Q & A with Coach Lora:  Heart Rate Training Zones – What do they mean?

January 30, 2018 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews

Here’s a recent question I answered from one of my beginner athletes:

Question:  Hi, I have some questions regarding the training zones I see in Training Peaks.  I see the two columns for the heart rate and pace.  I don’t know how to read these and what the different zones mean.  Can you help me understand?

Answer:   Sure, heart rate zones are used to prescribe a certain intensity for segments of the workouts I provide for you.  The higher the number and zone the more intense the workout.  Often I will use LZ2 (Low Zone 2) meaning use the lower end of this zone range as seen under your Training Peaks zones under settings.   For example the range might be 121-130…keep your heart rate close to 121 for that segment.  HZ4 means High Zone 4…which would be a hard intensity.  Generally you will see zones 1-5 like this:

Zone 1 = Recovery

Zone 2 = Aerobic

Zone 3 = Tempo

Zone 4 = Subthreshold

Zone 5 a, b, c  = Super Threshold, aerobic and anaerobic capacity

Each zone will have a number range associated with it.  It’s important to keep in mind that heart rate zones are very particular to a person, for instance while one athletes Zone 2 is 121-130, another athlete might be 150-161…every athlete is different and the numbers are based on their particular threshold number.  For those that don’t have a heart rate monitor I suggest RPE. RPE or Rate of Perceived Exertion is based more on a 1-10 scale and a good way to “rate” a level of output.  Sometimes you will see this on your workouts too. Here’s some more information is you want to read up on it:   https://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/training-zones-explained-2979

Each article you read has a bit different twist on it but generally know it just a measure of intensity. Heart Rate zones for running and cycling will be different.  There are no heart rate zones for swimming unless you have a special chest strap that reads accurately (the newer Garmin 935 watch has it).  You will also notice there is a pace chart too.  As your training progresses we will utilize this more but for now let’s go for push efforts through using heart rate zones. Also, Zones are usually determined by testing, I like to use a recent race or workouts as people get started.  Once athletes are able to run 1 to 3 miles strong we do a test to determine zones.  Zones will change as the fitness changes.  Obviously a heart rate strap needs to be worn to get this data.  Let me know if you have any other questions. Good stuff!

Happy Training,

Coach Lora

Related articles:

Heart Rate Training Zone

How to Calculate Your Training Heart Rate Zones

Need help with training or have a question?  Contact Coach Lora Erickson at theblonderunner@gmail.com

Learn more about Coach Lora aka Blonde Runner http://blonderunner.com/about/who-is-blonde-runner/

Utah Race Discount Codes

December 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews, Races

I just love local races and do my best to secure discount codes for my website visitors (thanks for visiting!).  I am always adding new discounts and keep an updated list on this page:  Blonde Runner Race Product Discount Codes

Let me know if you need help with training, I’d love to coach you!  Mention this post and get $50 off your first month of custom coaching.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Coach Lora Erickson on Fox13 The Place Promoting the Salt Lake Marathon Video Clip

December 30, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Product Reviews, Races

Recently I had the opportunity to promote the Salt Lake Marathon on Fox13 The Place. Check out the interview below. I hope you will join us for for the 15th Anniversary year! Use the code blonderunnerslc18 to save 20%
Prices are going up soon!  Get registered
Coach Lora Erickson
#saltlakecitymarathon #run #discountcode

Win a Spot in the Thanksgiving Day Races

October 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Product Reviews, Races

I love local races. Come join the fun at the South Davis Recreation Center Thanksgiving Day races. Win a spot in the Facebook giveaway on the Blonde Runner Health page or use this code THANKSGIVINGLORA for $5 off. See you there!
Register now
Coach Lora Erickson
BlondeRunner.com

Chicken Chili Crockpot Soup Recipe

I just love soups this time of year!  They are so yummy and warm when there is a nip in the air.  Chicken Chili Soup is one of my very favorites. The recipe is below. Enjoy!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

 

Video Footage of Lora Erickson at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships

October 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews, Races

This was the coolest experience to participant in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.  Check out this footage.  I am sure you will be able to tell, I really get excited at the finish!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Beetroot Pro Discount Code

This stuff is great! Give Beetroot Pro a try, you’ll love it!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

How to Pick Good Running Shoes

September 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews

A little while ago I put together this video clip about running shoes.  Give it a listen and be sure and get good shoes.  In my area I recommend Wasatch Running Center (they have a store in Centerville & Sandy).  Discounts are offered for my athletes, just tell them I sent you in.

