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Endurance Program

Polar Endurance Program is a complete endurance training programs for running and cycling. It is customized to guide you on how much, at what intensity, and when during the week you should train to optimally improve your performance. To do this, it reads into your personal information available in polarpersonaltrainer.com web service as you complete its recommendations with the heart rate monitor. The program keeps regular check on your training routines and updates itself every four weeks if your body is ready to move to the next level of training.

Endurance Program works together with the Polar ZoneOptimizer feature. Each training session gets automatically modified to your daily condition.

Every session includes warm-up, work and cool-down phases. And each stage of the program lasts for four weeks. After training you can see how the realized training sessions compare to the planned ones and keep track on how you are progressing.

How does Polar Endurance Program guide my training?

The Endurance Program is made up of 4 week training modules. Altogether 20 training modules are available: level 1 module being the least demanding and level 20 the most. Steps between 1 - 20 are linear. This allows you to improve your fitness step by step.

Your training activity and the module level are linked. As your training activity increases, the modules get more challenging. Or if your training activity decreases, you’re guided to a less challenging training regime.

Polar Endurance Program has 20 training modules. Each module is 4 weeks long.

What objectives can the Endurance Program give for running?

Beginner (levels 1-6)
The objective of the Beginner level programs is to accustom your body to endurance training - for longer runs. The training volume is relatively low. The training sessions are basic and long runs. If you want to prepare for a marathon or half-marathon, you'll want to proceed to higher levels by following this program carefully.

Moderate (levels 7-12)
The objective of the Moderate level programs is to accustom your body to higher levels of endurance training - for even longer runs. When training according to the Endurance Program, you will get fit enough to keep your heart rate under control and stable while running. The program will ask you to complete 3-5 training sessions a week doing basic, long and, interval runs. At the moderate level you won't be asked to do tempo runs.

Advanced (levels 13-20)
The objective of the Advanced level program is to develop endurance running performance close to your own maximum level. The program will ask you to complete 5-6 training sessions a week doing basic, long, interval, and tempo runs which develop resistance to fatigue at higher speeds.

This program requires personal care and awareness to ensure optimal recovery, sleep, and nutrition. Having a personal coach might be a good idea. They'd be able to help you discover your strengths and make the most of the program.

What objectives can the Endurance Program give for cycling?

Beginner (levels 1-6)
The objective of the Beginner level programs is to accustom your body to endurance training - for longer rides. The training volume is relatively low. The training sessions are basic and long rides. If you want to prepare for a cycling race in the future, you'll want to proceed to higher levels by following this program carefully.

Moderate (levels 7-12)
The objective of the Moderate level programs is to accustom your body to higher levels of endurance training - for even longer rides. The program also improves your cycling technique. When training according to the Endurance Program, you will get fit enough to keep your heart rate under control and stable while cycling. Your legs will start to tolerate higher speeds and longer distances. The program consists of 3-5 training sessions a week doing basic, long, and interval rides. At the moderate level you won't be asked to do tempo rides.

Advanced (levels 13-20)
The objective of the Advanced level program is to develop endurance cycling performance close to your own maximum level. Some sessions will include high cadence (to optimize efficiency and technique) and low cadence training (cycling specific strength training with high charge and fairly low heart rate). The program will ask you to complete 5-6 training sessions a week doing basic, long, interval, and tempo rides.

This program requires personal care and awareness to ensure optimal recovery, sleep, and nutrition. Having a personal coach or an experienced cyclist friend at hand might be a good idea. They'd be able to help you discover your strengths and make the most of the program.

Endurance Program exercise descriptions for running

Long Run
The target of a long run is to build basic endurance by running a long distance. In the beginning of the long run, the intensity target is zone 2. In the beginner and moderate levels, zone 3 is included towards the end of the session. Running in zone 2 builds endurance by developing fat oxidation capability. Running in zone 3 in the end of the session (included in the beginner and moderate levels) also builds up resistance to fatigue in marathon speed.

Basic Run
Basic run is the most typical endurance running session. The duration of the basic run is normally around one hour (distance 7 – 15 km). One phase of the basic run is always run in zone 3. Before the phase in zone 3 starts, the higher program levels also include running in zone 2.

Easy Run
Easy run sessions are similar in duration as the basic run sessions, but easy runs are run in zone 2 only. There are several reasons to keep the sessions easy: good runners can run relatively fast even having low heart rates – they can effectively build up total training load / weekly mileage and develop fat oxidation during training, while they can still ensure recovery and readiness for the upcoming high intensity sessions. Good recovery is achieved because muscle glycogen is spared and hitting forces/impulses to legs are kept at a low level.

