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Heart Rate Monitor Training - The Zoladz Method

Every running pace has its own heart rate zone. The heart rate monitor training zones according to Zoladz are explained in this section.

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Read this section carefully so you know how to use your heart rate monitor in running training.

J.A. Zoladz is a known Polish exercise physiologist.
His heart rate monitor training methods work based only on your maximum heart rate.

Don’t know how to establish your maximum heart rate? Click here.

Step 1: Establish Your Target Heart Rates

Based on your maximum heart rate you aim for the following Target Heart Rates :

Target Heart Rate 1: Max Heart Rate - 50 beats

Target Heart Rate 2: Max Heart Rate - 40 beats

Target Heart Rate 3: Max Heart Rate - 30 beats

Target Heart Rate 4: Max Heart Rate - 20 beats

Target Heart Rate 5: Max Heart Rate - 10 beats

It is impossible to aim for exactly one heart rate when you are running. Therefore you use heart rate zones.

Step 2: Use the Target Heart Rates to Establish Target Zones

heart rate monitor

The lower end of the zone is:
Your target heart rate minus five beats.

The higher end of the zone is:
Your target heart rate plus five beats.

So the heart rate monitor training zones are as follows:

Zone 1 :
Target Heart Rate 1 minus and plus five beats.

Zone 2 : Target Heart Rate 2 minus and plus five beats.

Zone 3 : Target Heart Rate 3 minus and plus five beats.

Zone 4 : Target Heart Rate 4 minus and plus five beats.

Zone 5 : Target Heart Rate 5 minus and plus five beats.

It's all simple maths, but an example will make it a lot clearer.

Step 3: Let's Just Look At An Example

E.g. Take a younger runner 20-30 years old who may have a maximum heart beat of 195.

Then the target heart rates, according to Zoladz are:

Target Heart Rate 1 = 195 - 50 = 145

Target Heart Rate 2 = 195 - 40 = 155

Target Heart Rate 3 = 195 - 30 = 165

Target Heart Rate 4 = 195 - 20 = 175

Target Heart Rate 5 = 195 - 10 = 185

And the heart rate monitor zones are:

Zone 1 : 140 to 150 bpm

Zone 2 : 150 to 160 bpm

Zone 3 : 160 to 170 bpm

Zone 4 : 170 to 180 bpm

Zone 5 : 180 to 190 bpm

Step 4: Knowing How to Use the Heart Rate Monitor Training Zones

Zone 1 is what I use for most of my long runs and for recovery runs.

Zone 2 is my easy run pace.

Zone 3 is my tempo run pace.

Zone 4 is my interval pace.

Zone 5 is hardly ever touched by me in training. Only when I decide I want to go flat out at the end of a training session.

Oh, I almost forget. In between Zone 2 and Zone 3 I have identified my steady state pace. Pretty much half marathon pace for me. So that is what I call Zone 2 ½ with a range from 155 to 165 beats per minute.

The funny / strange thing is that nowadays, steady state pace seems to have been forgotten about. People talk about easy runs, long runs, tempo runs and intervals, but you don't see a lot of talk about steady state runs.

That's a real shame because steady state runs, I think, are pretty important. Doing mid-long runs at steady-state pace is an excellent training for longer distance races of 10k and up.

Step 5: Using an Easy Calculator to Establish Your Own Heart Rate Monitor Training Zones

As you see, the calculations for the Zoladz heart rate monitor training zones are not that difficult.

I have, however, added a Zoladz Heart Rate Training Zones Calculator to this page for your convenience. Feel free to give it a try. Just put in your maximum heart rate and then press the "click me"-button.

Enter your maximum heart rate

Press the button, don't click Enter

Zone 1: to
Zone 2 :  to
Zone 3 : to
Zone 4 : to
Zone 5 : to

Extra Zone

Zone 2 1/2 : to

A method much more used in heart rate monitor training is the method of Karvonen. The Karvonen Heart Rate Monitor Training Method uses both your maximum heart rate and your rest heart rate.

I prefer the method of Zoladz.

It is simpler. After all you only need your maximum heart rate.

I have done quite a bit of testing at all kinds of different paces and heart rate ranges. The Zoladz zones line up pretty well with my pace. In other words: eventhough the Zoladz method is simpler, it seems to be accurate enough to do the job. So that’s why I go Zoladz!

Step 6: Further Recommended Reading

Running Training - The running training section of this site contains a whole lot of information that can help you transform your running. Especially make sure you learn about the different running speeds and how they help. A good summary is the running workouts page or the page about How to Improve Your Running.

Maximum Heart Rate - For the Zoladz method to work properly you need to establish your maximum heart rate. The max heart rate page will tell you how to do this.

Cheap Heart Rate Monitors - Interested in getting a starter heart rate monitor? Then check out the cheap heart rate monitors page and explore your options.

GPS Running Watch - Interested in a more advanced heart rate monitor? Then the GPS running watch page may be something for you.

Your heart rate monitor is a nice tool to have. But you need to know how to use it and why you run in each of the different zones. So make sure to check out the running training section of this website (see link above).

I hope this page helped you.

I'd really recommend reading some of the following pages to learn more about heart rate monitor training and the different running workouts you can do.

Polar RS100 GPS speed and distance sensor

Want more heart rate monitor training info?
Subscribe to the Best Running Tips site blog or the Best Running Tips Newsletter!

Go from Heart Rate Monitor Training (Zoladz) Page to Heart Rate Monitor Page

Go from Heart Rate Monitor Training (Zoladz) to the Best Running Tips Homepage

Heart Rate Monitor
Finding a bargain: Cheap Heart Rate Monitors
Heart Rate Monitor Reviews: Best GPS Running Watch | Polar Heart Rate Monitors
Garmin Heart Rate Monitors | Nike Heart Rate Monitors
CardioSport Heart Rate Monitors | Mio Heart Rate Monitors
Timex Heart Rate Monitors | Reebok Heart Rate Monitors
Reviews of Individual Models: Adidas miCoach Pacer Review | Garmin Forerunner 310XT Review
Garmin Forerunner 110 Review | Garmin Forerunner 405cx Review
Heart Rate Monitor Training Information: Heart Rate Monitor Training | Heart Rate Monitor Training (Karvonen Method)
Heart Rate Monitor Training (Zoladz Method) | Maximum Heart Rate
Rest Heart Rate | Heart Rate Monitor Training Pitfalls

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