Zone 2 Training

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” — Tony Robbins

Week 3 went off without a hitch, and I’m falling back into my routine nicely. This week consisted of 3 rides on the trainer (ZWIFT Name: ComeTriwithMe), 2 runs, 1 walk @ max incline, and a swim. The most significant part of the week was I was able to get in a few runs without feeling like my foot was being electrocuted (Morton’s neuroma is no joke). A huge step for me as I’ve been nursing this foot since November. Speed will come but it was a nice couple of runs on the treadmill without pain. My goal of starting the season with the Turtleman sprint is looking like a strong possibility🤞

As I mentioned previously most of my training over the next few weeks will be at the top of my Zone 2 hr or lactate threshold. This week’s training kept with the plan, and I maintained zone 2 in all workouts. I’m having to adjust my speed/watts to accommodate my heart rate drift, so I can maintain the top of my zone 2 and not go into zone 3. The drift will decrease as my aerobic base improves but for now, I will need to keep an eye on it and just adjust the workouts according. 

How do you know your zone 2 heart rate? First, you need to know your maximum hr you can click here to learn how to find yours. Once you’ve figured out your maximum you can calculate your zones accordingly. 

Zone 1 Very light 50–60% 

Zone 2 Light 60–70% 

Zone 3 Moderate 70–80% 

Zone 4 Hard 80–90% 

Zone 5 Maximum 90–100%

To make it easier to track my HR I’ve teamed up with Polar and just ordered a Verity Sense heart rate band. The Verity is an armband HR monitor that will sync to your watch but even better yet can be used with my form swim goggles to get real-time HR while in the pool! I’m truly looking forward to giving it a go! Click here to check out the Polar Verity.

So why I’m I keeping my training all in zone 2 at the moment? Well, there are a few reasons but two the main two are to build a solid aerobic base and to improve my fat oxidation. Building a solid aerobic base or training at the top of your zone 2 helps improve the rate your body can clear blood lactate and allows you to perform for longer periods. 

Blood lactate is directly associated with muscle fatigue and degrades your performance as it builds. This is why it’s so important for us triathletes to train our bodies to clear lactate as quickly as possible. If you watch Lionel Sanders’s youtube channel you will see his wife checking his lactate levels during and after his workouts to ensure he is training efficiently. The same can be achieved by monitoring your heart rate zones. 

Also, training in zone 1 and 2 your body naturally wants to burn fat, so by building an aerobic base we train our bodies to break down and oxidize fat more efficiently. Our bodies have more than enough fat to fuel an entire race whereas your body can become glycogen depleted in as little as 1 hour. 

Think of zone 2 HR training as your foundation the higher you raise this floor, the further and faster you will go as an endurance athlete.

A few other interesting facts zone 2 training provides:

1. Improve your ability to exercise longer

2. Lower risk of overtraining

3. increase in mitochondrial efficiency

4. increase in “metabolic flexibility” (the ability to burn fat for fuel)

5. lower resting heart rate 

6. a decrease in blood pressure 

7. improves insulin resistance

8. improve your ability to deal with increasing load.

9. Improve your Zone 4,5 function/performance

Be sure to check out Sfuel’s line of sugar-free endurance drinks and race gels that promote further fat oxidation. To get 5% off your order use code Pauls5 at checkout.

Like always no matter where you are on your triathlon journey Come Tri with Me!

Polar Vantage M2

One thought on “Zone 2 Training

  1. Interesting. I tend to go by RPE, and today I learned I enjoyed Zone 2 the most (aerobic). Of course, when it comes to my other activities like jiu-jitsu, I’m often involuntarily put at Zone 5, so maybe that’s why I enjoy running or swimming to my own pace in my own time. Anyway, wishing you a great time with your training plans!

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