Very low Pa:Hr in heart rate drift test

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    Topic
  • #52732
    coreyl93
    Participant

    Hi, I’m new to heart rate zone training and new to TrainingPeaks, so I want to make sure I’m not messing anything up.

    For background, I’m a 27-year-old male, ran cross country and track competitively from age 11 to age 18 and was fairly fit towards the end of high school, logging 40-55 mile weeks throughout most of those last few years. Nothing special speed wise though, 5K PR of 16:50 on a cross country course, 8 mile tempo runs at 6:10-6:25/mi pace type of thing.

    Over the past few years, I’ve tried to get into trail running more and more, was able to run a trail half marathon and a trail marathon in late 2018/early 2019 before struggling with Achilles/soleus tendonitis for a bit, likely due to my switch from heel striking to midfoot/forefoot striking.

    With all that as context, I conducted my first heart rate drift test a couple days ago. After a 15 minute warm-up, I ran most of it on a track, keeping equal pace (~7:55/mi) and heart rate (low 150s bpm) for 45 minutes. My Pa:Hr ended up being 0.60%, which I think is too low, meaning I was running below my aerobic threshold.

    My questions:
    * Am I correct that 0.60% is super low for Pa:Hr?
    * Do I need to re-take the test at a faster pace? If yes, what starting heart rate do you recommend I aim for? If not, what would be your best guess for my AeT?
    * While the pace was conversational (I took a phone call during it), I wasn’t able to limit my breathing through only my nose. Does this matter at all?
    * Anything you would recommend I do differently next time I take the test?

    Thanks in advance!

    Source activity if anyone is interested: http://tpks.ws/FTHWPGIQF4SJXTI4FEYTRMETSU

  • Participant
    coreyl93 on #52733

    Other info that might be helpful:
    * I used a Wahoo Tickr X chest strap for measure my heart rate.
    * If you look at the TP activity, the elevation gain and loss is very wrong. Not sure what the Wahoo Fitness App calculated there, but it was almost entirely flat.
    * While I didn’t use any “Track Mode” on my watch as recommended here (https://uphillathlete.com/running-tracks-and-gps-watches/), I was checking on every lap that my Wahoo App was measuring in either 0.24 or 0.25 mile increments from the previous lap.

    Participant
    Garret on #52744

    Hi !

    It looks like your test is only about 35 mins – you should make it an hour.

    * Am I correct that 0.60% is super low for Pa:Hr?

    Yes you’re correct, it’s low.

    * Do I need to re-take the test at a faster pace? If yes, what starting heart rate do you recommend I aim for? If not, what would be your best guess for my AeT?

    Yes, you should do another test. Make it 1 hour test (after you’ve warmed up) at an intensity you feel you could maintain for a couple of hours. If drift for this second test is 5% or more then do another test at a HR that’s halfway between the first and second test. You can repeat that approach until you find your AeT.

    * While the pace was conversational (I took a phone call during it), I wasn’t able to limit my breathing through only my nose. Does this matter at all?

    No, it doesn’t matter. I’d be inclined to ignore nose breathing as a method for determining intensity.

    * Anything you would recommend I do differently next time I take the test?

    It’s worth doing and AnT test so you don’t end up overestimating your AeT. HR drift at AnT intenstiy is also low.

    – Garret

    Participant
    coreyl93 on #52755

    Thanks for replying, Garrett!

    It looks like your test is only about 35 mins – you should make it an hour.

    It was 45 minutes (I didn’t include the 15 minutes of warm-up in the activity I linked to and some of it was done off the track). I did this because I had read that a slightly shorter test can be useful if you haven’t been frequently completing runs that are >= 1.25 hours in length.

    I’m planning to do an AnT test this week, but I guess I’m a bit confused. If HR drift is expected to be low at AnT and the goal of an AeT test is to run a constant pace at a constant heart rate, how do you know you’re running “easy enough?” Are there any other plateaus where Pa:HR is expected to be low? Or should I really just focus on the feeling that I’m running a pace I can keep up “for hours?” Aka, marathon pace?

    Keymaster
    Shashi on #52787

    As Garret suggested, after a 15-20 min. warm-up (once your HR is stabilized around target HR), do the test for one hour. You can target a heart rate of 155 for your next test.

    Another recommendation would be to complete the one-hour test on the track if feasible.

    Check out the AeT and AnT test articles on this page to get a better sense of the intensity of AeT vs. AnT.

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #55125

    I agree with Garrett and Shashi.

    Here’s the difference between plateauing heart rates at AnT and AeT, respectively. Given the test duration:

    * HR at AnT doesn’t increase because it can’t; and
    * HR at AeT could increase but doesn’t (much).

    You’re right to be wary of the difference. It’s possible to go too hard, end up at AnT, and fool oneself into thinking that AnT is actually AeT. Training on that assumption won’t go very well…

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