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Target zones

I wanna focus on a good base this winter But not really sure of the intensity to work at. I understand that I need to train in zones 1 and 2. On a h. rate basis I guess this is approx 60% of my max HR (220-age), Being 33 that would mean I need to keep my HR somewhere in the region of 110-115. Is this correct and if so how long per session (Again guessing 1-2 hrs)? I assume the target zones will also be slightly different for cycling and running.

Also what levels of exertion are zones 3,4 etc

Thanks in advance



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    Some studies have suggested that the max heart rate in relation to age is not completely linear and is influenced by fitness level etc. so rather than the usual 220-age, I go on the miller equation 217- (0.85 x age). There are also some equations which can try and factor in fitness some how. Either way by my calculations your max comes about about 189, however some have indicated its may be slightly lower, so we'll go for 188.

    Personally I don't like to use the 5 zones, I just break them up into recovery 60-70%, aerobic 70-80%, anaerobic 80-100%. For me this makes it nice and basic. I think over the winter you need to be doing a combination of recovery/aerobic work, to both increase your aerobic capacity and efficiency. But there is also a place for interval work, going above and below you anaerobic threshold, which should lie approximately between 80-85% MHR, this will help to increase this threshold. This should mean you can work harder, whilst staying aerobic, which should translate to a speed increase whilst staying aerobic, which is obviously crucial in an endurance sport.

    If it helps, i copied this across from a spread sheet which gives you sports zones, I guessed at your resting heart rate of 50, but I don't think it makes a huge difference

    [color=#990000]Enter your age and Resting Heart Rate

    Age 33 yrs

    Resting Heart Rate (RHR) 50 bpm

    Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) 188.95 bpm

    Working Heart Rate (WHR) 138.95 bpm

    Training Zones Heart Rate Objectives

    60% 133.4 Fat burning and re-energise glycogen stores

    70% 147.3 Develop oxygen transportation systems

    80% 161.2 Improve lactic acid threshold

    85% 168.1 Lactic thresehold

    90% 175.1 Speed [/color]
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    Thanks v much T-tri. I didnt expect such a detailed response!!! You`ve given me great advice to plan my off-season. Actually good to see a higher HR in the lower thresholds so I can actually feel as though I`m doing something. Am I wrong in thinking that the thresholds are different for cycling and running? (I`m sure I found an online threshold calculator somewhere that did suggest different thresholds for swim/cycle/run)

    Thanks again

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    Yeh, you are along the right lines with the difference in thresholds with running/cycling/swimming. I think this is mostly due to a higher heart rate need for a given effort level in running, due to the need to support the body weight. To be honest I am not totally sure about the translations in zones, however the stuff I've looked at suggests bringing the zones down by approx 5 bpm for cycling, and to be honest I am not totally sure about swimming!

    There is definitely some benefit to doing long rides in zones 1-2, most importantly I think is the increase in pedaling efficiency. Personally however I tend to use these rides as recovery rides, normally in the day(s) following a ride designed to increase my aerobic capacity where I ride in zone 3 pushing zone 4, basically pushing up against my lactate threshold.

    Time wise i think its up to you really, I like to think of it as cumulative time over say a week, sometimes I break it up into smaller chunks and go out an hour a day, or maybe 2-3 hours every few days.

    I like the shorter ones as I don't need to take any nutrition with me, just water, so remember, any more than an hour and you are going to need some nutritional and electrolyte replacement (this will also get you more used to taking on food/liquids on the fly!)

    Also, these long rides give you a great chance to improve your overall technique, i.e. remaining as economical as possible by spinning up hills and trying to maintain a constant effort.

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    This is good stuff, thanks Tommi.
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