pace/power/hr for the test and assess how accurate it was at the end? I don’t think I’d have a clue at picking a pace intuitively being very new to running and if it was too easy/hard, I can adjust for next time.

    Any recommendations on how frequently you can perform a time trial? Your notes say to replace any zone 3 with a TT.

    Sorry for all the threads lately. I’m enjoying the plan very much. The recovery and endurance runs were getting a bit dull but I understand their value and music coupled with very cushioned shoes has helped immensely with them! Thank you!


    I meant 210W also feels comfortable for talk test, not 220W. 20W is too big of a jump in power!


    “relationship between power and pace will remain the same?”

    Not sure exactly what you mean here, but let’s do physics.

    P is the rate of doing work with respect to time. In it’s simplest form P = Force x velocity.

    So, for sake of discussion we can say it takes the same force to move you across the ground. Therefore, if your power output increases, your velocity will increase. What this means is that if your threshold power has increased, then your threshold pace will be faster.


    Sorry, got sidetracked and there’s no edit function.

    As to the statement I wasn’t quite understanding the relationship of any given power to pace remains the same no matter your threshold. Not sure if this is what you’re asking.

    In other words, 200W will make you run pace X whether your threshold is 50W or 500W all things being equal.



    I find the relationship between power and pace is not constant. When I did my second test my HR and Pace improved c.10% and my power stayed about the same. Someone on here pointed out that your running efficiency can improve, so you may go faster for the same power output.

    That is why I always do the simultaneous 20 min test to get my HR, Pace and Power zones. That way I can see what is changing and not get disheartened if one measure does not improve as expected.


    Thanks both.

    I appreciate that in theory, the power and pace relationship should stay consistent (all things being equal) but interesting comment FatDad. I think I’ll do the 20 minute test next time I have a zone 3 workout scheduled.


    Pace is not Power is not Heart Rate. They are being used as a stand-in to estimate training stress.

    The objective is to estimate training load, so it only makes sense to be consistent in how we make the estimate. Training Peaks defaults to the most accurate measure from data collected during your workouts. https://help.trainingpeaks.com/hc/en-us/articles/204071944-Training-Stress-Scores-TSS-Explained

    When I added Garmin Power IQ to my watch Training Peaks began to apply TSS values to my workouts replacing the rTSS scores without any intervention by me.

    Bottom line is get the best measure of your Threshold for whatever plan you are using (HR, Power, RPE). I like to examine each of the measures, principally to learn, but it is not really necessary.

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