I bought The Cool Impossible and have tried some of the strengthening exercises and want to incorporate more of your suggestions into my training. I am 55 years old, 2oo+ pounds, and a slow runner. I have had several issues in the past--IT band, inflamed bursa in hips and hip pain, and overpronation issues. Currently I struggle with chronic glute pain or piriformis syndrome! but not enough to keep me from running. My question is about the training zone charts in the book. The slowest time is 10 min. Miles, and I am closer to an average 12-13 min. Mile. Sometimes I run around 11, but I was discouraged to see your chart only for faster runners. I hope to work on improving my speed this summer, but wondered if you have any other training zone charts for slower times. Thanks,

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Hi Shirley - thanks for your interest and post here.  I really think the strength program will help tremendously, so really dive into that.

As for the HR zones and program, you could initially begin the program by just doing the 20 min HR test.  This will get you going and there is not much speed orientated runs at the beginning and since you are struggling with some chronic aches and pains, it might help to focus first on the HR runs.

In any rate, when you are ready for the one mile test, just message me with your result and I can work up some speed zones for you.

Thanks again and keep us all posted on your progress - lots of great support here.


HI Shirley, i have found its best to tweak around with both the heart and speed zones until you get something that works for you. good luck. Rich

Hello Shirley welocome to The Cool Impossible, there are some wonderful, genuine people here that are truely interested in your progress and well being. Remember you've already done the hardest thing, you've started your journey.

As Eric said keep us all posted on your progress

Cheers Robert

Hi Shirley,
Great job in trying to overcome the injuries. Hopefully the strength training and form drills will help prevent injuries from occurring in the future. Depending on what program you are working on, you might only have limited work using the Speed Zones. I recently completed Phase 1 and I think only a few of the workouts used a Speed Zone; the vast majority used heart rate zones. I don't think it would compromise the overall plan if you used a higher heart rate zone instead of a speed zone. (Note that a speed zone 2 run is faster than a heart rate zone 2 run. I believe there is a forum topic that refers to this.). Perhaps after completing the first phase, you may be close to the being on the chart for phase 2. (I am just in the begining part of Phase 2 and haven't looked ahead much so I don't know how much speed zone work there is.).

Hello everyone. I just need some claryfication about the tests speed/hr zones. The 'one mile run' is a test for speed zones, and 20 minutes run is meant for HR zones. Am I right?

Thank you!

Hi Gniewomir,
For The Cool Impossible workouts, you are correct. Eric also sells training programs for certain distances. Others can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe in the Marathon Program he uses the 1 mile test run for both.
Hope this helps and good luck! I showed great improvement through the Foundation Program as I know others have as well. If you can follow through and do the foot strengthening exercises it helps more than you may realize...


Hi Mike!

Thank you for the answer and more informations on this topic. Since I run mostly ultra trail races, I think I can go with 1 mile test results (since Eric uses it in Marathon Program ;) ).

The foot strenghthening  exercises and others I've been already doing from some time and definietly it is just a great program which I recommend to all runners.

I was thinking to start The Foundation Program after the end of races season, that's why I asked about the tests. My last run is going to be the next week, so it would be something good to start working for the next season after that :)




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