The slow endurance run is the best exercise intensity for newcomers to running.
Even if you have the feeling that the speed is just slightly higher than fast walking, you should ensure that the level of strain does not exceed up to 75% of your maximum heart rate.
Your cardiovascular system, muscles, and entire organism learn to work effectively in this intensity range. The slow endurance run is the best exercise method for training muscle endurance and supporting your body in burning fat.
For ambitious long-distance runners, too, is this intensity range relevant within the scope of a long slow distance run. Endurance runs are considered to be long when they last at least 90 minutes. The long endurance run promotes the increased formation of mitochondria, the “power station of cells.”
The calm endurance run, often known as jogging, takes place in the range of 76 to 80% of your maximum heart rate and is often considered to happen at a “feel-good pace.”
At this intensity, you run at a lower lactate production rate and effective metabolism rate, strengthen joints and tendons, and can still carry on a conversation. The risk of overly straining or damaging your body is relatively low in this intensity range. The calm endurance run is, however, neither regenerating nor meaningful for good endurance training.
Many runners intuitively run in this range – but if you would like to train effectively, you must leave this intensity range and go to the slow endurance run method to improve your basic endurance capabilities. Or you can go to the fast endurance run method to train your tempo endurance.
The fast endurance run is the running speed that experienced runners choose the most frequently. It is in the range of 81 to 85% of your maximum heart rate.
This intensity range serves to train your tempo endurance. The maximum and the minimum limits of pulse measurement are important here – as an upper limit and as motivation for when the speed becomes slower. Speaking in this range of exercise becomes difficult over time, since the need for oxygen for gaining energy is higher. However, you usually have enough air for short sentences.
But beware: Beginners and overly motivated runners should be careful. Running in this range of exercise several times a week can overload your body and lead to overtraining.
Tempo endurance runs are a noticeable challenge. Beginners should only train at this intensity when they have already gained experience in intense running. During tempo endurance runs, training takes place at 85 to 90% of your maximum heart rate, the highest level of performance possible before over-acidification of your body.
Your body is trained to efficiently use oxygen during the metabolism process and to push the aerobic threshold. Tempo endurance runs are a very effective method for specifically training aerobic stamina.
A threshold is the range in which the muscles continue to gain sufficient oxygen during physical strain so that no lactic acid builds up. The range below the threshold is known as aerobic (“with oxygen”), above it is known as anaerobic (“without oxygen”).
You should only go on a tempo endurance run once a week at the maximum.
At a maximum heart rate of 91 to 95%, the tempo run is in the anaerobic range.
It serves to improve performance ability and is used, above all, during interval training. Here is where the short, intensive sessions are broken up by breaks in between. For tempo run beginners, it is recommended that you begin with short distances and a reduced intensity, for instance five 400-meter runs with walking breaks in between. Generally speaking, you should make sure that you do not train for very long in a range above 90% of your maximum heart rate.