Heart Rate Monitor Training - The Zoladz Method
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
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
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 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.
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 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.
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 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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