Easy Endurance: Using the Magic 180 Rule
The magic number 180 is one of the most powerful numbers in any sport. It’s easy to understand why so many athletes have used it successfully over the years.
And if you’ve ever tried to train with other methods, you’ll quickly realize how much easier it is when using this rule. Let me explain…
What Is Zone 2 Training?
Zone 2 training is a type of training that uses relatively low intensity workouts, often at or near your lactate threshold (LT). This type of training allows you to run faster than you normally would without burning out too early. However, it does not allow you to continue to push yourself beyond what your body can handle.
In general, zone 2 training is best suited for runners who are new to training and want to increase their mileage while still maintaining good form. It is also useful for those who feel they can no longer maintain a high level of fitness due to injury or age.
For example, a runner may need to slow down their pace slightly during these workouts because of pain or fatigue from previous injuries. When done right, it can increase your endurance and make your legs stronger, more relaxed and faster.
Some coaches believe that this type of training should only be used for the first few years of training before moving on to more intense types of training. They believe it should not be used by elite athletes, though many elite athletes disagree with this approach.
Other Types Of Training
Although zone 2 is one of the most common types of training, there are others as well. These include:
Zone 1: This is the type of training that is done at a very low intensity. It can be thought of as base training since it is meant to increase your endurance by increasing the length of your muscles’ cu
Zone 3: This type of training uses higher intensity than zone 2 and is designed to increase your lactate threshold or LT (the intensity at which your body starts producing large amounts of lactate). It may also be used to increase your aerobic capacity.
This type of training is more intense than zone 2 training and should be used by more experienced athletes.
Anaerobic Training: This type of training focuses on increasing your anaerobic threshold (AT). It does this by having you train at a high intensity just below that which would cause lactate to become a hindrance.
It is normally used by athletes such as 400m runners who require short but extremely fast bursts of energy.
Find Your Target Heart Rate
If you are new to exercise, it’s important to get clearance from your doctor before starting a training program. They will help you determine your target heart rate (THR).
This can be done by using the simple formula of subtracting your age from 220, then multiplying it by 0.80 and 0.85. The resulting numbers are the lower and upper bounds of your THR range.
Note: The lower bound of your THR is the lowest number at which your heart should beat per minute and the upper bound is the highest. For most people, the lower bound number will be less than 80 while the upper bound will usually be more than 150.
Once you know your THR, it’s time to pick a workout intensity. If you’re new to exercise, it’s recommended that you start low and go from there.
Beginners should choose a zone 1 intensity if they want to focus on building up their endurance or a zone 2 intensity if they want to focus on boosting speed.
The Best Workout Schedule For You
Everyone’s different and has different goals. This means that there is no single “best” training program.
However, there are some general guidelines that hold true for most people.
If you want to lose weight and get into shape, it’s best to focus on longer workouts of low to medium intensity. This will help you build up your endurance by training your body to burn fat instead of carbs.
These workouts will generally last for at least 30 minutes and can last for several hours.
For those who just want to increase endurance without losing weight, there is a medium paced, shorter workout that usually lasts between 20 and 60 minutes. These are great for improving cardiovascular efficiency and don’t put too much stress on the body.
Those who want to increase speed or build muscle will focus on high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These are short, intense workouts that improve cardiovascular fitness, burn fat, and also improve anaerobic fitness.
In addition to the above, you may wish to cross train by combining two of the three types of workouts together. For example, you could do a HIIT session to burn fat and increase your aerobic fitness, then follow that up with an aerobics class to build your endurance.
As long as you give your body enough rest, this will improve your fitness more than any single workout style.
Remember that these are just guidelines. There are many other training styles and programs out there so feel free to experiment and see what works best for you!
Tips For Success
Exercise in the morning: If you can, try to get your workout out of the way first thing in the morning. This will give you the entire day to focus on everything else you need to do and won’t leave you cramming all of your activity into the evenings.
Be realistic: Many people have grand visions of themselves working out for hours a day, but this isn’t sustainable for most. Pushing yourself too hard will just result in burnout which will eventually make you stop working out altogether.
Be consistent and give yourself some slack.
Listen to music: There is nothing like music to get you in the mood to work out. Pick up a pair of headphones or hook your phone up to your home theater system.
Join an amateur league: Doing something fun with friends is a great way to stay motivated. For example, if you like soccer, see if there’s an amateur league in your area and try to get a team together.
Warm up: Many people forget this crucial part of the workout. It’s easy to throw on a podcast or turn on the TV for static exercise like running, but more dynamic exercises like weightlifting benefit greatly from an extended warm-up.
Add weights: Once you get more experienced, most exercises become boring. Adding weights is a great way to make sure you continue to get results and don’t get injured.
