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I'm a longtime competitive runner, and I've finally decided to see what I can gain from heart rate training. (Read your book last night, by the way. Interesting stuff.)

I had always read in the literature that LT pace was about half marathon pace for faster athletes, or 10-mile pace for slower ones. With PRs of 52 minutes and 71 minutes, I split the difference and came out with a pace of 5:18 as my LT. If I were coming off an injury, I'd discount this pace by an arbitrary amount that felt right.

A 30 minute run for me, however, is at a substantially faster pace than even 10-mile race pace. Is this because the 20 minute average heart rate, if maintained at a steady state, as opposed to the steadily increasing heart rate during a 30-minute 10k, would correspond to the lower, 1-hour race pace?

Joe Friel

Jeff--The best way to find LT pace is as you suggested--to run a race that takes about an hour. When we run at an all-out effort by ourselves most everyone runs slower than if it was a race. Motivation isn't as great. More likely to feel sorry for ourselves. I've found this slow down to be about 5% _for most_. And if you double the duration you run about 5% slower I've also found. So by running a _solo_ 30 minute run all out you're running about at 60 min pace. Again--for most people.

John Dussek

Hello Joe. In your book you state that the test should be done on a flat to slightly uphill course. I find that when the course is slightly uphill (2-4%), that lthr is quite a bit higher. So my question is which one should I go with, or should I use a mid point between the two results? Many thanks in advance, John.

Joe Friel

John Dussek - You could make that decision based on the type of races you are training for. If hilly use the that FTP. If flat use the lower of the two. If it's less than a 5% difference then it's not a big deal which you use.

John Dussek

Joe. Thanks very much for your quick & helpful response. regards, John.

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