Cannot yet run in Z1/Z2 for training period duration

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  • #51912
    hokiehead
    Participant

    I am trying to more rigorously adopt the training from TFTNA. I’m in the midst of “Transition Week 1” right now. One of my challenges is that most of my conditioning for the previous year has been on an indoor bike, not ground based.

    On my indoor bike, I can ride fairly aggressively and hold Z1/Z2 for over an hour, but when running, I get into Z3 after about 3/4 mile, no matter how slowly I go. My strategy this week has been to monitor my HR, and take walk breaks whenever I enter Z3, and then resume running when I get to Z1. HR graph attached.

    is this a recommended strategy until I can run for 45 minutes w/out walk breaks, or is there something better?

    a few notes:

    • I’m using a chest strap HRM, connected to a Garmin Fenix 5x
    • I live and do almost all aerobic training between 8500? – 9000?
    • short term goals are to be able to complete big days run/walking in the Colorado high peaks this summer (e.g. Wilson traverse, 22mi, 8600? gain)
    • longer term goals are Rainier (next year) and Denali (2 years)

    TIA

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  • Keymaster
    Shashi on #51923

    Welcome to the forum.

    I am assuming you have already done tests to establish your AeT/AnT and your AeT is not within 10% of AnT (ADS).

    My strategy this week has been to monitor my HR, and take walk breaks whenever I enter Z3, and then resume running when I get to Z1. HR graph attached. is this a recommended strategy until I can run for 45 minutes w/out walk breaks, or is there something better?

    Yes, most people with ADS start out doing this and eventually you see an improvement in AeT/Pace and be able to run within Z2.

    Participant
    LindsayTroy on #51926

    An additional element may be running efficiency. I also couldn’t run without going into Z3 but it turned out to be that I am a terribly inefficient runner (I go up more than out) attending a running clinic and working to improve my form has done wonders for my ability to run below Z3. Now I can actually run in Z1.

    Participant
    hokiehead on #51928

    thanks!

    Shashi, yes AeT/Ant is 14%. However…. AeT is based on MAF and AnT is based on average heart rate during the second half of an indoor cycling FTP test, so more margin of error than I’d like to see. I’ll do the LT test described on page 155 once I can run at least 30 minutes.

    clarification questions. since the run/walk strategy is confirmed, am I correct that I should transition to running as soon as I enter Z3? likewise, should I start running again as soon as I drop to Z1, or should I let it fall all the way to a Recovery HR?

    Lindsay, that’s a really good suggestion to get me over this initial hurdle that wouldn’t have occurred to me. I’m looking into that now.

    Keymaster
    Shashi on #51930

    I would recommend doing AeT and AnT tests first to establish these thresholds and your intensity zones. You can do these tests indoors as well and might be a better option in your case.

    As you start doing more aerobic workouts in Z2, you will get a better sense of the pace (jog-walk) combination that works and make changes as needed. Walk as HR gets closer to AeT and light jog when it drops to Z1. Try to maintain HR in Z2.

    Participant
    Rachel on #51931

    You are training pretty high up. It’s so much easier to run at lower altitudes! I live at 7400 feet and it took me a long time to be able to run aerobically (and I’m still working on it, I’m not out running hilly trails all in Z1/Z2). I did a ton of run/walk intervals (and I still do them). But you’ll be well adapted to thinner air for your objectives so there’s that.

    Participant
    AshRick on #51936

    As a longtime multisport athlete and (former) coach — it’s been my experience that no amount of cycling prepares someone for *any* amount of running. When a cyclist (or swimmer or rower…) starts running, they are starting as if they just started exercising. You’ve got to put in 4-6 weeks ignoring HR zones and just learn to run. Run a minute; walk a minute. Repeat. Do some faster strides — 20 seconds at a time. Strides are particularly valuable for the new or returning runner.

    You’re switching from using muscle as a motor moving a lever — to using muscle as a strut and a spring. It’s more different than people realize.

    My view: Don’t even bother with the test until you can run an hour at a comfortable pace. Because in the meantime, all the HR spikes are going to distract you.

