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Heartlek Training for Every Goal

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HEARTLEK TRAINING FOR EVERY GOAL

Roy Benson & Declan Connolly

Which of the following was the primary reason for buying a Wahoo heart rate monitor?  To…..

  1. Enjoy a healthier lifestyle?
  2. Have fun participating in recreational sports?
  3. Bring out the competitive athlete in you?

The above answers to the “Why” questions are not necessarily either one or the other.   The first one can be a starting point from the couch.  The low intensity, easy workouts can get you in shape to then move up our Effort Triangle to a harder, but just moderate  level of intensity that would prepare you to become a “finish smiling” participant in, for example, a local 5K road race.  Eventually, you might realize that you have a competitive streak in you.  Well, welcome the PTA (The Pain, Torture, & Agony) effort zone that fully develops your capacity for peak performances.

Wahoo’s program designers have summed this all up in the below diagram featuring 3 distinct zones of heart rate effort.

 

WAHOO PLAY, PARTICIPATE AND PERFORM FITNESS ZONES

 

Zone Name % Max heart rate Focus HEARTLEK PROGRAM
Play (& Be Active) 60-75% Basic Fitness and Weight Control 1
Participate (& Have Fun) 70-85% Better fitness to finish smiling 2
Perform (& Compete) 70-95% Maximizing Fitness  for Peak Performances 3

 

Your choice obviously depends on your current level of fitness.  However, please don’t over-estimate your ability to manage workouts at a higher level of effort without first spending several weeks training with an easier program.

 

WAHOO’S HEARTLEK WORKOUTS

After the answer to “Why?” you bought a monitor comes the “What?” to do with it question.  To make that answer as simple, convenient and effective as possible, Wahoo’s exercise scientists have designed an exercise system we call “HEARTLEK” Training.  The inspiration for our signature term comes from a Swedish word that describes a system of training that features “playing with your pace.”  Essentially, you will be raising and lowering your heart by going faster and then slower as you alternate periods of working harder and then easier.  These changes in your pace will be governed by Target HR zones that will range over different percentages of your Max HR over the course of a workout.   Our workout apps will automatically cue you when to change speeds and effort when you reach your upper and lower Target Heart Rates.   Most importantly, YOU HAVE THE FREEDOM to play with your pace.  The program will supply the zone ranges.  But you can take a little or a longer time to elevate your HR to the target upper limit by just going faster or slower, i.e. working harder or easier.  Once at your upper zone limit, when you receive a cue to slow down, YOU decide how quickly or slowly you want to recover to your lower THR.  This is why the Swedes would call it “speed play.”

Picture having your HR response duplicate the pattern of a roller coaster as in the chart below.   The example would be appropriate for a runner working using our Perform Program for one of his hard workouts. He would get his HR up to a high target number and then jog to recover his HR to a lower level.   

This pattern will also be used for both the Play and the Participate Programs.  Each, however, uses lower intensity HRs appropriate for the conditioning objectives of your choice.

Heartlek training is designed to use the freedom of a system based simply on your effort over a given amount of time.  Effort based training is simple, yet highly effective. No distances to measure.  No calculating your pace into minutes per mile.  You’re free to workout anywhere that is most attractive and convenient.  

The Heartlek Programs are based on the science that everyone enjoys beneficial results so long as the effort of each person, as measured as a percentage of 100%, is the same.  Naturally, individual differences of current fitness and general ability will result in one person’s pace being faster than another…but the conditioning response will be the same.  

We will all benefit in fitness if we all exercise at an equal % of max for the right amount of time.  To put it another way, if at the same effort, we all went down the road for ten minutes, turned around and headed back, everyone would finish together in a tie with a time 20:00.  Yes, true story.  Even if some folks were further down the road when they turned around, these faster folks would catch back up with the slower ones who did not cover as much distance in the first 10 minutes.   All turtles and hares enjoy the same fitness benefits with Effort based training.  So pick your program and start playing around.  

 

HEARTLEK PLAY PROGRAM

This program is designed for people seeking the basic level of physical fitness that will offer proven health benefits.  Do you wish to stay young and good looking?  These benefits of exercise will help you reach that goal: reduced blood pressure, more red blood cells, improved metabolism of fats for weight control or loss, improved muscle and bone strength, and even better stress management.  These are the major benefits of improved endurance.  

