AeT Test for Zone 1 and 2 determine – what I am doing wrong

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  • #15029
    djhutch
    Participant

    Newbie trainee here who just did my Day 1 “Aerobic Threshold Test for Zone 1 and 2 determination” on a treadmill for an hour last night (of my first training plan). According to this article – https://uphillathlete.com/heart-rate-drift/ I was then supposed to “Upload the data to TrainingPeaks, then open the workout and click the “Analyze” button. In the upper right corner you will see Pa:Hr= X.XX%. This metric compares the pace (Pa)–to–heart rate (Hr) ratio of the first half of the workout to that of the second half. When the ratio is under 5%, the workout was within your aerobic intensity zones”

    I don’t see anything like “Pa:Hr = X.XX%” (screen capture attached). By eyeballing, it is pretty clear that my HR for the first 30 minutes was within 5% of the second 30 minutes, but I am not sure if this ratio was. If it was, my workout was within the aerobic intensity zone. If so, so what? I am completely missing what I was supposed to learn from this test. It seems like the article left something out. Is there some other place in TP that the results of this test are populated?

    It is obvious that the frequent posters here are a few light years ahead of me this stuff, but any insights on what was learned by doing this test greatly appreciated.Thanks.

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  • Participant
    Rachel on #15032

    have you read this thread? It explains what to do with your workout data.

    Measuring AeT with Heart Rate Drift Method

    I copied Scott’s reply as it’s the info you need:

    Scott Johnston ON AUGUST 1, 2018 AT 4:01 PM #10993
    Since GPS will not work indoors the PACE part of the Pa:Hr will not be accurate. Hence the specific instruction to NOT adjust speed or gradient once you start the test. This way you know the the pace stays constant and all you nee to look at is how much the HR drifts upward. I typically analyze it this way.

    Using your cursor select the first half of the post warm up test by clicking and dragging the cursor over that section. You will see the average HR for the first half of the test displayed to the right (may need to scroll down). The repeat this process for the second half of the test. Divide the second half average HR by the first half average HR to see the % drift. For example: 1st 1/2 avg HR= 148. 2nd 1/2 avg HR=156. 156/148= 1.054. Or a drift of 5.4%.

    If you did this or something similar and got 1% then you were well within your aerobic threshold at your initial HR.

    Scott

    Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #15034

    Thanks to rarichard for answering.

    You also need to have the TP premium account to see Pa:HR and some other metrics. It mentions this in the instructions to the test in your workout.

    Since Pa:HR is not the thing you need to be looking on a treadmill you simply compare the average Hr for the first half of the test (after the HR stabilizes) to the average HR in the second half. If they are less than 5% the starting HR is probably under your AeT (top of Z2).

    Hope this helps,
    Scott

    Participant
    djhutch on #15036

    Thanks for the speedy replies. Now I understand the discrepancy between what I saw on TP and the article, but I am still missing something about how this “Aerobic Threshold Test for Zone 1 and 2 determination” works.

    Since my first half and second half HR was within 5%, I know that that level was under the top of the Z2. So, if I redo again at a higher level of effort and if the two halves are greater than 5% than I am above Z2. So, then do I keep redoing the test until I am at, say 6% and then round down a few BMPs to figure out where the top of Z2 is?

    I am aware I am probably coming off as extremely dense, but the test is called ““…Zone 1 and 2 determination” and I think now it really is trying to determine only where the top of Z2 is (not the Z1/Z2 break) and it does not seem to connect all the dots to get someone to be able to make this final determination. Or I just really dense 🙂

    Participant
    jakob.melchior on #15037

    the top of zone 1 is just not really that important as a physical marker, unlike the top of Zone 2 and Zone 4. I think the rule of thumb is roughly top of Zone 1 = top of Zone 2 – 20.
    If you are not super well trained just aim for zone 2 and forget about zone 1. That becomes more important for people that are doing so much zone 2 training that it becomes too hard for them so they do a mix of zone 1 and zone 2.
    Also don’t stress the exact transition point of zone 2 to 3 too much. I feel like, and please Scott correct me if I am wrong, that +-5 bpm is close enough for the purpose of everyday training. Maybe you want to go more precise from time to time to track improvement but that will be influenced by the state of recovery, time of day and stuff like that also.

    Participant
    jakob.melchior on #15039

    I obviously meant: “…unlike the top of Zone 2 and Zone 3” and not zone 4.

    Just to add. Similarly to Zone 1/2 you don’t need to stress about the zone 4 to zone 5 transition point either since heart rate isn’t really a good measure at those intensities anymore but just go my feel and interval duration.

    Participant
    Rachel on #15040

    Your AeT is at the top of Zone 2. If your difference was close to 4-5% you figured out your AeT. I don’t think you want greater than 5% or else you probably started at too high a heart rate. If it was 2-3% personally I would just add a bpm or two to the starting value and work with that until I took the test again.

    Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #15110

    I’m glad so many folks are coming into this conversation. Thanks to all of you for contributing. I want to add a few comments.

    First
    The determination of AeT HR is an imprecise task by even the best methods of gas exchange in a lab. Using HR drift is a relatively simple tool but do not confuse the X.XX% two significant digits as accuracy. We are using HR as a proxy for an actual metabolic process. We use HR because we can measure HR fairly easily, portably, real time and with reasonable accuracy. We’re not using HR because it is the best proxy for the metabolic processes we hope capture. In fact the same can be said of the gas exchange test. It’s technical name is indirect calorimetry. Indirect in the case means that we can’t actually measure the metabolism so we measure the ratio of C02 exhaled to the O2 inhaled. and knowing some chemistry allows the machine to show what the metabolism is doing. While the gas test is a better (the best) proxy for your metabolic response to exercise intensity it is still a proxy.

    So
    Don’t go placing undue accuracy on the Pa:Hr metric. Be aware that the AeT HR will move up and down in response to your recovery state. Some days 150 may feel easy with comfortable breathing and other days it might feel like you are working pretty hard to hit 150.

    Instead
    Determine the AeT using the HR drift/decoupling or the Pa:Hr methods explained elsewhere but pay close attention to your perception of fatigue and effort. Our senses have proven remarkably reliable for feedback throughout evolution. Now that we can collect so much data there is a tendency to be swayed by all the numbers. Using the data intelligently to supplement your perceptions can provide a valuable learning tool to help you hone your perceptions. Disregard either and you only have part of the story of how that amazing organism that moves you around in the mountains is functioning and responding to training.

    Scott

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