Unlock Your Endurance Potential with Heart-Rate Training
As endurance athletes, finding the right balance in your training intensity can be challenging. A lot of endurance athletes struggle balancing slow and fast sessions and often push too hard during easy runs and not hard enough during intense sessions.
Heart-rate training is a simple and effective solution to this common problem and almost all elite endurance athletes still track heart rate one way or another.
What is Heart-Rate Training?
Heart-rate training involves categorizing your runs into different intensity levels, or "zones," based on your maximum heart rate (MHR). This method ensures you're training effectively, enhancing your endurance performance while optimizing recovery.
Getting Started with Heart-Rate Training
Determining Your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)
Traditional methods suggest using age-based formulas to estimate MHR. However, these can be inaccurate, particularly for women.
Completing a 20-30 minute high-intensity effort after a good 15-minute warm-up, with the final few minutes at maximum effort, can make a challenging workout enjoyable and practical.
Your heart rate at the finish line gives a close estimate of your MHR.
Note: If you have health concerns, consult a professional before attempting this.
Training Within Your Zone
After establishing your MHR, segment your workouts into heart-rate zones. For example, with an MHR of 185, multiply by 0.5 and 0.6 to find your Zone 1 intensity.
Many wearable devices and online calculators can assist with these calculations, simplifying your training regimen.
Progressing Through the Zones
Your training plan should use all of your zones in a balanced way.
Start with lower zones, gradually incorporating higher intensity intervals as your endurance builds.
Adopt the principle of 80/20 where 80% of your training is in the lower zones and 20% in the higher zones for balance and consistency.
Fuel the demand, train to be consistent with balance and the swim, bike, run and ski speed and power will come.