Cool down: Just like with the warm-up, many people skip this part too. A proper cool down will increase the elasticity of your muscles and prevent soreness and cramping.
Stay hydrated: It’s very easy to lose track of how much you’re sweating. Make sure to drink plenty of water during and after your workout.
Drinking too much right before a workout, however, will just come out.
Wash your gear: If you’ve been working out hard, you’re going to get sweaty. Make sure you wash your gear often so it doesn’t start to smell.
If you can, keep a second set of workout clothes so you always have something clean and fresh to wear.
Take it outdoors: Working out in the great outdoors is a great way to stay motivated, says quite a lot about your commitment to fitness, and will make your workouts more fun. Just be sure you’re also training smart by running on soft surfaces when running or biking long distances.
Buy yourself a reward: Rewards are a great way to encourage yourself to stick with working out. Pick something you really want and when you reach a certain goal, treat yourself to it.
If you fall off the wagon, don’t sweat it, just get back on and earn your reward.
Not all workouts are created equal and everyone has their own preferences as far as how they like to exercise. It’s important to find an activity that you actually enjoy and something you can see yourself doing long-term.
Here are a few popular types of exercise and some tips for how to make the most of them:
Most people have strong feelings one way or another about running. Some people hate it and avoid it at all costs while others seem to genuinely enjoy it.
There isn’t a better workout for burning fat than distance running and if you’re looking to lose weight or tone up, it’s a great place to start.
Runners typically break poses a few different ways. The most common is to run for a set time period, typically 20 or 30 minutes.
Another option is to run a set distance, either on a track or by time. A third option is to run a certain speed, typically between 6mph and 10mph.
Surprisingly, you don’t need to run very far or very fast to get substantial results. If you’re just starting out, try doing a 20 minute run at an 8 minute mile pace.
That’s only 4 miles and it should be challenging without being overwhelming. Once you’re more conditioned and want to ramp it up, try running farther or faster.
When running, try to keep a steady pace. Don’t run slow then speed up then slow down again.
Your goal is to improve your endurance, not go through the pain once and never want to do it again. The best policy is to start slow and gradually increase your pace over a period of weeks.
Even if you’re running outside, there’s no reason you can’t bring some music with you. Running to music can help take your mind off the fact that you’re working out and help make time go by a little quicker.
It can also help you run farther and faster if you find a song that gets you in the groove.
Running is a very common exercise, so there are a lot of accessories you can buy for it. You don’t really need anything fancy to get a good workout, but if you’re looking for some gadgets to track your distance or pace, there are quite a few available.
If you’re going to be running on a regular basis, make sure to always wear the proper safety gear. This includes things like quality running shoes, plenty of sunscreen if you’re running outdoors, and never running (or participating in any other physical activity) while sick.
If you’re a runner or typically run in place of another exercise like we discussed earlier, consider picking up a copy of the Runner’s World Complete Guide to Minimalism. It’s a great little book that’s filled with tips on how to improve your running and also ways you can make it more enjoyable.
There are a lot of running books out there, but I like this one because it’s short and to the point.
It might not look like it, but swimming is a very intense activity. You’re constantly using all your major muscle groups to pull yourself forward in the water.
Also, unlike most other exercises where you can stop if you get too tired, you’re not going to be able to stop if you get tired while swimming: you’ll simply drown.
Once you get stronger, running will actually be the easiest of the three workouts. We’re going to ease you into swimming by taking a very slow pace for this program.
The key to swimming is a technique known as ‘effortless motion’. What this means is that you want to move your arms and legs as if you’re running in water. If you find yourself pushing a lot of water just to move forward, you’re actually wasting a lot of energy and should slow down.
Don’t be alarmed if you feel some pain in your chest. Swimming actually puts a lot of stress on your chest, mainly your ‘pecs’ or ‘pectorals’.
Also, your legs will feel like they’ve fallen asleep due to lack of oxygen. This will all go away in time, but for now just focus on getting through the program. If you start to experience shortness of breath, discontinue swimming and resume after you’ve taken a break.
Sources & references used in this article:
Intervals, thresholds, and long slow distance: the role of intensity and duration in endurance training. by S Seiler, E Tønnessen – Sportscience, 2009 – search.ebscohost.com
Endurance sports nutrition by SG Eberle – 2013 – books.google.com
Core Performance endurance: A new training and nutrition program that revolutionizes your workouts by M Verstegen, P Williams – 2008 – books.google.com
Feng Shui Made Easy, Revised Edition: Designing Your Life with the Ancient Art of Placement by W Spear – 2011 – books.google.com
The cyclist’s training bible by J Friel – 2012 – books.google.com