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Talk to me about Zone 2 running
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 724
Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:17 pm    Post subject: Talk to me about Zone 2 running Reply with quote

I read a lot about the bulk of running should be in zone 2, Fink and Freil, 80:20 running etc all advocate a lot of Zone 2

This season, the bulk of my runs have been zone 2, with a weekly interval set. Even though my Z2 runs are getting quicker, currently around 4:55/km, they are pretty easy and can be a little boring. Intervals are fun in a painful sort of way (maybe I am just strange), especially as there is someone who is just a little bit quicker than me, I really try to hang on, and he is now upping his game to stay ahead.

Today I did a half marathon at what I perceived to be HIM pace - my legs were tired from an hour on zwift at my ftp yesterday, followed by a pretty hard pool session. My run was evenly split 45% Zone 3 and 45% Zone 4 - and I was shocked just how hard it was, it took a massive mental effort to hit my times for each km in order to get a negative split (I think that I have OCD about getting a negative split on my runs). I am not sure that loads of zone 2 runs and intervals prepares an athlete mentally for stepping up to race pace

I will be bringing in at least one longish (13km+) tempo run each week. Even if it doesn't bring fitness gains, I think I need it to help manage the mental aspect of the run and to get used to the hurt.

Strangely, even though I do find riding at FTP physically hard, mentally I find it much easier to deal with

I know that there are a lot of good runners here, what does your training schedule look like?
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Jorgan




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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also Google Maffetone! he advocated a lot of low intensity training, although that was working with athletes like Mark Allen who did 30h+ weeks.

Zone 2 based off LTHR or MHR? Very Happy
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
Also Google Maffetone! he advocated a lot of low intensity training, although that was working with athletes like Mark Allen who did 30h+ weeks.

Zone 2 based off LTHR or MHR? Very Happy


LTHR

Although I have a different Z2 in Garmin, TP and Strava.... they are reasonably close.

However, If I can count out loud to 20, fluently, while running I am in Zone 2 - I probably do this every couple of KMs when I am doing a Z2 run irrespective of what my watch says, I also like to run with a colleage, as we run at a similar pace, and I know if we can chat then running in Z2
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Talk to me about Zone 2 running Reply with quote

mattsurf wrote:


I know that there are a lot of good runners here, what does your training schedule look like?


pretty empty these days...

there is a lot to be said for the 80/20 rule depending on your objective...but i am a huge advocate of race pace running and over race pace running....but I am obviously also a fan of developing appropriate form before going long...
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Buzz_




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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How many runs are you doing? Z2 easy runs are boring, but necessary, you can't run hard every time, and keeping long runs slow helps with recovery times.

1 hard session a week is probably right, you could alternate intervals one week with tempo the next. But unless you are running 5-6 sessions a week then 2 fast sessions much. Especially as your target is halfs and full, pace is unlikely to be your limiting factor.

I try to do 1 hard run or session a week plus 2/3 other runs, sometimes I'll add in a parkrun for tempo. But I'm aiming for Olympic distance, and enjoy running hard. There is a school of thought you should do all your hard sessions on the bike and keep the running easy, but where is the fun in that?
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jibberjim




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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mattsurf wrote:
However, If I can count out loud to 20, fluently, while running I am in Zone 2 - I probably do this every couple of KMs when I am doing a Z2 run irrespective of what my watch says, I also like to run with a colleage, as we run at a similar pace, and I know if we can chat then running in Z2


Interesting, as I can count and chat probably at marathon pace (certainly at the pace of any marathon I've done, but what would be a solid marathon pace for me) I certainly can do it during almost all my running but that is all much faster than your 4:55, despite you probably being similar if not faster in races.

Although I'm clearly at the chattier end of the spectrum from parkrun, as I'm chatting away pretty happily at 19min pace despite only once going under 18min.

Some running adaptations only come from high volume running, to do high volume running it has to be majority easy, if you're not doing high volume though, then you're not going to get those adaptations from the lower volume anyway, so you might be better investing your limited time in running a bit harder. However it all depends on where the easiest adaptations are for you to gain. The only thing I would say for sure is never drop all race pace running like explorerJC advocated.

Editing to say that I was agreeing with what explorerJC advocated, and he didn't say drop all pace running as I my crap sentence suggests.
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
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Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks, for comments. I have been gradually ramping up my running volume from around 35km per week 3 months ago to 50km currently

My fast half was 4:40 pace, while I run a 5km at 3:55 (19m30 parkrun), my fastest intervals are 3:20 pace

I think that I will continue with mainly running at Zone 2, but every other week do one of my longer runs at race pace

Did my first outdoor ride today after a month on Turbo Trainer, amazed how strong I have become, set a new FTP, which was nice (albeit only a slight improvement)
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jibberjim wrote:
mattsurf wrote:
However, If I can count out loud to 20, fluently, while running I am in Zone 2 - I probably do this every couple of KMs when I am doing a Z2 run irrespective of what my watch says, I also like to run with a colleage, as we run at a similar pace, and I know if we can chat then running in Z2


Interesting, as I can count and chat probably at marathon pace (certainly at the pace of any marathon I've done, but what would be a solid marathon pace for me) I certainly can do it during almost all my running but that is all much faster than your 4:55, despite you probably being similar if not faster in races.

