Aet Drift Test – always decreases

  • Creator
  • #56661
    Melissa Macdonald

    I trained with the Female Uphill Athlete program in the Spring, for both sessions, and successfully summitted Rainier. Yay. I am pretty sure I ended up climbing with some ADS, though. Overtrained, and did not stay in/under Zone 2 for alot of the last month of training (bad on me).

    HOWEVER, I have taken the Aet Test now literally 5 times, and every single time my HR goes down in the second half. I took it again today: the first half was 111 average, second half was 110. Online calculator says that’s a decrease of .9%. None of the UA charts say what to do if it decreases…… (several of my other tests were an even bigger decrease!) Even when I purposefully tried in the Spring with a higher HR to start (at that time it was closer to the mid-130’s), my second half still decreased.

    What is happening? Should I try again (for the 6th time, LOL) with a higher HR? Today felt pretty good, a 5-6 level of intensity, after having taken a month off post-summit, so not hugely surprising. I kept the same pace and incline the entire time.

    Thanks for any insight,
    I want to dial in my AeT a bit better this time around.

  • Participant
    todd.struble on #56680

    What is happening? Should I try again (for the 6th time, LOL) with a higher HR?

    Yup. It took me about 5-6 tries to get it right when I first started doing these protocols (but for me I was going too hard and getting too much drift). Generally I think the advice here is if your drift is negative or well under the 5%, you should re-test at a higher HR until you get closer to that 5%, without going over.

    But a few questions:

    1) Why did you test yourself today at a lower HR (~110 bpm) when you already tested yourself and got a negative drift at 130 bpm in the Spring? If you demonstrated that 130 is under your AeT, then it’s not surprising testing 20 bpm below that is not raising your heartrate at all in the second half.

    2) How did testing in the Spring at 130 feel? Did it feel very easy and sustainable like you could do it all day? Did you do a sufficient warm up? If the answer to these questions is yes, then I would try again at a higher HR. If not, then I would try again at the same HR with a longer warm up. From what I read here (and in my own experience) HR can be very high as your body warms up for the first 15-20 minutes and then when it settles in it might lower for the second half producing your negative result.

    My only other advice is if you do test at a higher bpm, take it easy, like try 135 instead of jumping to 145 or something. The beauty of an AeT test is that (hopefully!) it’s not hard to recover from, and you can test again relatively soon!

    Melissa Macdonald on #56688

    Thank you Todd, that is very good advice! I was surprised that the HR flattened out in the mid 110’s too. Maybe I should have pushed harder. It felt like I was going pretty hard (5-6 level of hard). I think I might have psyched myself out that I (think) have a pretty big aerobic deficiency so that might have messed with my head. Maybe I’m actually fitter than I think I am! LOL, wouldn’t that be great?

    I will run the test again at a higher HR. And I definitely don’t feel a thing today, so it will be easy to do again.

    Thank you!

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