October 20-26, 2019
I was recently having a conversation with a friend about heart rate and when you should train in what zones and how it affects your outcomes at a race. Take a look at the concepts below and try to incorporate them in your week this week!
THINGS TO PRACTICE:
1. Post Race Season. It is important to put heart rate in perpective relative to your racing season. For most of us in the PNW, we are probably ending the bulk of our competitive racing season (mostly due to weather changes). Following a racing season, it is best to take a little time for recovery and some workouts that are not structured. Just be active and enjoy activity for a couple weeks. During this time, get rid of your heart rate monitor and other gadgets and just go enjoy.
2. Base Period. This period often starts 6months to a year prior to your main race. Base period often lasts about 12-16 weeks. It is a period of lower heart rate and building your aerobic energy system. It is common to set a heart rate threshold that you do not want to exceed during training in this period. If you use Joe Friel’s heart rate zones, this often corresponds to zone 2 or around 85% of lactate threshold heart rate. It is important to keep your heart rate lower during base building to allow for the neccessary aerobic changes. Increases in blood volume, increases in mitochondral density, and efficiency are all changes that help your endurance during this period.
3. Build Period. This corresponds to about a 3-6month period leading up to your race. This is where speedwork and higher heart rate interval training is introduced. The build cycle involves training above and below lactate threhold. Adaptations allow the body to better buffer hydrogen ions and lactic acid. It is important to perform this type of training after the base period. Performing this type of training too soon can resuld in peaking too early and hitting plateau’s in performance.
Whatever your goals for the next few months, make sure you are training the the right zones during your endurance work. Keep in mind that strength work performed in our Fit Collective workouts does not fall within these categories and is not best performed with a heart rate monitor.