When the time is right, we’ll invite you to complete the 30‐minute Challenge Set—the gold standard for VALR training zone accuracy, allowing us to assess your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate to better calculate your training zones. Once your training plan volume reaches 2+ hours per week, you can expect to see that offered as an option in place of certain Zone 4 workouts until you complete the challenge. The specific weeks the Challenge Set is offered depend on your particular training plan details, but you can typically expect to see the option during the first few weeks, then about once a month. Or if you don’t have a training plan scheduled, a Challenge Set will be offered as run #3, 6, or 9.
Why so specific? We want to make sure you’re rested for the challenge, so at higher volumes we schedule it after a rest week. When you take the Challenge Set, make sure you’re hydrated, and plan your run for as flat a course as you can. If you’ve had a poor night’s sleep, or the weather is unusual, consider taking the challenge during a future session instead.
After a 5‐10 minute walk or easy jog to warm up, run at the strongest pace you can sustain during your test. Mentally prepare to push yourself during this test—the closer you can get to running at your strongest effort for the duration of the run, the more accurate your results will be.
You can rerun the test periodically to update your training zones as your fitness improves.