Ultimately, this is the training zone that most individuals will spend most of their time in. We’ve previously shared a whole article dedicated to this training zone. Aerobic training is at a comfortable pace or level of exertion – the sort of intensity that someone could manage for at least an hour (typically 2-3hrs for a conditioned runner). At aerobic intensity you should be able to converse with another runner in between breaths, without panting and losing control of your breathing or running pace.
A real strength-endurance builder, threshold intensity is a small step above an individual’s marathon intensity. The placement of this type of training in a programme is crucial, and it is equally important to start small and build your capacity to run at threshold intensity.
Contrary to threshold zone, absorption training is very slow and recuperative. The idea is to run at significantly lower intensity than aerobic intensity, with purposeful movement and breathing, affording the muscles some increased blood flow and active recovery.
Interval intensity training is a highly-effective way to build speed, anaerobic capacity and increase running economy. It can also be an insightful time for assessing technique. Interval intensity is hard; a similar intensity to that which you would run a maximal 5km race at.
Outside of sprinting, this is the highest intensity training zone that distance runners should use. Repetition intensity is only manageable for a few minutes at a time. Typically, this intensity will only be utilised for bursts of less than one minute at a time. Huge benefits can be gleaned by stacking multiple repetition intensity efforts at short intervals.
While we do prescribe a relative pace for each of the above intensities for every one of our athletes, pace is not the be all. The terrain, topography and weather have a huge bearing on the actual pace that someone is training, and therefore an understanding of the rationale for each of the training zones is important.
Want to know more about how to incorporate these training intensities into your training? Check out The Physiology Of Running Webinar on July 12. Find out more. If you'd like a programme built on steady physiological principles that are crafted to suit your current fitness level, life schedule and running goals, look no further. Find out more.