General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Heart Rate Zones- Keeping it Simple Rss Feed  
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2013-09-15 10:48 PM


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Subject: Heart Rate Zones- Keeping it Simple
I've found out my "threshold" heart rates by doing a run and bike time trial. I followed the guide of doing a 30min TT for each and measuring the average heart rate for the last 20mins of each.

So I now have figures of:

Bike: 164 bpm
Run: 173 bpm

So I assume I now need to run this through some sort of calculator like the chart I've attached below.

I'm wanting to keep it simple but the chart has seven different zones to remember. I just want to have three simple zones to train in. One for long and slow workouts, one for race pace type work and one for sprints/efforts like the simpler chart I've also shown below.

How do I use my threshold heart rate to work out these three easier to remember zones?





(chart-lthr.jpg)



(target-zone.gif)



Attachments
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chart-lthr.jpg (64KB - 77 downloads)
target-zone.gif (42KB - 31 downloads)


2013-09-16 6:43 AM
in reply to: elliotpower

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Subject: RE: Heart Rate Zones- Keeping it Simple

While the bottom chart would be easier to remember and is fine for general fitness, the top chart is much more specific--and helpful--in terms of training. 

If you'd like to focus on just three numbers, use the top chart numbers 5, 2, and 1 for now and use a calculator to work out your percentages based off your LT number.  The other numbers, especially 3 and 5B will be important to work into eventually, but if it feels like too much to think about don't worry about that now.  Just pay attention to how you feel when you're working in the three zones and recognize that there are other perceived levels of exertion that correspond to slightly different effort. for example if you're out on a zone 2 run (your #2), running up a hill, your HR might go above that into the 3 range.  That's tempo.  You might do workouts specifically designed for that later.

There are at least 1000 people on this board that know more about this than I do, so I'll sit back with my popcorn now.  My main reason for chiming in is to tell you that I think it can feel like a lot to learn and remember at first too, but once you get these down you can come back to the others :)

2013-09-16 6:57 AM
in reply to: elliotpower

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Subject: RE: Heart Rate Zones- Keeping it Simple
The bottom chart I would ignore entirely; really very little information that would be useful to guide training.

For the bike and run, while there are seven zones in many systems, you don't need to remember all of them as they are not all applicable to triathlon training. Assuming you are headed into the off season and are looking to build fitness for next season, I've detailed what I would do below:

Bike

Zone 1 - recovery - not used unless you race and want to do a light spin to help stretch out the legs
Zone 2 - endurance - warmup, cooldown and easy spinning between hard efforts
Zone 3 - tempo - include some riding at this level in your long rides; long intervals (20 minutes or more with some easy spinning between)
Zone 4 - threshold - one or two workouts per week focused on this zone; two basic types (10-20 minutes with 5 minutes or less of easy spinning between and 5-7 minutes with 1-3 mintues easy spinning between) with the total time in zone 4 being 20-40 minutes in a workout
Zone 5 - VO2max - possibly one work per week focused on this zone; start with 10-20x30s hard, 30s easy and build to 4x5:00 hard, 3:00 easy
Zone 6 - anaerobic endurance - not used
Zone 7 - neuromuscular power - not used

Run

Zone 1 - recovery - not used beyond the easy start of runs
Zone 2 - endurance - almost all running should be done in this zone if you are new to running and if you are an experienced runner, still about 90% of running should be done in this zone
Zone 3 - tempo - not really used in the offseason except for very specific reasons
Zone 4 - threshold - after 2-3 months of easy running (ideally at least 5x/week) then one run per week can include some comfortably hard running in this zone; 10-20 minutes steady at this effort with zone 2 warmup and cooldown
Zone 5 - VO2max - not really used in the offseason unless an experienced runner
Zone 6 - anaerobic endurance - not used
Zone 7 - neuromuscular power - not used

Shane
2013-09-16 7:59 AM
in reply to: elliotpower

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Subject: RE: Heart Rate Zones- Keeping it Simple

The number, other than you LT that you really want to know, is the lower and upper limit of zone 2.... so for your bike 130 - 144. That's because most of your training will be in zone 2 to build endurance, with intervals or pickups into zone 3 or a low zone 4. So, if you want to keep it simple, I'd target your endurance effort for bike at 137, +/- 5, and then your intervals, target at 150 =/-5.

If you are just starting out exercising, you will want to retest your LT at some point in the future. They are not permanent and could rise in the future.
2013-09-16 8:15 AM
in reply to: elliotpower

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Subject: RE: Heart Rate Zones- Keeping it Simple

Originally posted by elliotpower I've found out my "threshold" heart rates by doing a run and bike time trial. I followed the guide of doing a 30min TT for each and measuring the average heart rate for the last 20mins of each. So I now have figures of: Bike: 164 bpm Run: 173 bpm So I assume I now need to run this through some sort of calculator like the chart I've attached below. I'm wanting to keep it simple but the chart has seven different zones to remember. I just want to have three simple zones to train in. One for long and slow workouts, one for race pace type work and one for sprints/efforts like the simpler chart I've also shown below. How do I use my threshold heart rate to work out these three easier to remember zones?

