Zone 2 Pace SERIOUSLY Slow

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  • #18125

    I’ve read tons of posts already but haven’t heard of anyone being quite as slow as me, so I thought I’d ask again.

    Here’s a little background: I’m a 29 year old male, 140 lbs. Several years ago I used to be an avid swimmer, but I haven’t done much of anything for the past 7-8 years in the way of physical activity. When I was more physically active years ago, virtually all my exercises were intervals at higher intensity levels than what 80/20 calls for. Basically, I’ve never done anything that resembles zone 2 training in my life!

    Now that I’ve started, I have a LTHR of 183 and a max of 205 (if that’s even relevant). To stay in the zone 2, I have to slow down to a 15:00 mile pace!!! At this rate, I’m just “pretending” to jog–it really feels more like a shuffle than anything. On a good day, I can keep this up for an entire 1 hour run; on a bad day, I might have to add walking intervals after 30 minutes or so. What’s really embarrassing is that I can walk at the EXACT same pace and my HR immediately drops about 15 BPM (I’m using a chest strap, just in case anyone was wondering about possible cadence interference). As soon as I change to the jogging motion, however, my HR jumps back up again.

    I guess I’m just looking for some validation that I’m not alone or maybe some reassurance that it will eventually improve… or, maybe should I be training based on pace instead? For what it’s worth, at my 4mph “shuffle”, I feel like I could carry on a full conversation and keep going all day; 5mph my voice just barely starts to be strained and I could probably hold for an hour; 6.5 mph is about what I would hold for 30 minutes or a 5k.

    David Warden

    A, thanks so much for using our plans.

    I’m confident that the best option for you is to switch from HR to Pace. Pace is recommended above HR anyway, and for you it seems to be a significant disadvantage.

    Your self-performed “talk test” validates this well. Your top of Zone 2 is at least 5mph.

    You can switch from your HR plan to a Pace plan for free with our Level Guarantee at and you can learn how to perform the threshold and talk tests for Pace at Intensity Guidelines for Running


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