Happy Running,

Coach Lora Erickson

theblonderunner@gmail.com

Need help with training? Contact me, I would love to help!  Individual consultation and/or in-person or on-line coaching available.

Race Report: Ironman 70.3 World Championships, Chattanooga, Tennessee – Saturday Sept. 9, 2017

It seems surreal to me to have experienced a competition along-side some of the best triathletes in the world. What an honor it was to participate in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Tennessee this past Saturday. It was a difficult race and I was thrilled to be able to check off another state towards my 50 states goal (Read More:Journey to Race in All 50 States). I arrived a few days early allowing me to attend the welcome banquet and have a day to put my bike back together, check-in and get acquainted with the race venue. Tennessee is a beautiful state and the humidity breeds ample foliage. The winding roads were surrounded by trees and greenery and I was excited to know that these would be the roads we would be riding and running on! I love nature!

My body was a little stiff and tired from the flight and travel but they managed to loosen up on a run. I had some physical limitations this year that have dampened my training efforts but overall my body felt pretty good, all things considered, and I was excited to be there.

Next I assembled my bike to find a mechanical problem that I remedied (or did the best I could, not being a bike mechanic). Then it was off to the grocery store for food. I always like to make my own stuff as much as I can so I can eat foods my body is used to. I also needed to pick up some Co2 cartridges for emergency tire changes since they are not allowed on the plane.

Then I checked in and picked up my packet and began assembling my bags and getting organized. I always feel so much better when everything is ready. This was a “clean transition” which means nothing more than bikes where allowed in the transition area. The bikes were packed tight with little space around them. Bags would be used for the ride and run and to be dropped off along with the bike Friday night before the race. This means I had to have everything ready in advance and as the race progresses each athlete picks up their bag, goes through a changing area and then moves to the next discipline. It would add a little bit of time to my overall time but everyone had to do it so I became familiar with all of that before dinner. 

The Welcome Banquet was spectacular gathering nearly 4,000 participants from all over the world (91 countries) who had qualified for this event in one big room. There was live music and a nice southern dinner with many choices including; pulled pork, chicken, slaw, green beans, corn muffins, green salad, fruit, chocolate brownies and pecan pie. We listened to many speakers welcome us with encouraging words. The highlight for me was when they introduced the youngest (18 years) and oldest athletes. The oldest man was 86! His finish would mark the oldest man to have ever completed the 70.3 WC event. So cool! What an inspiration and testament to triathlon being a life-long sport.

Race morning the transition was packed with excited athletes chattering about previous race experiences; the nervous energy was nearly palatable. I quickly double checked my bike and set up my nutrition then re-acquainted myself with all the transition ins-and-outs. Soon the women pro’s started. It was fun to see them run through their transition and cheer for them. Then finally it was time for me to head to the swim start.

After waiting for what seemed like an eternity we were taken down the corrals to the swim dock (nearly one hour and 40 minutes after the first women were in the water). Then we were off, as soon as I jumped in I could feel the current working against me. It was a difficult swim heading up-river which increased my anxiety but I tried to stay calm and focused. It seemed to take forever to get to each sight buoy and the sun was in my eyes. Finally it was over and a quick glance at my watch confirming my extremely slow swim time; certainly not a good representation of my ability however I quickly put it behind me and focused on the task at hand; there was no use dwelling on it. It is what it is!

I moved through transition smoothly grabbing my bike bag and switching to cycling gear; I stuffed my wetsuit in the bag and handed it to a volunteer and darted for transition. Sadly my bike was situated on the far side so there was a long run with my bike to the other side of the large transition area then I would finally be able to get on my bike. I kept moving and mounted quickly determined to make up some ground on the ride. I knew I could cycle strong. There was only a short distance before the long Lookout Mountain climb so I tried to get some nutrition in as soon as I could. I swallowed some river water but it didn’t seem to have the effect saltwater has on me so I was OK.

