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4 lurkers | 289 watchers
10 May
10:51am, 10 May 2021
22388 posts
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I realised that my understanding re lactic thresholds was a bit woolly, so I looked stuff up. I have some more looking up to do, but this Training Peaks article was interesting

Tl/dr: lactate good, too much lactate bad. Best way to deal well with lactate: train mostly in zone 2/ easy zone. (Type 2 (fast twitch) fibres produce; type 1 (slow twitch) dispose: better type 1 = less lactate build up.)

Unsurprising news to fans of this thread.

Mr Grumpy: I wonder if, however, you are training a little slowly? It's a paradox, but I can often feel the really easy runs unduly hard going. Maybe something to do with using all Type 1 and no Type 2? And/or not generating enough lactate? (There's always some, and remember, lactate is good :-) )
10 May
9:01pm, 10 May 2021
3 posts
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Mr. Grumpy
Thanks for the replies.

PtB - It probably boils down to my perception of what easy should feel like from what I’ve read on here of other people. I think that I’m just not a natural or comfortable runner, so I automatically find it hard. I absolutely dreaded our twice yearly cross-country in school PE, and going back only about five years, I thought a 20min jog on a treadmill was an achievement for
Yes, I do use my target HR as a ceiling. My go-to easy run is just over 15k on the road, and includes some hills. Here’s where I was at recently before I got injured:
Shades - No I haven’t done a Max HR test, but I guesstimated it to be not much above the 170 max that I reached in the first blood lactate test. I don’t think that I much more to spare regardless.
I had the first test just before I came across this thread, and then when the 70% WHR that I’d calculated myself was pretty much the same as that turn point on my lactate curve, I thought that the test number of 139 was the definitive one that I should be working to, and then just continued with that after the second test as well, except that I dropped it to 138.
I thought that the min, max and WHR calculation was the ‘DIY’ version of doing the lactate test. I’m assuming now that this is not correct?

Dvorak - I’ll read the article in your link in a bit now that the kids are in bed, thanks.
The coach who did my second test did actually say that I was doing my easy running too slowly, and recommended aiming for a HR between 140-148. However, at the time, my easy runs were 45mins +w/u & c/d on a treadmill.
I did start to follow what he’d advised at the time, but two weeks later, COVID & the first lockdown hit, and I was forced onto the road instead of the gym, and my easy running ended up morphing into what it is now. Because I couldn’t go back for my review due to the lockdown, I reverted back to my previous HR target as I was struggling with the faster pace every day for the increased distance.
I’m wondering now whether I should drop the distance back down again and pick up the HR?

Thanks again for the input!
10 May
9:09pm, 10 May 2021
4 posts
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Mr. Grumpy
10 May
9:11pm, 10 May 2021
11997 posts
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You need a space between them

11 May
9:43am, 11 May 2021
455 posts
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Mr Grumpy - if you weren't needing oxygen or about to throw up I expect your MHR was a few beats higher than 170.

Have you looked at Maffetone's HR training? Very simplistic way of calculating HR range for base training without doing any type of tests. But has been very effective for quite a few runners that I know and they've achieved PB fitness without any speedwork.
11 May
10:14am, 11 May 2021
22395 posts
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Similar Shades: I reckoned, Mr G, as you thought 139 bpm seemed about right for 70%, you were working off maybe 42 resting hr, 180 max? The second test: working really hard and add 5 would give you that, maybe even 182?

If your fitness has dropped, and your rhr risen, then your 70% also rises: for say 52/182 it would be 143.
11 May
10:24am, 11 May 2021
7091 posts
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paul the builder
MrG - well that puts a little more data in the pot, which is good. That said, we don't know your MaxHR, or a reasonable estimate for resting HR (I imagine you know) - so any numbers we kick around here are going to be more +/- than they usually would be (and there's always a bit of that with deciding HR targets, ceiling, zones etc. anyway).

With what we know now I'd say there's a good chance that you're right, and your 'easy' running isn't actually easy, hence the feeling of it being not conversational pace.
e.g. 75% max from 170 is 127/128
e.g. 70% WHR from 170 / 50 is 134.

Your calculation of 138/139 as 70% WHR, from a max of 170, requires you to have a resting HR of about 65bpm. That doesn't feel right, so I question that maths.

So that all points to: slow down a bit for now.

OTOH your max may be a bit more than 170; which would raise those benchmarks a bit....

Of course a coach said the opposite to all this at the second test, and suggested target zone of 140-148. I can't say why - perhaps it's cos he has more data. Perhaps it's him/her having a different training philosophy to the classic Lydiard/Hadd stuff generally seen here on this thread. Perhaps it was based on what they thought you wanted? I would give different answers probably to someone who wanted to stay active and run 3x per week, compared to someone who wanted to run their best marathon 12 months from now.

I think many/most of us feel that we're not a 'natural' runner honestly - but if you're only going 5 years or so, and are over 50, and doing 95min HMs, then you're going pretty well I'd say.
I can't tell if you've done that off high or low mileage. You have a lot of race history through 18/19 so you're clearly been consistently running.

