Whole9 guest post by Coach Rut, who has over a quarter century of fitness coaching experience and holds academic degrees in biology and physical education, and Master’s degrees in exercise physiology and sports biomechanics.
Overall, I find heart rate monitors useful but annoying. Most people who buy them use them only as a speedometer, which completely defeats the purpose. Another annoyance stems from the total anal controlling behaviors that develop when an athlete starts training with a monitor. The alarm goes off during a hill assent, and they are walking. Ambient temperature ticks up 10 degrees and they are walking again.
In spite of this, there is a simple HR monitor training approach I’ve used that will provide undeniable monostructural endurance results. I call it my 1-2-3 HR Monitoring Week.
CrossFit Training will be performed on Monday, Wednesdays, & Fridays. The Max Effort Black Box (MEBB) approach is superior for this purpose. You perform a dedicated strength move followed by a less than 15 minute mix of functions movements. The MEBB was launched in 2003. You should have little trouble finding examples.
Your endurance modality (ie Running) of choice, will be performed on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday.
Establish a max HR to calculate your training zones. This can be performed by a number of calculation methods, but I’ve found them to vary too much. If you are healthy and with your physicians blessings, row a 2k, run a series of 800m sprints, or perform a 5:00 TT on a bike. It’s best to find HR max with the mode of training you want to improve.
You will be training in three HR Zones so after you establish a max crunch some numbers to find your specific Zones. The Zones are:
- LONG: 50-70%
- TEMPO: 75%-85%
- INTERVAL: 85+
You’ll spend about 70% of your time in the Long Zone. Yes, this is not a typo. Initially you will be embarrassed by how slow you are moving. Another 10-15% on intervals with the balance on TEMPO work.
A week not including warm up and cool down work:
- Tuesday: INTERVALS: 3 x 5:00 / 3:00 RI
- Thursday: TEMPO: 20-30 minutes steady
- Saturday: LONG: 40 – 70 minutes
Perform an efficiency test. After you have set all your Zones and are ready to begin perform a 10:00 efficiency test. I’ll use running for my example. Go to the local track. Warm up for 5:00 minutes. Set your max zone at 70% of max. Beginning running at a pace not to exceed a training rate of 70%. When you go to fast and your alarm sound you will slow the pace. Note the distance traveled at the conclusion of 10:00. Mark your schedule four weeks out and repeat this test. Assuming some controlled environmental factors and a training effect, your should cover a greater distance on trial #2. Continue this every four weeks. Proof of organic change resides in this efficiency test. You don’t always show it on the race course.
I’m not claiming to have found the perfect endurance training approach but I have watched many others improve their athletic fitness and on the racecourse for everything from 5K running to 40K TT riding. Give it a shot.
Michael Rutherford (a.k.a. Coach Rut) has over a quarter century of fitness coaching experience including working with competitors from the ranks of international, Olympic, collegiate, high school, middle school and elementary school aged athletes. Coach Rut also has worked in hospital wellness environments and rehabilitation clinics. All of these experiences have allowed him to bridge the gap between the needs of the competitor and those of the man, woman and child seeking enhanced personal health and fitness. Coach Rut’s Boot Camp Fitness program is the area’s largest and most established group exercise program and his training services have assisted thousands of Kansas City residents over the last two decades. Coach holds academic degrees in biology and physical education, and Master’s degrees in exercise physiology and sports biomechanics. He is a certified Club Coach by the United States Weightlifting Association and is a CrossFit level III certified coach.
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