Setting your training zones

One of the key facets of an individualised training plan is ensuring that the intensity of your training sessions is specific to your own current level of fitness. One way of acheiving this is to establish a personal set of training zones. This is simply of identifying some key ranges of intensity that offer a unique physiological effect when you cycle within this range. The fundamental principles behind the training zones are described by what a sports scientist would describe as the exercise intensity domains. This underpinning is described in the factsheet, The physiological basis of the training zones. That factsheet explains that an exercise scientist describes intensity in terms of blood lactate, oxygen consumption and heart rate. Blood lactate and oxygen consumption are a little impractical to measure during training (!) so the training zones are a means of matching up the tools we can use on the road: namely power, heart rate and rating of perceived exertion (RPE): with what the science tells us in the lab.

The rationale behind the training zones is one thing but how do you go about finding out your own zones? The best way to do this is to undertake a full physiological assessment by way of a lab test. If this is something that interests you please contact for more details on what’s involved.

Alternatively, your training zones can be estimated (with good accuracy it has to be said) from some basic information and a little work in the way of testing ‘in the field’. Click the relevant links below to find out how to set your heart rate and power training zones respectively.





Heart rate training zones






Power meter training zones