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This post contains a link to a running power zone calculator spreadsheet at the end.
First some background…
I’ve always used Joe Friel’s calculations for cycling power zones and ‘something similar’ for running power.
These zones are important for guiding your efforts to achieve certain bodily adaptations to the inputs of the rigours of your workout. But zones can also be important for post-workout quantification of training loads as well as showing how good you were at hitting the original target. Either way, I hope you will agree that they are important.
I was looking at FinalSurge.com recently because of their new CIQ app and free workout builder and my interest was piqued when I noticed that they allowed more than one method of calculating running power zones. I guess we all knew there were several methods but I was quite surprised by the differences when I looked closely at Fitzgerald, Vance and co. Sure, some of the differences are due to the types of workout these coaches specify but some of the Zones are quite different.
Determining Your Running Critical Power
Polar’s ‘new’ MAP concept for running power zones is based on a flat-out 6-minute run but the other Zone methods use either rFTP or CP and the following link shows some of the Running FTP tests, including STRYD’s
It’s worth noting that your ‘forever power’ or ‘critical power’ (CP) is generally assumed to be the same as your hour power (CP60). And it’s generally assumed that a 30 minute or 20 minute test can be a good estimator for this.
FTP is also generally assumed to be the same as CP but, for you and me, it likely won’t be. FTP or the running version, rFTP, is the maximum constant power at which you can clear lactate. For you, and me, maybe you will only be able to do that for 40 or 50 minutes.
Similarly, I’m reasonably well-trained up to 2 hours but beyond that, I quickly fall apart. I just know that my forever power is not going to take me beyond 2 hours. So, if you are a well-trained, short-course athlete then it’s quite likely that these CP models will not extrapolate your awesome short-course abilities to the rigours of HIMs, ULTRAs and beyond.
Indeed tri-coach Chris Hague shared his thoughts on running paces for Ironman and IM events at this link
Awesome Spreadsheet for Running Power Zone Calculations
Here is an awesome running tool spreadsheet from Electric Blues that was updated before Christmas. I’ve just included it because it is SO cool and SO useful. I’ve also added a new tab onto that worksheet which lets you calculate your running power zones by 6 different methods. I’m sure you all want to do that 😉 Realistically it’s handy to have it to update your chosen zones when your rFTP/CP changes. Note that it a macro-enabled spreadsheet and might pop up some warnings to that effect. Further note that I have talked to the author about adding these zones into his ‘master’ version of the spreadsheet, so hopefully that will happen.
Link to the5krunner.com: Electric Blues – DanielsTables-3-01-02