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12 Workouts for Runners

by Sally Edwards - Heart Zones Training and Education Company

12 Workouts for runners from Sally Edwards

#1:  Climbing the Interval Ladder

Introduction

This is one of those really hard running workouts, so watch out if you aren't ready to tackle those upper zones.  If you're ready to feel the flavor of high performance heart zone training, this workout is a good way to begin your interval training. Heart zone intervals are similar to the intervals that you may have been doing in the past because they consist of hard and easy timed sessions.  The tough part of this workout is that the rest is at the beginning and as you climb up the ladder there is no relief until you hit the top rung.


Workout Plan
This workout is sometimes called a "progression ascent" because you
work progressively harder and harder as you ascend to the top of the session.
 With each step on the ladder, you move up one zone and drop one minute off
the interval time.  As shown in the workout below, you start out in the
warm-up phase by spending five minutes in your Healthy Heart zone (Z1) or
50-60 percent of Max heart rate.  After five minutes, move up one zone to the
Weight Management Zone (Z2) for four minutes.  Continue this progression
through each zone and end with one minute in your Redline zone (Z5).
If you find this workout is too strenuous, modify it slightly by
dropping the Redline zone and shortening each of the other zones by one
minute.  For those of you who are accustomed to high intensity training, do
two or three repeats or repetitions of this workout.

Comment
I personally love the high zones but I'm a lactic acid junkie so that
feeling of complete exhaustion when I finish my redline time is for me the
best.  Also, I know what the benefits are and that keeps me motivated.  By
training in the upper zones, I get the performance benefits of improved
cardiovascular function and faster speed.  I need both of these for
competitive performances.  However, it really is good for most of us to get a
little faster and a little fitter.

WORKOUT
  Zone Name
(% of Max HR)   Zone Number   Time in Zone

Healthy Heart (50%-60%)    Z1 5 minutes
Weight Management (60%-70%)   Z2 4 minutes
Aerobic (70%-80%)    Z3 3 minutes
Threshold (80%-90%)    Z4 2 minutes
Redline (90%-100%)    Z5 1 minute

Total Time = 15
minutes

#2:  Sizzling Hot Workout

Introduction
This is a workout for those of you who want to get faster . . . a lot
faster.  As we have mentioned in this column previously, to get faster you
need to follow the "at-about-around" principle by training at-about-or-around
your anaerobic threshold heart rate (AT HR).  You can get faster, faster by
spending more of your training time above your AT HR than at or about it.

Workout Plan
This 30-minute interval workout is called "Sizzling Hot" because it's
almost all in your Redline Zone (90-100 percent of Max HR) and 20 minutes are
spent above your AT HR.  The Redline Zone is a very high intensity zone so
you can't stay there long and a rest period is needed after each interval.
You need to be training on a regular program before you attempt any
sizzling hot interval workouts.  The workout is commonly called a "ladder"
but rather than being based on time or distance, it uses HR.
To do this workout you will need to know your AT HR.  The following
field test will give you a ballpark estimate.  This test, which consists of
two times 20 minutes at the fastest you can go, must be completed on the same
day.

Set your monitor so it will give you an average of each 20 minute
test.  After warming up, run your first 20 minute test then note the average
HR.  Take a jog rest for at least five minutes then do another 20 minutes as
fast as you can go.  The average HR of the second test should be within five
beats of the first test.  Your ballpark AT HR estimate is the average of your
two field tests.  Now that you know your AT HR, here's the sizzling workout.

Comment
It is important to look at the work to rest ratio when doing high
intensity, long intervals.  Overall, this workout consists of 2:1 work to
rest ratio.  As the workload (intensity) increases, the work interval
(exercise time) decreases.
Again, this is a workout when you are putting the pedal to the floor
at near full forward speed.  Be careful, it will get you fitter and faster
but it's also a workout which requires a day of rest for recovery.  Pay
attention to your resting HR the next day to make sure you haven't
over-stressed the system.

