Key Indicators of Intensity
The prescription of workout intensities during endurance training has typically been based on one of two physiological parameters: VO2max or lactate threshold (see again chapter 2 for explanations of these concepts). In particular, lactate threshold has proven to be a good indicator of performance and is used by a wide array of coaches and endurance athletes as the basis for prescribing workout intensities.
The only problem is that a direct measurement of lactate threshold requires a blood sample to analyze your blood lactate levels. Although you can find portable kits to do the measurement, the process is obviously impractical for everyday training. Moreover, it is not even necessary if one can correlate lactate levels with something else, such as heart rate, power, pace or perceived exertion. Although heart rate, power, pace and perceived exertion are not direct measurements of metabolic activity, they can provide indirect approximations that are useful enough to help target your training.
In this training guide, the establishment of your individualized training zones will be based on correlating your lactate threshold (LT) with heart rate, power, pace, and perceived exertion. The concept of training zones is described in greater detail below.
Another key indicator of your aerobic fitness is your aerobic threshold (AeT). As emphasized earlier, we want to ensure your aerobic fitness is well developed before moving into higher intensity anaerobic training. One way to check this is to do an aerobic threshold field test separately from a lactate threshold field test, and then compare the two. If the difference between your AeT and LT is greater than ten percent; then additional aerobic training should be targeted before progressing to higher intensity anaerobic training.
Another metric that can help you gauge the development of your aerobic base is the pace to heart rate (Pa:HR) decoupling metric in the TrainingPeaks dashboard. This works well if you do a longer run on a fairly flat or consistently graded uphill course, ideally with a loop that you cover two or more times during the workout. If this Pa:HR number is less than five percent on multiple occasions when you do that same course; then that’s a good sign you have a sufficient base to move into higher intensity anaerobic training.
TRAINING GUIDE CONTENTS
– Train with a Purpose
– The ABCs of Systematic Training
– The R&R of Training
– Begin with the End in Mind
2. Exercise Science Concepts
– Overreaching and Overtraining
– Energy Systems
– Aerobic Capacity
– Lactate Threshold
– Aerobic Threshold
– Muscle Fiber Types
3. Monitor Your Training Intensity
– What is Training Intensity?
– Key Indicators of Intensity
– Using Training Zones
– Training by Feel, or Perceived Exertion
– Training with Pace
– Training with Heart Rate
– Running with Power
4. Create Your Training Plan
– Prioritizing Your Events
– Overview of the Training Phases
– Choosing Your Periodization Schedule
– Filling in the Details of the Overall Plan
5. Create Your Weekly Workouts
– Creating Weekly Schedules
– Establishing and Developing Your Base
– Building Upon Your Base
– Peaking for Your Target Event
– Race Week and Race Day Warmup
6. Functional Strength
7. Recovery and Nutrition
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