5 Training Zones

Zone 1: Active Recovery
Easy, easy, easy. Your conversation level is never out of breath. Lollygagging, recreational level. Recovery time. Good for staying loose, working on technique, focus mentally, warm up/down. Hardly any power in stroking a paddle 25-50%. Speed is not a factor.

Zone 2: Endurance
Your basic endurance-building zone. Your conversation pace is still easy to do. Also described as LSD (long slow distance) excellent way to improve basic fitness and burn fat. Intervals are long pieces 10-30 min or 1+hr. But Zone-2 benefits really don't kick in until 45 mins and increase through 1 hr. 15 mins before starting to level off. Spend 50-80% of your training in this zone. Zone-2 also increases stamina, and anaerobic threshold. Super important zone to build, without its Zones 4 &5 will break you down quickly. Combining resistance in Zone-2 helps build strength, power and good technique. Applying 50-70% power in your stroke and feeling the resistance in the power phase. The level of paddling is at endurance speed or cruising speed according to your fitness level.

Zone 3: Tempo
The work starts here. Speed increases and workouts are intense. You can still carry on a conversation, but your sentences start getting shorter. Spend 25%-30% of training in this zone. Intervals are shorter but more up tempo just under Lactate Threshold. Zone 3 is totally aerobic and by now it should be at a pace that you can handle for couple hours. Your level of paddling and speed is at a race pace.

Zone 4: Anaerobic Threshold
Commonly referred to as your Lactate Threshold (LT) or Anaerobic Threshold (AT). This zone is hard; your conversation is in one or two words. It's still an aerobic activity, you're breathing hard and are on the edge of suffering. As you get stronger, faster and fitter, you'll raise your threshold level. Spend 20-25% in this zone. Zone 4 intervals are very intense, pyramids or ladders should be able to start & finish at the same power and speed. Depending on intervals, paddling level shifts from race pace to sprints, under control & fast. Zone 4 training is like doing 500-1500m sprints. Rest period for intervals vary depending on the type of race and goals. Recovery from each interval is partial and key to the next set.

Z-5 Max Effort
Your all out sprints! Giving your max-effort to the end. Zone 5 hurts bad. Short sprints 10-30sec. Spend about 10-20% in this zone. Zone 5 builds explosiveness and quick starts. Benefits here prepare you for over taking another canoe or catching swells & surfing waves. Rest period is an important key and little longer granted your all-out efforts. Zone 5 is divided into two areas: Sprints and VO-2 Max efforts.

Sprints: Short duration of sprints (10-60+seconds), all-out efforts. Rest 10sec- 3mins depending on intervals. Do as many sprints in a workout as you can maintain good form and technique. Best to sprint on a measured-distance course or marker type so you won't have to look at your watch.

VO-2 Max: Longer duration (2-5 minutes), all-out efforts. Rest 2-5mins or more to recover. It's a killer, so want your entire energy system recharge and ready to give 100% on the next attack.
**These efforts increase your anaerobic power and develop your VO-2 Max (the maximum amount of oxygen that can be used during exercise for sustained power).
*Rest: If your training is as hard as you should be! Rest is as important with any training program; you get stronger on rest days. Rest, Recovery and Recuperation cannot be overlooked.
**Learn to recognize your "Zones" to reach your goals, feel results & see improvements!