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Endurance terminology


There's a lot of discussion and confusion about training zones. I prescribe sessions based on a few things for each of my athletes. Some of them I have actual lactate threshold testing on, which makes it easy for them to follow that metric. Others I use heart rate zones. But I often use terms such as cruise, aerobic, EZ, HARD, tempo, theshold, etc. This chart gives a great idea of how and where you can find your zones.

I think where the confusion is, is what effort should an athlete stay in for each specific race? Although each distance can be different based on the athletes current capabilities- for example an elite athlete may run a 5k in 18 minutes vs someone who is running that in 28 minutes the effort may vary.

So here are my thoughts on each race and what the effort should look like.

5k run- For the elite athlete effort should be right around or just under VO2 max or LT2 rep. For non elite athletes this may be threshold effort.

10k run- for elite athletes this effort should be threshold pushing into VO2 towards the end. For non elite athletes this will be tempo pushing into threshold.

13.1 run- for elite runners this is tempo pushing into threshold. Non elite athletes this will be all tempo.

26.2 run- for elite athletes this will be endurance pushing into tempo. Non elite athletes will be endurance.

Olympic tri- elite athletes will race this as tempo pushing to threshold. Non elite athletes will race as tempo.

70.3 tri- elite athletes will race as endurance pushing into tempo and run the last 5k as threshold. Non elite athletes will race as endurance and push into tempo for the last 10k of the run.

140.6 tri- elite athletes will race this as endurance with tempo in the last 10k of the run. Non elite athletes will race this as easy pushing into endurance in the last 13.1 of the run.


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