The second card under our new Stats feature is a breakdown of Your Paces. This feature allows you to track a summary of planned training at different intensities based on the last 1W, 1M, 6M or 1Y.
Once you know your VDOT the true value is the delineation of how fast you need to run to improve various aspects of your fitness. For instance, if you want to improve your endurance you must train at your Threshold pace compared to your VO2max pace.
Here’s a general guideline on VDOT training intensities:
- Easy pace (65-79% of HRmax) develops the cardiovascular system which in turn develops cell changes in the running muscles. This pace is also important for recovering between harder training sessions. Whether you’re an elite or recreational runner a large majority of your running should be at your Easy pace.
- Marathon pace (80-85% of HRmax) is typically used when practicing for your race or as an alternative to Easy pace for beginners. Its benefit is more mental than psychological and generally represents a small percentage of your overall training.
- Threshold pace (88-92% of HRmax) improves endurance. More emphasis is generally recommended when training for longer races like the half marathon or marathon.
- Interval pace (98-100% of HRmax) improves your VO2max or how efficiently you transport blood/oxygen to the working muscles. More emphasis is generally recommended when training for 3k, 5k and 10k distances.
- Repetition pace (Roughly mile race pace) improves running speed and economy (lowering the energy demand of running or recruiting the most desirable motor units). More emphasis is generally recommended when training for the 800m, one or two mile distances.
- Fast Rep pace (closer to 800m race pace) is typically used when preparing for middle distance events.
This feature is a great tool to help inform future training or ensure that you’re spending enough time improving different areas of your fitness in relation to your race goals. For instance, if your main goal is to run your best half marathon, generally you would still train at all VDOT paces but emphasize Threshold pace.
But that’s not necessarily the case for everyone. Let’s say you’re an experienced runner with a large foundation and naturally have good endurance. You might make more progress emphasizing Repetition pace and improving your running economy while training for a marathon.
Review Your Paces and try to infer where you can make adjustments based on how training/racing is going. Everyone is an individual and may respond differently to emphasizing one pace over others. Once you know your VDOT, and the purpose of each workout/intensity, the key is finding the ratio that works best for you based on your training background/goals.
Finally, if you make an adjustment to the ratio of time spent at different intensities, it’s important to avoid drastic changes and allow yourself time to adapt to the new training stress.