BURN FAT NOW

Stay­ing in the cor­rect zone is key to burn­ing off ex­cess fat, says Man Tri’s Paul Sav­age

Triathlon Plus - - Contents -

Us­ing your zones while run­ning could be the eas­i­est way to burn fat and speed up.

THE BEN­E­FITS OF RUN­NING IN THE FAT-BURN­ING ZONE

There has been a lot of re­cent de­bate about di­ets; which will best help you lose body fat while main­tain­ing mus­cle mass. How­ever, diet is only one part of the equa­tion and you need to spend time in the fat-burn­ing train­ing zone (also known as zone 2/ en­durance zone/light zone) to max­imise re­sults.

KEY BEN­E­FITS:

• Train­ing in the fat-burn­ing zone helps you be­come more ef­fi­cient at util­is­ing fat as a fuel for ex­er­cise. • Fat-burn­ing can help you get leaner, es­pe­cially when you train in a ‘fasted-state’. • It is sug­gested burn­ing fat is less toxic to the body com­pared to burn­ing glyco­gen, be­cause burn­ing glyco­gen cre­ates re­ac­tive oxy­gen species that can cause in­flam­ma­tion and mus­cle sore­ness. • Train­ing in the fat-burn­ing zone can help ath­letes who are re­turn­ing from in­jury and also help to pre­vent in­juries, due to its low in­ten­sity na­ture. • Triath­letes usu­ally only run once or twice a week and pre­dom­i­nantly in the tempo and thresh­old zones, which can be a cause of in­jury • Train­ing in the fat-burn­ing zone can en­able triath­letes to run more fre­quently, which will help de­velop a big­ger aer­o­bic en­gine and con­di­tion and strengthen lower limb mus­cles.

PROB­LEMS WITH HEART RATE MON­I­TOR­ING

There are many ways to work out what your fat burn­ing zone is, which have been cov­ered in these pages pre­vi­ously, but re­ly­ing on a math­e­mat­i­cal model can be flawed due to the unique­ness of each in­di­vid­ual – not ev­ery­one op­er­ates at the same rates of ex­er­tion.

Ad­di­tion­ally, us­ing a heart rate mon­i­tor can some­times prove un­re­li­able, as weather con­di­tions and cloth­ing some­times in­ter­fere with the sig­nal. It’s also dif­fi­cult to keep a con­stant mon­i­tor on your heart rate, while many are sus­cep­ti­ble to ‘white coat syn­drome’, where it can be­come dif­fi­cult to con­trol your heart rate while mon­i­tor­ing it.

TIPS TO HELP YOU STAY IN THE FAT-BURN­ING ZONE

Be­cause of this, it’s good to have in­ter­nal meth­ods that rely on ‘feel’, a height­ened aware­ness of ones’ phys­i­o­log­i­cal changes. • Dr Phil Maf­fe­tone, rec­om­mends a sim­ple for­mula of 180 mi­nus the age of the ath­lete to cal­cu­late the up­per limit of the fat-burn­ing zone. • En­sure you can hold a con­ver­sa­tion while run­ning. • Count the num­ber of steps you take for each breath cy­cle; one com­plete in­hala­tion and ex­ha­la­tion. A good guide is to take five steps for ev­ery breath cy­cle, which will help you keep your car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem un­der con­trol.

When your res­pi­ra­tory rate in­creases so that you are only tak­ing four steps per breath, you are likely to be at the up­per limit of the fat-burn­ing zone and mov­ing into the tempo zone. Most ath­letes will be aware their breath­ing be­comes louder and deeper at this ra­tio and it should be the cue to back-off the pace a touch.

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