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Training Zones

training zones sign

Training Zones

In today’s internet, after one performs a simple search, will find dozens of defining formulas for different training zones. However, in order for one to be successful in humans’ evolution, due weight must be given to these calculations to understand once and for all what the role of these zones are and how they will impact training.

As a coach, In addition to this information, I will show you how to adjust these training zones on the Training Peaks platform. This is an indispensable tool for any athlete whos wants to improve their fitness.

Purpose of Training Zones

The purpose of training zones is to shape training sessions according to the ability of the athlete at that time. That is, training at the right intensity respecting the plan on which the training session was set up. It also serves as a direction to follow. Since we know that instinctive training only leads the athlete to unexpected results. For those who want to know more about this, I leave here the link on the subject.

Misconceptions about Training Zones

true or false

First of all, the heart rate is a measure of effort, not performance. So this is already the first clue on which we should NOT rely on it. But YES, having it as a reference, already serves as another piece of data to be observed.

Second, our body reacts in different ways according to each sport. Therefore, there are different protocols and calculations for each of these sports, which we will see below.

But, before that, lets see a behavior of all metrics on the same session explained on this animation.


Types of Training Zones

The intensity measures we will show are composed of both effort and performance measures, also called INPUT and OUTPUT measures.

Heart Rate

Rate of Perceived Effort (RPE)


Power (Watts)

How to Adjust Training Zones

Well, before adjusting the training zones, we must have knowledge about our intensity reference for each sport (functional threshold), which will serve as the basis for the training zone. If you are unfamiliar with this concept, click here.


trainingpeaks tools

The purpose here is to adjust the zones according to the existing protocols in the Training Peaks platform. This is because one of the great advantages of this tool is that it will automatically change all of your intensities from the athlete’s training sessions, as long as these sessions have been created in a structured manner, ie based on the percentages according to their training zones. 

Setting Swim Zones

swim adjust on training peaks
Commandos swim training zones

Now your swimming training zones are ready, along with their respective effort zones (RPE). These are the two metrics used in swimming.

Setting Bike Zones

Heart Rate

HR set bike zones


power set bike zones
setting intensity training zones

Now your cycling training zones are ready, along with their respective POWER, RPE and Heart Rate zones. These are the 03 metrics used on cycling.

Setting Running Zones

Heart Rate

HR running set zones


running training zones

Now your running training zones are ready, along with their respective Pace, RPE and Heart Rate zones. These are the 03 metrics used on running.

Practical example

training zones pratical example

Here is a practical example of the enormous importance of basing our training in these zones. This is a training session of the execution block, ie phase approaching the competition. We may notice different changes of stimulus, going through various training zones.


Knowing your body’s intensities, as well as staying at those intensities according to the planning offered by your trainer, is vital to your evolution as an athlete. Or, as genius Albert Einsten would say, “Madness is doing the same thing over and over again, and yet  expect a different result.”