Welcome to the forum.
Can you please make your workout in training peaks public and share the link?
It will help everyone to review the test.
I have no idea how to interpret my heart rate drift test, despite watching video a bunch of times. I understood the test instructions to say to keep your heart rate as close to your rate when it first stabilized. So I did that, altering my pace to do so. The first half of my run, shows a 4ish% pa;hr. The second half shows a negative. And my pa;hr overall was -2.22%. So I am completely lost here. Any help would be welcomed. I will try to attach my file here.
Posted In: General Training Discussion
And I made it public. Thank you!!!!
I was able to upload your file into Training Peaks and check the test. For this outdoor test, looks like your pace dropped significantly and there is a mix of run-jog/walk.
If you are not able to run for the duration of the workout while maintaining HR (at your target HR), then I would recommend doing an indoor test. This article has all the information you need to do the test indoors.
Let me know if you have any additional questions.
@brettmama If you perform the test on a flat/gently rolling terrain you shouldn’t need to vary your speed too much in order to keep a constant heart rate. If you’re targeting a HR that’s in that awkward zone that’s a bit too fast to walk but too slow to run, just run with tiny steps. No need to go from 6kph walk to 10kph run, run with tiny steps at 7.
The most important part in this test I think is having the right hardware. I’ve struggled for a long time to do this test with a Suunto HR band, the lag was just too big to allow me to make adjustments in speed without the heart rate either rising or dropping too much. Ever since I got a Polar H10 everything became much more precise.
I did do it on flat terrain at an easy jog. I have the polar H10. I did it exactly as explained. I kept it slow to keep it at conversational pace for an hour. I haven’t been running recently so I am now feeling it big time. I am just going with my avg hr of 138. I’ll figure it out from there. Thanks for your help. Perhaps I’m not cut out to be so precise
I believe this is the problem:
Warm up and achieve a stable HR that you presume–based on feel, exertion, and absence of mouth breath breathing–is your AeT HR. Next, you will test this HR you have selected by maintaining a constant pace (NOT HR) for the next 60min on flat terrain. (I think you were targeting a constant HR, not pace, which is the mistake you were maybe making?) To target a constant pace you either need a GPS watch/phone or use a treadmill. If you do not maintain the same pace, the test will be invalid. If the HR fluctuates, or drifts, 3.5-5% than this is your current AeT HR. Keep in mind that it will change over time, so the test should be repeated every month or two to re-confirm. If <3.5%–the HR you tested is below your AeT HR; if >5%–its above. Retest yourself with a HR 5 beats higher or lower, as needed. Hope this helps.
I also wasn’t able to view your workout and I don’t know much about your body or training history, but my understanding is that a negative value for aerobic decoupling would indicate that you are below your aerobic threshold.
Like I said before, I don’t know much about you or your training history; however, I am assuming you are middle-aged based on the threshold you selected using the MAF methodology. It is pretty well understood, and explained in “Training for the Uphill Athlete,” that the MAF method can be pretty conservative.
I would either retest at a slightly higher HR; however, you may find that you are still under your AeT, meaning you may have to retest several times until you have a good idea of what your AeT is. An alternative, would be to forget the MAF method and try to keep your HR around/below a value that coincides with your ventilatory threshold (talking/nose-breathing pace) during the drift test. This may result in an aerobic decoupling value closer to the 5% mark, and you may only have to retest once or twice more.
Shashi also proposed a pretty good alternative as well.
I reached out to Scott Johnston to understand why the heart rate drift test article recommends maintaining HR, rather than Pace. Here is the clarification he provided –
The reason for trying to hold the HR constant is that it is easier than trying to hold a constant pace. However, if the course is flat enough the TP Hr:Pa calculation will account for variations in both HR and pace.
As Scott J. said, if the terrain is flat, TP will auto-calculate the drift easily enough. But before we dig into it more… You said:
I haven’t been running recently so I am now feeling it big time.
Can you elaborate on “big time”?
What I meant was my muscles were really sore and right after – for a couple of days. My avg heart rate for that run a t a conversational pace was 138. My MAF is 120. The thought is that my starting hr (about 136) was too low and thus the reason for negative hr:p. So for a ballpark to work with until I can do the test again, what would you recommend?
I understand the soreness, after my last AeT test my calves were sore for a few days. It was the most running I’d done in a while and my form needs some work!
Also the link is working again. It seems like you could target 145 since the drift was negative (-2%) with a starting HR of 138. If you want to be conservative use 140.