Yesterday’s video on Personalizing Heart Rate Zones was such a hit, that we are going to continue with the topic.

Now that you have your heart rate zones dialed in, what does it sound like when you are running in those zones? Contrary to popular belief, our body is the best judge of how hard we are working. Gadgets, Garmins and HR monitors are great, but it’s important to add in the human component when we talk about exertion levels.

Let me make a simple statement. It’s NOT necessary to train with a GPS or heart rate monitor. This video shows you what the different effort levels sound and feel like in order to provide you with the visual guide to say “okay, this is Zone 2, or easy/conversation pace.

Zone/Effort Breakdown With Description


Zone 1: VERY Easy

This is the speed of a successful recovery run.

Zone 2: Easy/Conversation Pace

While running in Zone 2, you should be able to easily carry on a conversation with the person next to you, or sing your favorite song. Breathing should be steady and not labored. This is your endurance training pace.

Zone 3: Moderate/Marathon Pace

Your conversation will begin to be choppy, but will not be excessively labored. You can tell you are working hard, but it is not terribly difficult. You should be able to carry this pace for quite a while.

Zone 4: Hard/Lactate Threshold Pace

This pace it will be difficult to carry on a conversation. You will begin to take deep breaths and your breathing will become shallow. At this pace, you feel as if you are putting in a very hard effort.

Zone 5: VERY Hard/All Out

Zone 5 is the maximum you can go, and in most athletes, it is the maximum output you can sustain for about a minute before you must back down. In Zone 5, you will not be thinking about holding a conversation at all, you will be focused on when you want to stop!

What do you think? Leave your comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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