Benefits of Training In Zone 2
How Do You Know if Your In Zone 2
You can do a simple FTP test to find your 'Threshold Heart Rate' or "Threshold Running Pace" which will then be used to calculate your Zones. I'm not going to give details on how to do the test here, or calculate the Zones, but you can look through this blog to learn more, or do a google search. I like Joe Friel's methods best. If you're not interested in a heart rate or speed FTP test, skip on down to the third bullet point.
Zone 2 FAQ
Q: How can I calculate my Zones?
A: If you know your FTP heart rate (threshold heart rate), you can use my calculator in the "Tools" section of this blog to get your heart rate Zones. If you don't know it, visit Joe Friel's Blog.
Q: My heart rate is sky high when I run, but I'm going slow. To bring it down any more I feel like I will have to walk. What should I do?
A: The simple answer, walk! Do all you can to stay in Zone 2. You'll notice after awhile you need to walk less and less. In this case, you might also benefit from working with someone on your form to make sure that when you are running, your as efficient as possible.
Q: I'm training for a race in two months. I haven't done a lot of Zone 2 work, should I start?
A: Yes! If you're a seasoned runner, you probably have a decent aerobic base and continue working outside of Zone 2, but there will be payoffs for revisiting this zone before your race. If you're new to running, spend all your time here! Even if it mean's you'll likely 'walk/run' your upcoming race. Put the time in now and it will pay off!
Q: Why don't I feel like I'm working hard enough? Will I get faster?
A: You will get faster! Professional endurance athletes spend 80%+ time in this zone. By building your aerobic base, strengthening your heart and lungs, you're setting up the foundation for speed to naturally occur.
Q: Am I burning as many calories in this zone?
A: No, but that's okay! The calories your body is burning are being taken from energy stored as fat, not carbohydrate. So if your ultimate goal is weight loss, you'll be burning through stored fat which is ideal!
Ken Presutti is a certified ChiRunning instructor, ACE Personal trainer, Spinning instructor, and coach. This blog is a mix of new articles and posts from his original blog, Overkill is Underrated.