I’ve noticed that volume addicts tend to be carrying so much fatigue due to their “I MUST train” attitude that they end up slogging through most of their training below zone 2.
It’s essential to assess whether you’re training appropriately for the goal or event you’re trying to target.
A simple way to check your training intensity distribution is to use your ‘time in zones’ for the last 28 - 90 days.
Assuming your training zones are set up correctly, you can look at what percentage (%) of your training you’ve spent in each zone.
Are you trying to run faster? Your graph should show that you’ve spent at least a few minutes in Zone 5+ for pace. If it doesn’t, it may mean;
You haven’t been doing enough fast training, or
You’re carrying too much fatigue into your ‘speed’ sessions, and you’re unable to run fast enough.
Are you training too easy? What is the distribution of zone 1 and zone 2 in your overall training volume? I’ve noticed that volume addicts tend to be carrying so much fatigue due to their “I MUST train” attitude that they end up slogging through most of their training below zone 2.
Contrast that with the “faster is better” crowd who usually train in zone 3 “grey zone” because zone 1 - 2 training doesn’t ‘feel’ hard enough.
Zones don’t tell the whole story.
Training software uses definitive boundaries for your training zones. I.e. Zone 2 80 - 88%. That means anytime you exercise at 89%, you’re in zone 3. Is the training stimulus different? I doubt it. Looking at ‘time in zones’ over a few weeks will give you a better idea of the overall trend in your training.
I can help you set your training zones and monitor your training. Whether you like to learn on your own or talk with me one-on-one, I’ve got courses and services to suit your needs.
Dr Will O'Connor
Educating and inspiring athletes to train smarter