Home Chat General Chat

setting HR zones - am I doing this right

Having read the thoughts on this forum, and across the web, I have decided to set up my HRM (suunto t3d) using the following method (currently using the preset zones of Z1 60-70%, Z2 70-80%, z3 80-90% based on max hr est of 183)
1. perform a 30min test as described by joe friel, using a turbo (I live in cumbria so very few flat stretches for run or bike) to determine LTHR.
2. set my hr up using the zones z1 85-89%of LTHR, z2 90-94%, z3 95-99% LTHR. In the logs I get time in each of these zones, plus time above z3 and below z1.
3. Use these zones for running and cycling as I don't want to be reprogramming my HR before every training session depending on whether I'm on a bike, run ,or doing a brick.

Any comments on whether this is more accurate than what I am doing at the moment, when my run HR regularly averages over 85% on the current set up. Or have I missed something that would make my workouts more efficient.
Finally, I note that Joe Friel uses zones 1-4, then 5a,b,c. How do these compare with the more common zones 1, 2 and 3 etc?


  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    steve - I also have a t3C, and have used JFs tests to measure what I was doing... in fact I was doing some tests at bath Uni l;ab that were so dashed close to JF's tests that I just used his theory with the outcomes of the Vo2max testing at bath Uni... So I worked out MaxHR for bike and run from these tests. I was happy with the results as 3 seperate tests all gave me the same maxHR for bike and run (or within a couple of beats), spread out over about 2 months.

    The program I was using had zone %s already suggested based on MHR, so I used them... and they were zones 1 to 5.

    The T3C as you say "only" has Z1, Z2 and Z3 ... but it does also have below Z1 and above Z3 reports... so what I do is set T3C Z1 to the real Z2 range, T3C Z2 to real Z3 range, and T3C Z3 to real Z4 range. That way I use the T3C below Z1 as real Z1, and T3C above Z3 as real Z5.. does that make sense?
    It doesn;t actually represnt JF's 5a, 5b and 5c zones of course... but I am not really sure that WADR to JF most "average" triathletes need this level of granularity. (????!!)

    so when I reac the post session output, I use the T3Cs zonal times as above - and I can always reflect my av and max hr acheived against a chart of my zones to see what zones they fell in if its pertinent.

    Does that make sense?

    Of course, if you are predominantly training at lower zones (70.3, IM) then you could easily use the T3C zones as set, because its very unlikely you'll ever need Z5 measurements in your training.


  • steve68steve68 Posts: 18
    thanks - i'm set for the 30 mins tomorrow (today now!), and i'll see how it goes. Be interesting to compare the values from the test with the values from the current hr zones to see what the difference may be.
  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    let us know

  • steve68steve68 Posts: 18
    I performed the 30 min test today and got an ave HR over the last 20 mins of 165. So I plan to set my HR zones to z1 85-89% (140-147), z2 90-94% (148-155), z3 95-99% (156-163).

    For comparison, using the 183 HR max,60-70, 70-80,80-90 zones the HR were 60-70% (110-128), 70-80% (129-146), 80-90% (147-164). Interestingly, no real difference between the end of zone limits for the aerobic zone or the anerobic zone.

    Looking at the Joe Beer training plan in 220 last month, he talks about "turbo...or pan flat. Keep controlled in z1". What does he mean by zone1? Is he talking z1 60-70% of maxHR, or <84% LTHR? This just gets more and more confusing.

    Might leave my Hr set the same whilst I run tomorrow, although I know that even running easily, at 1.5 times 10k pace my HR will ave approx 85% of maxHR.
  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    does the intro to the Joe Beer plans not make it clear what he means by Z1?

    email 220 and ask them - they published the thing, they should be able to find out.

    Mind you, in TW I had a query about a harry Wiltshire plan and asked TW; they told me they'd passed my query on to HW and he never ever replied, so don't hold your breath. (Incidentally in similar vein, Doug Hall did, so big thumbs up to Doug - top bloke!)

Sign In or Register to comment.