So - what are your goals? What's your typical volume now? Is that as much as you can do? (because you're always going to be told to run more miles on here ;-) )
11 May
10:56pm, 11 May 2021
5 posts
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Mr. Grumpy
Thanks again for the replies.

Shades - I can’t remember how bad I felt at the time, except that I think that I’d have struggled if I’d have had to do another full rep on the test (I did the planned nine reps)

The 172 max on the device was the default setting, which I’d not changed.
After having the test, I came across this thread, and then did my own calculation. If I remember correctly, I guesstimated my max HR at 180, and my resting must have been 45, which gave me 70% WHR of 139.5. I’m saying this as I can remember that my calculation was in line with that first turning point on my lactate curve.
I then assumed that the 70% WHR calculation was the DIY version of roughly finding that turn-point, and I’ve thought that ever since until the replies that I got yesterday.
I’ve heard of the Maff HR, but never looked into it though, as until recently I thought that I was doing my training in the right zones.

Dvorak - I never considered my max HR too much, as I was relying on the test results, so didn’t fancy breaking my heart unnecessarily!
I actually did a run on the treadmill today so that I could compare to where I was pre-COVID (and pre-injury), and my HR was up to 143 at the hour mark. It was previously below 139 at the hour mark doing the exact same run! I don’t know what my resting HR is right now, but the last time I checked it was 38.

PtB - Even if I used 134 as my easy run ceiling, I don’t think I’d feel much different. When I’ve been out with the missus with my HR below 120, I’d probably say that was the point that I could talk in full sentences. That’s why I’ve recently thought that I should be running at 70% of max, as that’s what I’ve read from time to time (also Zone 2 on my device - something else to confuse me!)
You’re right about the maths not backing up my numbers, but as I said, I was working with the test results as I (incorrectly) thought that the lactate concentration was definitive. I did find the difference in the two curves confusing though, as my first test stayed fairly stable until 139HR/~2.7mmol/L, whereas the second test had a steady rise up to 154HR/4mmol/L and was 138 at ~2.5mmol/L.
Yes, the coach said to do the steady runs at 140-148, but at that time they were only about 10.5k of actual running, and they’ve ended up being about 15.5k. I took on board what he’d said, but my training ended up going to pot when COVID and the first lockdown hit about two weeks later. I never ended up going back for my review because of the lockdown, and I ended up just doing the steady runs four or five times a week, with a long slow/steady run thrown in when I could be bothered, so was doing about 60-70+mpw. I got up to 100mpw last October as the missus entered me into an online distance challenge (payback for me entering her into something), but it was all ‘easy’ running.
Pre COVID, I had some structure to my running and was doing about 45+ miles per week, and yes, I did a lot of races during 2018/19, and I felt it was all coming together towards the back end of 2019. I did all my training on a treadmill.
M - Yasso 800
T - Easy
W - 13-20 LSR
T - Easy
F - Tempo
Plus a bonus run on the road on a weekend if I could fit one in around family time.

I started with the workouts again at the beginning of this year, and that’s how I ended up getting injured. Gutted because I feel like I’ve lost all the base that I’d built up over the last year.
My main goal is to have a proper crack at a Marathon, because I’ve never put in the training that’s really needed to give it a real go. The coach from the second test reckoned I could achieve 3:10 if I trained properly, which I’d be absolutely ecstatic with!

Apologies for the rambling! 😆
8:06am, 12 May 2021
1164 posts
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MrG, why not just experiment a bit? You could try a few runs each that are:

a) at a pace that feels proper easy to you (less than now but probably more effort than running with your wife) without looking at the watch.
b) at a slightly lower heart rate e.g 130 or vary it up at 125, 130 ,135
c) at a pace that should easy - such as 2:30-3min per mile slower than your 5k pace.

then triangulate the information and see what you learn.

After several years of HR training, almost all of my runs are done to effort now. I check the HR after the run (mainly to check beats per mile to keep track of overall fitness) but not during. My easy runs usually turn out between 70-75% MaxHR which for me work out about 57-64% WHR. At 70% WHR I would be starting to work a bit and it wouldn't feel easy to me but then I am almost always running a fair bit easier or harder than that. I tend to avoid that middle part.

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About This Thread

Maintained by Elderberry
Everything you need to know about training with a heart rate monitor. Remember the motto "I can maintain a fast pace over the race distance because I am an Endurance God". Mind the trap door....

Gobi lurks here, but for his advice you must first speak his name. Ask and you shall receive.

A quote:

"The area between the top of the aerobic threshold and anaerobic threshold is somewhat of a no mans land of fitness. It is a mix of aerobic and anaerobic states. For the amount of effort the athlete puts forth, not a whole lot of fitness is produced. It does not train the aerobic or anaerobic energy system to a high degree. This area does have its place in training; it is just not in base season. Unfortunately this area is where I find a lot of athletes spending the majority of their seasons, which retards aerobic development. The athletes heart rate shoots up to this zone with little power or speed being produced when it gets there." Matt Russ, US International Coach

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