RPE for Run intervals triathlon plan

Okay, the run intervals on the triathlon plan wants me to do 45 mins at RPE 8. For me, RPE 8 would be 5km race pace (16mins) or at most 10km race pace (33-34 mins) I just about hang on for the 40min interval in threshold but 45 is too much a stretch at that same pace.

Do I drop down to hr zone 3 / lower threshold?

How does TR work out their RPE scale for running?

  • AFAIK, this is the related article that I hope answers your questions.
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You definitely need to scale RPE in terms of distance/interval length.

For example, you say RPE 8 = 5K pace for you, but by definition you can’t go out and hold 5K pace for 40 minutes, and if you tried, I’d bet at some point during that effort you’d feel like you were at RPE 10 even though at that point I’d bet you’d be running slower than your 5K pace.

When dealing with longer intervals (30 min plus), one strategy I use is to pick a pace where I think my RPE will be on target for the last 10-15 minutes vs. the whole interval, because if I start at the assigned RPE I’ll blow up… This of course takes some trial and error and you need to feel it out.

I have never seen RPE as a descriptor for pace in a workout. Why not just say “10k goal pace” or whatever?

Hey there!

I wanted to add on/clarify that the article that @mcneese.chad linked includes updated charts for swimming and running.

So RPE 8 for a run workout, for example, would be your “very hard” or 5k pace.

The charts also include examples of running and swimming workouts based on RPE to help athletes understand what those RPE values look like in practice.

Hope that helps! Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions.

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Thanks for confirming, it definitely helps identifying the target zones, although it leads me to my next question.

The prescribed run workout requires me to run 45 mins @ RPE8.
My 5k pace (RP8) is around 16 mins. So for me to run continuously for 45 mins that would fall under the RPE 6 category.

The time prescribed is too long to maintain RPE8, so what I’ve been doing is breaking these long run interval workouts up into smaller chunks with 90 seconds active recovery between reps.

Thanks again guys, any advice appreciated

I’ll check in with my colleagues who can offer better training advice for these triathlon workouts (I’m only a cyclist, so I don’t have the best coaching advice to offer in this case :sweat_smile:).

I do recall there has been some discussion about revamping the run/swim workouts for the tri plans… I’ll check in with the triathletes here at TR so we can get some advice for you!

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So it does sound like we are actively working on updating those plans! We are finishing up with the Full Distance Triathlon plans and hope to have those ones completely updated soon.

For your workout, we’d recommend a 45-minute effort at half marathon pace.

Let me know if you need a hand with anything else!

Thanks, I will give that a go. Looking forward to the updates!

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