TNS Training: Zone Offense: Training smarter, not harder

Zone Offense: Training smarter, not harder, by Brian Melekian of TNS Training

You have taken your 30 minute time trials on the bike and the run and have determined your lactate threshold. Now what? Now that you defined your ceiling, the farthest you can effectively push your body and beyond, does it end there – with a number?

No, this is just the beginning. Now that we have established your lactate threshold we can plug that into the 5 predetermined heart rate training zones. These become the basis for your training.

 

Zone 1

Recovery/Distance

65%-84%

 

Zone 2

Longer endurance

85%-91%

 

Zone 3

Intense Endurance

92%-95%

 

Zone 4

Race Pace

96%-100%

 

Zone 5

Threshold/Interval

100%-110%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For example, if your 30 minute time trial tests result in an LT average heart rate of 157, your results would look like this:

Zone 1

 

65%-84%

104-131

Zone 2

 

85%-91%

132-143

Zone 3

 

92%-95%

144-149

Zone 4

 

96%-100%

150-157

Zone 5

 

100%-110%

158-173

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zone Descriptions

Zone 1 – Base zone. This is the zone you use for days that call for recovery, for the easy portion after intervals and for long over-runs (e.g an 18 miler in prep for an Ironman marathon)

Zone 2 – This zone promotes aerobic endurance and adapting the body to long slow distance. More strenuous than Zone 1, this zone is still well within the forever zone we strive for in Ironman distance training and racing. You are burning a mix of fat and glycogen in this zone.

Zone 3 – The transition zone from off season base training to early season tempo building. You are still effectively burning glycogen for energy.

Zone 4 – Interval zone for workouts done below anaerobic (lactate) threshold. You will feel the burn but still be able to process the lactic acid.

Zone 5 – Hardcore interval work, primarily increasing the body’s capacity for anaerobic conditions. Zone 5 has a place in Ironman training (track workouts, pool interval sets) but much more so in Sprint and Olympic distance training.

Bringing it all together

Your coach or training plan will help you determine which workouts fall into which zones. Contrary to some belief, hammering in Zone 4 or even Zone 3 all the time will most likely not get you to Kona faster, but will increase your likelihood of IT bad issues, Achilles/ankle pain, hip problems, knee pain, etc etc etc.

When you pack for your next swim, ride or run, leave your ego at home. It not only will not help you, it can hurt you.

Train smarter, not harder.

 

Brian Melekian is head coach of TNS Training.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s