The secret to effective training is hitting the right intensity in every workout. The best way to consistently achieve this is to use a training zone system.
Training zones are ranges of intensity that correspond to physiological processes within every athlete. They span the continuum of effort from very easy to very challenging. To calculate your personal training zones, you start by determining your lactate threshold.
One of the most popular training zone systems in endurance sports was created by the co-founder of TrainingPeaks, Joe Friel.
In this article Friel provides step-by-step instructions on how to calculate your threshold for your current fitness levels in swimming, cycling and running. Whether you use heartrate, power or pace, you’ll find a testing option that works for you.
Once you’ve identified your threshold values, you can easily extrapolate all of your training zones. By retesting every 4 to 6 weeks, you can keep your training zones up to date as your fitness improves.