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Training Your Athletic Gears

It’s a story that has been around as long as sport itself, sprints sprint while distance runners train long and steady both only use and need to train one energy system or “gear”.

But this just is not the case when we take a look at sport in general the vast majority of people will move through and require all their energy systems to some degree.

And training them all in a varied approach is key to improving your overall fitness and performance.

So let’s take a look at our target zones or “gears” and what they are used for,

Zone 1, This is our recovery zone or resting zone it is our general area we would spend most of our none training time in we wouldn’t “Train” this zone as such but it would come up in rest periods while training other Zones.

Zone 2, This is our steady-state aerobic zone trained in long sessions around the 60-90 minute mark at slower easy efforts and training the bodies ability to use fats as an energy source.

We would generally train this in a long single distance or time fashion but we can mix the modality of movement used e,g 20 Minute Run, 20 Minute Row, 20 Minute Bike.

Zone 3, This is our zone where we get our cardiovascular benefits from training also know as the aerobic zone, we would usually use Tempo or Pace type training to utilise this zone e,g a 30 Minute Run at 5 seconds slower than your 5k pace, but also can be used in an interval fashion e,g 5 Minutes at Zone 3 into 1 Minute Zone 5 for 5 Rounds.

These sessions generally last form 30-45 Minutes.

Zone 4, In this zone we are using a mix of the aerobic and anaerobic energy system while training the body to better use carbohydrates as an energy source.

We would usually train this system/zone in an interval or time period fashion with total rest periods or with periods in other training zones in between efforts.

Zone 5, This is our high intensity (Someones Blacking Out) Zone, this is where we would train our top-end effort or that sprint finish ability.

Predominantly trained in an interval or time period fashion with total rest periods or with periods in other training zones in between efforts.

This is our last push gear to the finish line and mainly trained in short bursts from 10 seconds to 5 minutes.

The main aim here is to train all aspects/zones in a balanced program to maximise our athletic potential and performance.

But we can also bias certain aspects/zones at target times of the year/season or if we find an aspect/zone that we are limited in e,g the distance runner that struggles with the last push to the finish, then we can lean into Zone 5 training to help bring this limitation while still training our other aspects/zones.

And that is a quick rundown of how to train your Athletic gears if you have any questions please drop them in the comments or a message.


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