How To Establish Triathlon Training Zones


Published on

Presentation by Coach Nicole Drummer on how to set up triathlon training zones for the swim, bike and run. Knowing current fitness levels is important so you can train at appropriate paces. By training appropriately, you will see your triathlon performance improve!

Published in: Sports, Education
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

How To Establish Triathlon Training Zones

  1. 1. How to Establish Training Zones (and why you should!) Nicole Drummer February 11, 2012
  2. 2. Overview● What are zones and why do we need them? ○ Lactate Threshold Explained● Field Tests● Different zone calculation methods ○ Swim ○ Bike ○ Run
  3. 3. Why do we establish zones?● We establish zones so that we can train specific energy systems.● We want to train specific energy systems that we will use in our race distance ○ While all triathlons are essentially "aerobic" in nature, Ironman training is not the same as Sprint triathlon training. ○ We "periodize" training of these systems throughout the season to show up in our best form on race day. (Steve will talk about this.)● The best way we know how to establish zones is to determine (or estimate) lactate threshold and then calculate the zones from there.
  4. 4. Very Brief Summary of Energy Systems
  5. 5. What is lactate threshold?● What is lactate/lactic acid? ○ Lactate is an intermediate compound in the conversion of carbohydrate to energy. ○ Your body uses lactate as an energy source! Its not a bad thing.● What is the threshold? ○ When lactate is produced faster than you can clear it, that is your lactate threshold or LT. ○ Efforts greater than LT can cause significant fatigue - you are forced to slow down. ○ You can train you body to tolerate more lactate, which is why we want to train this! ○ Your LT is a great predictor of performance.
  6. 6. What the LT looks like:
  7. 7. The Zones in a Nutshell Rate of Perceived Zone Description Exertion (1-10 scale) 1 Active Recovery 2-3 2 Endurance 4-5 Upper 3 6-7 Endurance/Tempo 4 Lactate Threshold 7-8 VO2 max/Anaerobic 5 9+ Capacity/Power
  8. 8. So what now?● Get Tested! ○ You can pay a lab for the blood test in your sport - this will give you the most accurate info. ○ Or do a "field test" to estimate it. ■ a lot cheaper this way.● There are different methodologies for establishing training zones, but the key is to find one that works for you ○ The test should be easy to do every 4-8 weeks. ○ The zones should be set up so that you can easily incorporate them into your training. ○ You need to have a metric. Heart rate, pace, or power (or all of the above!)
  9. 9. Swim...establish your "T-pace"Pace based - all you need is a watch (and maybe a calculator)Joe Friel: 1000yd Time Trial (TT)Warm-up, then swim 1000yds as fast as you can. Threshold pace is averagepace/100yds. (20 minute TT = 2:00/100yd T-pace)SwimSmooth "CSS" (critical swim speed) a 400yd TT and a 200yd TT.Calculate the difference in pace:CSS (m/sec) = (400 - 200) / (T400 - T200)CTS: 400yd TT and a 100yd TT.LT Swims are at ~pace/100yds from the 400yd test.If you swim 2-3 times per week, have one workout that focuses on endurance(below T-pace, longer sets) and one that works your T-pace (sets of ~100-400yds).
  10. 10. Bike Field TestsJoe Friel: HR: 30 min TT, take your average heart rate for the last 20minutes of test. That is your LTHR.CTS: 2x8min all out with 10min recovery in between.Highest average power or heart rate for one of the two 8 minuteintervals is used for zone calculationAllen & Coggan: 20min all out TT, and your Functional ThresholdPower (FTP) or heart rate is about 95% of that. Use FTP for zonecalculations.Graded Test: On a trainer, increase power or heart rate every 3-5minutes to exhaustion. The HR where your breathing shifts noticably(you arent able to speak comfortably any more) is about your LTHR.Note: all field tests need to be done when you are rested. A substantialwarm-up should take place as well.
  11. 11. Run Field TestsJoe Friel: 30 minute time trial.Average HR of final 20 minutes is LTHR.Average pace for entire 30 minutes is FTPa.CTS: 8 minute field test - run as fast as you can for 8 minutes.Zones calculated as a percentage of field test HR and pace.Graded Test: On a track or treadmill, increase speed or heart rateevery 3-5 minutes to exhaustion (not collapse exhaustion!). TheHR/pace where your breathing shifts noticably (you arent able to speakcomfortably any more) is about your LTHR.
  12. 12. Friel Zones Zone Name Running - HR Bike - HR Run - Pace Less than 85% Less than 81% of Slower than 129% Zone 1 Recovery of LTHR LTHR of FTPa 85% to 89% of 81% to 89% of 114% to 129% of Zone 2 Extensive Endurance LTHR LTHR FTPa 90% to 94% of 90% to 93% of 106% to 113% of Zone 3 Intensive Endurance LTHR LTHR FTPa 95% to 99% of 94% to 99% of 99% to 105% of Zone 4 Threshold LTHR LTHR FTPa 100% to 102% 100% to 102% of 97% to 100% of Zone 5a Threshold of LTHR LTHR FTPa 103% to 106% 103% to 106% of 90% to 96% of Zone 5b Anaerobic Endurance of LTHR LTHR FTPa More than 106% More than 106% of Faster than 90% of Zone 5c Power of LTHR LTHR FTPa
  13. 13. Allen & Coggan (Cycling) Zone Name HR Power Zone 1 Active Recovery <68% LTHR <55% FTP 69% - 83% Zone 2 Endurance 56% - 75% FTP LTHR 84% - 94% Zone 3 Tempo 76% - 90% FTP LTHR 95% - 105% Zone 4 Lactate Threshold 91% - 105% FTP LTHR Zone 5 VO2 Max >106% LTHR 106% - 120% FTP Zone 6 Anaerobic Capacity N/A 121% - 150% FTP
  14. 14. Carmichael Training Systems Cycling Running Zone Cycling HR Running HR Power Pace Endurance Miles 45%-73% 50%-91% <97% <97% Tempo 80% - 85% 88%-90% 98% - 102%* 98% - 102%* Steady State 86% - 90% 92% - 94% 92% - 98%* 92% - 98%* Climbing Repeat 95% - 100% 95% - 97% N/A N/A 102% - 108% 102% - 108% Power Interval Max Effort (101% +) 100%+ (fartlek (fartlek intervals) intervals)
  15. 15. Summary● Lactate Threshold is a key marker in endurance sport training● Set up zones based on LT!● Choose your field test method and zone calculation method● Re-test every 4-8 weeks to monitor progress.● To improve LT, you must train at LT (but be smart about it) ○ A coach can help● Questions? ○ ○ 719-235-8209 ○
  16. 16. References● setting-zones.html●● The Time Crunched Triathlete, Carmichael and Rutberg, Velo Press, 2010.● Training and Racing with a Power Meter, Allen and Coggan, Velo Press, 2006.● The Triathletes Training Bible, 2nd Ed. Friel, Velo Press, 2004.