WORKOUT
Interval Intensity Exercise Time Rest Time
#1 AT HR + 2 bpm 8 minutes 2 minutes
#2 AT HR + 4 bpm 6 minutes 3 minutes
#3 AT HR + 6 bpm 4 minutes 3 minutes
#4 AT HR + 8 bpm 2 minutes 2 minutes


#3:  Rate not Pace Workout

Purpose
The purpose of this workout is to learn the relationship between pace
and heart rate (HR).

Introduction
Every time I hear timers calling out my minute-per-mile pace when I
run, I use their cue to remind me that I need to listen to my heart rate
monitor and not to them.  The primary reason not to use pace or bike speed or
other external data cues, is that it doesn't relate to any personally
quantifiable data.
What happens to your pace when the temperature increases 15 degrees,
when you hit the hills on the course, when there is shade, when you missed
the aid station or when your blood glucose levels drop?  Your heart rate
monitor will quantify your physiological responses to the various racing
stresses in real time, while the best the race clock can do is give you an
elapsed time from which you can determine your after-the-fact average pace.
I have been using my heart watch for the past 15 years and I am still
surprised by the difference between what I feel about my pace or rate and the
actual.  My recommendation is that you train both systems--time and HR. 
Here's a great workout to do just that.

Workout
Find a measured course with mile markers.  After a warm-up, do five
mile repeats (5 x 1).  Run at a steady pace with no accelerations.  Each mile
should be 30 seconds faster than the pace before and take at least two
minutes active rest between each repeat.  Always warm down at the end of the
workout.
After the workout, average your HR for each of the one mile intervals
by noting it for the last half mile or measuring it if you have this feature
in your heart watch.  Also note the corresponding training zone for your Max
HR and your pace.
An example of what you need to record is shown below.

Conclusion
You can now use the numbers from your "Rate Not Pace" workout to
better understand the training zones they represent.  When someone says to
me, "Let's go for a five-mile run at about 8 minutes per mile pace," I always
retort, "What about a five-miler in my lower Anaerobic Zone or about 160 bpm
rate not pace?"
Do this workout once a month because as your fitness improves, your
average heart rate will drop.  In other words, it will take less effort to
run the same pace.

Sample Workout Log
MILE PACE RUNNING AVERAGE HR TRAINING ZONES (MAX HR 195)
9 min/mile 145 bpm Middle Aerobic Zone
8.5 min/mile 151 bpm Upper Aerobic Zone
8 min/mile 158 bpm Lower Anaerobic Zone
7.5 min/mile 163 bpm Middle Anaerobic Zone
7 min/mil 172 bpm Upper Anaerobic Zone

#4:  HR Interval Workout for Beginners

Introduction
A lot of us simply don't have the time to train but we want to stay
fit and race at high levels of fitness ability.  If you fit this description,
interval training or high intensity exercise should be the cornerstone of
your training plan.  But you have to work up to this level and not just jump
in.
In the beginning, your goal should be one heart rate interval
workout;a week.  Later, you can add more time in the top two zones:  Anaerobic
Threshold (80-90 percent of Max HR) and Redline (90-100 percent of Max HR).
To do the following interval workouts effectively you must know your
sports specific Max HR and calculate each of your training zones.  Keep this
information for future reference in your training log or computer data base. 
Here are interval workouts for three sports.

Workouts
SWIMMING
Warm up with a steady state swim for five minutes at 60-70 percent of
Max HR.  Start interval session with six to eight, 50-yard repeats coming in
on 90 percent of Max HR.  Rest after each repeat until your HR recovers to 80
percent then depart.
Next, do four 100-yard repeats and drop the intensity by 5 percent. 
That is, come in one 85 percent of Max HR and depart at 75 percent.
Finish the set with one 500-yard steady state swim at 80 percent of
Max HR.  Cool down the same as the warm-up.

CYCLING
Warm up for ten minutes at 50-60 percent of your Max HR.  Pick up the
cadence and load to 85 percent of Max HR and hold for four minutes then drop
back to 70 percent of Max HR for four minutes.  Do this 8-minute repeat two
to four times.  Warm down by spinning at 60 percent of Max HR until you are
home.

