For those of you who don’t own Heart Rate Monitors and aren’t able to pinpoint your MAF or calculate your 5 heart rate training zones, here is what we call the “Perceived Exertion” or PE scale:

  • Zone 1 – very easy, barely breaking a sweat.
  • Zone 2 – quite comfortable, conversational, easy “LSD” effort.
  • Zone 3 – slightly uncomfortable, half marathon race effort.
  • Zone 4 – pretty darn uncomfortable, 10k race effort.
  • Zone 5 – very very uncomfortable, all-out, 110% hard effort.

So, from now on, when your training schedule tells you to do “4 minutes in Zone 2 followed by 1 minute Zone 5″ you will know that translates to “run very comfortably for 4 minutes and then make yourself very VERY UNcomfortable for 1 minute”.

Don’t worry if you don’t get it at first, as your training progresses this stuff will become second nature and you will intuitively know how hard you can push yourself for any given duration and exertion level. That is what will make you a better, faster and more adept athlete with more than just one speed… it also builds character!

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