Running Power @RPE

Hey guys,

I’m trying to follow the Triathlon Plans but struggle with the RPE prescriptions of the running plans.
Maybe RPE works better than HR, but my RPE is highly dependent of my overall mental state. For example if I listen to music that pushes me, my RPE is at 0 although I am running at threshold pace.
Or at the end of a long slow run, my RPE is at 8-9 although I am running slow in Zone 2.

I hope the solution for me could be running power, because pace is no option (due to rolling terrain everywhere nearby).
Is there a way to convert the RPE prescriptions into running power zones?

Right now my approach (using a Stryd) is to try to match the descriptive power zones (there are different running power zone models, I think I’m using Jim Vance’s from the book Running With Power) to the descriptions of the RPE levels. It’s not exact, but it’s something. It does require a running critical power test, of course.

Everyone’s definition of the zones is slightly different so it’s hard sometimes to get them to align across the board. I tend to go with Jim Vance’s zones from the Running with Power book, but that doesn’t even align with the zones Stryd gives you.

I wouldn’t discount pace or HR just because of terrain either… just remember to adjust. Like @chad always says “Data informs perception.”

With that said, the TR guys did a blog post a hire back about trinanig while traveling and had a chart to convert RPE to the TR zones

I would use this to help convert the RPE in the running plans into whatever metric you decide to use whether that be power, pace, or HR. It looks like it divides into the standard 7 zone arrangement pretty well.

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I can’t remember the source, but I convert RPE to pace thusly.I also can’t be sure if “10k” is your PB pace. Happy to be corrected.

As others have said, it’s not strict, it’s a guideline. If it feels too hard, then it is!

RPE 2 = Recovery Pace = Light Jog/Brisk Walk = <55%

FTP RPE 4 = Easy Pace = Marathon = Endurance/55-75% FTP

RPE 6 = Easy-Moderate Pace = Half-Marathon = Tempo 75-85% FTP

RPE 7 = Moderate Pace = 10k = Sweet Spot/85-95%

FTP RPE 8 = Moderate-Hard Pace = 5k = Threshold/95-105% FTP

RPE 9 = Hard Pace = 400’s = VO2 Max/105-120% FTP

RPE 10 = All-Out Pace = 100’s = Anaerobic/>120% FTP

I agree with your scale, but I would move the Maraton/Half Marathon/10K, etc once step down. Threshold would be a 10K effort as it’s closer to a 1h effort (FTP) than a 5K.

McMillan Running has a great pace calculator. It also gives RPE and specific paces for RPE’s given your race/goal times. Not sure if anyone has used this to find correlation with Trainerroad RPE?

Question for a stryd user.

How well does your power to run a specific pace match your w/kg. It had been said that m/s pace is roughly equal to w/kg. My threshold pace last year was almost spot on to my cycling power to right but wonder how much of it is coincidence.

I’m sorry, I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking. If I calculate my threshold pace in terms of meters per second, that number is similar to my threshold watts per kilogram? That hasn’t been my experience, my threshold pace varies quite a bit relative to my running consistency and volume separately from my cycling training.

more so, how does your pace in m/s compare to the power reading when converted to W/kg. I used threshold since it was a common metric between the two, i.e. estimated 1 hour pace, but any pace will do.

I don’t have my watch set to show pace in m/s, or my bike computer set to show power in w/kg… But in the one case of threshold values that I can easily calculate: no, I don’t see any correlation. Keep in mind, since I’m using a Stryd, I also pretty much don’t look at pace anyway, I’m looking at the running power value it provides.

Now, related to that, my running threshold power and cycling threshold power are not very close either. I don’t put much stock in that as significant, though, since the running power is still a rather artificial value compared to direct force measurement.

So for any given run, you don’t have average pace (or average grade adjusted pace) and average power when you’re finished?

Sorry, I do but it’s all in minutes/mile and I track my weight in pounds, so m/s and w/kg are not easy or natural comparisons for me. However, for the few cases where I’ve done the arithmetic, they are not really connected.

I’ve hit an interesting problem, I’m not sure if the MacMillan calculator helps or makes it worse.

I’ve just hit a significant PB over 10k, so theoretically I should revise the pace of my training runs inline with that.

The MacMillan calculator predicts my half marathon pace is 13mins faster than I’ve actually ran a half in.

However, this would mean my goal of lots of easy running this winter could be scuppered. Marathon pace is now faster than what I would call easy…stick with old paces or revise…?

You should always run to the RPE that works towards your goal. If you are working to increase mileage to something you haven’t hit before, stick with your plan.

IF you have a decent amount of miles in your legs and are trying to reach a new PB and push through a new goal, work in some of the faster paces. Those predictors are assuming you have the amount of miles in you… my marathon predicted time is something I doubt I’d ever be able to run as my first marathon.

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I’d graduate it.

The improvements you’ve had in the 10k are big and to suddenly increase paces across the board will lead to a really large increase in training stress. Whether running or riding, you haven’t suddenly seen an increase in threshold pace because of the race, the race performance was as a result of the preceding training. Your abilities have been improving throughout the training block and the race has just been the conduit for showing that improvement.

Maybe think about looking at training paces halfway between what the race performance would suggest and what you have been using? If that is fine then move them again but with such a big change in training values I think there are potential risks associated with a sudden, large change. After all the improvements you’ve seen have come from the paces you were training at so have self evidently been effective. Look at the longer term picture and increase things gradually.


That makes sense guys.

I’ll factor in HR as well as feel and see how it goes. Unlike a lot of folk, I struggle to push hard enough and find it easy to hold back. One of the reasons I like TR as it takes the guessing out of it.