HR Zone Sanity Check

  • Creator
  • #33803

    Hi All-

    I wanted to get your .2c on my Zone calculations based on a VO2 Max test that I just completed and the TFTNA HR Table.

    BACKGROUND: I have taken an extended break from structured training since we had our first child, which was a little over two years ago. I decided to ramp back into training with the AeT test that’s part of the 24 Week Mountaineering Programming. Long story short, I ran the test twice and managed to exceed the 5% drift to identify my AeT. Figured it’s been ages since I’ve dove into this, so I decided to spring for a VO2 Max test and get some data as a starting point.

    Age: 37
    Max HR: 186
    Respiratory Compensation (RC): 161
    Lactate Threshold (LT): 125

    Not the best results, but expected after taking such a long time off. I’ve been having some challenges finding a clear translation using the info above to calculate AnT and AeT, but what I can find out, AnT most closely aligns with RC, and AeT is roughly identified by subtracting 30 from LT. Which would put my AeT @ 95bmp (125 – 30), below the Zone 1 threshold defined in the book (55%-75%). All that said, the Approx % of max HR seems way off based on the info above.

    Z1: 102-139
    Z2: 139-149
    Z3: 149-167
    Z4: 167-177
    Z5: 177+

    Based on Scott Johnston’s note about ADS, I know that’s me.

    Thoughts on if I should calculate things off of the VO2 Max test, or leverage the calculated Zones from my HR Max?

    Thanks for any help!

  • Participant
    Dada on #33805

    Hi DavLon,

    One question: which HRs did you use for your AeT test?

    The nomenclature for LT is not always distinct. As I understand it, RC is close to AnT and LT is close to AeT. Any piece of additional information you have on your test, can help to interpret your results.


    DavLon on #33807

    Hi Dada-

    For the first test, I used 138 (my previous AeT) but ended up having a deviation of 10.5%. For the second test, I used 125, which was at 7%.

    I actually thought that I should re-test this weekend now that I’ve had a week away from alcohol and the poor eating & lack of sleep that I had experienced over the Thanksgiving holiday. My first test was last Friday and again on Monday this week.

    Unless the holiday had that much of an impact on my testing, I’m surprised that I would have lost that much base during the last two years despite being pretty active outside of structured training.


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    Anonymous on #33851

    LT is often used for both thresholds. Fun times with terminology.

    In this case, LT refers to your AeT. Your drift test was over but close to 5%, and this test pegs it at 125. I think you’re safe to use it as your AeT HR.

    Anonymous on #33852

    And with severe ADS, you don’t need to fine-tune your zones. That can wait.

    Just use:

    • Z1: <= 110
    • Z2: 110 – 125
    • Z2+: >125 (Don’t go here.)

    Unless you have a race you’re preparing for, spend all of your time in Z2. And be patient! It will improve based on:

    1. Personal response (impossible to predict);
    2. Volume of Z2 work (as much as your mind and life can tolerate); and
    3. The discipline to avoid going above Z2, even if your friends do.
    DavLon on #33881

    Thanks for the help Scott & Dada- This is great info!

    I’ll continue with the Z1 & 2 info you provided, Scott.

    Time to grind.

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