An abundance of exercise research concludes that very modest exercise efforts like walking for a total of 150 minutes per week produces health benefits like those listed above.  And while 150 min may be the ideal, we know that 90 to 120 minutes at slightly higher levels of effort will produce similar results

You can rotate the below workouts in any sequence you choose.  Do at least 3 but not more than 4 per week.  A pattern of a day off between workouts will insure full recovery and minimize injury chances.

   Heartlek PLAY Workout #1

5:00 min of warmup walking without exceeding 60% MHR

5:00 min of jogging HR up to 65% and walking HR down to 60%

10:00 min of jogging HR up to 70% and walking HR down to 60%

5:00 min of jogging HR up to 75% and walking HR down to 65%

5:00 min of cool-down walking to reduce HR to less than 50%

Total time: 30 mins

Heartlek PLAY Workout #2

5:00 min of warmup walking without exceeding 60% MHR

6:00 min of jogging/walking in THR zone of 65-70% MHR

7:00 min of jogging/walking in THR zone of 70-75% MHR

8:00 min of jogging/walking in THR zone of 65-75% MHR

4:00 min of cool-down walking to return HR to below 60%

Total time: 30 mins

 

Heartlek PLAY Workout #3

2:00 min of warmup walking without exceeding 60%

3:00 min of warmup jogging/walking in THR zone of 60-65% MHR

10:00 min of jogging/walking in THR zone of 60-70% MHR

10:00 min of jogging/walking in THR zone of 65-75% MHR

5:00 min cool-down walking to return HR to below 60%

 

Heartlek PLAY Workout #4

7:00 min warmup of slow jogging HR to 65% and walking down

to less than 60% MHR.

5:00 min of jogging/walking in THR zone of 70-75% MHR

10:00 min of jogging/walking in THR zone of 60-70% MHR

5:00 min of jogging/walking in THR zone of 65-75% MHR

3:00 min of cool-down walking to return HR to below 60%

Total time: 30 mins

 

Note to ed:  all this copy can be reduced to almost nothing by simply saying for example:

Do 5:00 of Heartlek at less than 60% to warm up

Do 10:00 of Heartlek in THR zone of 65-70% MHR

Do 10:00 of Hearltek in THR zone of 60-75% MHR

Do 5:00 of Heartlek to return HR to below 60%

 

The Heartlek PARTICIPATE program

This program is designed to build upon the basic fitness you have developed during the Heartlek PLAY program. The program includes workouts of slightly longer duration and higher intensities. You will utilize your developed fitness to recover from the Heartleks in between intensities. You will find some of these Heartlek challenging and be breathing hard. However, the program is designed to challenge you both in terms of endurance and recovery. Each harder Heartlek will be followed by an appropriate recovery period. This PARTICIPATE program will give you a little taste of performing at a higher level with both faster speeds and harder work. You should try and complete 4-5 of these workouts each week.

 

Heartlek PARTICIPATE Workout #1

5:00 min warmup of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

5:00 min of jogging in THR zone of 70-75% MHR.

2:00 min warm up of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

5:00 min of jogging in THR zone of 70-75% MHR.

2:00 min warm up of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

5:00 min of jogging in THR zone of 70-75% MHR .

2:00 min warm up of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

5:00 min of jogging in THR zone of 70-75% MHR .

4:00 min of cool-down walking to return HR to below 60%.

Total time 35mins

 

Heartlek PARTICIPATE Workout #2

5:00 min warmup of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

6:00 min of jogging in THR zone of 70-75% MHR.

2:00 min warm up of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

5:00 min of jogging in THR zone of 75-80% MHR.

2:00 min warm up of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

4:00 min of jogging in THR zone of 80-85% MHR .

2:00 min warm up of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

5:00 min of jogging in THR zone of 70-75% MHR .

4:00 min of cool-down walking to return HR to below 60%.

Total time 35mins

 

Heartlek PARTICIPATE Workout #3

5:00 min warmup of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

10:00 min of jogging in THR zone of 70-75% MHR.

