Aerobic Capacity: What does it mean to stay in a Zone 2 Heart Rate?

Building your aerobic capacity expresses itself in a variety of different movements. While the most popular forms of aerobic training includes swimming, rowing, going for a light jog or cycling on a road or stationary bike, it can also include movements like burpees, single-unders, double-unders and box jumps. 

While the type of movement may differ depending on the time of year in our class programming, the intent for building your aerobic capacity remains the same from week to week: to work at a steady state effort and pace for a long duration of time. 

An aerobic pace can be measured using a few different methods. Maintaining a consistent breathing pattern (i.e., running or cycling at a 4, 6 or 8-count breath) is a good indication that you’re working at a Zone 2 heart rate. Paying close attention to the consistency of your breath count or challenging yourself to work at a nasal breathing pace are good measures for knowing whether you’re in Zone 2. Talking to your neighbor next to you while jogging together or holding a conversational pace with a friend are also good indicators you’re working at a steady pace.

Another method to help monitor your Zone 2 training is to wear a smartwatch or heart rate monitor. These are helpful tools to hold you accountable to staying within a Zone 2 heart rate. Pull up your phone or start your watch next time you’re hitting a Zone 2 day, and pay attention to your working heart rate zone. This helps hold you accountable throughout the duration of exercise, and when to peel back the intensity if needed.

Spending more time in your Zone 2 helps develop your body’s ability to better create and use oxygen as energy through exercise. Both the quality of aerobic training and the time spent in this zone will help move the needle when it comes to learning how to be more consistent in your breathing pattern and endurance. As your body adapts to more efficiently using oxygen for energy, the work accomplished in your Zone 2 will increase over time, while the intensity will remain the same.

Have questions? Grab a coach to help you navigate what options are best for you when it comes to improving and building your aerobic capacity!

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