Although I'm clearly at the chattier end of the spectrum from parkrun, as I'm chatting away pretty happily at 19min pace despite only once going under 18min.

Some running adaptations only come from high volume running, to do high volume running it has to be majority easy, if you're not doing high volume though, then you're not going to get those adaptations from the lower volume anyway, so you might be better investing your limited time in running a bit harder. However it all depends on where the easiest adaptations are for you to gain. The only thing I would say for sure is never drop all race pace running like explorerJC advocated.

Editing to say that I was agreeing with what explorerJC advocated, and he didn't say drop all pace running as I my crap sentence suggests.


Very Happy
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Tigger




Joined: 25 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mattsurf wrote:
My fast half was 4:40 pace, while I run a 5km at 3:55 (19m30 parkrun), my fastest intervals are 3:20 pace


I quite like the Jack Daniels VDOT approach. It's worked well for me in the past. If your current all-out 5k time is 19:30 then that suggests an easy pace of around 5:15 per km.
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YKK




Joined: 23 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I first found the/a Maffetone story on a website way back in 2012 when I had tried and failed again to break sub 3 for a marathon.

I picked my HR (149) at the time, and tried to stick at it. I was around the correct pace anyhow, but it did speed me up on downhills and slowed me slightly on uphills. Anyhow, I ran at the pace pretty much exclusively from July to November that year, I think I did some "intervalish" type work in one 13 mile run a week, but my mileage was probably more 95/5 rather than 80/20. I think I got up to about 60 miles a week of running with 60 or 70 miles of London commute as well on the bike. Some quite a lot of low intensity.

Anyhow I broke 3 hours in November and have not looked back running wise.

Whether it is age/aerobic fitness/other, I now find that I go no where near 149 in training and I now hover around 130-140bpm for the same pace and faster as I was in the 2012 block of training.

Unlike you MattSurf, I don't seem to be able to run intervals on my own so now I try and do 1 or 2 park run or equivalent races a week which are my only speed work.

It is not for everyone, but it seems to work for me and has given me a massive base allowing me to run well whether it be an ultra, off the bike or just a straight marathon with very little specific training.
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gingerbongo




Joined: 21 Sep 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A slightly unhelpful observations, but it really does depend.

In the last few years, where i've mainly concentrated on running, i have tried both approaches and have had reasonable sucess in both.

I broke sub 3, comfortably, in my first mara. Averaged abvout 50-60km a week (pretty low for mara training) and was made up of a mix of tempo, hills, intensity and slower recovery stuff. I am naturally quite well endowed with speed, so that's never been my limiting factor at anything over 5k - it's speed endurance.

I also tried 100% zone 2, slow and steady running but that was all 100-170km weeks. Got close to my 5km PB, PB'd over 1/2 but picked up a niggle just before the mara which blew my attempt. that said i was on for something 10-15 mins quicker than PB.

Nowadays i can't afford the time for masses of Z2 work - i personally think the volume has to be pretty huge to get the real gains - so i'm going back to the shorter, more intense style. I'm aiming for 1 x hill reps session, 1 longer run on the bigger hills (OK not swiss hills, but big for the Devon coast Very Happy!! ) and then fill it with steady mileage whenever i can get out. Currently only managing 3 x a week, but i know i need to up this to 5 x a week.

I think it also depends on the speed with which you recover and your injury proone-ness (EJC will say nobody should be prone to injury if they look after themselves properly Smile ) !

You have a big base, so i think some decent tempo and RP stuff is a must - but listen to your body. You do a lot of multi sport training, so be prepared to dial back a run session when needed, as i'm sure that would cause more damage the equialent thrashing in the pool or on the bike.
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twhat




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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll chip in with my own experiences... being the definitive time crunched 'athlete' i tend to do more 'quality' run sessions than most, be those hill reps, interval sessions, tempo or 'longer-race' paced runs. I tend to not really run easy unless i run my (partial) commute which is 10k ish with a bag.
I normally tick over on 40k a week and even in a 12 week marathon build will struggle to average more than 70k a week.
The results have basically been, as far as i can tell, a drop off in performance as distance increases. I have relative success at 5km and cross country and tend to blow up, or at least struggle, in marathons. I know this from the various 'calculators' but also from comparison with many other guys from my own and other local running clubs.
I reckon i might lose my job soon so that being the case i might be able to put it to the test and do some longer slower stuff and finally nail a marathon Very Happy
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hammerer




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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My opinion is pretty much matching others here, basically the more you run the more easy stuff you have to do. Only have to look at some elites, take Alex I know he averages about 8min miles over a week. In his peak last year he was up at 90ish miles a week. Most of that easy.
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gingerbongo wrote:

I think it also depends on the speed with which you recover and your injury proone-ness (EJC will say nobody should be prone to injury if they look after themselves properly Smile ) !

.


not quite...you can still be prone to injury...you can prepare yourself diligently and still get injured...you can not take any care of yourself and not get injured...

I take the stance that if you are prone to a particular kind of running injury and you don't take active steps to avoid it then you don't have a leg to stand on Smile
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

twhat wrote:

I reckon i might lose my job soon so that being the case i might be able to put it to the test and do some longer slower stuff and finally nail a marathon Very Happy


jobs are slightly more important than some arbitrary running distance...
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