Sunday’s long run was time based. I was to run 1 hour and 45 minutes. The first hour and 15 minutes, I was supposed to stay in zone 2 to low zone followed by 30 minutes in high zone 4.
Now, if you are new to the zones, you are in for a treat. I love training with zones rather than just pace times. My favorite chart is from the Saskatoon YMCA.
I have to admit, it was very hard to get into zone 2 while running. I mostly stayed in mid zone 3 and after I crested a few hills, I needed to walk to get my HR down back to mid zone 3. Honestly, in that zone, I knew I could keep going for hours on end. Now, the zone 4 for 30 minutes, I really could not wait till it ended. It was hard.
The mistake that I see most new runners make is going out too fast. They feel they cannot sustain that speed, and they are right, and they give up. by finding your zone 2 you know how fast you should be going, based on how your body feels today. It’s a plan for long term success. By running slower, you will learn how to run faster. Sounds ridiculous, but it worked for me and many other triathletes I know.
Have you tried zone training? How was it? Share your zone training story with us.