As we previously wrote on our blog, it’s important to control your heart rate zones, especially when you are working on your aerobic and anaerobic efficiency. However, there are also workouts that should be based on keeping a certain speed and sports tracking certainly helps achieve that. So what are speed zones and how are they calculated?
Run like everyone’s watching
Speed zones don’t just come from nowhere. When you use GPS sports tracking, the system records all your activities and determines the maximum values of your effort, such as speed. Let’s say you’ve been running particularly fast in one of your games. The system records that and recognizes it as your maximum speed, which becomes the point of reference for all the speed zones. An athlete or a coach can also set the maximum speed manually, which is very useful for a person who has suffered an injury. This value helps the athlete stay within reasonable limits and not strain the injured body part. It’s important to slowly go back to regular training step by step and not exceed the limits of that dangerous zone.
There are six speed zones in the Sonda Sports system:
- over 90% of the maximum speed,
- 90 - 80% of the maximum speed,
- 80 - 70% of the maximum speed,
- 70 - 60% of the maximum speed,
- 60 - 50% of the maximum speed,
- below 50% of the maximum speed.
The zones can change in the system, obviously, if an athlete gets a higher maximum speed than previously. Most of the time, the athlete runs in one of these low zones, but when it comes to sprints and accelerations, then the athlete reaches higher speed zones. However, they should not make up the majority of the workout – that would be too much workload for an athlete’s body to handle and it might lead to an injury.
Same idea for different athletes
If you’re a coach, think about your team. If someone asked you about the fastest player on the pitch, you would be able to point him out without hesitation. Same goes for the slowest player. Although they have different skills and different predispositions, they still have to work as a team. You can verify this when you take a look at their speed zones. Of course, they won’t achieve exactly the same results, but their parameters should be more or less similar.
Leave it to the tracker
Tracking speed zones seems complicated, but it’s quite simple when you leave it to technology. Neither the coach, nor the athlete has to do any calculations: it’s the system that computes raw data and produces useful speed zone parameters. It is important to have precise data on your physical effort, especially since there is a relatively thin line between what’s considered moderate effort and hard work.
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