Use the BT HR zone calculator for each zones to archive the results: (Red tool bar place cursor on your Name and select: Settings/Training log settings/HR zone manager/Bike or Run/Method (LT).

I keep the runs simple: Z1-Z2(possibly Z3 drift) for long steady runs, Z1 recovery/easy runs, Z4 tempo/interval type runs.  I don't really do any Z5 running in training, to each there own!

Bike, for short duration intervals HR lag makes it almost impossible to properly do via HRM.  On the trainer I use virtual power only.  Outdoors its mostly RPE these days.

Zone percentages are slightly different for bike & run.  From the D3multisport excel spreadsheet (used in the BT zone calc)

BIKE RUN  
My Lactate Threshold is: 164My Lactate Threshold is: 173
Cycling    Running   
Factor: Zone 1   Factor: Zone 1  
0.653Low107  0.660Low114 
0.826High135  0.847High146 
Factor: Zone 2   Factor: Zone 2  
0.827Low136  0.853Low148 
0.890High146  0.907High157 
Factor: Zone 3   Factor: Zone 3  
0.894Low147  0.913Low158 
0.933High153  0.953High165 
Factor: Zone 4   Factor: Zone 4  
0.940Low154  0.960Low166 
0.993High163  0.993High172 
Factor: Zone 5   Factor: Zone 5  
1.000Low164  1.000Low173 
1.019High167  1.020High176 
2013-09-16 7:02 PM
in reply to: Donto


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Subject: RE: Heart Rate Zones- Keeping it Simple
Ok thanks for all the info. Making a bit more sense now. I'm going to divide it into 4 simpler zones:

1. Aerobic 82-88% of threshold
2. Tempo 89-93%
3. Sub Threshold 94-100%
4. Above Threshold 101% +

Only thing I'm still a bit confused about is the difference between "Tempo" and "Sub Threshold"

When in training, when should I be using tempo and when sub threshold? What does it improve and how many minutes am I able to sustain in each?




2013-09-16 7:13 PM
in reply to: elliotpower

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Subject: RE: Heart Rate Zones- Keeping it Simple
Based on your zones:

1 - easy
2 - moderate
3 - comfortably hard
4 - hard

Running should be almost all in what you've called 1. Cycling should involve a focus on 3 and maybe some 4 for rides during the week and some 2 for longer rides.

Tempo is an effort you can maintain for at least a couple of hours; for running this is about a marathon effort. In training you could do at least an hour of this in a cycling workout without too much difficulty.

Threshold is an effort you can maintain for an hour in a race situation; on the bike you likely would be looking at a max of 40 minutes total at this effort in training and closer to 20 minutes as a max for running in training.

Shane
2013-09-16 7:34 PM
in reply to: gsmacleod


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Subject: RE: Heart Rate Zones- Keeping it Simple
Thanks Shane this is brilliant!

Really appreciate the help.
2013-09-16 8:00 PM
in reply to: gsmacleod

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Subject: RE: Heart Rate Zones- Keeping it Simple

Originally posted by gsmacleod The bottom chart I would ignore entirely; really very little information that would be useful to guide training. For the bike and run, while there are seven zones in many systems, you don't need to remember all of them as they are not all applicable to triathlon training. Assuming you are headed into the off season and are looking to build fitness for next season, I've detailed what I would do below: Bike Zone 1 - recovery - not used unless you race and want to do a light spin to help stretch out the legs Zone 2 - endurance - warmup, cooldown and easy spinning between hard efforts Zone 3 - tempo - include some riding at this level in your long rides; long intervals (20 minutes or more with some easy spinning between) Zone 4 - threshold - one or two workouts per week focused on this zone; two basic types (10-20 minutes with 5 minutes or less of easy spinning between and 5-7 minutes with 1-3 mintues easy spinning between) with the total time in zone 4 being 20-40 minutes in a workout Zone 5 - VO2max - possibly one work per week focused on this zone; start with 10-20x30s hard, 30s easy and build to 4x5:00 hard, 3:00 easy Zone 6 - anaerobic endurance - not used Zone 7 - neuromuscular power - not used Run Zone 1 - recovery - not used beyond the easy start of runs Zone 2 - endurance - almost all running should be done in this zone if you are new to running and if you are an experienced runner, still about 90% of running should be done in this zone Zone 3 - tempo - not really used in the offseason except for very specific reasons Zone 4 - threshold - after 2-3 months of easy running (ideally at least 5x/week) then one run per week can include some comfortably hard running in this zone; 10-20 minutes steady at this effort with zone 2 warmup and cooldown Zone 5 - VO2max - not really used in the offseason unless an experienced runner Zone 6 - anaerobic endurance - not used Zone 7 - neuromuscular power - not used Shane

Question for Shane.  I've got zones based off a run test (and calculated on BT), and also paces from McMillan based on a HM result.  Based on those paces, it puts my recovery runs as a Z1 effort. The BarryP plan seems to recommend recovery paces for the 3 short weekly runs.  But this doesn't jive with what you stated above, so I'm just wondering why we should not be using Z1 except for warmup.

