Running Zones - What do they all mean?





What do these all mean and how do they add value to our running programs?

Why run easy?

I just want to run hard and in the fastest time possible.

Do you plan for your season and prepare your cardiorespiratory system for this movement.

All these zones actually have such a relevant meaning that we should be sticking to them during our training program.

Easy running does a great job developing the heart muscles and helps you improve your running economy. Easy running should be performed at a conversational level, allowing for controlled pace and movements. This allows the body to move efficiently and remember the Biomechanical movement needed to sustain long periods of time and allow your body to remember this motion.

Threshold training focuses on improving your endurance. At threshold training, this looks at blood lactate, and what I mean by this, it is the looking at the accumulation of it in the of body (Blood Lactate will be discussed in next weeks blog and its relation to training). This is the difference of how much we are producing and how fast we are clearing it from the system.

Repetition training focus on improving speed, power and economy. This is done at 100 percent of effort and running hard. It is normally a 1:2/3 ratio meaning hard work for 1 minute with 2 or 3 minutes of recovery. There is no point doing this session when you are tired, as you will loose running economy and speed. Make sure you are well rested for this and if extra recovery is needed take it, as not to jeopardise the purpose of the session.

Interval training focuses on improving aerobic power. This stresses your aerobic power. It takes about two minutes for you to work up to functioning at VO2max so the ideal duration of an "Interval" is 3-5 minutes each. The ideal work to rest ratio would be 1:1 as to optimise this zone for optimal loading and conditioning. The reason not to go past 5-minutes is to prevent anaerobic involvement, which can result in blood-lactate build-up.

With focus of these in a well maintained training plan, those goals of running your best races will be done with comfort, ease and efficient running economy.

Consult your running coach or medical professional on how to plan these sessions.

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