How hard should I go on the workouts?

Most of your training will have a level of RPE designated.

Instructions for Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale

While doing physical activity, we want you to follow your perception of exertion. This feeling should reflect how heavy and strenuous the exercise feels to you, combining all sensations and feelings of physical stress, effort, and fatigue. Do not concern yourself with any one factor such as leg pain or shortness of breath, but try to focus on your total feeling of exertion.

Look at the rating scale below while you are engaging in an activity; it ranges from 6 to 20, where 6 means “no exertion at all” and 20 means “maximal exertion.” Choose the number from below that best describes your level of exertion. This will give you a good idea of the intensity level of your activity, and you can use this information to speed up or slow down your movements to reach your desired range.

Try to appraise your feeling of exertion as honestly as possible, without thinking about what the actual physical load is. Your own feeling of effort and exertion is important, not how it compares to other people’s. Look at the scales and the expressions.

# Level of Exertion
6 No exertion at all
7.5 Extremely light (7.5)
9  Very light
11 Light
13 Somewhat hard
15 Hard (heavy)
17 Very hard
19 Extremely hard
20 Maximal exertion

9 corresponds to “very light” exercise. For a healthy person, it is like walking slowly at his or her own pace for some minutes

13 on the scale is “somewhat hard” exercise, but it still feels OK to continue.

17 “very hard” is very strenuous. A healthy person can still go on, but he or she really has to push him- or herself. It feels very heavy, and the person is very tired.

19 on the scale is an extremely strenuous exercise level. For most people this is the most strenuous exercise they have ever experienced.

Borg RPE scale
© Gunnar Borg, 1970, 1985, 1994, 1998

How do I set up my run training zones?

The workouts have metrics you can use to determine your effort. We use the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE), heart rate, and running zones. You DO NOT need to use all of the different metrics. Pick the one that is the most comfortable for you!

The Addaero Pace Calculator: Use Addaero’s zone and pace calculators on the Addaero Platform to determine your Heart Rate and paces for all of our zones.

To access the Addaero zone calculator

, log-in to your Addaero account and then go to the “Settings” button at the bottom of the page. Click on the “workout zones” button on the left. Choose the running option under “sport” and the pace option under “zone type”. On the bottom right, there is a place called “zone formulas”. To set up your pace zones:  Click on the “Basic FT pace” button. Under “required parameters” there is a place to put in your functional threshold pace. Most people do not know this off hand, so luckily Addaero will calculate it for you. You will see a button next to “FT pace” with an “i”. Click on that and it has an explanation of FT pace and a place for you to put in a distance and time. It is the pace you can sustain for about 45-60 minutes or roughly 5 miles-11 miles depending on your speed. Once you enter that data, hit calculate. Then, hit the button on the bottom right “create zones using formula”. Your zones in the above right will now populate. Hit the “save” button on the upper right.

To set up heart rate: For zone type click on “heart rate”. On the bottom right, click on the “Basic HRR” button. Under “required parameters” there is a place to put in your max heart rate and your resting heart rate. Once you enter that data, hit calculate. Then, hit the button on the bottom right “create zones using formula”. Your zones in the above right will now populate. After you create your zones, hit the “save” button on the upper right.

Your workouts will be populated with the pace and heart rate that we would like you to achieve. Try your best to stick to the plan!

For more information and screen shots of the zone calculator page on Addaero: click here.

If you are interested in learning about how your best time for a particular race distance translates into potential times for other races distances, click here. For example, you can use your 5k time to predict how fast you can run a half marathon. If you have never run a race, do not worry about this part.

Pace zones explained:
Zone 1 – EZ Aerobic: Any level of training easier than your Aerobic training. Many of us will feel embarrassed going this slow! You will probably be about 10-15 bpm lower than your Aerobic Heart Rate (HR). Your long runs will be at the faster end of this zone.

Zone 2 – Aerobic: This a level of training described as comfortable but good quality training. You should be able to breathe comfortably and carry on a conversation. A formula to estimate your aerobic training zone is 180 – your age (+5 if your fit and -5 if you’re sick or have heart problems) i.e (180-35 = 145 + 5 = 150 bpm). Your long runs will be at slower end of this zone.

