AeT Testing Outdoors. Need a little Help

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  • #26462

    Hi Everyone,
    i recently bought Training for the Uphill Athlete. Great Book i love it, thanks!

    short background: i injured myself (stress fracture) early this year. I did couple of ultras in the past years. in general i like to roam around in the mountains (Switzerland suits this needs perfectly). Now i’m getting back to training and upping my volume slowly.

    Today i wanted to test my AeT. I did a ~ 20′ warmup. Then ran uphill for ~45′ minutes. Was the longest more or less steady climb i could find near my home (6.3Km/630m vertical, grade: 10-13%). I took me about 50 minutes to reach the top. I analyzed my effort in TP (see screenshot).

    Now i have some questions. I miss 10′ from your recommended 60′ test (i could go that pace longer). Is this a Problem?

    My Pa:Hr is negative what exactly does this mean? Can i use this test anyway and e.g. set my upper Z2 to 141bpm?

    Thanks in advance and have a great day everyone.
    Greetings from Switzerland — mirko

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Posted In: Mountain Running

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    Anonymous on #26554

    I see from the map attached that the grade of this trail becomes less near the top. That allowed your pace to increase and give the negative Pa:Hr. So this Pa:Hr ratio is no longer going to be useful for the AeT determination. This test must be done on a grade that does not change. So either a flat course out doors or what we suggest for most folks, a treadmill with constant grade and speed. Most trails will have too much variation in grade to be usable for this.


    Jan on #26585

    @Scott: How constant does the pace have to be to get a valid test result if you do the test on a flat outdoor course?
    I just did the test and had a pace between 5’15 min/km and 6’10 min/km during that hour, average and actually most of the real pace was 5’37 min/km. Would you say that’s good enough?

    Thanks, Jan

    nullkru on #26661

    @Scott: Thank you very much. I will do the test again outdoors along a river. should be fairly flat. Think i can’t get my head around using a treadmill for 1h in the summer :).

    nullkru on #26698

    why cant i post

    nullkru on #26701

    I’m trying to post an update here. But somehow it doesn’t work.

    nullkru on #26702

    Hi Scott,

    i did the test again today. This time along a river. Sadly the way back was a slightly decline. So i got a Pa:Hr of -1.54%. If i cut out the last 40 minutes of the “flat” part. I get a Pa:Hr of 0.36% with an avg HR of 141BPM.
    Is it safe to assume that my AeT top of Z2 around 141 or even a bit higher? Or would you recommend doing the test again?

    Here a TP link to the whole test run:

    Thanks in advance i really appreciate your help. Have a great day — mirko

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    Anonymous on #26999

    @jan: A pace range between 5’15” and 6’10″/km is way too much. I would use a treadmill instead.

    : A gain/loss of 24/28 seems pretty flat to me, but I’ll wait for Scott J. to confirm. For me, I’d rather be precise about it, so I would always use a treadmill for these tests.

    As mountain athletes with undulating terrain, we don’t have the luxury of training with power or pace, so I’d rather make the reference tests as precise as possible.

    nullkru on #27147

    Thanks Scott, so far. Let’s wait for the Scott J. Otherwise i will do the test again indoors, or along the lake in a loop which i can run several times.

    have a great day — mirko

    nullkru on #27176

    Sorry i have two followup questions:

    1. How bad is it if my HR jumps over my AeT for several seconds <15-20″. Do i destroy the session, with such short spikes?

    2. i like todo a weekly “harder” workout. Maybe 20-40 minutes cumulative hard effort. Which is 5% or less of my weekly volume. According to my AnT test my current AnT is 171bpm. . In this case more than the 10% rule. Is this ok, or should i just skip them for the next months?

    Thanks a second time — mirko

    Anonymous on #27408


    Sorry to be checked out of this thread for so long. I’ll work my way down this from Jan

    : If the course was flat or very gently rolling loop course and you are using Training Peaks to calculate the Pace:Hr then you do not need to worry about the pace. But the course must be FLAT. Not out and back with even 20-50m gain/loss. Think about running around a track for 1 hour. That is flat and what you need for the best results. That’s why we recommend the treadmill. On a treadmill you can hold the grade and speed constant and then all you are looking for is HR drift.

    The second test you did was downhill and so this could easily be why you got a negative Pa:Hr. As mentioned above the course must be at a constant grade or a very gently rolling loop course. It can not be out and back, especially where the return leg is down hill.

    Since mountain running is you goal I suggest you do this on an inclined treadmill. Use a 10% grade. If you really want to get this dialed in you can sacrifice one hour to running indoors. Otherwise you can use the best guess you got from your other test.

    Going above the AeT during aerobic base runs for a few seconds will not destroy the effect. They only diminish it slightly and the more time you spend in Z3 the more they diminish it.

    If your AeT is 140 and your AnT is 170 then you should focus primarily improving your aerobic base. However 1 short Z3 run a week is not going to ruin your training either.

    Good luck and thanks for ask these things.


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