Aerobic Training [aka FLOW]

Aerobic training [aka FLOW] is NOT the ability to repeat an interval, with the only metric of success being to hit the same arbitrary time or pace, whilst your effort and HR spirals exponentially out of control.

Here, not only can you not recover to the same state between each effort, but you cannot fully recover [and therefore adapt] after the event either – zero use for aero gainz.

Poor FLOW Expression:

4 sets: 2km Row @ 1:50/500m; rest 2 mins

Set 1: Pace: 1:50, Peak HR: 160 bpm

HR after 2 min rest: 120 bpm

Set 2: Pace: 1:50, Peak HR: 170 bpm

HR after 2 min rest: 140 bpm

Set 3: Pace: 1:51, Peak HR: 185 bpm

HR after 2 min rest: 160 bpm

Set 4: Pace: 1:52, Peak HR: 200 bpm

[HR = Heart Rate]

Aftermath: Feet strapped in rower, flopped off seat, writhing in pain, takes 30 mins to get up + cannot function for 2 hours afterwards.

Notice the increase in HR as an outcome of attempting to maintain the set pace. The pace here is too fast for this piece to be aerobic in nature for this individual.

FLOW training IS the ability to repeat an interval, BUT… whilst you hit the same times and carefully considered pace, you also maintain roughly the same effort and HR throughout all sets, AND have enough left in the tank to continue for a while longer if needed.

Good FLOW Example:

4 sets: 2km Row @ 80-85% aerobic pace; rest 2 mins

HR limit throughout = 155 bpm

Set 1: Pace: 2:00, Peak HR: 150 bpm

HR after 2 min rest: 120 bpm

Set 2: Pace: 2:00, Peak HR: 152

HR after 2 min rest: 120 bpm

Set 3: Pace: 2:00, Peak HR: 153

HR after 2 min rest: 120 bpm

Set 4: Pace: 2:00, Peak HR: 154

Aftermath: Grab phone, take pic of memory screen for coach, pull your socks up, carry on with your day – RECOVER, in order to bank your work and build aerobic capacity.

Notice the change of intent by shifting the focus from a fixed pace to a metric more closely linked to true aero expression – heart rate.

This only really works in a cyclical setting [too many variables in mixed] but it is a nice way for your clients to better sense what aerobic training should feel like; therefore recalibrating the intuition, and therefore upgrading future intentions.

If you want to learn from the best about training principles, then be sure to check out our Level 3 Personal Trainer Course, accredited by CIMSPA.