Ive done quite a lot since my last blog post.. Training has been up and down. This blog post is a bit of a training tip though, rather than an update on my training.. and the focus is training zones.
Most people train with a heart rate monitor. If you don’t, you should, go buy one.. I’ll wait….
So.. Its one thing to have a heart rate monitor (HRM) but its another thing to actually use it correctly. In order to do so, you should actually train according to your heart rate. The key to doing this correctly is to discover your own heart rate zones. Now lots of websites and probably even your own HRM software will probably offer to do this for you based on your age. It may even be really fancy and ask you to determine your resting heart rate. This is very basic and there is a way better way to do things. The way to find your ideal training zones is to base your training on what your heart rate is when training. In order to do this you can do a lactate threshold test. I first heard about these things from Joe Friels book “The Triathletes training bible” and thankfully Joe as a blog post that explains both how to do a LT test and how to set your zones based on it. LT tests are tough. It basically involves you doing 30 mins running or cycling (you will need to do both.. at different times) to find out what your average heart rate is at lactate threshold.
I did a run LT test the other night for the first time in over a year. I’m glad I did as I discovered that my standard zone 2 heart rate was a bit better than i thought and my pace for zone 2 runs is a little better than I was aiming for.
Training according to heart rate makes sense. Its a way of gauging your pace and effort based on what your fitness levels allow and what you re capable of and what your body can do, rather than what you want to do or think you can do. Running based on heart rate and doing a lot of zone 2 training can reduce injuries and ultimately make you fitter and faster… So…. clear off and do a wee LT test.