RUNNING
Warm up at 50-60 percent of Max HR for at least 10 minutes.  Next,
increase the intensity up to 90 percent of Max HR and hold for one minute
before easing down to 60 percent of Max HR for two minutes.  Repeat this four
times and then warm down at 50 percent of Max HR.  As this session becomes
easier, add time to the work interval and keep the rest time as you transfer
between a 1:2 to 2:1 to 2:2 ratio of work to rest.

Comment
Don't get too carried away initially with your interval training.  On
the good side, it gets you in great shape, fast.  On the negative side, too
much leads to lesser performance ability.  Stay on the good side of heart
zone training.

#5:  ANAEROBIC THRESHOLD WORKOUT:  AT-ABOUT-AROUND

Introduction
It is difficult to sustain your anaerobic threshold heart rate for
longer than about 20 minutes in any single activity.  (Remember AT HR is
sports specific).  The closer you can race at or above your AT HR the higher
your achievable maximum sustainable HR (MS HR).  And, the higher your MS HR
is, the faster you can race.

Workout Plan
This workout can apply to almost any activity but it is not for the
beginner.  It is based on the principle that the AT HR point is an individual
HR buried in the center of a very, very narrow HR window or zone.  For this
workout, the zone is five beats with a top number or ceiling of your AT HR
and the bottom or floor of the workout zone five beats lower.
The workout is two by 20 minutes.  After warming, take yourself up to
your AT HR and hold "at-about-around" that number for two minutes then drop
five beats to your floor and hold for two minutes.  Cross back and forth
every two minutes between this narrow window for 20 continuous minutes.  Do
an active recovery for five minutes then repeat the main set before a
warm-down.

Workout Example
This is what the workout would look like for someone who has an AT HR
of 185 beats per minute (bpm).  If you don't know your AT HR, use your
average HR during the middle of a 5K race.
Warm-up:  5 minutes up to 140 bpm.
Main Set:
2 minutes at 185 bpm
2 minutes at 180 bpm
2 minutes at 185 bpm
2 minutes at 180 bpm
2 minutes at 185 bpm
2 minutes at 180 bpm
2 minutes at 185 bpm
2 minutes at 180 bpm
2 minutes at 185 bpm
2 minutes at 180 bpm
Active Rest:  5 minutes at 145 bpm
Repeat Main Set
Warm-down:  5 minutes at 145 bpm

Comment
What you are trying to accomplish with this workout is to push up
your AT HR forward to your Max HR and then step back on the throttle just
enough to breath more comfortably before you push up your AT again.
This isn't an easy workout.  Your first time you might just try one
main set.  By the end of your training program you might want to try three
sets.  It is definitely a challenge and you will feel it the following day. 
The next morning make sure you take your resting HR before you get out of bed
to make sure you have not pushed yourself too hard the day before.  The next
day's workout needs to be a recovery or a Fat Burning Zone day.

ANAEROBIC ZONE (80-90 PERCENT OF MAX HR)
MAX HR 150 155 160 165 170 175 180 185 190
195 200 205 210
bpm
Floor 120 124 128 132 136 140 144 148 152
156 160 164 168
Ceiling 135 140 144 149 153 158 162 167 171
167 180 184 188

Read across the top row of numbers until you find your MAX HR.  Look
directly below that number and you will find two numbers.  These represent
the "ceiling" and the "floor" for workouts in this zone.  To receive the
benefits of training in the specified zone, your workout should remain
between these two numbers.

#6:  The Heart Healthy Zone Workout

Introduction
Each zone deserves its own example of a workout.  Breaking through
the aerobic floor is meaningful and you want to do so gently and allow your
body to adjust to fitness.  Start out with 10 minutes six days a week or 20
minutes three days a week for this workout is your choice.  The body equates
them as similar but not exact.

