beginner advice for zone 1/2 workouts

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  • #5234

    I’ve been struggling to put in time in zone 1/2 , I have trouble running slowly and I know I suffer from aerobic deficiency, my heart rate always climbs to high after 5 min of jogging. On a bike I can maintain whatever heart rate i want, walking or speed walking always feels to slow and my HR is too low, once i try to jog, i’m always too high. I manage a few nice long hike workouts in the zone but need something to do before work on a daily basis for 30-60 min.

    would you recommend i suck it up and just speed walk more, do run walk intervals, just keep running and hope my HR comes down over time, add a pack to my walks, or something else? I really want to add some time to my base but just cant seem to get started and I know i’m not in the best “cardio” shape to begin with, any help would be great.



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    Anonymous on #5239


    You’ve probably got a couple of things going on here. I’m guessing that you’ve not ever run much. So your running economy sucks. This means it costs you a ton of energy to run even at a pace you could probably walk fast at. We see this a lot with folks coming to running later in life. To get more efficient at running you need to run more. But running pushes you HR out of the aerobic zones. You have the right idea. We use run walk progressions all the time with folks in this predicament. It’ll allow you to accumulate both running volume and aerobic training in one shot. Make the progression gradual. Start with something like 30sec run/3min fast walk for your daily routine. Do this for a week before progressing to 1min/4min then a week later go to 1min/3min then a week later 1min/2min then try 2min/2min.

    We use this approach often with good success. Don’t start with this every day our you’ll likely get injured. Do this 3x/week with fast walks between and then move to 4x/week after a month. Gradual is the key word here.


    lapotka on #5240

    You are correct, I’m a long time swimmer , weekend mountaineer, and sometimes biker, but not a runner. I’ll start the run walk routine tomorrow. Thank you so much for the direction.

    James H on #5448

    A good way to run without your HR going to high is to find a relatively long moderate gradient downhill, this should let you run without your HR going above the aerobic zone and get used to running action.
    Don’t worry about having to walk though. It just takes a bit of a mental shift in attitude. I’m a fairly experienced runner and I walk hills especially towards the end of long runs in order to keep my HR in the aerobic zone.

    Julie Arsenault on #63593

    Out of curiosity, what happens after the 2 min run / 2 min walk … would you increase running time and keep the walk recovery to 2 min? Or drop the rest time down to 1 min?

    Shashi on #63619

    As the AeT improves, one should be able to jog/run and maintain a heart rate below AeT with minimum or no break.

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