How do I know how hard I should be working out?

For a lot of people knowing how hard a workout should be conducted is that “how long is the piece of string” question.

If is was left to ourselves we could convince ourselves that it is hard enough but in reality most people train either way too hard for their level of fitness or way too low to actually gain any fitness benefits.

So how do you know which is right?

If you are not training via Heart Rate we use a relative scale called Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) or the breath scale:


You can see by the shading that it roughly coincides with the 1-5 scale used for Heart Rate Training (as per featured image) and shown below with the relevant Training Effect:


Would you like to know a neat trick?

If you take the scale used in the first image (1-10) and multiply it by 20, it will roughly coincide with your Heart Rate at that level of effort. You can check by counting your pulse for 10 seconds and x6 it.

Week 4 – #Zero25k Halloween Fartlek on the Coast Road

Nothing to be afraid of it’s just your Halloween #Zero25k workout 😉

Stop! It’s not what you think it is!! 😀

Fartlek, which means “speed play” in Swedish, is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training.[1] Fartlek runs are a very simple form of a long distance run. Fartlek training “is simply defined as periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running.”

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Week 3 #Zero25k – I know, I should have had this done ages ago!

Catching up with myself

Filling in the blanks a little bit.

I missed getting this post out last week. What with between trav……STOP with the excuses!! No excuse for not finding 10mins to post this…my bad, I’m sorry 😦

Continue reading “Week 3 #Zero25k – I know, I should have had this done ages ago!”

Were you inspired on Monday to run a marathon?

How about joining our 2016 Dublin Marathon team?

Sometimes you see someone or something and a switch in your brain just clicks over and you think “Can I do that?”

Light bulb

The answer inevitably is always a resounding “YES!!” but most of us doubt our ability to achieve the Yes. So we need a little push, a little helping hand and guidance along the way until our self confidence kicks in and takes over – this belief is what allows us to achieve that YES!

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The Dublin City Marathon

The article below from The Recommended serves as a reminder that so many people have so many different reasons for tackling Dublin Marathon.

(Please do click through and read the full article by them)

No matter how or why you are taking on the 42.2km the same rules apply to you all – DON’T GIVE UP!! 🙂

This is a really nice indication of what you can expect. It is going to be emotional, it’s going to be tough, it’s likely to hurt (just a little – mind the stairs!!) but when you look at that medal next week, and the week, after and the year after than you are entitled to be proud of everything that you have achieved over the past months of training.

Monday is nothing when you consider what you have gone through in training.

Monday is the icing on the cake, speaking of which….you get to enjoy guilt free CAKE!!! 😀

(For a week anyway)

Best of luck to everyone.

Week 2 #Zero2k5 – see how easy that was?!

Now that you are started and have 1 week or 3 sessions or 1:30 of running under your belt, no matter how you look at it you are now a runner! 🙂

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Making a bags of commuting when #running…

What bag do you recommend for runners that intend commuting to and from work / college / school / training?

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“Avoiding Injury and Divorce during Marathon Training”

As we enter into the final stages of training it is worth taking a minute or two to reflect on the things that have enabled you to complete your training – family and your foam roller!

Give thanks to your support network. You will need them again on Tuesday 27th October to get down the stairs again:)


They come in all shapes and sizes, some are long but others are short and stocky. Some even have lumps and bumps. Mine is long and curved from wear and overuse, and my wife cringes when I take it out in the sitting room but my foam roller is an indispensable part of my equipment. I’m training for the Berlin Marathon in September and Michelle (my wife) has already described herself as a “marathon widow”. In fairness to her, the average training week involves 7- 8 hours of running, 2-3 hours of gym work and foam rolling.  Not only does Michelle have to listen to moans and groans in our sitting room as I foam roll, she has to put up with the endless talk of run times, speeds, heart rate zones and chaffing.  But the effort and dedicated hours to training can all be lost so easily due to…

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Don’t let the Madness in, it’s Taper Time!

Well done to you all!!!

I’m giving you, both Beginners and Improvers, the entire fortnight of taper sessions here so you can plan ahead for the next two weeks. I don’t want you stressing about what you should or should not be doing, so here it is, mapped out for you and yes it is the same for both groups! 🙂

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Coaches Corner – How do you use #TrainingPeaks to determine Run Training Zones?

In running the way to efficient training is through knowing what our heart rate training zones are.

There are a number of ways to do this. One of which is through proper Lactate Threshold testing in a lab setting. If you are serious about making good progress this is the way I would do it. Then relatively regular field tests to monitor progress.

To make this as easy as possible, we will use a standard 30 minute TT. From this TT we will be able to determine the correct training zones. This is best if done on a flat uninterrupted path or trail. If you have access to a running track this will be ideal as it is a repeatable environment for testing.

Run test protocol:

After a 15 minute warm-up of easy running, finish with a few quick 30 seconds on / 30 seconds off bursts (or strides) to get your heart rate in the correct training zone.

  • The 30 minute TT begins.
  • At 10 minutes into the test, hit the ‘Lap’ button on your heart rate monitor, to get the average heart rate over the final 20 minutes of the test.
  • The average for the final 20 minutes is your Lactate Threshold or LT.
  • You should finish knowing you gave it everything you had.

15 minutes easy cool down.

Once you have the “Threshold Value” you plug in the run LT # from the above test into a calculator like the one available on Training Peaks to get your training zones.

TrainingPeaks   Plan your training  track your workouts and measure your progress

These are a little bit different to the default 1-5 on most HRM watches and apps but you simply use those and adjust as per the chart above.

Now you are training properly and #resultsstarthere