Endurance Athlete Training Zones for Long-Distance Competition
Properly quantifying an endurance athlete’s training zones or
“gears” when preparing for a marathon or similar long-distance
event requires specific procedures and calculations. Interestingly,
many methods for training elite endurance sport athletes are
based on empirical evidence and routines shared among athletes.
There is a comparative lack of published peer-reviewed literature on
the subject as research relies on the stringency of the scientific
method; which often creates limitations to real-world applications for
coaching and conditioning. For example, research often emphasizes
VO2max values when examining improvements in aerobic capacity,
but many coaches prefer monitoring progress using heart rates (HR)
or movement speeds for simplicity. The following information relies
on strategies applied by successful coaches with progressively
improved race times functioning as the supporting evidence for
improved endurance event performance.
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