Declining pace at AeT

  • Creator
  • #55400

    I just finished my 13th week of training under my AeT. Did a Lactate testing a lab to determine Aet and have kept all running below 120 HR. To keep track of progress I have done a couple of flat runs in town several times. For 13 weeks almost every run has gotten slower.I think I would expect some progress at this point and am at a loss of what to do. Don’t want to give up on this not sure how much longer I should continue on this trend line. I am wondering if 120 was to low to set AeT but still should be improving. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I will reply right away within questions or info that might be helpful.

    My Lab test is attached.

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  • Participant
    kcory on #55408

    I’ve encountered similar trends. My AeT is higher but have not seen any changes, been close to 6-mo

    nullkru on #55432


    Andrey on #55433


    derekosborne22 on #55502

    Hi RG,

    I sympathise with your question. In short, STICK WITH IT.

    We’re of a similar age and looking at your treadmill results we have a similar HR profile so my experience may apply to you, particularly if like me your prior training was mainly in the “harder is better” camp.

    I’m approaching the end of year 2 using UA protocols and it did take some time to see improvements. My first AeT (UA’s treadmill test) gave me an AeT of 110 and boy, was it hard to go slow enough to stay under 110, so I quickly gave up biking and used the gym treadmill as my main training vehicle for most of the first 6 months. During that time I did move my AeT up to around 120 but like you was getting frustrated. Further AeT treadmill tests were giving inconsistent results and I was trying to force-fit AeT improvements into the results. Scott Johnston (UA founder) quite firmly pulled me back – at my age (now 65) an AeT in the 120’s may well be as good as it gets, but I should see speed gains with that. Roll on to now ….. my AeT is still in the 120’s, but I am fitter, faster and stronger than I have ever been in my life, both on the bike and in the mountains …. full stop.

    I looked back at my records and averaged around 9hrs training a week for the first 30 weeks with >90% of that time at or under AeT, and most of the time above would only have been by a few beats – I did zero high intensity sessions during that time, and to this day low intensity sessions are still the mainstay of my training. Net, stick with it and try to get weekly volume in the 8-12hr range – it will work, but the adaptions take longer at our age, and everyone is different.

    I could go into a lot more detail, particularly tweaks I have made in year 2 indirectly due to COVID restrictions, but the principle of having low intensity as the mainstay still stands. The exact definition of low intensity is where protocols differ, particularly if you have a large gap between AeT an AnT that due to age cannot be reduced to the desirable 10bpm. Discussion for another day.

    Hope this helps.

    RG on #55508

    Derek, Thanks for sharing your experience. It is encouraging to know you are faster at the same AeT. So far in 13 week with one exception, I am slower than the previous week. I now 1.5 minutes slower and at a higher average HR than the first week.Maybe partially due to heat.

    jakedev on #55601


    So the way I understand Lactate testing when it hits 2.0 the corresponding HR is your AeT.

    Applying that to your results it looks like HR 139 corresponds with a lactate of 2.0 which would make that your AeT. Subsequently 139 – 10% (139 x 0.9) would give you a Zone 1 ceiling of 125. So maybe use those numbers as benchmarks. (Unless I am missing something)

    Other factors:
    – Summer is here. Has it gotten hotter where you live. That will ramp up your HR regardless. Track temps on the runs too.

    – How much volume are you doing? Any other physically demanding work in the week (landscaping, chopping firewood, etc).
    -IE After collecting firewood all day I tried a Zone 1 run and while I felt ok I had to walk to stay < Z1

    – Maybe try to change it up and add some pickups (see uphill athlete book) or do some light hiking with a small pack.

    Hope something here is useful for you. Let me know if I’m missing something with the Lactate number on your test.


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