Interpreting effort level (Read 549 times)


    Let me use an example for my question. I put in 7/10 when a run was neither hard nor easy. However, for the same effort level runs, sometimes I could have had tired legs but my heart and breathing felt quite easy throughout a run, while some other times I could have had very fresh legs but my heart and breathing seemed faster/more labored than usual. Even though overall I felt that both runs are somewhat similar in terms of the amount of effort I put forth, they certainly "felt" quite different. I'm curious if that tells me anything (in terms of my condition, fitness...etc, so that I can adjust my training)? Or am I just trying to read too much into it? Thanks.

    Future running partner.

      I think you may be reading into it a bit too much. It's pretty normal for your legs to be tired on some days and other days for your breathing to be more labored. There are a lot of factors that contribute to that, such as diet, weather, sleep, stress etc...

        Good question. In these cases what EnjoyTheRide said holds true. There are lots of factors that can cause how you feel to be different day to day. Heat/weather is one of the biggest culprits.


        I'd recommend, if you do not already, to consider running with a Heart Rate Monitor if you want true effort results. Wich a HR monitor you can see exactly how hard your body is working. 


        Pay attention to the days you feel off and see if you can find the cause to the problem. Maybe you ate something the day before. Maybe you didn't get enough sleep? Weren't hydrated enough. All of these issues can contribute to feeling off. 

        Running and Triathlon coach with PRS FIT.


        Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes. - Buddha

          Yes. Effort level / RPE - without a definition or description - can be confusing for exactly the reasons you say.


          Most references where I've seen effort / RPE used are usually cardio related and tie in with HR and/or %VO2max or  talk test or something along those lines.


          If I'm doing downhill work on steep hill, legs will hurt but breathing may be easy.


          Leg fatigue at the start of a run is a function of what you've done over the past several days. I just make a comment - "dead legs" or whatever, which isn't the same as "sore legs."


          I don't like to confuse things in my logs. I use HR for some estimate of cardio activity. Leg impact usually implied by either the course or workout description. (I know what my courses and workouts are. They may mean nothing to anyone else, but it's my log for my purposes.)

          "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


            Same here.


            I began using the effort/quality thingies when I started with running as I did not have a better way to gauge effort back then.

            Later I bought an HRM and learned to use it...


            But now I only use it at the beginning of a training season to gauge my fitness levels an let the thing at home for the rest of the time (I hate it, and it's a soft belt). I know my levels of effort by my pace and type of route.


            "If one can stick to the training throughout the many long years,
            then will power is no longer a problem. It's raining? That doesn't matter.
            I am tired? That's besides the point. It's simply that I just have to."

            Emil Zatopek