Workout Plan
Start by putting on a pair of walking shoes that are comfortable and
wear some baggy street clothes.  Choose a time of day which is more
predictable so there are no distractions or competitions for your time.  For
most people, this is in the morning when there aren't opportunities
throughout the day for planning another activity for that same time. 
Determine your specific numerical values for the Healthy Heart zone using the
chart below.

Workout
Stretch for a couple of minutes then start slowly and pick up the
pace to a brisk speed.  It should take you about 60 seconds to break through
the heart rate (HR) point which marks the floor or lower limit of the Healthy
Heart zone.  About every minute or two you need to take a quick glance at
your monitor to make sure you are within the zone.  For the last two minutes
try to stay in the upper half of the zone.  At the end of the two minutes
slow down for about 60 seconds and let HR drop below your aerobic floor.

Comment
Ten minutes, that's all.  Hang out here for several weeks and you'll
get fit.  To get fitter you need to move up to the Aerobic zone and to get
improved performance you need to exercise in the top two zones--Redline and
Anaerobic.

ANAEROBIC ZONE (80-90 PERCENT OF MAX HR)
MAX HR 150 155 160 165 170 175 180 185 190
195 200 205 210
bpm
Floor 75 78 80 83 85 88 90 93 95
 98 100 102 105
Ceiling 90 93 95 99 102 105 108 111 114
117 120 123 125

Editor's Note:  As a new feature, each workout will include a zone
chart like the one above.  It will assist you in determining your own upper
and lower HR limits for that workout.  Read across the top row of numbers
until you find your Max HR.  Look directly below that number and you will
find two numbers.  These represent the "ceiling" and the "floor" for that
workout.  To receive the benefits of training in the specified zone, your
workout should remain between these two numbers.  Example:  If your Max HR
rate is 170 beats per minute, your Healthy Heart zone is between 85 and 102.

#7:  Redline Workout:  Ten Max Quarters

Introduction
This is one of those track workout which can be used for different
sports--cycling, Nordic skiing or running.  Even swimmers can do 200s and the
workout is the same.  When you are performing it, you have one of those
contradictory experiences.  You wonder is it the burn that hurts or is it my
lungs from breathing so hard?
Metal to the floor!  That's what the Redline training is all about. 
If you have that masochistic sense of feeling it in every cell, here's where
you will be in your own element.  It's best to do this workout with some
fellow lactic hedonists as you can push yourself even harder.

Purpose
The purpose of the workout is lactate tolerance training.  You are
trying to build up your lactate concentrations during the session by
exercising in the Redline zone or 90-100 percent of maximum heart rate (Max
HR).

Workout Plan
This track workout is a series of 10 quarter-mile repeats performed
at 95 percent of your true Max HR.  For someone with a Max HR rate of 200,
this number would be 190.  The workout is broken into two sets of five
quarters with a short recovery between quarters and a longer rest between
sets.

Workout
Set the ceiling or upper limit of your monitor to signal at 95
percent of Max HR.  A lower limit will not be necessary.  After a warm up,
cycle, ski or run hard for your first quarter mile (or 200 yards, if
swimming).  The goal is to set off your alarm before you reach the end of the
quarter.  Use an active recovery by jogging, skiing or pedaling slowly for
30-60 seconds before the next quarter.  Take a 3-5 minute rest after the
first set of five quarters and then do a second set.
If 10 quarters are too difficult in the beginning, start with five
and build your way up.  Be sure to keep your recovery active to sustain the
level of lactates in your blood.  You are trying to increase your lactate
concentration and too much recovery will allow your lactates to drop.
Recognize that your HR is actually higher than displayed because the
monitor is updating the data every few seconds and running the information
through a series of mathematical equations called algorithms.  This lag
behind true-time HR is one of the drawbacks of monitor technology as it
exists today.  The data will be close enough so just listen for the alarm as
you accelerate into the Redline zone.

Comment
This is truly a workout which offers delayed gratification.
Tomorrow you will be tired and sore.  You'll also wonder why just a
few laps around the track in the Redline zone are so fatiguing.  All lactate
tolerance training sessions beat you up but they also build you up.

