Ideal pulse for endurance training
This is difficult to say as there are a lot of formulas for determining the supposedly ideal heart rate. One of the most common and probably easy to remember formulas is: Ideal heart rate = 180 – age (in years) +/- 5 [beats per minute]. However, this formula does not take into account the athlete’s training condition, gender or pre-fatigue.
This rule of thumb can therefore be regarded as a good reference value, but not as an absolute truth. The purpose of this calculation is to bring the athlete as close as possible to the aerobic-anaerobic threshold that he or she wants to shift in favour of aerobic energy production through endurance training. However, since measuring the aerobic-anaerobic threshold is very complex and can only be done with special medical equipment, for example a lactate level test, such rules of thumb are nevertheless better than training completely by feel if the athlete’s endurance is to be improved.
What is a lactate level test?
The lactate level test serves to find out the aerobic-anaerobic threshold. This is the load at which the muscle becomes increasingly acidic because it has to break down its energy sources into lactate. In practice, the test persons should be rested and should have come to a lactate level test for three hours without eating.
During the test the test person either rides a bicycle on an ergometer or runs on a treadmill. At fixed time intervals, the performance that has to be achieved is increased (pedal resistance increases). Shortly before the increase, a drop of blood is taken from the subject’s ear or fingertip and the heart rate is recorded. By superimposing the lactate value and heart rate, it can later be read off at which frequency the individual aerobic-anaerobic threshold is located.
What endurance training methods are available?
The most common endurance training methods are the continuous method, the interval method, and the repetition or speed method. – With the endurance method, the trainee completes the endurance training at a consistently constant pace. The load should be about 60% of the maximum load capacity.
With the appropriate level of fitness, this load can then be maintained for several hours without great difficulty. – The interval method is characterised by an alternation of phases of high and low stress, so-called recovery phases. During the high load phase, the user is required to train with at least 90% of the maximum load capacity, followed by a recovery phase with a maximum of 60% load.
This interval is repeated according to the user’s preferences and fitness level. However, with this form of training it is important to note that the recovery phase should be about 3 to 4 times longer than the load phase. – The repetition method concentrates on certain sections of an endurance training or competition. These sections are then specifically completed at a higher pace than in a competition. However, this training can be seen more as a supplement and is not as well suited to creating “basic endurance” as the first two.