Heart rate training zones are calculated by taking into consideration your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) and your Resting Heart Rate (RHR). Within each training zone, subtle physiological effects take place to enhance your fitness.
The Aerobic Zone – 70% to 80%
Training in this zone will develop your cardiovascular system. The body’s ability to transport oxygen to, and carbon dioxide away from, the working muscles can be developed and improved. As you become fitter and stronger from training in this zone it will be possible to run some of your long weekend runs at up to 75%, so getting the benefits of some fat burning and improved aerobic capacity.
The Anaerobic Zone – 80% to 90%
Training in this zone will develop your lactic acid system. In this zone, your individual anaerobic threshold (AT) is found – sometimes referred to the point of deflection (POD). During these heart rates, the amount of fat being utilised as the main source of energy is greatly reduced and glycogen stored in the muscle is predominantly used. One of the by-products of burning this glycogen is lactic acid. There is a point at which the body can no longer remove the lactic acid from the working muscles quickly enough. This is your anaerobic threshold (AT). Through the correct training, it is possible to delay the AT by being able to increase your ability to deal with the lactic acid for a longer period of time or by pushing the AT higher.
The Red Line Zone 90% to 100%
Training in this zone will only be possible for short periods. It effectively trains your fast twitch muscle fibres and helps to develop speed. This zone is reserved for interval running and only the very fit are able to train effectively within this zone.