Heart Rate Zone 2 Primer – Part 3

This is Part 3 of a 3 Part Series.

In this series I have been discussing Zone 2 Heart Rate training.  In the first part, I discussed how to find your Zone 2 Heart rate.  This is extremely important if you want to succeed with the program.  You can’t make up a Zone 2 Heart Rate!!  Your Zone 2 Heart Rate maximum is calculated by the following formula: 180 – age = Max Zone 2 HR.  Yesterday I was listening to a podcast from Endurance Planet, and some guy was questioning his Zone 2 Heart Rate that his coach gave him.  He said that his coach told him not to exceed 150 bpm.  But he said that his “MAF” was 165!!  Well, based on that max heart rate, he would be 15 years old!!  Look folks, your Zone 2 Heart Rate is not something that you can make up.  It’s 180 – age … period!!

In part 2 of this series, I spent the time discussing the MAF test, as well as discussing cardiac drift. I don’t know about you, but I know that I want to see progress!!  Bottom line, if you follow the program you will see progress!!  Yes you start off slow.  But your starting off slow because you need to build your aerobic base!!  Patience … Follow the program and you will see a difference.  Anyway, part 2 talks about doing the MAF test so that you can see your progress as you are building your aerobic base.

Now for the meat of the program.  In this final part, I will include a program that I used to training for a half marathon.  You can adjust the time to train for a full marathon, but this program will teach you how to build your aerobic base.  This program does take into account that you can run for 1 hour in Zone 2 since that is where you will start off.  If you need to build up to this, there are 5K and 10K training programs that I have previously posted in the blog.

This program includes a 16 week aerobic base build, then an 8 week build, followed by a 2 week taper for a total of 26 weeks.  Yes … That means that I actually “run” two races a year even though I do more than that.

Weeks 1-5:

  • Monday – strength training (on these days, I walk to the gym which is a 15 minute walk, then I spend about 40 minutes in the gym doing a full body exercises (squats, leg press, lunges, bench press, seated overhead press, pull ups)
  • Tuesday – walk for 15 minutes, run 1 hour in zone 2, walk for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday – strength training, cross training (swimming, biking, walking, etc) or rest day depending on how you feel
  • Thursday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 1 hour in zone 2, walk for 15 minutes
  • Friday –  strength training
  • Saturday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 1 hour in zone 2, walk for 15 minutes (for subsequent weeks use the following times: 65, 70, 60, 75, and 80)
  • Sunday – walk/run 1 hour in Zone 1 and Zone 2

Weeks 6 – 10:

  • Monday – strength training
  • Tuesday – walk for 15 minutes, run 1 hour and 15 minutes in zone 2, walk for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday – strength training, cross training or rest day depending on how you feel
  • Thursday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 1 hour in zone 2, walk for 15 minutes
  • Friday –  strength training
  • Saturday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 90 minutes in zone 2, walk for 15 minutes (for subsequent weeks use the following times: 75, 100, 110, 120 and 100)
  • Sunday – walk/run 1 hour in Zone 1 and Zone 2

Weeks 11 – 16:

  • Monday – strength training
  • Tuesday – walk for 15 minutes, run 1 hour and 30 minutes in zone 2, walk for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday – strength training, cross training or rest day depending on how you feel
  • Thursday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 1 hour and 15 minutes in zone 2, walk for 15 minutes
  • Friday –  strength training
  • Saturday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 130 minutes in zone 2, walk for 15 minutes (for subsequent weeks increase time to 140, 150, 120, 165, and 180)
  • Sunday – walk/run 1 hour in Zone 1 and Zone 2

Week 17:

  • Monday – strength training
  • Tuesday – walk for 15 minutes, run 1 hour and 30 minutes in zone 2, walk for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday – strength training, cross training or rest day depending on how you feel
  • Thursday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 1 hour and 15 minutes in zone 2, walk for 15 minutes
  • Friday –  strength training
  • Saturday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 130 minutes in zone 2, walk for 15 minutes (for subsequent weeks increase time to 140, 150, 120, 165, and 180)
  • Sunday – walk/run 1 hour in Zone 1 and Zone 2

Week 18:

  • Monday – strength training
  • Tuesday – walk for 15 minutes, run 4.5 miles in Zone 2 and 1/2 miles in Zone 3, walk for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday – strength training, cross training or rest day depending on how you feel
  • Thursday – walk for 15 minutes, run 6 miles in Zone 3, walk for 15 minutes
  • Friday –  strength training
  • Saturday – walk/run 4.5 miles in Zone 1 and Zone 2
  • Sunday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 7.5 miles in Zone 2, walk for 15 minutes

Week 19:

