Warm-up + training zones paces

by Magnus Midtgård
(Bergen, Norway)

A specification in terms of warm up and effort 1 running :

"Hi Marius. I really appreciate your answer on warm-up for 5k/10k races. Would you reccommend the same approach as preparation for a half-marathon race?

I also have a question regarding the zones/paces on the different plans. First: A little bit of background information on myself: I am following the 3:30 marathon plan, and have had both a lactate test and a max VO2/max HR test. My max HR was measured to 191, while my anaerobic threshold was at 166. My training zones are based on the Norwegian Olympiatoppen’s zones. Thus, I am quite comfortable that my training zones are as accurate as they can be.

Now, when adapting my training zones to the 3:30 plan, the outcome is somewhat puzzling: For zones 3-5, the paces indicated in the table in the introduction to the plan fits well. For example, the last session I had with 30min zone 3 (with 10x30sec zone 4 to follow (30sec rec)), the 30 min zone pace was 4:37/km (average pulse 163 – well within my anaerob threshold) – a bit faster than what you have indicated as zone 3 speed (4:46/km). Also for zone 4 speed, I run the intervals a bit faster than indicated in your table.

However, with regard to zone 1, I run quite a bit slower than what is indicated in your table: While your table indicates a speed at 5:37/km, I am not able to run faster than 6:20/km (and even slower if running more than 30 minutes). Does this make sense, or is this an indication that my running economy is poor while running at slower speeds?

As this really puzzles me, I look forward to your response.

Thanks for a really fun and good schedule.

Best regards, Magnus (preparing for Berlin 25/09/11)

Answer: Hi Magnus and thanks for your questions.

For the zones, you can follow the measured zones (although I do not support the Olympiatopp zones 100 % - but this is just a matter of details, primarily their lactate levels at Effort 3 which I prefer to be a little lower for optimal effects) - very few have access to a lab like that which will give you very accurate results. And in that case I suggest you stick to these. Especially as they gave you a slower Effort 1 pace - you basically almost cannot run your Effort 1 easy enough !

In terms of warm-up, the same could be used for half marathon also - no problem at all :)

I wish you all the best with your training,

kind regards,

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