The climb seemed to come with no hesitation and soon I was spinning in my easiest gear and watching my heart rate climb. I tried to keep it in check and passed many women who were struggling and some who decided to walk their bike. It was a long leg-numbing climb similar to Snow Canyon in Utah with just some more twists and turns. After the main climb the route continued to be a series of inclines and descents with many turns, and I did drop my chain once. It seemed I spent much of my time in either the hardest gear descending quick then back into the easiest gear to climb so my legs were being put to the test. The route also teased with many false flats and a head wind the last 45 minutes.

Being the last wave of ladies in the water the women were spread out so it was difficult for me to really get into race mode since there were so few women around me and large gaps between racers. I worked on catching up to anyone I could see in the distance. A few times I was disappointed to catch a man doing a warm up ride (the men were competing the next day). Honestly, the ride was a little lonely with a few riders dotting the road. It was a welcome sight to see my “support crew” cheering for me at the half way mark. That really lifted my spirits. I tried to stay focused and ride strong getting all my planned nutrition in. It was not an easy course and to compound the problem my quads and back muscles were starting to spasm and I was getting odd pains in my hips. My muscles didn’t seem to be functioning properly. This was unusual. I later found out that my bike saddle had dropped over 1/2 inch over the course of 56 miles due to a problem with my saddle stem bolt/wedge system that keeps it in place. That explains all the odd pains I was having! My legs felt different but I pushed forward and was pleased to reach T2 without getting a flat tire.

Soon I was off on the run. No sooner did I start then my right quad completely seized up (only about .3 miles in) and I slowed to a walk. I remember thinking, “Oh no, this is going to be a long day!” I downed some extra electrolytes that I always bring with me just in case and took the time to put on some extra chafing cream under my arms. I then pushed my legs to run again. A fellow athlete I bumped into at the airport warned me that the run would be challenging as it was constantly up and down. I could not agree more: it was a challenge so I needed my legs to cooperate! As the miles wore on my legs felt more and more spent and didn’t seem to want to respond to my taunting so I resolved to focus on enjoying being part of this historic event. I took in the scenery and listened to people cheering. I always appreciate the volunteers that spend all day feeding us at aide stations and keeping us motivated. I thought about my friends and family and the encouraging words they have said to me recently. It was fun to see the community involved as many had lawn chairs out in the front of their houses cheering and my personal favorite; the sprinkler going in the road so we could run in it and cool ourselves down. Go USA! 🇺🇸

The temperatures where not too bad but the humidity made it feel hotter than it was. I looked forward to cheers from my friend and sister who had come to see me race. It was such a boost hearing those cheers by name and seeing familiar faces. They made fun signs for me and I found myself looking for those bright signs every turn; it really kept me going and I can’t thank them enough for their support! It was a long day and as I counted down the last 5K, I was delighted to know that I was going to finish an Ironman 70.3 World Championship that day.

I did it! I made it to the finish with a smile on my face grateful that I am physically able to do hard things and push my body despite my physical struggles this year. I am truly so grateful for my friends, family and sponsor support from near and far. Those kind encouraging words I get throughout the year carry me through the hard workouts and tough challenging courses like this one. You are so appreciated! Thank you!  Here’s to many more adventures together!

Coach Lora Erickson

Go USA! 🇺🇸 @champsys #beyourownbrand #bountifulbicycle #intermountainsportsmed #bountifulbicycle #xterrawetsuits #cocogo #ensoroller #Wasatchrunningcenter #dohardthings #gratitude

Related links:

I did it! IG link to post: https://instagram.com/p/BY1zP8Snzo9/

Number and visor picture on FB

Medal Monday IG post: https://instagram.com/p/BY63v7eHSt7/

Product Review: I love Beetroot Pro, it’s a portable powder!

I LOVE the health benefits of beets. Use the code RUNNER5 for $5 off and free shipping. Check out this awesome portable powder. Learn more 
Coach Lora Erickson
BlondeRunner.com

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