How to Administer and Analyze a Heart Rate Drift Test

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Heart Rate Drift Test

This test has become our go-to test for all our coached athletes. We like it so much that we include it as the first workout in every aerobically based training plan we offer. This article provides a full description of the test, so we won’t repeat the instructions here. We have found it to be well correlated (95+ percent) with Metabolic Efficiency Tests (the gold standard)

Our full discussion of all the self-assessment options is found in this article:

Aerobic Self-Assessment for Mountain Athletes

Simple in concept, the Heart Rate Drift test uses the principle that when you hold an aerobic pace (<AeT), your heart rate will remain nearly constant for as long as an hour. If your heart rate rises more than 5 percent at that steady pace, your starting heart rate was higher than AeT. If the heart rate drift is less than 5 percent, your starting heart rate was below AeT.  

If you are conducting your Heart Rate Drift test on a running track, be sure to read this very short post to get the most accurate data.

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