2013-09-17 8:20 AM
in reply to: GoFaster

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Subject: RE: Heart Rate Zones- Keeping it Simple
Originally posted by GoFaster

Question for Shane.  I've got zones based off a run test (and calculated on BT), and also paces from McMillan based on a HM result.  Based on those paces, it puts my recovery runs as a Z1 effort. The BarryP plan seems to recommend recovery paces for the 3 short weekly runs.  But this doesn't jive with what you stated above, so I'm just wondering why we should not be using Z1 except for warmup.



If it is a true zone 1/recovery effort, then there is no training benefit from it and, especially with running, if someone is doing a workout to promote recovery, they are better off not running at all as the stress of the workout is greater than any recovery benefit.

IME there exists a misunderstanding about recovery versus easy runs; most running should be easy but these are not recovery runs but rather runs focused on building endurance. OTOH a recovery run is focused on promoting recovery and not building fitness and requires a very large base of running fitness.

Now, since the zones aren't set in stone and will vary somewhat from athlete to athlete, it is quite possible that a high z1 run could actually be appropriate in terms of effort for an endurance run. This is why I recommend those who train by HR not only use a LTHR field test to establish their zones but they then verify with RPE how each zone feels to help ensure workouts are at the appropriate level.

Shane
2013-09-17 9:08 AM
in reply to: elliotpower

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Subject: RE: Heart Rate Zones- Keeping it Simple

Originally posted by elliotpower Ok thanks for all the info. Making a bit more sense now. I'm going to divide it into 4 simpler zones: 1. Aerobic 82-88% of threshold 2. Tempo 89-93% 3. Sub Threshold 94-100% 4. Above Threshold 101% + Only thing I'm still a bit confused about is the difference between "Tempo" and "Sub Threshold" When in training, when should I be using tempo and when sub threshold? What does it improve and how many minutes am I able to sustain in each?

Don't use bike based zones for running, you'll be under training.  You did the run LT test so use the run based LT zones.

When I did my HM run focused training a few years back maybe 5% of my run volume was Tempo / Sub Threshold and only after several months of training did they begin.  Then it was only 1 day of the week alternating between the tempo and speed.  Take a look at a site like Hal Higdon's to see how they are implemented in a training plan (note intermediate type, novice are just runs).



2013-09-17 10:22 AM
in reply to: gsmacleod

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Subject: RE: Heart Rate Zones- Keeping it Simple

Originally posted by gsmacleod  IME there exists a misunderstanding about recovery versus easy runs; most running should be easy but these are not recovery runs but rather runs focused on building endurance. OTOH a recovery run is focused on promoting recovery and not building fitness and requires a very large base of running fitness. Now, since the zones aren't set in stone and will vary somewhat from athlete to athlete, it is quite possible that a high z1 run could actually be appropriate in terms of effort for an endurance run. This is why I recommend those who train by HR not only use a LTHR field test to establish their zones but they then verify with RPE how each zone feels to help ensure workouts are at the appropriate level. Shane

I think this is the problem with RPE vs HR sometimes.  Running easy/hard compared to HR zones, does not always correlate with HR.  I've certainly had situations where it feels easy but HR is higher than expected, or other situations where HR is low but the run just feels harder.

But at the moment the focus is primarily easy runs - and as you mention, the pace of the recovery run is more intended to allow more mileage as opposed to actual recovery (at this stage).  But, now I'm wondering if I'm running them too easy.  Z2 for me doesn't really start until the 150's, but I'm doing the easiest runs at an HR in the low/mid 140's.  Is that too easy?

2013-09-17 10:48 AM
in reply to: GoFaster

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Subject: RE: Heart Rate Zones- Keeping it Simple
Originally posted by GoFaster

I think this is the problem with RPE vs HR sometimes.  Running easy/hard compared to HR zones, does not always correlate with HR.  I've certainly had situations where it feels easy but HR is higher than expected, or other situations where HR is low but the run just feels harder.

But at the moment the focus is primarily easy runs - and as you mention, the pace of the recovery run is more intended to allow more mileage as opposed to actual recovery (at this stage).  But, now I'm wondering if I'm running them too easy.  Z2 for me doesn't really start until the 150's, but I'm doing the easiest runs at an HR in the low/mid 140's.  Is that too easy?




Probably not; the key with running easy is that it should feel easy and like you could easily continue to run when you were finished. Also, you want to not have your easy runs impact on the following day's training so while it is possible for you to be doing them too easy, it is very unlikely than an amateur athlete will be doing runs at any pace that is too easy for an easy day.

However, it is possible that you are going too easy so you could try picking up the pace a little (like 5s/km) and see how you feel throughout the run and the following day. Sometimes we will fall into the trap of always running the same easy pace because the body has gotten to know it and we need to focus on picking things up a little (especially if you're not finding any progression with your run fitness) but this would be the exception rather than the rule.

Shane
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