#8:  X-C Skiing Interval Workout

Introduction
We all owe a debt of thanks to the cross country skiers.   They were
first to rapidly endorse heart training and help launch the revolution of
higher performance conditioning using heart rate (HR) monitors.  As the colds
of winter transition us to cross country skiing and sport snowshoeing season,
here's one of my favorite "in-season" workouts.  Being a total body sport,
cross country skiing puts as much demand and burn on the chest and breathing
muscles as on the legs, arms and mid-body.

Purpose
Intervals are key to skiing because they simulate racing at high
heart rates on the uphills and active recovery on the downhills.  A cross
country ski race is a series of intervals so this workout is race specific
training.

Workout Preparation
Review your March/April issue of The Fitness Monitor to read about
determining Madx HR.  Remember, max is sport specific so you must predict or
test for your Max HR for cross country skiing.  Your interval zone for this
workout will be 85 percent of that number plus five beats.
Find a loop course that will take about five minutes to complete.  It
should be reasonably flat, well-groomed and secluded from heavy recreational
ski traffic.

Workout Plan
This workout is a set of 5-10 loops with a three minute active rest
between loops.

Workout
Warm up with one or two loops at 60-70 percent of Max HR.  For the
first two loops, ski at the bottom of the zone (85 percent Max HR) then ski
the last three loops at the top of the zone (85 percent plus five beats). 
Include three minutes of active rest between each loop (that's a 2:1 work to
rest ratio).  Warm down by skiing one loop at no more than 60 percent Max HR.
 Time yourself during this workout and write it in your log along with your
HR averages.

Frequency
Do this training session once each week.  Increase the number of
loops per session to 10 by the time you are peaking for your most important
race.

Helpful Hints
* Don't be concerned about your HR during the first 60 seconds of
your loops.  Because of the "softening of the algorithms" or the way the HR
monitor calculates, it will take about a minute to match your actual HR.
* Don't sacrifice technique for top heart rates.  If your technique
begins to suffer, step back in your interval training and work on longer
intervals with more emphasis on technique than speed.
* Share your interval sessions with a friend.  Match yourself with
someone whose times and HR percentages are close to yours so you can
encourage and "hammer" each other together.  It will make you both better
athletes.

#9:  The 5 by 5 Workout

Introduction
There are a few classic heart training workouts in my standard weekly
sessions.  I do this one, the "Five by Fiver," every Thursday morning because
it fits within the 48-hour Rule:  Rest 48 hours before your next Anaerobic
Threshold (AT HR) Zone or higher workout.

Purpose
To teach your running-specific metabolic systems to adapt to
constantly increasing workload every five minutes which trains both your
cardiovascular ability as well as your lactate clearance systems.

Workout Plan
Simply, this is a five-beat ladder every five minutes.  Subtract 20
beats from your maximum heart rate (Max HR) to determine the top rung on your
ladder and subtract 50 beats from your Max HR for your HR starting point or
the first rung on the ladder.  The range between these two numbers if your
training zone for the "Five by Fiver."
Example:  195 (Max HR) - 20 = 175 (ceiling or top rung).  195 (Max
HR) - 50 = 145 (starting point or first rung).  Training zone for workout =
145-175 beats per minute (bpm).

Workout
For a warm-up, gradually increase from a walk to a slow jog to the
starting point for the first five minutes.  Begin the main set ladder by
moving into a new five-beat every five minutes as shown in the example below.

Minutes HR Zone
0-5 Warm-up
5-10 145-150 bpm
10-15 150-155 bpm
15-20 155-160 bpm
20-25 160-165 bpm
25-30 165-170 bpm
30-35 170-175 bpm
  Total Workout = 35 minutes at 145-175 bpm

Recommendation
I recommend that you start by only going up the ladder.  When you are
in great shape, try going up only twice in a workout.  The up and then downs
are really hard.
Quite honestly, this is one of my very favorite training workouts
because I work myself through all of the different zones--Fat Burning,
Aerobic and pierce into and then train to the top of my Anaerobic Zone.  Log
it as a 10-pointer for difficulty.  It's a challenge but guaranteed to get
you faster, stronger and fitter!

