Training with Heart Rate
Another option you have for gauging your intensity during training is a heart rate monitor. Heart rate training is particularly useful for running, cycling, and cross country skiing. The more the terrain varies, the less accurate pace is as an indication of exercise intensity. For example, if you are running uphill, your intensity level will be much higher for a given pace than for that same pace run on a flat surface. Your heart rate monitor will better reflect the difference in exercise intensity between those two efforts than your watch. So heart rate can be a much more precise method for monitoring your effort during a workout.
As with the other measurement tools, to effectively use heart rate you need to correlate it with your lactate threshold. As with the pace zones, your heart rate zones are specific to the activity. So you will have different heart rate zones for each discipline you train.
Your lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR) for cycling is typically 5 to 10 beats lower than your LTHR for running, so you can easily estimate one from the other if you do not have sport specific tests for both running and cycling. But the most accurate way to determine your sport specific training zones is to use sport specific results.
To determine your heart rate zones, you will need to do a race or solo time trial. Any race lasting up to an hour can be used. Or you can do a time trial of 20 to 30 minutes in duration. A fairly flat course should be used so that a consistent effort can be maintained over the distance. Whether in a race or solo time trial effort, you will need to record your average heart rate. It’s also good to note your perceived exertion level, as well as other conditions (such as weather, pre-race meals, recent sleep patterns, etc.) in your training log.
For a race, simply note your average heart rate over the distance. For a 30 minute solo time trial, take your average heart rate for the last 20 minutes. For those new to endurance training, these numbers are generally a good estimation of your LTHR. For more experienced athletes, your effort over these shorter distances will be slightly higher than your LTHR (which, remember, corresponds to a race pace effort of about an hour in duration). In that case, divide the average heart rate from a race by 1.04 and the average heart rate from a short solo time trial by 1.02. The number you come up with is your LTHR. Use the Alp Fitness Heart Rate Zones for Running calculator to find your running heart rate zones (you can also use this for cross country skiing, skimo, and hiking heart rate zones); and use the Alp Fitness Heart Rate Zones for Cycling calculator to find your cycling heart rate zones. You can also use the automatic calculators found on TrainingPeaks.
TRAINING GUIDE CONTENTS
– Train with a Purpose
– The ABCs of Systematic Training
– The R&R of Training
– Begin with the End in Mind
2. Exercise Science Concepts
– Overreaching and Overtraining
– Energy Systems
– Aerobic Capacity
– Lactate Threshold
– Aerobic Threshold
– Muscle Fiber Types
3. Monitor Your Training Intensity
– What is Training Intensity?
– Key Indicators of Intensity
– Using Training Zones
– Training by Feel, or Perceived Exertion
– Training with Pace
– Training with Heart Rate
– Running with Power
4. Create Your Training Plan
– Prioritizing Your Events
– Overview of the Training Phases
– Choosing Your Periodization Schedule
– Filling in the Details of the Overall Plan
5. Create Your Weekly Workouts
– Creating Weekly Schedules
– Establishing and Developing Your Base
– Building Upon Your Base
– Peaking for Your Target Event
– Race Week and Race Day Warmup
6. Functional Strength
7. Recovery and Nutrition
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