Thanks for the post and question. A few words on HR zones first: Understand that the zones used in our book, or any “zones” using % of max HR or any other formulaic approach are a crude approximation meant as basic guidelines. We debated including the zone concept in the book but did so since so many people are familiar with it at least in concept and form. All the various formulas (and we chose one of the simplest because we have used it for years) come from population averages and not necessarily applicable to any one individual. Statistics is a useful tool when looking at averages but who’s to say if you are average. That is why we also describe the ventilation markers that can be very useful for finding the aerobic and anaerobic thresholds. These are two metabolic markers that are unique to you. Finding them will be very helpful in managing the intensity of your training. The very best way to find these or any training zones will be with a test of your metabolic response to exercise. And if you are serious enough to be using Training Peaks to log your training you should consider a metabolic test in a lab. These are common in many labs and often sold with the intention of helping you find your maxVO2. Be sure tell the lab tech that you are interesting finding your aerobic threshold.
If you decide to pass on the lab test we suggest an easy way to ball park your aerobic and anaerobic thresholds in a self administered field test by noting the afore mentioned ventilation markers. This is described in the book. When you do this test you will have 2 nice data points to use. Firstly, the aerobic threshold is at the top of what is called Zone 2. And the anaerobic threshold is the top of Zone 3.
Caveat: We have used this ventilation marker test with many dozens of moderate to well trained endurance athletes for 20 years with good success. Since the book was published however we have noticed that people who utilize high intensity interval training almost exclusively for their aerobic endurance training can not utilize the ventilation test as we describe it. For them even a blood lactate test will fail because of their overdeveloped glycolytic system and underdeveloped aerobic system.
As for your second question about how to adjust the zones in Training Peaks to reflect your personal metabolic response to training: You can manually change the heart rates in any of the zone systems available in Training Peaks. There is a tutorial for this on their website I believe. Don’t loose sleep over a few beats here and there when it cones to defining zones. The body is not digital and besides your response to training is not the same form day to day.