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I was thinking about this on my run last night while struggling to stay in my aerobic zone. I generally follow the Maffetone method for run training and had been starting to see some good improvement until I injured on the bike. A 2 month layoff has put my aerobic ability back what feels like 12 months. The real question is - how detrimental is drifting into zone 3 / tempo pace when trying to build aerobic efficiency? I have no problem walking to get it back under, but this could also relate to trail and hill running, rather than my current unfitness. I've just moved into a hilly area, with some great trail paths very close. Some programs I've seen absolutely rule out going into the next zone, but I've heard others say it doesn't really matter, provided the majority is aerobic.