Why Zone 2 Training could be your back-pocket metaphor for life: give yourself some time to read our views on how to elevate your performance sustainably
Physical training in Zone 2: typically described as training at 60-70% of maximum heart rate or, in real terms, like going for a jog while still comfortably holding a conversation (at ICC we refer to this as ‘going for a shuffle’ – keep it clean people, this is a family show). Sure we might find ourselves to be a bit warmer and our breathing is more noticeable but the paybacks are big.
Benefits of Zone 2 training:
If the pace is sustained for 45 minutes or more, 2-3 times a week, the main benefits are an improved aerobic base and elevated endurance levels, growing our ability to maintain a faster pace for a longer period of time.
Sounds good right? What if we could emulate this in life? Rather than continually charging at targets and goals in Zone 4/5 mode (reaching our V02 max. quickly and left gasping for air in a sweaty mess on the floor – sound familiar?), instead we devote time and attention to operating at an elevated performance level that is sustainable and, ultimately, improves our ability to ‘turn it on’ when required.
So, why don’t we?
Maintaining effort in Zone 2 can oddly feel harder than applying ourselves in Zones 4/5. In Zones 4/5, we don’t have the luxury of the ‘flow state’, the ability to settle in, relax and perform almost effortlessly. In Zones 4/5 we are fully engaged with and locked into the assignment, our hand is played for us. In Zone 2, the reverse is true: we can focus on whatever we like, we play our own hand, we are in charge. What do we do? We get distracted, we procrastinate, we find other short-term objectives to chew on. We spend less and less time in Zone 2.
Time to re-focus people!
Zone 2 training ultimately improves our ability to perform well in Zones 4/5. Our capability to hit life targets is optimised.
Zone 2 training requires us to:
· Make a choice – to be conscious in our decision-making, prioritise yourself
· Be patient – the goods will come to those that put in the work, not once but over time
· Form habits – the body responds well to consistency, so does the mind
· Celebrate the small wins – milestone successes provide us with motivational springboards
· Focus on effort, not output – goals are achieved via the work applied, fixating on outcome loses sight of the importance of input
We also think people look cooler in Zone 2! Do you agree?
Join the conversation, you’re In Cool Company