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Definition of the individual training zones through tests

The correct adjustment of the individual training area is a fundamental part of every single sport, because the athlete wants to finish every training session in the best way possible. If the training areas are only vaguely established, the training cannot be done effectively. It is ineffective (to low training stimulus) or even dangerous to health (to high training stimulus).

Scientific background

In the endurance sports the training areas are defined proceeding from the individual lactate or anaerobe threshold. This threshold is often also known as functional threshold. Although scientifically this statement is not completely correct, it always means the point at which the proportion of anaerobe energy supply processes increases so much, that the end products, especially the lactate, can no longer be broken down by the body. This happens approximately at a lactate value of 4mmol/l.

The definition of the individual anaerobe/ lactate threshold can be done accurately in a laboratory with a breath analysis. As an alternative, an easy-to-repeat test (so-called field test) is explained here, which anyone can do themselves during training to check the performance level. Our Athletes complete these tests in regular intervals to check their performance level.

All tests are scientifically proven and no invention from us. :-)

Biking and running

 30 min biking test ​
2 x 8 min biking test ​
30 min running test ​

Heart rate frequency threshold or performance threshold determination

Main part of the field test is a maximum speed test of 30:00 min. This is divided, after 10 minutes an intermediate time is taken and then the average heart frequency (or/ and average value) of the following 20 minutes as a test value. This average Value is used as the threshold value for calculating the training areas.

We therefore developed a standardized testing sequence, that will ensure an optimal test procedure concerning metabolism and training stress progression.

2. Alternative to the 30 min cycling test

In alternative to the sometimes very, even mentally, exhausting 30 min cycling test, a test with 2 maximum 8 minute intervals can be done. From the obtained value, 10% are deducted. The calculated value is used as the threshold value.

Threshold test for swimming  

CSS test for swimming ​

Here we use two of the most used tests to identify the threshold speed.

The goal and result of both tests are the same, the identification of the functional threshold speed.

1. Possibility - 1500m/y test

Similar to biking and running, the following test is relatively easy (but it really isn't:-)) swim 1500m/y timed, the reached average speed for 100m/y is the (functional) threshold speed. Since this type of test is very demanding for the swimmer and sometimes leads to problems (to many swimmers on one swimming lane, motivational problems, simply wrong counting of lanes).

2. Possibility - 1x 400m + 1x 200m - CSS test

There is another informative and shorter test, the CSS-test for determining the critical swim speed. With this test,the 400m/y and 200m/y routes are swum on maximum speed within a training session. Both results are than entered in the following formula and the speed threshold is been calculated.

(400 time – 200 time) / 2 = CSS (time for 100)

(6:15 min – 3:05 min) / 2 = 1:35 min/100

All training zones at a glance

Training Zones - Triathlon

Calculate individual training zones

individuel training zones biking - power FTP

individuel training zones biking - heart rate FTHR

individuel training zones running - heart rate FTHR

individuel training zones running - maximum Heartrate

individuel training zones  swimming -  speed after FTHS Critical Swim Speed

Technical terms explained - Training Stress Score,...
An overview of the training areas for endurance sp...

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M.Sc. in Exercise Sciences and Coaching Takao Muehmel - Licensed Personal Trainer Marcus Schmidt

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