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training zone question

Posted By: Paul F
Date: Wednesday, 12 December 2007, at 8:25 p.m.

KP and others,

looking at Joe Friels training zones. Zone 1 is referred to as recovery workouts. However, on this site I see a lot of training to build aerobic endurance is done at Aet -10bpm up to lower steady which I thought was Aet -5bpm.
I'm assuming Aet is place right at the top of zone 1 for most people. So why so much time in zone 1??? How much time would you generally recommend in your steady zone (ie -5bpm Aet +5bpm)? I usually try to aim for 18-20hrs PW and would think that around 1-1.5hrs per day would be manageable in the steady zone.
I'm not really doing any zone 3 and 4 as I'm not sure how much I should do whether or not it is worth and whether or not it will compromise my ability to maintain a decent volume each week.

Zone 1 - Recovery: This is the zone most commonly used during recovery between intervals, or on easy "recovery" days. Intensity is well below LTHR, and you are focusing on improving technique and staying loose.

Zone 2 - Basic Endurance: Most long endurance training sessions are done within Zone 2, aka at a "conversational effort." Exercise in Zone 2 is measured in hours. Valuable time can be spent here by athletes of all abilities.

Zone 3 - Tempo: With the exception of early base training, if you find yourself in Zone 3, its is more efficient either move down Zone 2 or up to Zone 4+.

Zone 4 - Sub-Threshold: In this zone, your body is at its maximally aerobic state. This is the fastest you can go and not be anaerobic. Because you are still aerobic (technically), you can maintain this pace for several minutes, allowing your body to learn how to deal with onset of lactate without the hassle of having to process it. Be cautious here. Requires 50% to as little as 25% of the work interval for recover.

Zone 5a - Super-Threshold: In this zone, your body is anaerobic. This IS redlining it. Great for boosting lactate tolerance, but hard on the body. Requires 100% to 150% of the work interval for recovery.

Zone 5b - Anaerobic Endurance: Training in this zone increases the body's tolerance of high levels of lactate. Because you can only maintain this effort for a short period, intervals are the most common Zone 5b workout. During interval training, intensity is maintained for a few minutes in Zone 5b, triggering an adaptive response. We then rest, allow the body time to flush out the lactate, and then repeat the exposure. Requires 100% to 200% of the work interval for recovery.

Zone 5c - Power: These are extremely short, maximum effort bursts of intensity. Their value to the multisport athlete is limited, with the exception of those severely lacking in force and power. Usually done in sets of close succession w/ a long rest interval between each set: so 3 x 20 seconds of Z5c effort with 40 seconds of rest after each and 10 minutes of rest until the next set.

Paul F

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