You can use as many intensity measures as you like to help you train at the appropriate level. There is no wrong or right.
Some people like to keep it simple and just train by feel, known also as Rate of Perceived Exertion or RPE.
Others like to use every measure possible so that they can train more precisely and then analyse their training data. At MyProCoach we use a system of Five Training Zones, which enables you to use one or all of the intensity measures mentioned in this article.
The ideal is to use 2-3 different measures for each discipline, as no measure is perfect on its own.
For example, threshold heart rate can be a great measure for steady-state workouts, but it reacts too slowly during high-intensity interval sessions. Pace or RPE are the better measures for interval workouts.
If you have the option to use several intensity measures, this is the order in which you should prioritise them:
- Pace (speed work)
- Running Threshold Heart rate (steady-state)
- RPE (long aerobic endurance runs)
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