Confused About Zones vs Threshold in Training Peaks

  • Creator
  • #51302

    Hi all,

    New beginner here. I completed the Heart Drift test in which my results were right at 5%. My AeT HR was 155. According to the program from Uphill Athlete, the top of my Zone 2 should be 155. The top of my Zone 1 should be 135. What should the bottom of my zones be? And what do I need to change Zone 3, 4, 5 etc to?

    Furthermore, Training Peaks is asking for a threshold HR. Am I able to calculate this from the AeT (using the average HR ?) or do I need to do one of the tests suggested by TP?

    All help appreciated as I’m getting started.

  • Participant
    jafofana on #51305

    Correction: top of Zone 1 should be 140.

    hawkinscary23 on #51307

    If you login to Training Peaks on a computer rather than the Phone App you can actually set the HR zones manually rather than giving an input for the Threshold. That is what I have done for my TP anyways. Not 100% sure that it is the recommended way but it made sense to me to edit it to have the zones line up.

    But you do need to do both your heart rate drift and AnT test to setup all of the zones correctly.

    Garret on #51314

    Training Peaks and its metrics (like TSS and so on) are based on AnT (anerobic threshold). This is what it’s asking for.

    So you’ll need to do an AnT test to find this and set it in Training Peaks.

    You’ll also need your AnT if you’re using UA’s guidelines to determine if you should keep working on aerobic base or start to add in high intensity (the 10% test).

    You can sill use training peaks without setting your AnT but the TSS scores and so on will not be accurate.

    In Traning Peaks in a browser you can define your own zones. I have done this for running. I set up 5 running HR zones according to the UA method and use the UA numbering scheme too (0-4) . I’ve deleted the running pace zones and only use HR. Using pace based thresholds when running hills leads to misleading TSS scores.

    – Garret

    jafofana on #51315

    Thanks for this reply Garret. This is the answer I was looking for.

    I’ve been using the computer to put in info for my zones. However, after perusing the forums, I did see someone answer a question similar to mine. Didn’t realize the benefits of an AnT test and how it related to Z3 until now. I’ve found an article here on UA that will help me select which test I want to put in max effort for. I have the TFtUA book and need to continue to read to inform myself!

    jafofana on #51316

    Also, for any newbies burrowing through forums and wondering how exactly to calculate zones, this is what I found elsewhere on a forum/the UA site:

    Zone 1
    Heart Rate: AeT-20% to AeT-10%
    Perceived Effort: Very easy to easy
    Training Effect/Purpose: Aerobic conditioning
    Metabolism: Aerobic-fat
    Muscle Fiber Recruitment: ST
    Training Method: Continuous 30 min to several hours

    Zone 2
    Heart Rate: AeT-10% to AeT
    Perceived Effort: Moderate for those with high AeT, easy for those with low AeT
    Training Effect/Purpose: Aerobic capacity, economy
    Metabolism: Aerobic-fat dominates, maximum fat utilization
    Muscle Fiber Recruitment: Most ST
    Training Method: Continuous 30–90 min

    Zone 3
    Heart Rate: AeT to Lactate Threshold
    Perceived Effort: Medium, fun-hard not exhausting
    Training Effect/Purpose: Aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, lactate shuttle, economy
    Metabolism: Glycolytic/anaerobic begins to dominate
    Muscle Fiber Recruitment: All ST + some FT
    Training Method: Interval 10–20 min, continuous to 60 min

    Zone 4
    Heart Rate: Lactate Threshold to LT to maxHR
    Perceived Effort: Hard, max sustainable
    Training Effect/Purpose: Maximal aerobic power, strength/speed endurance, economy, technique
    Metabolism: Both aerobic and anaerobic capacities maxed out
    Muscle Fiber Recruitment: All ST + most FT
    Training Method: Interval 30 sec–8 min “

    Anonymous on #53330

    One more point on the following:

    I’ve found an article here on UA that will help me select which test I want to put in max effort for.

    An AnT test is not maximal. Any duration over about 8 seconds will be sub-maximal.

    I mention this because people new to the test often go out of the gate way too hard and get slower and slower and slower which results in a lower average speed/effort/HR than if it’s done gradually, ideally speeding up for at least the first ten minutes and then holding steady.

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