#10:  Working out the Heart Way

Introduction
In last issue's "Peak Performance Takes Heart and 'Heart'," TFM
editorial board member Lyle Nelson wrote about the dual role of the heart: 
the blood pump and the mental inspiration pump.  With the emphasis today on
the mind-body connection or psychobiology, one can easily see that the heart
is a double muscle.  It provides for both work capacity and for mental
desire.  Here's a workout that challenges both of the heart's primary
capacities, a mind-body connector.

Purpose
To measure your ability to accurately predict heart rates during
varying paces.

Workout Plan
Set your heart rate monitor so the alarm sounds every 10 minutes. 
You will have to use your wrist watch if your model does not have this
feature.  Calculate and post 70 percent of your max heart rate (Max HR) and
each five percent increase up to 90 percent.  If you don't know your max,
take a test.  For a Max HR of 195 beats per minute (bpm) these values would
be 137, 146, 156, 165 and 175 bpm.

Workout
Warm-up for however long is appropriate for your selected activity
then begin your workout and start the alarm function on your watch or
monitor.  Without looking at your monitor, workout for 10 minutes at what you
think or perceive to be 70 percent of your Max HR.  Exert a steady-state
effort for the entire 10 minutes.
When the alarm sounds, look at the monitor and make a mental or
physical note of the HR.  Step up the interval (this is a 10-minute ladder)
to what you think is 75 percent of max for 10 minutes without looking at the
monitor.  When the alarm sounds, note the actual HR and keep a mental record
of it.  If you can do the math, note your error.
Follow the same procedure for 80 percent, and 85 percent if you can
maintain it.  If this pace is above your anaerobic threshold HR, you probably
cannot withstand it.  Warm down then compare your perceived effort with your
actual HR.  The error should be so great that you would rarely train without
a monitor again.

Outcome
Personal Note from Sally Edwards:  If you are more than five beats
off, you need to train your mind more than your body to truly and undeniably
know (and I use the word "know" as in having knowledge) your HR intensity.
Repeatedly to ad nauseam, I hear people say, " don't need a heart
rate monitor because I know my HR whenever I train.  Hogwash hypocrisy is
what I call this athletic elitism and arrogance.
After completing this workout, I "know" that you will agree that Lyle
Nelson is right when he wrote, "It takes a lot of heart (blood pumping
capacity) and a lot of "heart" (confidence and inspiration) to achieve your
best-possible performance."
It is only with a heart rate monitor that you can achieve both . . .
I "know" and I "feel."  This is the mind-body connection.

#11:  30-Minute Workout for Any Sport

Introduction
The ratio of workload to rest or recovery is important in your
training because it provides you with a way to progressively and
systematically change the regimen by adding intensity which leads to training
improvements.
Unfortunately, many athletes quantify the workload in broad, inexact
simple terms like hard and easy.  Your training will be more effective if you
quantify the ratio of workload and rest in terms of training zones or even a
specific heart rate point.

Purpose
To raise your anaerobic threshold heart rate (AT HR) using long
intervals at specific HR points.

Workout Plan
To do this 30-minute interval training session you must know your Max
HR and AT HR.  For this example we will use a Max HR of 200 bpm and AT HR of
175 bpm.  The workout involves four-minute segments at 180 bpm or 90 percent
Max HR (formerly known as "hard") and two-minute segments at 120 bpm or 60
percent Max HR (formerly known as "easy").

The Workout
After warming up adequately, accelerate quickly and steadily to 180
bpm and then hold this rate during the remaining portion of the four-minute
period.
At the end of four minutes, quickly decelerate to 120 bpm and stay at
that level for the remaining portion of the two minutes.  Do five sets of
four minutes at 180 bpm workload and two minutes at 120 bpm recovery for a
total of 30 minutes.  Finish with a warm down.
If you have a programmable heart rate monitor you can set the alarms
at two minutes, a high HR limit of 180 bpm and a lower HR limit of 120 bpm. 
Using the stop watch and alarm functions, accelerate until you hear the upper
limit alarm and then maintain until the four-minute mark, then slow down
until reaching the lower limit alarm and hold until the two-minute mark.