Interval Run
Interval runs develop speed, aerobic and anaerobic capacity, and resistance to fatigue at 3-10 km race speeds. Keeping short recovery periods between the sprints allows more training at high speeds. The sprint periods are recommended to be done in zones 4 and 5, and the recovery periods in zone 3. Zone 3 is usually low enough to remove lactate, but note that you should also use the low end of zone 3 during the recovery periods. In particular, if your target is to develop maximal speed for short endurance distances, it can be beneficial to lower your heart rate even to zone 2.

Tempo Run
Tempo runs develop aerobic capacity and resistance to fatigue at 10 km marathon race speeds. The tempo parts are recommended to be run in zone 4 in order to build resistance to fatigue at marathon and half-marathon speeds and to improve speed in the lactate threshold.

Endurance Program exercise descriptions for cycling

Long Ride
All our cycling programs include one weekly long ride. The target of a long ride is to build basic endurance by cycling a long distance. The intensity target is always zone 2. Cycling in zone 2 builds endurance by developing fat oxidation capability.

Basic Ride
A basic ride is the most typical endurance training session. The duration of the basic ride is normally around one hour. One phase of the basic ride is always done in zone 3. Before the phase in zone 3 starts, the higher program levels also include cycling in zone 2.

Easy Ride
In levels 4-20, some of the short and normal duration sessions are done in zone 2 only; these sessions are called easy ride sessions. There are several reasons to keep the sessions easy: good cyclists can ride relatively fast even having low heart rates – they can effectively build up total training load, keep weekly mileage at a high level and develop fat oxidation during training, while they can still ensure recovery and readiness for the upcoming high intensity sessions. Sparing muscle glycogen and keeping pedalling forces at a low level ensures recovery.

Interval Ride
Interval rides develop speed, aerobic and anaerobic capacity, and resistance to fatigue at very high speeds. Keeping short recovery periods between the sprints allows more training at high speeds. The sprint periods are recommended to be done in zones 4 and 5, and the recovery periods in zone 3. Zone 3 is usually low enough to remove lactate, but note that you should also use the low end of zone 3 during the recovery periods. In particular, if your target is to develop maximal speed for short endurance distances, it can be beneficial to lower your heart rate even to zone 2.

Tempo Ride
Tempo rides develop aerobic capacity and resistance to fatigue. The tempo parts are recommended to be ridden in zone 4 in order to build resistance to fatigue at typical racing speed and to improve performance in the lactate threshold.

How do I create a Polar Endurance Program?

You can create Polar Endurance Program in polarpersonaltrainer.com ⇒ Training Programs.

To define your starting level, you can either
A choose to have the web service calculate it for you based on your training history available in polarpersonaltrainer.com. You only need to read and agree to the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire to choose this option.

If you have less than 3 months worth of training data in polarpersonaltrainer.com, use option B.

OR

B answer the questions given by polarpersonaltrainer.com on your physical activity.
This is the recommended option if you don't have training history in polarpersonaltrainer.com or you don't want polarpersonaltrainer.com to calculate the program based on your training history. Click Define the level of your Endurance Program by answering a series of questions.

How do I sync the Endurance Program with my Polar heart rate monitor?

Use Polar WebSync software to sync the program to your compatible Polar product. Train according to the program. And then transfer the results from your RCX5 back to polarpersonaltrainer.com to keep your training history up to date and the Endurance Program in the know of your development.

How does the Endurance Program get updated?

When there are two weeks left of your Endurance Program, Update Program button appears in polarpersonaltrainer.com ⇒ Training Programs ⇒ Program Summary. If you choose to update your program, polarpersonaltrainer.com creates an updated four-week training period and adjusts training targets for you. The new period starts right after the current period ends.

What if I’ve missed some training sessions during the program?

When you update the program, polarpersonaltrainer.com checks how you’ve done to recommend an updated program level. If you missed even one session of the recommended program, the suggestion will be to move down a notch to an easier training level.

If you did all your recommended training sessions but did not quite fulfill the targets according to the recommended sport zones, you’ll get the recommendation of staying at the same level.

If you fulfilled the targets precisely as required by the program, not exceeding the time in sport zones, the program will want to give you more of a challenge and move you up to a more advanced level.

Whatever the recommendation, it is ultimately up to you to decide if you want to follow it.


See also polarpersonaltrainer.com ⇒ Help.

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