*** sorry if this is a repeat post – it seems like my original post disappeared or something ***
Long time lurker, first time poster – very grateful for any insight folks can give.
I’ve been doing mountain activities (running, skiing, climbing, etc.) for about 4.5 years, and began actually training about 2.5yrs ago (with a 6 week break due to injury in summmer 2019). Since starting training, I’ve been focusing almost entirely on Z1/2 and strength (my favourite things are 12+hr days in the mountains).
For the last ~6mo. I’ve been using a chest strap HR monitor and really dialing in my zones for more effective training. 6mo ago I tested AeT (ventilatory marker test) and AnT and was at 163 and 175 respectively.
Last week I redid both tests to re-establish zones before beginning a new training cycle towards mountain running this summer with a 55k/4000m B event in July and a 50mi/3500m A event in September. This time I used the HRD test with appropriate protocols and targeted 165bpm and ended up with 166bpm avg and 0.80% Pa:Hr (course was a flat 2km gravel path). Later that week I tested AnT on a fairly steady 18% grade and averaged 174bpm over 30min.
I’m somewhat, but not terribly, surprised that my Z3 is so small as all of my intensity training has been MS/ME and no Z3. Based on my test results it sounds like my AnT is functionally the same as 6mo ago (175), but my AeT is above 166. So my two questions are:
1) Is it worth it to redo the HRD test targeting 170bpm (FWIW, during the AeT test I did notice ventilatory marker at 170 when I slipped a bit too high), or can I just assume 170 for the sake of targeting my Z3 as I begin to incorporate work on that zone? Almost none of my Z1/2 training gets even remotely close to 170 – it’s too high impact for me to keep up for hours.
2) How careful do I need to be about hitting Z3 and not Z4 when doing intensity work?
For what it’s worth, I’m intending for my Z3/4 work to be a mix of hill sprints per tftua protocol and traditional flat speed work to improve economy.
Sorry for the long post, just trying to get all the relevant info down at the start! Thanks again for any recommendations/input folks can provide!