30/30s and max HR determination

  • Creator
  • #46381

    For 30/30s do I need to know my max HR or is it sufficient to know my AnT HR and just get into Z4 for the 30/30s ?

    I haven’t done 30/30s before so I’m completely happy spending time figuring them out.

    I’m considering:
    * starting out with 2x6mins using a HR of just over my AnT HR for the slow 30s and then push that up about 5 bpm for the fast 30s.
    * do the above for a few sessions and see how I get on, see what the recovery is like etc.
    * over a number of sessions gradually push up the lower and upper HRs until I get to a point where I can’t increase my fast 30’s HR any more and take that as my max HR for the purpose of 30/30s.
    * at that point start to increase the volume ( if possible 🙂 )

    – Garret.

  • Participant
    Dada on #46382

    Hi Garret,

    I’m not sure about the slow 30s above the AnT. One of the advantages of the 30s/30s is that you don’t accumulate too much lactate compared to longer high intensity intervals as well as shorter intervals with 2:1 work to rest ratio.

    So keeping the HR above AnT is diametral to the benefits of 30s/30s, I guess.

    Best regards

    Anonymous on #46383


    No need to establish max HR. Simply get into Z4 during the on time (after a few 30s reps to build up slowly or after a hard last 2 minutes in the warm up).

    Then allow HR to drop 4-5 beats during the off 30s.

    Your suggested progression sounds fine. We normally start with 2x10min but nothing wrong with being a bit more conservative.


    Anonymous on #46384

    Hi Garret and Dada,

    Thanks for getting a good conversation going on 30-30s; I’m (obviously) a huge fan of this intensity format so am psyched whenever folks add them to their routine.

    For target intensity I would suggest aiming for max VO2 (by HR) for the “on-time” and only allowing a 5bpm drop for the off-time. Max VO2 *typically* occurs somewhere around 90-95% of max HR, so you can make an estimate accordingly. For instance, if your max HR is around 190 then your max VO2 lies somewhere in the mid to high 170s. Use the first few repeats of your 30-30s workout to move into that range, and make sure the rest interval sees that 5bpm drop.

    While you’re right, Dada, that the workout shouldn’t involve an ever-rising LA accumulation, you will be operating the entire time at and above your AnT (by HR) and probably maintaining a moderate but steady state of LA in the blood. The perception of that, however, is one of less effort than a traditional max VO2 workout (4x 4min, etc) because of the more frequent (but short) rest intervals, so you’re able to push a higher speed in the on-time, benefiting overall economy of the muscles to operate at higher rates against fatigue.

    Garret: with regard to your above-mentioned strategy for finding your max HR in the 30-30s, I would be careful about pushing the upper (on-time) HR too high, as that will make it difficult to extend the workout to longer durations and to keep your speed high throughout. Start your progression by using AnT+5bpm as your “on-time” target HR (use the first few intervals to ramp up to this effort), and then simply drop to AnT HR during the rest period. If you find that you’re able to confidently bump that on-time HR a few beats higher after a few workouts, go for it, but make sure that you’re able to sustain that effort and speed throughout the whole session.


    jakedev on #46391

    So seems 30/30s are predominately for running. Would you guys recommend them for weighted uphill hikes toward the end of the ME period if one is looking to be able to move faster on approaches?

    Dada on #46401

    Thank you, Sam, for clarifying!

    Giving it a try one more time, despite the chance of being wrong again 😉

    : I personally cannot reach Vo2max HR regions in a weighted climb. So for me it would not make sense to do these since I can’t hit the intended effort.

    Despite the technical stuff, TftuA is stating that Z4 workouts are the least specific workouts for mountaineering / ski mountaineering because you normally won’t hit Vo2max regions there as well. I deviate here a little bit from TftuA, but for me Z3 and Z4 workouts increased my speed at AeT tremendously.

    Happy to hear the coaches’ opinion on that.


    Anonymous on #47115

    Never assume more is better because… it’s usually worse.

    Cases in point:

    * If you were to ignore HR and use a typical “VO2” pace instead (in many cases, ~120% of AnT pace), you would see that HR won’t rise to AnT HR until several reps into the workout. And the fitter you are the later this will happen, not the sooner. HR is a poor measure of intensity above AeT, so don’t wag the dog… As Sam said, use a constant intensity and let HR gradually catch up to AnT HR over the first several intervals.

    * Don’t combine 30-30s and ME. The former is primarily a central stimulus; the latter, peripheral. If done correctly, most of the load of the former will be on the heart and lungs; the latter, on the legs. So the perceived exertion in the legs of 30-30s won’t be too bad unless your legs are weak. For ME, measures of central exertion (ventilation and HR) won’t be extreme, probably quite the opposite (in Zone 1/2).

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