In this article I will briefly try to explain the intensity training zones for aerobic endurance training. It’s not in the scope of this article to tell you which training zone you need to be for your personal objectives, but instead I want to give you the big picture of the training zones so you can have a better understanding of all of them and use it in your personal training. The training intensity zones that we are exploring here are endorsed by cycling Australia.


The maximal heart rate on this zone is between 50 – 64%. At this intensity we can speak with someone without any difficulty. It’s an important zone because here is where we can recover after an intense training.


Here the maximal heart rate its between 65 – 74%, this zone is where we are going to create our aerobic endurance base, so it’s a fundamental zone in the training process. Generally this phase is located at the beginning of our training period. It’s a period of long distance rides, as with the recovery zone you can maintain a normal conversation.


This zone E2 is where we are going to increase our muscle glycogen store, but spending too much time working in this particular zone is not quite beneficial to improve fitness, the maximal heart rate here is between 75 – 84%, it’s a hard zone because it’s between E1 and VO2 max, its more beneficial if we use this zone in our interval training where we can be in the zone and out of the zone, getting the benefits of this zone and without the extreme fatigue.


This is one of the most important zones that we need to incorporate in our training schedule, if we are monitoring our heart rate and stay in this zone we are going to see real improvements in our performance, interval training is the most appropriate type of training for this particular zone, because the intensity is really high and we can not maintain that intensity for very long times. Here we are going to train to increase our tolerance to lactate (training at lactate threshold). If you are an endurance type of athlete this is one of your main goals to improve. The maximal heart rate her is between 85 – 91%.


This is the most difficult zone to train and preferable for very hard training athletes, the intensity is maximal and people without the foundations that give you the others training zones can’t really obtain the true benefits. The benefits of this zone is to improve our maximal consumption of oxygen, increase our cardio output and the intensities are between 92 – 100% of or maximal heart rate. One more time, interval training is the best method to train.

I hope this article was useful, in other article we are going to put more examples of training in each zone and how we can incorporate it in our weekly routine.


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  • By Sebastian Rebollo
  • Master in physical Activity
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist