Zone 5

by Sir Emilie

Zone 5 and Efforts :

"Hi Marius!

I´m now in the 11 week of the program, and it appears that I´m a strange exception to the rest in several ways. First of all - my zone 1 running is still the same as it was 11 weeks ago. Around 7min/km. How can it still be that bad??

I was out yesterday doing my half marathon test race. Time: 1,54,10, avg HR: 189 (max: 203), thus I was most of the time in zone 5 while running it. Still I managed to keep the speed more or less the same through the whole race. Also when I did my 10k test run I was in zone 5 most of the time (avg HR: 187, time: 46,42).

It seems like my performance has not improved in the way that I can run faster on a lower heart rate. I still had all my records (both on 5k, 10k and 21k) during this program, but always being in zone 5. I find it strange (but I don´t doubt that it is correct) that I should never be in zone 5 in any of the training sessions. For example in week 11 (15x45 sec, 15 sec rec) the effort should be 3 and up to 4 in the end, and this is seen as a special hard session. When I ran it I was mostly in zone 4, but I never feel really exhausted if I´m not up in zone 5. When that is said, I have followed the program with exactness, and tried to always look at my HR not to exceed it. And in the beginning of my program I asked the question about zone 1, and that it was hard for me to keep the HR down. You told me it was fine to be a little bit in zone 2 in the start-up, and it would change when my overall shape was better. Well, I think my overall shape is better (at least it should be!), so why is my zone 1 running still the same?

Is it okey to be in upper zone 4 during a marathon if you´re able to run in the same pace all the time? Or should I try to keep it down to zone 3, even if that will go very slowly?

Hope you have some good answers to my concerns. Even if it is something strange with my progression and my HR I have really enjoyed the program, so thank you:)

Siri Emilie "

Answer: Hi Siri Emilie and thanks for your question.

1) Zone 1 in many cases does not move at all. For some runners it does, for others you hardly see any improvement as all in this zone, even though racing performance improve substantially. So no need to worry about it :) Just keep the zone like normal.

2) In terms of your race Effort (and training), your max HR is VERY likely off ; that you use to calculate your zones. There is no other way to look at this. Likely your max HR is around 210-215, not 203. If you are still in doubt, get in touch with a running lab / University nearby and get a professional treadmill threshold/Vo2 max test to really find your heart rate levels there. If this is not easy to find, then I would adjust your max HR to go by up to say 210, based on your half marathon heart rate.

I wish you all the best,

kind regards,

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