“Houshang has proven time and again that he can take any athlete from the novice level to World Class calibre.”
- Erinne Willock
athletes, cycling, willock, plaxton

Perceived Efforts

How to train within your target zone

by: Houshang Amiri

February 22, 2011

Do you know how fast you have to go in your training and how much of the time you spend on your training is targeted?

In order to get ready for a race and improve your fitness in a timely manner, your rides should be focused on specific objectives rather than doing what others beside you are doing.

Since the most important principal of training is the intensity: "An individual level of effort (training stress imposed on the body), compared with their maximal effort, which is usually expressed as a percentage and can be categorized in to different training zones," is the key to your performance, and you need to know how hard you need to train to achieve certain qualities in your training.

We strongly recommend a suitable physiological testing (field and laboratory) in order to obtain your training zone, and since training zones change, it must be monitored for improvements and fatigue management.

You are required to have a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) or ultimately a power meter to make sure you are in the right training zone and target. One of the other ways to know your training zone using the perceived efforts - see the chart below as a main principal - is to know which zone you are in, and making sure you are not going too hard or too slow, thus minimizing the chances of you being in the incorrect training zone if you are not using a heart rate monitor or power meter.  Note: please use those indicators at your one risk as those pointers vary.

For more information please visit: www.pacificcyclingcentre.ca/services/other.html

Zone Intensity % MAP Usual or Common names Perceived Exertion Scale (1-7) Conversation Indicator Breathing Level and General feelings, for trained athletes Notes to record for each ride for training log
1 EZ 69% Active Recovery 1 to 2 You can easily hold a normal conversation Breathing is normal. Light pressure on the pedals.Easy Avg. HR
Avg. Speed
2 Moderate 70-78% Endurance, or Endurance Capacity 2 to 3 Conversation possible Breathing is elevated slightly.
Pace, you can hold it for long time.
Feeling good.
Avg. HR
Avg. Speed
Avg. Cadence
2a Moderate 79-85% Endurance, or Endurance Capacity 3 to 4 Some Short Conversation is possible Breathing elevated.
Training interval efforts 15-60 min.
Feeling good relative hard.
Avg. HR
Avg. Speed
Avg. Cadence
3 Moderate fast 86-90% Aerobic Capacity Lactate Threshold 4 to 5 Conversation is not possible. Breathing is elevated.
Training interval efforts 5-30min.
Feeling good relative hard.
Max. Avg. HR
Avg. Speed
Avg. Cadence
Gear combinations
4 Race-Pace 91-96% High-end Aerobic power 5 to 6 You can say few words Breathing deepens markedly
Training interval efforts 3-15min.
Hard!
Max. Avg. HR
Avg. Speed
Avg. Cadence
Gear combinations
5 Above race-pace 97-100% Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP) 6 to 7 You can hardly give one word answers Breathing changes to sucking.
Training interval efforts 1-7min.
Very hard.
Max. Avg. HR
Max. Avg. Speed
Max. Avg. Cadence
Gear combinations
6 Maximum Effort 110% Anaerobic Lactic & Alactic 7+ impossible You can only maintain very short efforts.
Training interval efforts 10-60secs.
Very hard and difficult.
Max. Avg. HR
Max. Avg. Speed
Max. Avg. Cadence
Gear combinations

 


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