Training zones below is brief description and the benefits of each zone. Training zones are an essential aspect of any fitness routine and offer a quantifiable method of guiding workouts and determining intensity. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced athlete, understanding your training zones can help you tailor your workouts to your fitness goals and maximize your results. In this blog post, we will explore a brief description and the benefits of each zone.
This is known as Active Recovery where average power is below 55% of FTP and heart rate is below 68% of LTHR or below 72% of MHR.
Duration: 45 to 90 minutes
Perceived exertion: Very easy, RPE below 2
What it should feel like: Easy spin or light pressure on the pedals, minimal sensation of leg effort or fatigue.
Benefits: Training at this intensity will boost your recovery.
This is known as Endurance training where the target average power is 56% to 75% of FTP and heart rate is 69% to 83% of LTHR or 72% to 82% of MHR.
Duration: 1 to 6 hours
Perceived exertion: Easy to moderate, RPE 2-3
What it should feel like: All day effort, breathing is more regular than during an easy ride, but you are still able to hold a continuous conversation.
Benefits: Basic cardiovascular training, training at this is the intensity improves aerobic capacity; in other words, stamina. Your body will get better at burning fat (improve mitochondrial flexibility, which is the ability to burn fat versus glucose for low demand activities.) and your muscular fitness will increase along with your capillary density. The benefits extend beyond athletic performance, positively impacting everyday health factors too.
This is known as Tempo training where the target average power is 76% to 90% of FTP and heart rate is 84% to 94% of LTHR or 83% to 87% of MHR.
Duration: 1 to 4 hours
Perceived exertion: Moderately hard, RPE 4-6
What it should feel like: A "spirited" group ride, breathing is deeper and more rhythmic than during an endurance ride, conversation may be somewhat challenging.
Benefits: Training in this zone will make moderate efforts easier and improve your efficiency.
This is known as Lactate Threshold training where the target average power is 91% to 105% of FTP and heart rate 95% to 100% of LTHR or 88% to 93% of MHR.
Duration: 10 to 30 minutes
Perceived exertion: Hard, RPE 7-8
What it should feel like: Race pace, continuous sensation of moderate or even greater leg fatigue, deep and shortness of breathe, and difficult to hold a conversation.
Benefit: You’ll be able to withstand higher levels of lactic acid in your blood for longer - improve your ability to maintain high intensities for long periods. Blood plasma increases which significantly improve your endurance performance.
This is known as VO2max training where the target average power is 106% to 120% of FTP and heart rate above 106% of LTHR or 94% to 100% of MHR.
Duration: 3 to 8 minutes
Perceived exertion: Very hard, RPE 9
What it should feel like: Vigorous effort with strong to severe sensations of leg effort or fatigue, breathing is ragged, and conversation is short.
Benefits: Training in this zone will increase your anaerobic and muscular endurance, power and cardiovascular levels. Other promising health benefits includes increased lifespan, reduced risk for stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
"The benefits are simple: The greater your VO2max, the more oxygen your body can consume, and the more effectively your body can use that oxygen to generate the maximum amount of energy."
This is known as Anaerobic Capacity training where the target average power is 121% to 150% of FTP and heart rate is generally not use as a guide.
Duration: 30 seconds to 3 minutes
Perceived exertion: Very hard to maximum, RPE 10
What it should feel like: Very hard and short effort with severe sensation of leg fatigue, can barely breath and able to speak a few words.
Benefits: Training in this zone can increase the amount of power produced over short period.
This is known as Neuromuscular Power training where target power/effort is maximal, way above 150% of FTP and heart rate is generally not use as a guide. Power is useful as a guide but only in reference to similar efforts.
Duration: Less than 30 seconds.
Perceived exertion: Maximum, RPE 10
What it should feel like: Maximal, very short, unable to speak.
Benefits: Sprint training forces the physiological adaptations to increase neuromuscular power, recruit more motor units, hypertrophy of more type II muscle fibers, and improve recruitment synchronicity (Linossier, 1997; Lucía, 2000).
Tip: All you need to do is to commit to the maximum effort for the required duration.
That is it, thank you for reading, I hope you found it to be a useful resource.