ATC: Interpreting LTHR Data, The Power of Hiking and Walking, Group or Solo Cycling, and More

May 22, 2015
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Also, want to join EP for Ragnar? We had such great success with Ragnar SoCal that we’re doing it again! This time we’re doing Ragnar Relay Napa Valley Oct. 23-24, 2015. If you want to be on the time for a once-in-a-lifetime experience email us at and we’ll give you the details! More on the race here

Announcement: Ultrarunning legend Tom Green, the original grand slammer, recently had a significant accident, and he has been in shock trauma for a number of weeks.  There has been a huge outpouring of support from the ultra community to support Tom and his family as he faces his latest endurance challenge.  To help Tom visit his GoFundMe webpage.

IMG_0999-1On this show Tawnee and Lucho team up and discuss:

-IRONMAN University: What’s it all about? Worth the investment? Is it enough to make for a good coach?

-Testing LTHR and comparing it with aerobic HRs. The value of having that high-end fitness vs. aerobic fitness, and why HR data will depend on what kind of athlete you are, i.e. ultrarunner vs. short-course triathlete?

-Why you generally want a gap between aerobic zones and LTHR

-What Joe Friel missed in his blog post, which you can read here: Question on Heart Rate Joe Friel

-More on LTHR testing and a “case study” analysis on actual bike LTHR test data from a 20′ TT, and comparing it with run LT data, with our recommendations:

Scott says: I just did a field LT test on a spin bike. I have a really hard time getting my HR up compared to running. My legs always get tired and burn even at a low HR. My LT HR for running is about 172 (field test only, 8 months ago). But my average for this test was 142 for the 20mins, with a max HR of 159. My PE was in line with what I was suppose to be doing according to the test. The test was done on an old spin bike.

I’m 38, have been doing OD triathlons for 2 years with a PR of 2:29. and my half marathon PR is 1:44, to give you an idea of my fitness level. I would like to know Why is my HR so hard to get up? Should I use the 142 as my LT# to determine the zones for the training plan? It seem like my go all day PE and zone is around 125BPM, but then a harder PE i would say is my Tempo effort is only about 5 or 6 BPM higher. Finally if this is a problem, Id really like to know how to fix it.​

Protocol used by Scott:
Here is the LT test I did. I actually warmed up about 10 more mins of easy spin at the start.

3:00 Warm-up at effort of 2/10

3:00 3/10 Warm-up

3:00 4/10 Getting warmer!

3:00 5/10 Warmer still!

3:00 6/10 Tempo

3:00 7/10 Strong effort

3:00 2/10 Recovery

4 x 1:00 Fast pedal with 1:00 recovery

3:00 Recovery at 2/10

20:00 Pain, agony, misery and FTP

3:00 Cool-down!

-How close should run and bike LT HRs be?

-The power of hiking and walking in your training plan, especially for ultrarunners who will be walking/hiking.

-In light of a recent show where we were discussing folks not going at IM marathon pace because it is too slow – should ultrarunners occasionally practice going slower than I would typically do to dial in the slower pace I will need to practice early on at Leadville? I think I should but it seems that you are generally saying not so much.

-Is it smart or “dangerous” to do weekend longer rides with a group even if they push your outside your aerobic zones? How much does the “enjoyment” factor play a role? Is it wiser to ride solo and steady pacing? And the role of recovery in deciding.

One Comment

  • Scott says:

    Thanks for the response! Lucho hit the nail on the head when with his final comment. I need to bike more! The bike is my least favorite as it is always hard. I will ramp up my bike frequency, and cut down the running.

    Have you ever thought of doing phone in questions? This would have been a perfect one, as you both seem to have many questions, and they all would have been quick to answer.

    Finally, I am using a Crappy spin bike like in a gym, as I am on a Deployment in the Middle East, and that is all that is here. I have been here all winter and have my first race 2 weeks after I get back. It will be interesting to see how my swimming goes and how my bike goes once I get back on my P3. If you need another ATC question, how about some things I can do to substitute the swim until I get home?

    Thanks for all your help.


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