Outcome
What you have accomplished is a long interval workout at or above the
anaerobic threshold of most individuals.  If you are in training to race,
this workout plan should be a weekly regular.  You can replace distance for
time if you prefer to run by distance.  You can also expand the duration
progressively from 30 minutes to 36, 42 and 48 minutes.

#12:  The Step-Tread-Row-Cycle HZT Workout

My travel schedule has been hectic lately, plus I have had a
debilitating injury (Achilles tendon surgery in February) so I have sought a
different protocol for exercising until both of those conditions change.  I
discovered a new one-hour indoor workout;that I can do at the gyms in most
hotels (which are usually these small rooms with four or five pieces of
equipment) or at my athletic club which has kept me in great shape given the
circumstances.  It's a form of what's called indoor circuit training but it's
down on machines rather than circuit stations and it's done by zones
alternating.  The circuit consists of four different machines each one I do a
three zone ladder.  The sequence of the cardio circuit isn't key unless you
want to vary between upper body and lower body equipment such as a stepper
which is lower body and a rowing machine which is a lot of upper body.  The
sequence I particularly like is a stepper, a treadmill, a rowing machine and
an exercise bike.  The three zones in the ladder are Z2 (60%-70% Max HR,
Temperate Zone), Z3 (70%-80% Max HR, the Aerobic Zone), Z4 (80%-90% Max HR,
the Threshold Zone) each for five minutes.  Since I know those zones
literally by heart now, I know how to solve the exercise machine problem--the
exercise equipment sets the zone based on my age, they don't let me set the
zones.


To overcome this problem, you have to "over-ride the formula," a
formula that is preset in each piece of cardio equipment.  Recovery phase of
the workout is the time in between the four different machines and I use this
time to answer all of its questions like "how much do you weigh", "what type
of workout", I always have to override the formulas by saying I am 23 years
old (actually I am 49) and I want to manually control the workout so I punch
in that request.


I start each time in Z2 for the first five minutes and that allows me
to comfortably warm the specific muscles that I am using on that machine as
well as recover from the circuit before.  For example, after I get off the
stepper and start programming in my personal information into the treadmill,
I am recovering from the stepper while I start walking at the floor of my Z2
zone which for me is 120 bpm.  I slowly then during that first five minutes
increase the belt speed so that I get to 130 bpm in about 2.5 minutes.  This
is the midpoint of my Z2 Temperate Zone and b the end of five minutes I have
watched my heart rate increase to the ceiling of my Z2 which is the floor of
my Z3 which is 145 bpm.  I have to tell you that Z4 which is 80% of my Max HR
is the point that I can feel the intensity and I hang out a lot in the lower
half of my Z4 for that five minutes as it's hot in the upper half or for me
170-180 bpm for very long.


At the end of an hour and you might want to do fewer machines, lower
zones, less time at first, I feel that glow and good feeling that I get
whenever I have a workout where I have maximized my time and gotten the most
benefit possible.  That's what this workout is all about--incredible
cardiovascular benefit in every single minute of workout time.
For you who are avid like I am at HZT Point System--this workout is
worth 180 HZT points for the day.

#13:  Testing MAX HR

Because the accurate assessment of your Max HR is crucial to the
development of any effective training or fitness program, most coaches and
trainer advocate verifying estimates with actual performance tests.  These
tests can be conducted by physicians and other health professionals in a
laboratory setting or self-administered.


A word of caution to all of our readers.  Do not take
self-administered tests if you are over 35 years of age, have been sedentary,
or for any reason are in poor physical condition and have not had a thorough
physical exam (including an exercise stress test) and a physician's release.
The American College of Sports Medicine also offers the following
warning:  At or above 35 years of age, it is necessary for individuals to
have a medical examination and a maximal exercise test before beginning a
vigorous exercise program.  At any age, the information gathered from an
exercise test may be useful to establish an effective and safe exercise
prescription.  Maximal testing done for men at age 40 or above or women age
50 and older, even when no symptoms or risk factors are present should be
performed with physician supervision.