  • Monday – strength training
  • Tuesday – walk for 15 minutes, 4.5 miles in Zone 2, then 1 min Zone 4 with 1 min rest (repeat 6 times), walk for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday – strength training, cross training or rest day depending on how you feel
  • Thursday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 6 miles in Zone 3, walk for 15 minutes
  • Friday –  strength training
  • Saturday – walk/run 4 miles in Zone 1 and Zone 2
  • Sunday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 9 miles in Zone 2, walk for 15 minutes

Week 20:

  • Monday – strength training
  • Tuesday – walk for 15 minutes, 5 miles in Zone 2, then two 4 min intervals in Zone 4 with 1 min rest, walk for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday – strength training
  • Thursday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 4.5  miles in Zone 3, run for 1 miles in Zone 4, then walk for 15 minutes
  • Friday –  strength training
  • Saturday – walk/run 4 miles in Zone 1 and Zone 2
  • Sunday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 9 miles in Zone 2, then walk for 15 minutes

Week 21:

  • Monday – strength training
  • Tuesday – walk for 15 minutes, 6 miles in Zone 2, then two 6 min intervals in Zone 4 with 1 min rest, walk for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday – walk/run for 3.5 miles in Zone 1 and Zone 2
  • Thursday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 6 miles in Zone 3, then run 1 mile in Zone 4 and finish with a walk for 15 minutes
  • Friday –  strength training
  • Saturday – walk for 15 minutes, run 6 miles in Zone 2, then walk for 15 minutes
  • Sunday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 9 miles in Zone 2 and then run for 3 miles in Zone 4, walk for 15 minutes

Week 22:

  • Monday – strength training
  • Tuesday – walk for 15 minutes, 7 miles in Zone 2, then 1 mile in Zone 4, then walk for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday – walk/run for 3.5 miles in Zone 1 and Zone 2
  • Thursday – strength training
  • Friday –  walk for 15 minutes, 4.5 miles in Zone 2, then 1 mile in Zone 4, then walk for 15 minutes
  • Saturday – cross training
  • Sunday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 10.5 miles in Zone 2 and then run for 3 miles in Zone 4, walk for 15 minutes

Week 23:

  • Monday – strength training
  • Tuesday – walk for 15 minutes, 7.5 miles in Zone 2, then two 1/2 mile intervals in Zone 4 with 1 minute rest between each interval, then walk for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday – walk/run for 4 miles in Zone 1 and Zone 2
  • Thursday – walk for 15 minutes, 6 miles in Zone 2, then 1.5 miles in Zone 4, then walk for 15 minutes
  • Friday –  strength training
  • Saturday – cross training
  • Sunday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 12 miles in Zone 2 and then run for 3 miles in Zone 4, walk for 15 minutes

Week 24:

  • Monday – strength training
  • Tuesday – walk for 15 minutes, 6 miles in Zone 2, then ten 1 minute intervals in Zone 4 with 1 minute rest between each interval, then walk for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday – walk/run for 4 miles in Zone 1 and Zone 2
  • Thursday – walk for 15 minutes, 6 miles in Zone 3, then 1.5 miles in Zone 4, then walk for 15 minutes
  • Friday –  strength training
  • Saturday – cross training
  • Sunday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 9 miles in Zone 2 and then run for 3 miles in Zone 4, walk for 15 minutes

Week 25:

  • Monday – strength training
  • Tuesday – walk for 15 minutes, 5 miles in Zone 2, then two 1/2 mile intervals in Zone 4 with 1 minute rest between each interval, then walk for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday – walk/run for 2 miles in Zone 1 and Zone 2
  • Thursday – strength training
  • Friday –  walk for 15 minutes, 4.5 miles in Zone 2, then 1 mile in Zone 3, then walk for 15 minutes
  • Saturday – cross training
  • Sunday – walk for 15 minutes, run for 6 miles in Zone 2 and then run for 1 mile in Zone 4, walk for 15 minutes

Week 26:

  • Monday – rest
  • Tuesday – walk for 15 minutes, 4.5 miles in Zone 2, then five 1 minute intervals in Zone 4 with 1 minute rest between each interval, then walk for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday – rest
  • Thursday – walk for 15 minutes, 3 miles in Zone 3, then five 1 minute intervals in Zone 3 with 1 minute rest between each interval, then walk for 15 minutes
  • Friday –  rest
  • Saturday – walk 15 minutes, the 1.5 miles in Zone 2, then walk for 15 minutes
  • Sunday – RACE DAY!!

So that’s the plan … You can increase the times and the distances for longer races.  I also recommend that you take a week off once you complete your race.  I don’t mean sit on the couch and not do anything.  Just no running … Go out and walk.  I walked 1 hour a day for a week for my off week.  It was an enjoyable, stop and smell the roses walk.  Then you can start your build over again … Just increase the initial time from 60 minutes to 75 minutes.

If you have any questions on this Zone 2 Primer, please shoot me a comment and I will answer your question(s) as soon as I can.

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~ by Greg Vick on August 5, 2013.

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