ZONE 2: GO SLOWER TO GO FASTER
By Meg Walker
THE FORMATIVE FORMATION
10 MAR 2023
4 MEGNOTES - Personal thoughts that I would like to share with you.
2 CONVERSATIONS - Discussions that have inspired me this week.
3 RESOURCES - 1 quote, 1 resource and 1 idea to help you grow.
1 QUESTION - How would YOU answer it?
1. So, what is zone training? It's a method of training that involves exercising within specific heart rate zones. There are five zones and each zone corresponds to a certain level of exertion. You can train in different zones, depending on your fitness goals. From Zone 1 minimal effort to Zone 5 maximal effort.
2. Zone 2 is the endurance zone. As an endurance athlete, it's important to include zone 2 training in your plan. This zone is ideal for long, steady workouts like running, cycling, or swimming. Your heart rate should be around 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. I can't sing whilst exercising in this zone (your ears will thank me), but I could hold a conversation.
3. Training in zone 2 has many benefits. It's incredible for your heart health and circulation. It also improves your cardio performance without subjecting your body to added stress. So if you're a marathon runner, you know that zone 2 is your BFF. It helps you build your aerobic base and teaches your body to use fat as fuel. This is important for long-duration exercise.
Now, when I say "use fat as fuel," I’m not talking about losing fat like it's magic. I’m talking about using stored fat as a fuel source instead of glucose. This helps you conserve your glycogen stores. These are our primary fuel source during high-intensity exercise. So save those glycogen stores for when you really need them... like when you're chasing the ice cream truck the down road? And let me tell you my local ice cream van, is fast.
4. How can you improve your zone 2 training? Well, the key is to build your aerobic base, and the best way to do that is through long, steady workouts. An easy way to incorporate this into your workouts is by using a heart rate monitor. But you can start by calculating your maximum heart rate (220 minus your age). Then, find your aerobic threshold by subtracting your age from 180. This number is the highest heart rate you should maintain while doing zone 2 training.
THE MEG METHOD: The Power Of Zone 2 Training
In this week's episode of THE MEG METHOD podcast, I'm taking things slow. I discuss the power of Zone 2 Training. I also discuss in detail how it can take your fitness sessions to the next level and how to work out which zone you are in.
THE DRIVE: Deep dive back into Zone 2 with Iñigo San-Millán, Ph.D.
If you want to get real geeky, here is a huge deep dive into Zone 2. In this episode, Iñigo discusses how Zone 2 training boosts mitochondrial function and impacts longevity. He explains the different metrics for assessing one’s Zone 2 threshold. He also describes the optimal dose, frequency, duration, and type of exercise for Zone 2.
Check it out here.
"The hurrier I go, the behinder I get." - Lewis Carroll
Have you ever felt like you're in a hamster wheel, running as fast as you can but getting nowhere? It's frustrating, isn't it? That's why it's important to incorporate zone 2 training into your workouts. At first, you might feel like you're moving at a snail's pace. But in reality, you're building a strong aerobic base that will make you more efficient so you can go further. You're teaching your body to work smarter not harder. By slowing down and training in zone 2, you'll improve your body's ability to use oxygen. This means you'll be able to sustain higher levels of effort for longer periods of time. So slow down, take a deep breath, and trust the process. Your fitness journey is a marathon, not a sprint.
Work Out Your Target Heart Rate by Calculator Soup
Need some help with the maths? (I need all the help I can get!)
This calculator will serve up your maximum heart rate (MHR). It will also calculate your exercise target heart rate (THR) zones in beats per minute (bpm).
Zone training is like learning to change gears in a car. But instead of shifting gears, you're shifting your butt into different workout modes. When driving you have to shift gears depending on the terrain and speed. This is the same when working out. You should adjust your intensity level based on your fitness goals and the workout you are doing. Zone training helps you become a savvy fitness driver. It teaches you which gear to use for each workout and how to optimise your energy output. This helps prevent injury and burnout. It's a bit like trying to drive a stick shift for the first time. You might stall out or grind some gears, but with practice, you'll soon be shifting from zone to zone like a pro. So gear up, buttercup, and let's hit the fitness highway together!
And make no mistake, in Zone 2 we be cruisin'
"Where in my life could I slow down to help me speed up?"
(Why not use this week's big question as a journal prompt to reflect on where in your life you'd benefit from changing your pace?)
Want to share your discoveries? Send me a DM on Instagram @themegmethod or email me.
Slow and steady wins the pace!
WHEN YOU'RE READY, THERE ARE TWO WAYS THAT I CAN HELP YOU:
1. If you're wanting to improve your health this year, I have coached thousand’s of people to improve their fitness, breathwork and mindset through both 1-1 or group coaching:
1-1 Coaching: An opportunity to work closely with me through live Masterclass sessions or bespoke monthly training plans. Whether your goal is around fitness, nutrition, mindset and/or breathwork, I can help you create lasting change (and I’ll prove to you that you can still enjoy life while doing so).
Connective Collective: This is an incredible community space where you can share your wins and struggles with people on a similar journey to you. You also have direct access to me, incredible resources and my exclusive live Breathwork and Meditation sessions.
2. Fitness, health and mindset coaching advice via my two podcasts:
THE MEG METHOD Podcast: A podcast that provides you with actionable advice and tools on how to create a foundation for better health. Available to watch on Youtube or listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or via your favourite podcast platform.
My Kind of People Podcast: Learn from some of the most incredible minds on the planet. Each episode, I speak with leaders and community members from across the world who all share a passion for positive change. Available to watch on Youtube or listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or via your favourite podcast platform.
Be kind. Breathe deep. Speak soon.
Big love, Meg x