You should also know that the American College of Cardiology and the
American Heart Association question the value of diagnostic exercise testing
in apparently healthy individuals.


Talk to your own personal physician to determine what Max HR
calculation or test is appropriate for you.


A maximal stress test and health appraisal by a physician or sports
physiologist is the safest and most recommended way to determine your precise
Max HR.  The test is usually administered on a treadmill or exercise bicycle
and it simulates increased workload by increasing the pace, resistance or the
surface incline.


During the test you will be forced to exercise extremely hard.  The
test will continue until an increased intensity of exercise does not cause an
increase in heart rate.  At that point, you've reached your max.
It is only natural that the test will create some muscular pain and
you will feel very uncomfortable.  But, if breathing difficulties or any
pains occur, especially in the chest, the test should be terminated.
There are a number of tests you can take to verify your Max HR
calculation.  In her book, The Heart Rate Monitor, Sally Edwards included
several of them.  She has since determined that some people can't reach their
max with those tests because their legs fatigue first.


To insure a more accurate Max HR reading, Edwards has developed a
refined protocol which requires only two to four minutes of hard effort. 
Please keep in mind, the maximal stress test cautions mentioned previously
also apply to self-administered tests.


Before and after taking any Max HR test, or just exercising for that
matter, you should warm up and cool down.  How long and how hard is an
individual choice.  Remember, the purpose is to ease your body from a resting
state to an active once and back again.


Just like any other muscle, the heart needs to warm up before going
all out and to slow down before coming to an abrupt stop.

The 2-4 Minute Max Test
The two to Four-Minute Max HR test can be best performed on a track
and it requires a partner who can run with you throughout the test, give HR
readings and set a hard pace.  The runner being tested wears the chest
transmitter belt while the partner wears the wrist monitor.


Start the test with an easy warm-up of at least five minutes or two
laps.  Your goal during the warm-up is to get your heart working at about
110-130 beats per minute or about 60 percent of your age estimated Max HR.
After warming up, and without stopping, gradually accelerate your
speed so that your heart rate climbs about five beats every 15 seconds.  At
15-second intervals, your partner should tell you the time and your heart
rate and offer on-going encouragement to gradually push harder.


Within a two to four-minute window, if your partner sets the pace
correctly, your heart rate will cease to climb even with increased effort and
pace.  At that point, you've reached your max and your partner should call an
end to the test or you simply won't be able to run another step!  A diagram
of your test might look like the above chart.


During that last 15-30 seconds of the test as you continue to
gradually accelerate, your partner should keep repeating your heart rate over
and over.  Eventually, the same number will be repeated because your heart
won't go higher--it's a finite number.

Training Zones
After completing a medically appropriate performance test and
determining your Max HR, you are ready to develop a training or fitness
program around a training zone which meets your current level of fitness and
goals.  Get out your calculator or pencil and computer your five training
zones.

Running Max Heart Rate Test

Equipment
* Runner Testee w/chest transmitter
* Runner Partner w/receiver watch set at stopwatch 10
* 400 meter track, running gear

Steps
1.  Warm-up w/2-6 easy laps at 60 percent of mathematically-calculated Max HR.

2.  At starting point, partner sets gradually increasing pace.  The goal is
to reach the max between two and four minutes.

3.  Every 15 sec. partner gives HR and elapsed time such as "One minute, 155."

4.  If you reach the 3 minute mark, continue to accelerate but you need to
reach max within 60 sec.

5.  By the end, you are running extremely fast, can no longer talk and are
breathing rapidly and hard.

6.  Partner should now be repeating HR ever 5 sec. yelling positively and
gradually accelerating until you can no longer maintain form, speed or
willingness to run.  You've max'd when HR no longer climbs.

7.  Partner calls the end to the test.  Warm down w/slow walk to recover then
jog an easy 206 laps for total recovery.

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