Heart Rate Monitor Training - The Zoladz Method


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.

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 max heart rate for running.


Don't know how to establish your running max heart rate? Click here.


Step 1: Establish Your Target Heart Rates


zoladz method
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.

zoladz method
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.


zoladz method
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.

zoladz method
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 1/2 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


zoladz method
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.


Running Max 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.

I hope this page helped you.

And before I forget, check out the Heart Rate Monitor Training page for a lot more information about how to properly train with a heart rate monitor.
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