By Craig Friedman, Athletes' Performance
There’s a simple way to become better prepared for, and more resilient to, the stress of training at high intensities: maximize the easy work in your workouts.
In between your high effort intervals in a workout, you’ll train in the Blue Zone. For instance, you might train in the Red Zone for 30 seconds, then train in the Blue Zone for a minute, and continue alternating.
Here’s the key: It’s important to go slow enough so that your heart rate drops during the Blue Zone, also known as an “interval recovery.” This allows you to put forth a greater effort in the higher intensity zones than if you were to try to go hard all the time.
In addition to physical benefits, there’s also a psychological reward that results from using the Blue Zone as an interval recovery. As opposed to steady-state cardio where you run at the same speed all the time, doing intervals in which you return to the Blue Zone, reset to push yourself harder, and then continue this pattern breaks the monotony of traditional workouts. Use the small breaks to reset your mind, reflect on your goals, and then attack the next interval determined to put forth your best effort.