I am currently training on a combo of the 16 and 24 week programs to make a 20 week program for the Denali west buttress. I am now on week 5, and feel that my training zones may not be right.
I am only 19 but have been working out pretty rigorously for about 3 years now, mostly in bootcamp style exercises with bouts of high intensity and weight training mixed in for typically 1 hour a day
I am looking for help on determining my AeT in order to set my training zones and help build my aerobic base. I am afraid that over the past few years I have overtrained, as I saw a large plateau in my fitness in terms of weight, speeds, and overall appearance stagnation and I am not sure if this affects me now.
I am having trouble determining my AeT and feel confused about where to set my zones. It seems like whenever I try to do my AeT test I cannot keep my heart rate very stable and it rises and drops a lot throughout the run or hike. I also think I am having trouble knowing what zone 2 effort should really feel like. When I did my first test (5 weeks ago) with a starting heart rate at 149bpm my pa;hr comes out at near 1%. I trained just below that heart rate for the past 4 weeks as my Garmin watch which I have worn for about 6 months, suggest the top of my zone 2 to be 141bpm. This week, 5 weeks into the 24 week program, I did the test beginning at 160bpm and I got negative values for pa:hr. However, I feel as if I push this heart rate, I will not be able to nose breathe or hold conversation… but when I train at 140-149 as my AeT it feels too easy and like I am not benefitting.
Any advice on what I should do to find my true AeT? I am worried if I keep training in zones that aren’t properly determined, I will not truly be developing my base.