ENERGY SYSTEM TRAINING


Whether you are preparing to compete in your first or 5th Urbanathlon, looking to improve your 10K personal record, or need structure for your weekly workouts, having a prepared program is crucial.  I already revealed the strength training program I am following for the Urbanathlon, and now here is a closer look at a portion of my energy system training plan.

First things first, what is energy system training?  Essentially, it is the cardio component of training but more encompassing when it comes to overall performance improvement.   If you are interested in the science behind energy system training, you can read more here at The New Science of Cardio.

When I went to Peak Performance, my cardiovascular health was tested so that my energy system training could be tailored to my current fitness levels.  Although my program is specific to my test results,  I’m sharing my program with all of you using RPE.  RPE is rate of perceived exertion.  See the chart below.

Energy system training takes up 3 of the 6 days a week I work out: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  I do all of it running outside.  Each day varies in level of intensity.  On Tuesdays I do moderate intensity intervals.  On Thursday, I do high intensity intervals.  On Saturday, I jog at a comfortable pace for a long time, aka the long run for those who have followed running training programs in the past.

Tuesday:

Warm up: Three to five minutes at an RPE of 2.
Work Interval #1: 60 seconds of Running at an RPE of 8.
Recovery Interval #1: 4 minutes of Jogging at an RPE of 3.
Repeat the intervals six to seven more times.
Cool Down: Three to five minutes at an RPE of 2.

Thursday:

Warm up: Three to five minutes at an RPE of 2.
Work Interval #1: 60 seconds of Running at an RPE of 6.
Work Interval #2: 60 seconds of Running at an RPE of 8.
Work Interval #3: 60 seconds of Running at an RPE of 7.
Work Interval #4: 120 seconds of Running at an RPE of 6.
Recovery Interval #1: 5 minute of Jogging at an RPE of 3.
Repeat the intervals 3 or 4 more times.
Cool Down: Five minutes of Jogging (or Walking) at an RPE of 2.

For both workouts above, the high intensity intervals are meant to raise your heart rate into 90%+ maximum heart rate (MHR) zone.  The following intervals aim to keep it up above your comfort zone (80% MHR+) but do not require the speed to remain as fast.  I remember seeing training plans suggest running at 85% of my max heart rate for 25 minutes.  This seemed crazy to me.  My program however has taught me that it’s not the speed that needs to be maintained, but your breathing and level of challenge continued.

After a 60-second sprint, I can slow down and still keep my heart rate at the same level.  I can’t slow down dramatically, but tolerably.

Saturday:

Warm up: Three to five minutes at an RPE of 2.
Work: 30-60 minutes of Running at an RPE of 3-4.
Cool Down: Five minutes of Jogging at an RPE of 2.

Rate of Perceived Exertion Table
RPE 1:
Extremely easy, breathing is very relaxed.
RPE 2:
Very easy, you can carry on a conversation easily.
RPE 3: Easy, can carry on a conversation but it’s somewhat labored.
RPE 4: Moderate, talking becomes difficult.
RPE 5: Somewhat hard, breathing becomes heavy.
RPE 6: Moderately hard, you’re taking deep breaths and conversation is very difficult.
RPE 7: Hard, forceful inhalation/expiration.
RPE 8: Very hard, labored breathing and you cannot talk.
RPE 9: Very, very hard, breathing is extremely labored. 
RPE 10: Extremely hard, you’re gasping for air.

Advertisements

About Mickel

Husband, Father, fitness enthusiast. GTfit founder. We often settle and find that moving, even at a slow pace hard. I am here to show you that no matter how slow - PROGRESS IS STILL PROGRESS. #evolve

Posted on 07/20/2011, in Natural Living. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: