Different tools can be used to measure and monitor your training intensity, helping you identify which training zone you’re in — that is, where you are in relation to your aerobic threshold (AeT), lactate threshold (LT), and aerobic capacity (VO2max).
These tools include:
- Perceived exertion
- Heart rate
These different tools measure different aspects of your performance.
Heart rate — as well as perceived exertion — can be thought of as measuring the inputs, or what you put into the performance. Heart rate represents what your cardiovascular system is doing to produce your movement. This is similar to your rating of perceived exertion based on breathing and talking cues (which correlate with heart rate).
Pace and power can be thought of as outputs, or outcomes of your performance. Pace is your rate of movement as measured by a stopwatch (or GPS watch) — your speed over a given distance. Power is the work you’ve produced over a given amount of time.
The following sections discuss each of these four tools for measuring and monitoring training intensity.