Ventilatory Threshold question

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    On page 4 of 80/20 Running, Matt gives 2 examples where ventilatory threshold is approx. 37 seconds per mile slower than 10K pace. For me, that would mean my VT is 7:55 pace. However, in Run Like a Pro, Matt explains VT1 and VT2. He says VT1 is not really very intense. [77-81% of max HR, 60-65% of their max aerobic speed, a rating of 4 on a 1-to-10 scale of perceived effort]. If my max aerobic speed is 9.4 mph (6:24 pace) and I take 65% of that, I get 6.1 mph or 9:50 pace.

    This has me rather confused. Most of my “normal” training runs are 8:45-9:15 pace. For me, 7:55 pace would fall into that gray area of moderate intensity. On the other hand, 9:50 pace is very easy, which seems to be more in-line with what Matt has in mind for the 80%.

    What am I missing?

    Matt Fitzgerald

    Hi Chad,

    What you’re missing is that VT1 is not 37 seconds per mile slower than 10K race pace for everyone. That’s only the case for the runner in the example given. Understand, VT1 is an intensity, and it’s the same intensity for all runners, whereas 10K race pace is a different intensity for runners of different abilities. To give a fairly extreme example, 10K pace for a 60-minute 10K runner is much closer to VT1 than is 10K pace for a 30-minute 10K runner, for whom, by virtue of their superior fitness, the 10K is a much shorter (duration) and intense race than it is for the slower runner. You’re comparing apples to oranges when trying to identify an absolute, universal relationship between race pace and VT1. The example given in the book was just that: an example.



    Thanks Matt. I realize those were just 2 examples, but both VTs happened to be equal seconds away from their 10k pace. Given that my 10K pace would fall right in the middle of the 2 examples of 40 and 50-minute 10Ks, I figured my VT pace would be similar. Again this would roughly be 7:55 pace, which is a pace I never get close to during my foundational training runs.

    That’s why I assumed the calculation using the max aerobic speed example made more sense. But they’re just so vastly different. I’m probably over-thinking it, but if I tried to run my foundational runs faster, I think I’d sacrifice the quality of my hard workouts.

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