Small Z3 after AeT/AnT Tests

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  • #50323
    Joe
    Participant

    *** 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!

  • Participant
    sgw on #50331

    Joe, I just pop in here to follow the thread and learn as well, so I don’t have any answers for you. Just a note: I scanned your posting multiple times and didn’t find any *age* … which is very relevant as well IMO.

    Looking fwd to the competent guys replying here.

    Participant
    Joe on #50336

    Ah! Almost had all the info – 28y/o M

    Participant
    sgw on #50337

    “Ah” as well: I don’t have to compare to your numbers 1:1 anymore … as I am way older 😉 / but sure, the same concepts apply and I will try to translate them into my range.

    Moderator
    Rachel on #50342

    I think I replied to your first post, that’s weird that it disappeared.

    Do you have links to share the tests with us so we can take a look too (especially AeT)? It does sound like you could assume your AeT is around 170. Plus you will be wanting to mostly work in Z1 instead of Z2 now that you have narrowed the gap between AeT and AnT.

    Here’s a post I really like by Scott about how to structure training when your thresholds are close to each other, and how to introduce Z3 and Z4 work: Scott’s awesome post I just bookmarked it last night because I found it so informative!

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Rachel. Reason: typo
    Participant
    Joe on #50350

    Thanks Rachel – that was exactly the sort of thing I was looking for!
    I added screen grabs of both AeT and AnT from TP with relevant sections selected for the TP analysis.

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    Keymaster
    Scott Semple on #50428

    @jtobrien2: Post public links to the workouts rather than images.

    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

    IMO, no. If your thresholds are that close, then you need to switch to more accurate tests: lactate or VO2. If your base is well-developed, then AnT HR will likely not change any more. AeT HR may if you over-do intensity. If not, it won’t change much either. Testing with lactate and/or VO2 will confirm/deny your threshold estimates. With any future method, now focus on speed-at-threshold(s) rather than HR on its own.

    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.

    It depends on what your training for. If you support high-intensity work with the necessary base work, then your thresholds should be maintained. Your choice of intensities and their training volumes will depend on your goal event.

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