Hi Maya, can you please add my training plan, or let me know if there’s an issue?
For those who have more questions about the Aerobic Threshold test or would like to learn more in general these articles are a great resource.
This Article walks you through the test: https://www.uphillathlete.com/aerobic-anaerobic-threshold-self-assessment/
This is a video also explaining the steps to the test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emT6Re_d9dM
This article is goes into some of the science behinds endurance training: https://uphillathlete.com/model-of-endurance-training/
And for fun this article is about some of our (top) athletes success with low intensity/aerobic training: https://uphillathlete.com/goettlersteckkhumbutraining/
Posted In: PRIVATE Female Uphill Athlete Training Group
I think it means you are running below your threshold and could try again by bumping up your heart rate another 5 bpm and see what happens. Caveat for anyone else reading this: this can also happen, as i understand it, if you start your 60 mins before you are adequately warmed up – but I also selected a range in your chart to disclude the data from the beginning, and it was still negative, so this doesn’t appear to be the case.
Mathematically, it means that overall your heart rate decreased slightly while your pace improved. You did maintain it really well, but it did decrease. The conclusion for me then is that you can stand to run with a bit more increased heart rate and get it more towards between 1-3%.
I hope the coaches will chime in and say if im wrong or right because I am also learning – and maybe have a bit more specific advice about how much you could bump up your heart rate, should you want to repeat it. Mine was also only at 1%, so i am going to try again tomorrow and see if i can get it closer to 3.
Michelle, you did an excellent job explaining this! YES! Another reason for negative drift is if you are running out and back or not on a flat enough course (since running downhill is faster than up) your pa:HR will be negative. I would try the test again 5bpm higher as Michelle has mentioned. The ideal pa:HR is between 3-5%. I would recommend doing at least a 20min warm-up to stabilize your HR and make sure you aren’t doing an out and back on the course as you will most likely get a negative pa:HR. High school tracks are an awesome place to test to eliminate these issues.
I hope that helps you both 🙂
Thanks Maya! I have another question about the threshold number but i am not sure if i should ask it here, ask it in a zoom meeting or start my own topic. It’s basically about a realization I had – I seem to have a higher threshold (top of zone 2) than what the MAF method gives me, by far – I am 48 so that would be 132. But i ran for 60 mins yesterday and slowed my pace down to try to get to 142, but still only have a drift of 1%. I did this test last year, and I think it came to 148-150, which is a threshold where i can still have conversations when i run.
Now, I always thought my high HR was an indicator that i was out of shape. But then i read somewhere on here that “our goal is to increase our threshold HR”. Does that mean since i can run at 150 for an hour and not have a drift of 5%, that I am not doing as bad as I thought I was? Wouldn’t it be better for my endurance to be able to run the same pace with a LOWER heart rate? Or is my brain completely screwed up and the goal isn’t to have a lower heart rate, but to be able to adapt to a higher one?
This doesn’t need to be answered here, but I just wanted to lay my thoughts on the table so we can discuss it somewhere, sometime. I know we shouldn’t compare, but I do get jealous of the people in my running club who are running along with me at a HR of 125 or something crazy low and I always had it in my head that thats what I should be aiming for before adding on more volume. (and its why i signed up!)
We can talk about this more later! BUT if your AeT is around 150bpm, that is totally awesome! HR is very, very individualized; you might just have a genetically higher HR than the people in your running group. If you can run at a fast pace as 150bpm and feel conversation and sustainable, you are doing the right thing. Of course, we want to be more efficient and use less effort to run fast, but comparing HR won’t get you there. What you will see with your aerobic base increasing is you should be able to do the same runs at the same HR but faster. SO in a way, I see why you are jealous of someone with a lower HR running the same speed. BUT their HR might just be different than yours. We can talk about this more on Zoom, great things to bring up 🙂 We can follow up.
If you did the test and got around 5% drift at 150bpm do your training at or below that HR for all aerobic workouts. That is the important part.
I hope that somewhat answers your question!
Thanks Maya! Your answer definitely helps me wrap my head around it. I should add that yeah, at even HR 145-150, I am still pretty slow for an hours’ run (i am coming from more of a sprinting background so its been a big transition the last 2 years trying to slow down so I don’t burn out, build volume, increase endurance, etc). So i do look forward to more discussions and seeing this improve!
I retried the test again today and still got a negative Pa:Hr.
I included the first 20 minute warm up. I should note that I’m only using a Garmin watch (no chest strap) to record my HR, so might this contribute to the reading?
Based on this data (my HR seemed to stabilize around 160) and how I felt today is it safe to make an educated guess of 160 bpm as the top of my zone 2?
Or, should I redo the test with a higher starting HR since I’m still getting a negative Pa:HR?
Hi Sheila, I have nothing helpful to contribute, I just wanted to say I have similar. I managed to get my Pa:Hr positve, but JUST barely, it is hovering around 0. And I can’t physically go faster right now because I am coming off a 3 month break due to a surgery. I did go out and buy a chest strap (Polar H10) and maybe I should have saved my money because I got the exact same results.
Does 160 feel good to you for an hour? I personally thought, ok, I can do this for an hour, its comfortable, and I can talk, but I am not sure i could do it FOR hours, which is what running at under our AeT should be (or maybe that is when we start building volume, not sure). So thats going to be a question for the coaches. Because of that, i purposely ran at an even slower pace, so I could get a HR of 148 – but it felt the exact same.
Like i said, not helpful for you, but just wanted to tell you I have a similar issue. Right now I am chalking it up to: I am well adapted to run at a higher HR due to training i did last year, but just out of shape (muscle wise) after my break so still slower than I was last year at lower HRs.
I just completed the test on a treadmill with a 3% grade walking. I do a mix of running and hiking. My 1st half average ws 135. My 2nd half average was 136. Instructions say retest and add 5 beats to ….WHAT? the heartrate I actually started at (133) or the average for the first half (135).
Can I just estimate it rather than retest and say Aet is 140?
I’ve a good base. I’ve run a lot this past summer into fall and did lots of zone 2 by estimate Aet and by feel.
Yes, you can estimate and say your AeT is 140 and re-test it at that in the future. Something to look out for, though, while you train: If 140 or below feels sustainable day after day and you aren’t getting incredibly fatigued, then you are training in the correct zone. If 140 starts feeling exhausting, back down to 135.