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Training Zones

Definition

Training zones are ranges that will be used to define your intensity during a workout.

Why?

So, you want to reach a certain Goal and you want to reach this as efficient as possible. No matter the process your body will need to adapt. These adaptations will take place in different types of your physic.

To address all those different (or specific) physiological adaptations you can (must!) use training zones.

Physiological Adaptations

Ok, your body needs to adapt for the upcoming performance(s), but which needs to be specifical or the most trained.
Well... that depends offcourse on your Goal.

Just think about:
- Training to finish a 3 kilometer versus a marathon
- Becoming (inter)national champion on the 800 meters running track vs doing your first 200 kilometers on a bike
- Swimming 50 meters in 25-30 seconds vs shooting 3x10 points in recurve archery

Yes, different sports, but also different adaptations needed. A sprinter is not an endurance athlete. Archery is very different then swimming.
So, you have to figure out what zones you need you reach your goal the most efficient and most optimal.

For most sports however, you need to address all different zones. One zone more then the other offcourse.
With training your body and mind will start to change, so your zones will shift over time.
For example:
- you are able to run longer in time or more kilometers in the same time: you're muscles are adapting and your oxygen intake is improving
- you are swimming more in a straight line or more streamlined: your core stability is improving
- when doing an in between sprint during your local bike ride with your group you feel fresh quicker: your lactate threshold is adapting

Defining Training Zones

Depending on your sport and the way you can measure your performance you can use the following:
- maximum heart rate (calculated or predicted)
- lactate heart rate (measured or predicted)
- power
- pace/speed

The easiest way (and less accurate) is predicting your maximum heart rate.
Just use this formula: 220 minus your age = maximum heart
Offcourse this formula is way to general to be accurate, but nonetheless: with no experience at all it is a safe number to use when you start training

The most accurate way is measuring both your oxygen intake and your lactate during a test in a controlled environment (lab)
This way you have very personalized numbers. Keep in mind that as a result of training both the numbers will shift in time, so repeating the same test every (n) months is recommendable.

A good investment is making use of a smart watch in combination with a platform as Strava/Garmin Connect/TrainingPeaks. These are using algorythms in combination with artificial intelligence and use the specific input from your efforts. While algorythms are general, your performance over time does make it more personal. All of these platforms needs learning time and the longer you use it, the more data it gets and the more accurate it will become.

If you are not able (or want) to us devices there is the possibilty to use "how do i feel". This is called "Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)" and is based on how comfortable you feel, how hard you need to breath, how painful your muscles feel.

Which TrainingZones do we use

During the last decades more and more research is done, with different theories and methods. Based on our own experience and working with athletes we use for all sports the same zonelevels (Z1-Z6) but depending on the sport different percentages.
The zones are:
Z1: Recovery
Z2: Endurance
Z3: Tempo
Z4: Lactate Threshold
Z5: VO2 Max
Z6: Anaerobic Capacity

Using TrainingZones

In a structured and balanced TrainingPlan all the 6 Zones will be addressed and depending on the type of Plan some zones will be used more then others. Ideally you have more than one workout per week where you can vary and have a workout specific for that training zone. For the lower zones you can train longer in that zone (up to multiple hours) as for the higher zones it is sometimes limited to 10 seconds. Having a coach to help you use it wisely is recommended. A good alternative is making use of some generic trainingplans.

Which TrainingZones is best for you?

So know you found out that just using trainingzones is not enough. You need to find out what your goal is and what you need to obtain this goal.
Take a look in our Category: Zones to find a suitable one for you and if you are uncertain feel free to contact us so we can have a chat.

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