How To Train More Like A Competitive Runner

running zones zone 2 training zone 3 training May 27, 2022


How do you train more like a competitive runner?


Competitive runners have phases to their training and don't just go out and run hard every day on the same route.

A common strategy to take training one step farther is to measure heart rate with a heart rate monitor.

This can be helpful in monitoring intensity while running and give you a better feel for what your efforts look like in an objective way.

More specifically, it is important to consider which heart rate zone to prioritize when running. 

Running all out isn't the answer

I hate to break it to ya, but running all out until it "feels hard" every time is not the answer. 


Here is a summary of the zones and what they are good for:

 “Easy” Zone 1 & 2 Running

  • Increases fat burning enzymes⁣ ⁣
  • Increases the size of your heart and how much blood you can pump⁣
  • These physiological adaptations are your aerobic base.

 ⁣“Hard” Zone 4 & 5 Running

  • Increases VO2 max⁣
  • Increases lactate threshold⁣
  • Improves speed⁣
  • These adaptations are great to pursue in your build phase.

 “Kinda Hard” Zone 3 Training

  • Not ideal for driving either adaptation, but great for maintaining both ⁣
  • This is great to program in a taper before your race but NOT year round all the time ⁣
Moral of the story, don't spend all your time going hard. Spending time to build an aerobic base is imperative. 

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