Heart rate and sport
Let's start with the basics right away: with heart rate we indicate the number of beats that our heart performs over time conventionally accepted by all of one minute.
Heart rate based training defines your training and performance is heart rate based.
Believe it or not, in some ways you probably already are, but let's try to better understand what this type of training is, what it is the lactate threshold o aerobic threshold, le training zones etc.
1. How to Monitor Your Heart Rate
Ever seen someone running with their fingers fixed on the jugular trying to count the beats while counting the seconds pass on the clock? This is certainly a valid method, but we could project ourselves into the twentieth century and buy one heart rate monitor, you will need it.
Surely you have considered purchasing heart rate monitors, you've probably already bought it, but apart from finding out your heartbeat, you probably don't know what to do with it. Now let's deepen for a moment what we are talking about about this type of training:
most people, even those with very little knowledge of the considerations behind heart rates have felt that to find out your maximum heart rate you have to subtract your age from 220. This system is pretty crude, kind of like saying that instead of measure the shoes we can take them based on the length that goes from the wrist to the elbow. Why get a heart rate monitor if you don't want to be perfectly accurate?
This equation is the result of a 1930 study in which a variety of different subjects were compared, so it is best to put this aside. An approximate but still much more precise way to understand our maximum rate is called the Aerobic Threshold (LT).
2. Lactate threshold
Obviously it has to do with lactic acid. During low intensity efforts, your muscles produce lactic acid which the body is able to reabsorb, keeping its concentration low in the blood.
By increasing the intensity of work, the muscle will produce more lactic acid, in addition to the immediate resorption capacity of the body, thus increasing its concentration in the blood. The point where your body is it will no longer be able to keep up with the absorption of lactate it is called the “Lactate Threshold”, and represents the maximum work intensity that you will be able to maintain for about 30 minutes.
The more you train above this point, the greater the gap between what your body is capable of absorbing and how much your muscles are capable of producing.
It is not difficult to identify your threshold, and once you have discovered this, it will be quite simple to define your training areas in which to "stay" depending on the purpose you have set for yourself.
The test lasts about 30 minutes and the values are the same for both running and cycling.
Warm up for about fifteen minutes, during the last few minutes do a few 30-second sprints to get your heart rate up. To begin the test you will need to reach the maximum pace you can sustain for the next 30 minutes.
After 10 minutes, if you have the possibility to monitor your heart rate with a heart rate monitor with LAP function, you will have an average of the beats over the remaining 20 minutes. If you don't have this feature available, you'll have to average yourself.
Your lactate threshold is your average pulse over the past 20 minutes.
3. Training zones
Now that you know your lactate, what to do with it? Not long until you identify your training zones, at which point you will know what heart rate to reach to train in pursuit of certain goals.
The training zones are identifiable in relation to your threshold through a simple percentage calculation.
Now you know how simple it can be to find out what your training zones are.
For example, if your threshold is 160, your zone 2 would be 136 - 144.
To improve your aerobic capacity, stay in zone 1-2.
Zone 3 it is not low enough to build your aerobic level, nor high enough to improve speed or improve LT, so decide whether to increase or decrease intensity.
Zone 4 is focused on boosting your LT and gaining speed over medium distances, if you want to gain pure speed as a spirit, drop into zone 5.
If you take your training seriously, being aware of your lactate threshold is essential.
You may come across athletes who will tell you that this type of training is useless, that great athletes do without it.
While this may be true, it doesn't mean they couldn't have achieved the same results in less time with a more technical approach.
Over time your LT will improve through training, so you will have to rerun the tests periodically, but once the new levels have been defined, you just have to resume your training.