If you’re serious about Heart Rate Training, you’ll want to assure you have…
…a solid understanding of training intensities and target heart rate zones.
Here’s the breakdown:
Zone 1: Anything less than 70% MHR.
In zone 1, your body uses fat as it’s primary source of energy.
Many metabolic changes happen during zone 1 workouts including:
- improvements in stroke volume,
- increases in total number of capillary beds in your arms and legs and
- increases in enzyme activity in your muscles.
This is without a doubt the hardest zone for athletes, especially endurance junkies (triathletes? ) to be in.
This is because athletes say they don’t “feel” like they’re working out.
However, time spent in Zone 1 is essential during the base phase, in between harder workouts during the season and active recovery sets.
Think of zone 1 as the foundation for your house. The stronger your foundation, the stronger, more stable your home will be.
Zone 2: 71-80% MHR.
This is a more moderately based intensity but still no where near hard.
This is where most of your long bikes and long runs will be as you build your fitness and train your cardiorespiratory and muscular systems to work more efficiently.
Workouts in Zone 2 improve endurance and begin to build up the speed at which you can train without building lactate.
Zone 3: 81-90% MHR.
This is a very popular zone because unlike Zone 1, this is where athletes “feel” like they are working.
While this is a very sustainable zone, athletes should use caution not to overdo it as abuse can lead to overtraining and/or injury.
Zone 4: 91% + MHR.
Zone 4 is your intervals zone during the season.
This is the zone you’ll be in for key bike and track workouts.
Used properly, zone 4 workouts can elevate your LT/AT and produce positive training results in speed and power. However, proceed with caution because just like zone 3, excessive time in zone 4 can quickly lead to over-training and/or injuries.
To understand more about training zones and intensities, check out “Training Plans for Multisport Athletes” by Gale Bernhardt.
If you have any specific questions about Heart Rate Training, please contact me, or give me a call at (239) 246-2920.