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How To Work Out Your Heart Rate Threshold & Training Zones

Updated: Mar 9



training heart rate

This post is to help how to work out your heart rate threshold and training zones. Training zones are used to help us measure effort and intensity during a workout. Using the heart rate is one way way to measure how hard a session is but you can also measure speed for running and cycling.


First of all, here is a breakdown of zones.


ZONE 1 - RECOVERY

ZONE 2 - AEROBIC

ZONE 3 - TEMPO

ZONE 4 - SUB-THRESHOLD

ZONE 5A - SUPER THRESHOLD

ZONE 5B - AEROBIC CAPACITY

ZONE 5X - ANNAEROBIC


Knowing which zone you are training in is super important for helping us to perform. For one it prevents us from overtraining. It also allows us to manage more training into our programme. For instance if we always train in zone 4 which is super intense, we can only manage a small amount. Whereas training more regularly in zone 1-2 will allow us to train much more because it would be less intense on our body and nervous system.

The more we can train the fitter we can be..


There are lots of ways to figure out your training zones, so I am only going to describe the main one I use for training athletes. Most recording devices and applications such as Training Peaks will automatically assign training zones to everyone. It's important to know that these are only rough estimates and to get more accurate training zones for you; you will need to complete some physical tests either at a professional establishment such as a college or university. These will give you the most accurate results however there are a few tests we can do closer to home which can offer fairly accurate results.


The training test should be completed at the beginning of a training plan and then in regular stages throughout the programme so that it can be updated. The more times you complete the test; the more accurate the results will become.


For the test you will need a recording devise such as a smart watch or heart rate monitor. It needs to be able to measure your heart rate and the duration you have been training for.


30 MINUTE RUNNING HEART RATE THRESHOLD TEST


Warm up for 15 minutes at a slow and steady pace. Include some short faster intervals for 20-30 seconds. After the warm up run for 30 minutes as fast as you can. It's important during the test that you try and maintain speed throughout instead of slowing down or speeding up to the end of the time period.


Once you have completed the test you can upload the data to Training Peaks or update your new threshold settings on your recording devise so that future workouts will be able to more accurately place you in the correct training zone.


The number you are looking at is your average heart rate for the 30 minute duration. That is your heart rate threshold.








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