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

May 22, 2015

This episode is brought to you by UCAN SuperStarch; the revolutionary fuel that helps you achieve metabolic efficiency and allows you to burn fat. Save 15% at or click here for the savings to apply automatically. Check out Tawnee’s pre-workout UCAN recipe.

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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