Zone 2 Fatigue Limited vs Longer Zone 1 for Aerobic Deficiency

  • Creator
  • #21761

    I have seen posted here that if someone is aerobically deficient, they should do their base training in zone 2 rather than zone 1. However, I am not able to maintain my zone 2 for hours on end.

    Based on DIY aerobic and anaerobic thresholds, my pulse is 123 and 148, respectively. My speed was 3.6 mph at 10% and ~3.45 at 15% for the tests, respectively –> 105 watts, 150 watts at my weight. (as an aside, I’d be curious if there is any sort of metric to get a sense of how bad my aerobic deficiency is based on these numbers, or if only more precise lab tests could indicate that. Also, is there an approximate mechanical efficiency of running I could use to estimate cycling FTP from the anaerobic power?)

    105 watts would mean ascension rate of 1000 ft in 33 minutes, and 150 watts would be 23 minutes for me. So if zone 2 is 2000 ft/hr, there’s no way I could do that for more than about 1000-2000 ft of gain.

    My all day hiking pace is probably closer to 40-50 minutes per 1000 ft of gain depending how steep it is.

    So am I better off with 6-10 hours a week of zone 2 or 15-20 hours a week of zone 1 if I have the time? Similar to the other thread of how slow is too slow.

  • Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #21807


    Be careful to not get too caught up in the numbers. With all the data we can collect it is tempting to try to really nail down to impossible precision levels.

    I assume you are quoting the rates of climb you do from data collected off the treadmill. Those are only comparable to and useful for hiking on the treadmill and do not translate to the hiking out doors. Could you do 2000ft/hr (assuming HR= 123) for 2 hours on the treadmill? You can probably take the AeT HR and AnT HR from the tests but I don’t think you can use the speeds or rates of climb outdoors.

    From the AeT to AnT spread I would say you do have some base work to do to elevate the AeT HR.

    There is no metric that I know of to transfer FTP to HR at AnT.


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