Easy z1/z2 question.

  • Creator
  • #22780

    Hi there,

    Third training plan but first time posting.

    I’m ‘coming back’ from three kids in five years and in that time have worked more inside and less in the mountains.

    As such I’m massively aerobically deficient. But I have been running ten hours a week(but wasting time as only properly retested zones recently.

    My question is ‘how much better is z1 (<120 for me) at fixing me than z2?’

    Understand it will be a short answer but I’m one of those annoying people whose motivation is tied to understanding why and knowing I’m doing exactly the right thing.

    Many thanks!!

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #22781

    It depends on how fatiguing Zone 2 is which depends on how narrow Zone 3 is.

    In general, the closer you can train to the top of Zone 2 (your aerobic threshold), the better.
    BUT as you get fitter, Zone 2 intensity will become more and more fatiguing, so you’ll need to replace it with more of Zone 1 or even easier.

    How did you test your thresholds? What heart rate is the top of Zone 2? And what HR is the bottom of Zone 3?

    j_burt on #23325

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for reply. I did a both as treadmill tests so I know not in fallible.

    I got aet at 128 and ant just over 170 so a big z3! And a lot of work to do…

    What do you Think?


    Anonymous on #23387

    I suggest doing all of your training below AeT until the two converge to be within 10%. If AnT stayed at 170, then stick to zone 1/2 training until AeT is ~155 bpm.

    If you have a training watch, I would set the heart rate alarm for 125 and then get as much volume at that intensity as your energy and life constraints allow for. Build up your volume slowly.

    I suspect that HRs in the 120s feel pretty easy? Don’t let that turn you off. It’s important work, and it’ll pay off eventually.

    j_burt on #23698

    Thanks Scott, yes absolutely. Feels so easy it’s killing me. Will persevere. I’m also running a mountain marathon in September. Not for a time but jus to celebrate new stage of life with my wife. So obviously the volume is increasing step by step. Would you do a bit of higher tempo stuff too because of that, or just keep chilling?

    Thank you SO much for your replies.

    Anonymous on #23742

    To be honest, I’m not sure. In terms of long-term fitness, it’s too soon for any high intensity.

    For an upcoming race, I’m not sure if it’ll help. I’ll ask Scott J. to weigh in.

    Anonymous on #23750


    You will need to add some Z3 and 4 into the mix at some point. You won’t race especially well off nothing but aerobic base training for a shorter race like a 26 miler. The longer you can extend the base building anti-ADS work the more kick you’ll get from the high intensity once you add it. However, I would begin to add 1x/wk Z3 workout into the plan 8 weeks before the race at the latest. Build that Z3 volume gradually so that it does not force you to drop the volume os Z1-2 in the week by more than 5%.

    I hope this helps.

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