The Zone - 20 Week Polarized Training Plan - HR Based Training

Average Weekly Training Hours 07:21
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 07:21
Training Load By Week

Chasing that PR? Feeling like you may have hit a hump in your distance training and your looking for another way to improve? Have you tried HR based training yet?

Chances are your either training to hard, or not pushing yourself hard enough when you should be. HR based training gives to the ability to focus on HR Zones rather than time speed zones. Because nothing measures your effort like that of your Heart Rate.

This plan will have you training in zones rather than in specific paces. Learn how to push past your boundaries, training easy on days that are meant to be easy and train harder on the days you should be training hard.

Most folks either train to hard when they should be training easy, or train to easy when they should be doing a hard workout.

Sample Day 1
0:40:00
Running LT Test

A Lactate Threshold test will enable you to setup your training zones and also help you or your coach tailor a training program that is specific to you. To perform do the following. (You will need a Heart Rate Monitor for this test).

1. Warm Up for 10 Minutes then reset your watch/HRM
2. Perform a maximum sustainable effort for 20 minutes. (Sometimes folks push to hard for this test. So, follow the simple rule: Your pace should be about the same at the beginning as the end. On a scale from 1 to 10 your effort should feel about an 8. Record your average HR: This is your estimated lactate threshold.
3. Repeat this test every 6-8 weeks of training. Overtime if the 20 minutes is repeated on the same track, or same loop your distance covered should improve.
4. See notes in pre-activity comments for how to setup zones.

Sample Day 1
0:30:00
Plan Overview

The focus of this marathon includes:
1. Recovery (oxidative systems) - slower paced recovery workouts whether its running or cross-training at a low intensity to help aid with workout recovery and blood circulation.
2. Endurance (oxidative) - A bulk of the training volume will be done at this effort since you will be training for an event to last longer than 2 hours. I use cross-training to train this system and on running days some higher intensity workouts followed by a lot of time spent in this zone.
3. Muscular endurance (oxidative & glycolytic systems) - I program this in there with some longer work to rest intervals to make sure we work on this system quiet a bit. These can include VO2 Max Intervals with a 1:1 work rest ratio, or some slightly slower, but still quick tempo runs.
4. Lactate Threshold - Which you will find in your track workouts that are programmed with some higher intensity work to rest intervals such as a 2:1 or 3:1 work to rest.
5. Muscular Power (phosphangen) - You will see these workouts designed to target your explosive speed, power, and leg turnover rates. For example, something like a 20 second all out 100M sprint followed by a 90 second recovery. A 1:4 work rest interval will help train this system.

Sample Day 2
0:30:00
20TSS
30 Minute Run - Aerobic Zones

30 Minute Run in your Aerobic Zone - Z1-Z2

Sample Day 3
1:00:00
40TSS
1 Hour Run - Aerobic Pace

Steady aerobic run in Z1-Z2

Sample Day 3
0:30:00
Strength Workout 2 - Phase 1 - Stability

Circuit Training - Complete one exercise after the next. Repeat each circuit for a total of 3x

1. Mini Band Lateral Walks x 15
2. Mini Band Monster Walks x 15
3. Glute Bridge x 15

Circuit 2
1. Goblet Squat (mini band placed just above knees) x 8
2. Lateral Lunges x 10 per side
3. Single Leg Romanian Deadlift (bodyweight) x 8 per side

Sample Day 5
0:30:00
20TSS
30 Minute Run - Aerobic Zones

30 Minute Run in your Aerobic Zone - Z1-Z2

Sample Day 6
1:00:00
40TSS
1 Hour Run - Aerobic Pace

Steady aerobic run in Z1-Z2

Brady Hoover
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EventHorizon Endurance Sport

Brady is certified through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and an IRONMAN Certified Coach. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Marketing and has always had a passion for fitness. Brady is a 20x Long Course Finisher, 5x Boston Marathoner,Including 3 sub 3 Boston's (5 total). And a Personal Best of 2:51:34.

He is a runner and competitive triathlete who has qualified for and finished the Boston Marathon 6 years in a row (6 Spring 2020). He is also an IRONMAN.