    Participant
    hokiehead on #51952

    AshRick, thanks. Intuitively what you’re saying makes sense. do you recommend waiting for both the AeT and AnT tests, or were you specifically referring to one or the other?

    Shashi, your tag of ‘moderator’ grants your quite a bit of credibility and your comment about doing the tests first is still forefront in my mind. Let me know if your opinion shifted wrt AshRick’s comments about being able to run for the duration before testing. What he says about my HR bouncing all over and affecting the test results is resonating, but then, a lot of structured training concepts are counter-intuitive and I’m likely missing something.

    thanks all for the suggestions. very much appreciated.

    Keymaster
    Shashi on #51958

    hokiehead – I am just a recreational athlete who has been following the UA training plan for a year.

    For any individual who wants to follow the UA training plan, the recommendation is to first do AeT and AnT tests, so that you can check for ADS and can set the right training intensity zones. I agree that doing an outdoor test (running) might not be the best option for you now, so I recommended doing an indoor test on a treadmill. On a treadmill, you can walk on an incline and manage pace/incline once you start the tests. You might need a couple of iterations to get a good estimate of your AeT.

    Hope this is helpful.

    Participant
    hokiehead on #52916

    update:
    shortly after the OP, I took advantage of an opportunity to run “down the hill” in Denver (my home and usual running routes are >8500′). I had little difficulty staying in HZ2 at that elevation for about 45 minutes

    since then, I’ve made it a point to run in Denver or Boulder at least twice a week and my form is improving notably. Also, I’m now able to hold HZ2 running > 8500′ for 2 – 3 miles (until I hit a hill.

    plans to do the heart drift test next week with a friend, probably somewhere around Boulder.

    thanks all for the advice

    Participant
    lionfish90 on #53104

    Hi. I for one would be interested to hear updates on your experiences and what your AeT and AnT were determined to be. I’m also coming back to running after pretty much only cycling for the last two+ years after a diagnosis of “early osteoarthritis” in my knees. After reading some research papers showing not much correlation with running and data indicating no tendency to make OA worse with running, I’m starting again.

    My MAF HR is 127 bpm (i.e., I’m 53 yo), and I have to shuffle slowly to “run” at that HR and have to pretty much walk most inclines. And this is all in central Texas, so not much above sea level. My long bike rides are 50-60 miles at 15 – 16 mph average, but as stated in the thread, this does not seem to have done much to prepare my legs for a return to running! My heart and lungs can do it, but my legs are still adapting.

    I started out walking for several minutes then running for a minute or two and repeating that. Having done 1 “run”/shuffle/walk per week for about 3 months, my legs are finally able to handle 5 miles or so of this, but my pace is terribly slow, in the 12 – 14 min/mile range, which is very frustrating. I’m going to stick to the MAF HR training for my runs for now and am interested in how your experience goes.

    I had thought my AeT was about 137-140 (on the bike, based on “talk test” and nose-breathing), but I did a run/shuffle test on a track for 3 miles at 132 bpm (MAF + 5), and my Pa:HR was >7%! Not good and not AeT, so I’ll stick with 127 bpm for my “runs” for now.

    Thank you!
    Rene’

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #53515

    As a longtime multisport athlete and (former) coach — it’s been my experience that no amount of cycling prepares someone for *any* amount of running. When a cyclist (or swimmer or rower…) starts running, they are starting as if they just started exercising.

    Brilliant. That’s also why running feels so harsh after a winter of (higher volume) skimo training.

    You’re switching from using muscle as a motor moving a lever — to using muscle as a strut and a spring. It’s more different than people realize.

    Excellent analogy.

    Participant
    LindsayTroy on #53538

    plans to do the heart drift test next week with a friend, probably somewhere around Boulder.

    thanks all for the advice

    So a slight word of caution here. I often train at 10,000+ feet but live at 4500 feet (SLC) and pre-COVID when Scott and Steve did a book tour for TFUA, I asked about this. Basically, where should I do my AeT/AnT test because altitude squishes your HR range (Higher low and lower high). Steve’s answer was to test at both altitudes since your AeT will be different.

    So maybe a good idea to do the test twice, even though the results will be much more satisfying in Denver/Boulder

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