Benefits of heart rate training
When you’re training for a race heart rate training can be beneficial. Using a heart rate monitor gives you an objective look at how your energy systems are working during your run. This can help you run longer and prevent burnout during your training. Many of us go out on a run and we are playing a guessing game with our pace hoping that our body will let us know when we need to slow down or speed up. When you use a heart rate monitor this becomes a thing of the past.
Everybody has different heart rate zones that work on different energy systems. It is important to train each system because they all provide benefits while running any distance. There are five heart rate zone that we will be focusing on and we will go over the benefits of each zone.
5 heart rate zones
Very Light 50-60% Of HR MAX
This zone is great place to start when you’re just starting out. Training in this zone will build a great foundation for you to build on as you get in better shape. The very light zero will also help boost your body’s ability to recover quickly after a workout. Even experienced running can benefit from training in this zone. Training in this zone helps our heart rate come down quickly after an intense period of running. Very light training will train the body to use fat as a fuel source rather than carbs. Using body fat over sugar means the body can keep running even after a very long run. Everyone has plenty of fat to use but a limited amount of sugar.
Light 60-70% Of HR MAX
Working out in this zone feels light and you should be able to work out in this zone for a long period. Training in this zone will improve your general endurance. Training at this intensity will train your body to burn fat more efficiently. The main fuel source while training in this zone is fat and the better your body becomes at burning fat the longer you will be able to run.
Training in zone 2 is very important and if you make it one of your main areas of focus you will see huge gains in your runs.
Moderate 70-80% Of HRMAX
Zone 3 is great for improving blood circulation in the muscles and the heart. This zone is where you will start to feel the lactic building in your muscles. You will start to feel your muscles burning in this zone but you should be able to keep going with some training.
If you keep training in zone 3 you’ll be able to train at a moderate intensity for an extended period. This zone can be challenging for beginners but with some time you will be able to rock this zone without any problem
Hard 80-90% Of HRMAX
Zone 4 is where things start to get challenging. You’ll start breathing heavy and you will start using carbohydrates as a fuel source. If you’re not used to zone 4 you won’t be able to stay here for long. A great way to get used to this zone is to train with intervals. Interval training means that you will run in a lower intensity zone for a period and switching to the zone 4 for short bursts. After doing a program of intervals zone 4 should start to feel easier.
Maximum 90-100% Of HRMAX
When you’re in zone 5 you’ll be pushing it at maximal effort. Your circulatory system and respiratory system will be working at maximal capacity. Lactic acid will build up rapidly and you’ll be out of gas in a few minutes.
Training in this zone will help build strength and teach your body to open the stride. If you train in zone 5 you’ll see big improvements in running hills and all other zones will start to feel easier.
How to monitor your heart rate
With this all this information, you may wonder what’s the best way to measure your heart rate? The only way to get a true measurement is to wear a heart monitor. Wearing a heart rate monitor is a must when your heart rate training because it gives you real time data while you’re running. You will be able to train in the proper zones effectively and you will see results much faster after using one. Picking a heart rate monitor depends on your needs and what you’re looking to get out of the watch. I recommend that you use a chest strap because wrist based monitors can be jumpy with the readings.
The Take Way
Using heart rate zones is a great way to accelerate your training. It gives you the ability to see what is going on while you’re running and helps you to focus on different energy systems which will improve your ability to train longer distances. Enjoy your new way of training and follow us for more fitness tips at www.onthegofitnesspro.com