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How do I calculate heart rate ranges based on a field test?

It is best to train very specific energy systems in order to make the most gains in your endurance. In order to target each energy system, an athlete is given a particular range to keep their power, heart rate or perceived exertion within. In order to determine what this range is ,athletes should perform a field test, or a time trial effort for at least 10 minutes, and at most 30 minutes. They can then use the results of their field test to determine their appropriate training ranges. A given heart rate range for a specified interval workout is based on your average heart rate from your field test. This is the number that will be used to calculate the ranges to be used during your exercise session. For example, if a heart rate is recommended at an intensity of 60-70% and your average heart rate from a field test is 186, then your intensity would be (186 x 0.6 – 186 x 0.7). Perceived exertion is based on a scale of 1-10. An example of 1 is sitting on your couch watching TV while 10 is the hardest effort possible. Each interval should have a rate of perceived exertion number as well as a heart rate range, and power range, if an athlete is working with power. Targeting one energy system at a time ensures that there is ample overload or training stress for the given adaptation that is being sought.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.