2:00 min warm up of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

10:00 min of jogging in THR zone of 75-80% MHR.

2:00 min warm up of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

8:00 min of jogging in THR zone of 80-85% MHR .

4:00 min of cool-down walking to return HR to below 60%.

Total time 41mins

 

Heartlek PARTICIPATE Workout #4 (follow with workout #1)

5:00 min warmup of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

20:00 min of jogging/running in THR zone of 80-85% MHR.

5:00 min warm up of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

5:00 min of jogging in THR zone of 85-90% MHR.

4:00 min of cool-down walking to return HR to below 60%.

Total time 39mins

 

Heartlek PARTICIPATE Workout #5 (follow with workout #1)

5:00 min warmup of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

10:00 min of jogging/running in THR zone of 80-85% MHR.

5:00 min warm up of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

8:00 min of jogging/running in THR zone of 85-90% MHR.

5:00 min warm up of slow jogging HR to 65%-70%.

6:00 min of jogging/running in THR zone of 85-90% MHR.

4:00 min of cool-down walking to return HR to below 60%.

Total time 41mins

 

THE Heartlek PERFORM Program

This program is for folks who are already in good shape and capable of completing with ease any of the previous workouts. They’re ready to move up from participating to performing/competing.  It will be most helpful to those veterans who need a more individualized, structured training program.  This program will improve personal performances while minimizing chances of injury.  In some cases, this just might be the only way to hold off The Aging Fairy.  This could enable you to slow down as gracefully as possible while still competing for top places in age-groups.  

Heartlek Perform workouts are designed to improve tolerance to high intensity efforts replete with deep oxygen debts and lots of lactic acid.  One or two per week will improve your ability to resist the temptation to slow down when feeling exhausted like at the end of races.  All your working parts will get stronger especially your cardiac, respiratory and skeletal muscles so you won’t have to start huffing and puffing so hard so soon.   You will see your resting HR drop to the lowest level possible, maybe in the low 40 beats per minute.  In short, your speed and power should improve, and maybe your good looks, too.

From the below list of 6 Hard Workouts, do 2 each week, plus the Long Run.   Do an easy day after each hard and long workout.  Take one day completely off to fully recover.  

 

Heartlek PERFORM workout #1

Long Run 45 to 60 min at 65-75%.  Stretch and run 4-6 strides.

 

Heartlek PERFORM workout #2

Recovery Jog 25 to 35 min at 60-70%.  Stretch and run 3-5 strides.

        

Heartlek PERFORM workout #3

Warm up 10:00 at 60-65%; stretch; run 3-4 strides

Run 12:00 at 80-83%; jog to 70%

Run 8:00 at 84-86%; jog to 70%

Run 4:00 at 87-90%; walk to 65%

Run 2:00 at 91-95%

Jog cool down til HR < 60%

Total time: 36 mins

 

Heartlek PERFORM workout #4

 

10:00 warmup

20:00 HR zone of 70-90%, run fast for last 2:00 then jog slow for 1:00.

10:00 at 75-80%

          Cool down jog til HR < 60%

Total time: 41 mins

 

Heartlek PERFORM Workout #5

10:00 warmup

Run 10:00 in outside lane of track at as close to 85% as possible.

Stop.  Mark that spot and walk around it 1:00 to recover.  Reverse  direction and repeat above 10:00.  See how close to your starting point you will be at the end.

Cool-down

Total time: 31 mins

 

Heartlek PERFORM Workout #6

        10:00 warmup

Run 1:00 at 75-80%; jog to <65%

Run 2:00 at 80-85%;        “

Run 3:00 at 85-90%;        “

Run 4:00 at 90-95%;       “

Run 4:00 at 90-95%;       “

Run 3:00 at 85-90%;       “

Run 2:00 at 80-85%;       “

Run 1:00 at 75-80%   

          Cool down to < 60%

Total time: 30 mins

 

Heartlek PERFORM Workout #7

Warmup 10:00

On nearest available hill, run hard enough to raise HR to 80% x 3 with jog back down to lower HR to <70%

         3:00 x 85%; jog down to <65%

3:00 x 90%; jog down to <60%

Total time: @ 20-25 mins

 

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