Here’s your weekend contribution from Scarborough chairman, Annabel Wallis MBE.  This week Annabel takes a look at heart rates.


Heart rate monitors are found on numerous fitness trackers these days and counting your daily steps has become extremely popular over the last few years. So for best results, train sensibly by working out your heart rate training zones.  Training zones provide an accurate picture of your overall fitness and how challenging your individual training sessions actually are.

Planning your training around your heart rate can be an excellent way to ensure you’re working as hard as you intend to each day, or even taking it a bit easier when you’ve planned some active recovery. To do that, you need to work out what your heart rate zones are and what each of them means.

How to Calculate Your Heart Rate Zones
Work out your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.  Once you have your maximum heart rate figure, the zones are a simple percentage of this – 60-70%, 70-80%, 80-90% and 90-100%.

What Each Heart Rate Zone Means
Generally speaking, four training zones are used based on your heart rate, which break down as follows:-
1. 60-70%: The fat-burning zone. Easy training at a conversational pace. Good for building endurance through long workouts.

2. 70-80%: The aerobic zone. The most effective zone for improving cardiovascular fitness – building your stamina. This is the zone you’ll spend most time in during steady runs and resistance workouts.

3. 80-90%: The anaerobic zone. You’ll be working at a fast pace and breathing hard. This zone improves your anaerobic capacity, increasing your lactate threshold (how long you can sustain this level of effort for). Aim for 80% and above during threshold training and faster runs and the intervals of high intensity workouts. Just know that you don’t need to spend much time in this zone to get the performance benefits. But it will still be a hard training session and good for developing your speed abilities.

4. 90-100%: The VO2 max zone. Push yourself to the limit, working at sprinting pace for short periods. If you’re relatively new to exercise, make sure to spend a couple of months training in the lower zones to build a good fitness base before considering pushing above 90%.

Looking forward to the next Pit Stop – Core Stability


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