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Different trainings and their purposes

In your training plan, you probably have already noticed that we will be working with different heart rate zones, but what do all these zones actually mean?

Lets break it down together:


This zone we won’t really be using when we are running, but mostly when we are doing alternative cardio sports (cycling, swimming, strength training, …). This low-intensity training helps to enhance aerobic endurance, laying down a solid foundation for more intense workouts down the road. It’s perfect for active recovery days, allowing muscles to loosen up and repair while still keeping the blood flowing.


Some will hate this zone (especially in the beginning), but it’s a very important one to focus on to become a better runner. When running in this zone, you should feel like you could hold a conversation without huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf.

Now, why bother with Zone 2 when you could be sprinting like Usain Bolt? Well, here are some interesting benefits:

  1. Builds Aerobic Base: Running in Zone 2 helps to strengthen your aerobic system. That means your heart and lungs get a serious workout, making them stronger and more efficient. It will also teach your body to become more efficient with the usage of oxygen. This will help you in the long run (pin intended) to become a better runner because you will be able to keep a higher pace for a longer period of time.
  2. Fat Burning Machine: Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to burning fat. Running in Zone 2 taps into your fat stores for energy, which is actually very interesting for marathon runners (you have more fat storage in your body than glycogeen (carbs), so when running for a long period of time, you will need these extra sources)
  3. Reduces Risk of Injury: One of the biggest perks of Zone 2 running is that it’s gentle on your body. You’re not putting excessive stress on your muscles and joints like you would during a high-intensity workout. So, kiss those nagging injuries goodbye!
  4. Improves Endurance: Ever hit the dreaded wall during a long run? Running in Zone 2 helps to train your body to go the distance. It teaches your muscles to conserve energy and keep on truckin’ when the going gets tough.
  5. Mental Boost: Running at a leisurely pace gives you plenty of time to zone out and enjoy the scenery. It’s like a moving meditation that clears your mind and boosts your mood. Plus, it’s a great excuse to rock out to your favorite tunes, catch up on podcasts, discover a new place, … endless possibilities!


Alright, let’s chat about cruising through Zone 3, also known as the “tempo” zone. If you’re a runner, you know that finding your groove is half the battle. So, why should you consider hanging out in Zone 3? Let me break it down for you:

  1. Boosts Aerobic Fitness: Zone 3 is not too fast, not too slow, but just right for improving your aerobic fitness. It’s a sweet spot where you’re working your heart and lungs enough to build endurance without going into overdrive. Think of it as laying down a solid foundation for all your future running adventures.
  2. Improves Mental Toughness: Running in Zone 3 isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s not a sprint to the finish line either. It’s that sweet spot where you have to push yourself just enough to keep going. Embracing the discomfort of Zone 3 builds mental toughness that’ll come in handy when you’re facing down those killer hills or pushing through the last mile of a race.
  3. Reduces Risk of Injury: Unlike high-intensity workouts that can leave your muscles feeling like overcooked spaghetti, Zone 3 running is gentle on your body. You’re still getting a killer workout, but without the pounding and stress that can lead to injuries. It’s like giving your body a hug instead of a beatdown.
  4. Fosters Consistency: Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to improving as a runner. Running in Zone 3 allows you to log those miles without burning out or risking injury. It’s all about finding that balance between pushing yourself and knowing when to take it easy.


Alright, buckle up, because we’re diving into Zone 4, the zone where things start to get spicy for runners! So, why should you care about hitting Zone 4 during your runs?

  1. Supercharges Speed: Zone 4 is like hitting the nitro boost in a racing game—it’s where you kick things up a notch and zoom past your comfort zone. Running in this zone pushes your limits and helps you build speed like nobody’s business. Say hello to PRs and podium finishes!
  2. Boosts Anaerobic Capacity: Ever feel like you’re gasping for air during a sprint? That’s your anaerobic system kicking into high gear. Training in Zone 4 helps to improve your body’s ability to deal with oxygen debt, making those lung-busting efforts feel a little less brutal.
  3. Increases Lactate Threshold: Lactic acid buildup is the bane of every runner’s existence, but fear not—Zone 4 training can help tame the beast. By pushing your lactate threshold higher, you’ll be able to sustain intense efforts for longer without feeling like your legs are on fire.
  4. Burns Calories Like Crazy: If you’re looking to torch some serious calories, Zone 4 is where it’s at. The high intensity of these workouts revs up your metabolism, turning you into a calorie-burning machine both during and after your run. So don’t forget to fuel properly with protein and carbs after a tough training that includes zone 4!
  5. Boosts Mental Toughness: Running in Zone 4 isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes grit, determination, and a whole lot of mental toughness to push through those hard intervals. But hey, every time you conquer a tough workout, you’re building resilience that’ll serve you well on race day and beyond. No pain no gain princess 😉


And then the last one, zone 5. This zone we will be barely working in, because long sessions in this zone are not that good for your heart, BUT tipping your toes in this zone every now and then isn’t so bad because of the following reasons:

  1. Turbocharges Speed: If you wanna feel like you’re flying, Zone 5 is where it’s at. We’re talking all-out, pedal-to-the-metal sprinting that leaves you gasping for air and feeling like a superhero. Training in this zone helps you unleash your inner speed demon and leave your competition eating dust.
  2. Maximizes VO2 Max: Ever heard of VO2 max? It’s like the holy grail of aerobic fitness, and Zone 5 workouts are like a turbo boost for yours. By pushing your body to its limits, you’re forcing it to adapt and become more efficient at using oxygen—aka the stuff that keeps you going when you’re gasping for air.
  3. Boosts Endurance: Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking—how can sprinting like a maniac improve endurance? Well, turns out, mixing in some high-intensity intervals in Zone 5 actually trains your body to recover faster and keep pushing through fatigue. It’s like teaching your muscles to keep chugging along even when they’re begging for mercy.
  4. Builds Mental Toughness: Let’s be real—Zone 5 workouts aren’t for the faint of heart. They’ll push you to your limits and then some, but hey, that’s where the magic happens. Every time you conquer a tough interval, you’re not just building physical strength—you’re building mental toughness that’ll serve you well on race day and beyond.