Zone 3 – Strong Aerobic: (or Aerobic Threshold) Often described as tempo this is high quality level training that is associate with the onset of labored breathing. You will be right at your aerobic threshold and slightly below your lactate threshold. The place where you can still breathe fairly well but your legs aren’t quite burning. Zone 3 is equivalent to marathon pace on the slower end and half marathon pace on the faster end.

Zone 4 – Lactate Threshold: This is a training level described as hard. It is above aerobic threshold where you can’t clear lactate as fast as you create it. You are right on the edge of major burn and increasing fatigue. This would be a pace you can keep for a 45-60 minute race. You start accumulating more lactate in blood than you are clearing. This is above strong aerobic and varies among athletes. Zone 4 is equivalent to half marathon pace and the top end is 10k pace.

Zone 5 – Supra Threshold: This is a training zone that is right around 5K pace for most and near 10K pace for the really fast runners and in between for many. Heart Rate is above your threshold and getting near 95% of your max HR.

Zone 6 – V02max: This is the max speed or intensity you can hold for roughly 4-8 minutes. A good indicator of VO2max is your fastest mile pace. It is a good speed to use when trying to enhance technique, speed strength and economy in your running. No heart rate for this one, just feel your pace out for what you feel you can do for 4-5 minutes.

Zone 7 – SupraMax – Sprints: 30sec up to 2 minute all out efforts. The race winner stuff! You will rarely hit this zone, except in the occasional stride.

Race Pace: The pace or effort at which you plan to go for the race you are training for. If the given workout doesn’t say the specific race pace to travel at then assume it is the pace at which you hope to go in your next important race. Zone is dependent on distance of race.

Hill Repeats: Use a 4-8 degree hill that takes between 40 seconds up to 3 minutes to climb. Recover on the down. Obviously – if you are on a 3-minute hill you don’t have to do at as many reps. For those folks in hill or mountain country – you can just keep climbing up and increase your intensity during the allotted interval times.

Track Workouts: High-end speed work!

Run: Most runs should also be aerobic or easy aerobic unless otherwise specified. They can be done outside, roads, trails or on treadmills. Again do a 10-15 min warm-up and a 5-10 min cool-down.

Final Note: All training is meant for your enjoyment, health-fitness and is supposed to make you feel good. If you fall off routine don’t worry just move things around a little until you are back on.

If you experience a bad hurt please back off and consult a physician.

Do I need a fitness tracker?

A fitness tracker is a wearable device or a computer application that records a person’s daily physical activity, together with other data relating to their fitness or health, such as the number of calories burned, heart rate, etc. There are lots of fitness trackers out there, such as Fitbit, Garmin, even your smart phone. Using a fitness tracker is not necessary for capturing the time spent on your workouts. However, it definitely is a more accurate way to track your workouts and it is more fun! Why is it more fun? Because fitness trackers give you lots of information, such as hours spent sleeping and number of steps taken throughout the day, that is hard to determine on your own. Most of the fitness trackers are compatible with Addaero, our training platform. This means, you can upload the information from your Garmin or FitBit to Addaero and it will go into your training log.

What happens if I am having a bad day?

We know that chronic pain can be unpredictable; some days you feel better than others. We recommend that you try to stick to you the workout on your plan even if you are having a “bad” day. We hope that through the power of movement, you can turn around your bad day. Give yourself a chance! If you are still struggling after 5-10 minutes, or you really just cannot get yourself moving, then skip the daily workout and try again the next day.

A primer on body parts

The muscular system is responsible for the movement of the human body. Attached to the bones of the skeletal system are about 700 named muscles that make up roughly half of a person’s body weight. Each of these muscles is a discrete organ constructed of skeletal muscle tissue, blood vessels, tendons, and nerves. Muscle tissue is also found inside of the heart, digestive organs, and blood vessels. Many of our exercises refer to different muscles of the body. Check out this handy chart to help you navigate the muscular system. Familiarizing yourself with the muscular system will help you understand which muscles your are using during certain exercises and allow you to identify which muscles hurt or get sore during a flare up.