22 September 2022

Real-time Coaching Directly in Your Training Watch

Individualized training plans, personal coaching, and real-time coaching directly in your training watch. This is how we do it!

This is how we train Alberto Lasobras, who is a Trail-running champion in the Aragon district, Spain, and this is how we do it with all the Team Arduua runners who take part of the Arduua Online Coaching program.

How do we manage to create a running session Individualized?

All of our training plans are built on the length of time per training session, and how hard it is for you, (not on the distance you need to run). This makes your plan specific for you and where you are in your training journey (for example, one runner may run 8km in 1 hour while another may run 12km, all in the same pulse zone). How hard it is for you we measure by pulse, and to make it accurate enough we use an external chest strap.

One of the benefits with this training methodology is that Trail-running is not like Road-running. In Trail-running we have many different types of technical terrain, and many vertical meters to consider, and it would be quite impossible for our coaches to use speed and distance as a tool for measuring success.

How can we manage to deliver real-time coaching, when the coach and the runner are not physically at the same place?

For that we are using high technological tools, apps and methodologies. But for you as a runner you only would need to think about having a training watch compatible to the Trainingpeaks app, and a chest strap (for pulse measurements). Then the first thing you need to do is to synchronize your training watch with your Trainingpeaks account, and your chest strap, and then you are ready to go!

Your coach plans all your running sessions in advance in Trainingpeaks and your training-watch will guide you through each running session in real-time.

Example.) Your coach has planned a 63 min running session for you with pace changes.

20 min warm-up, zone 1-2

Repeat 7 times:
2 min hard, zone 5b
2 min easy. zone 1-2

15 min cool down, zone 1-2

You start your training-watch, and the training-watch will automatically find your planned training for today. At first it says 20 min warm-up in zone 1-2, go. If your pulse exceeds zone 2 your training watch tells you to slow down, if it is below zone 1 it will tell you to speed up. Then time for pace changes. The training-watch tells you to run 2 min in zone 5, if you have not reached zone 5b your watch tells you to go harder. Then the program goes on like that…

After the running session you put comments in Trainingpeaks how it went and felt. Thereafter your coach will analyse your training and answer your comments.

PS. The real time feature is working best with Garmin watch.

How does the coach analyse my training?

Most important here that your success will be measured by if you reached the goal and the objective with the training (which should always be possible). In this case to maintain correct pulse zones through the whole session. This means that you will not be measure by pacing/speed.

In these types of trainings your coach can also analyse your heart rate, and if you have made any progressions. For example, a good sign of a well-trained and healthy heart is when your pulse goes up quickly in changes, and also goes down quickly in changes in the resting period.

Pulse is of course one of the most important things to analyse, but the coach also has all kinds of data from your running to check such as cadence, the length of your stride, imbalances etc… But in this blog post we will keep it more simple and talk about the bases. 

What are pulse zones?

Your training zones are the target ranges (of heart rate) that will be used to prescribe the intensity of a workout. There are different ways to do this, but at Arduua we are using 7 training zones (zone 1, zone 2, zone 3, zone 4, zone 5a, zone 5b and zone 5c.

The first four zones correspond to aerobic intensity levels. The last three zones fall within the anaerobic range. The lactate threshold falls right at the bottom of Zone 5a, acting as the boundary between aerobic and anaerobic intensity.

Zone 1 (Recovery)

Zone 1 is used primarily for recovery and warm-up and cool down.

For a well-trained person this could be quite comfortable running, but for a non-trained person this zone is probably just walking.

Zone 2 (Aerobic Base / Extensive Endurance)

Zone 2 is the primary aerobic base building zone. This is the zone for long distance trailrunning, which you will be able to keep for many hours.

It is quite common that many runners go to fast in their Easy runs, and that they overestimate their own capacity, especially when they go in a group 🙂 But if you run with a training watch and a chest strap for pulse, your watch won’t lie. 🙂

Zone 3 (Aerobic Tempo / Intensive Endurance)

Zone 3 represents a more challenging aerobic pace. It’s still well within the aerobic range but involves a peppier tempo that can be hard for the uninitiated or untrained. Think of this as aerobic tempo pace. Working in this zone is a steppingstone to tempo work that is closer to lactate threshold. But the intensity of this zone is typically too slow to gain much benefit for raising the lactate threshold and too fast to achieve the aerobic benefits of Zone 2 without causing undue wear and fatigue. Since there is little direct benefit to working in this zone, it is used sparingly and mostly avoided.

Most amateur runners do not know about this, and it is exactly in this same training zone that they run 3 times a week, like a 10km route, trying to beat their PB each time Which we hope now you understand that this is not a very good training plan.

Zone 3-4, Tempo zone

Zone 3-4, tempo zone, between thresholds, can also be very useful and fundamental in some stages of the season and is the specific intensity of many competitions in short and medium distance so for sure it will have its place in our training process.

Zone 4 (Sub-Lactate Threshold)

Zone 4 moves toward the lactate threshold but remains sub-threshold. This is the “comfortably hard” effort that runners refer to when talking about tempo runs.

Zone 5a (Super-Lactate Threshold)

The lactate threshold arrives at the bottom of Zone 5a, so Zone 5a corresponds to the super-threshold range. The sub- and super-threshold zones represent an important range that targets increase in the lactate threshold. Tempo workouts and cruise intervals in Zone 4 or Zones 4-5a improve lactate tolerance and decrease lactate accumulation, which enhances the ability to sustain race pace.

Zone 5b (Aerobic Capacity, or VO2max)

Zone 5b is the next step in the anaerobic range. This range corresponds to the athlete’s maximal oxygen consumption, or VO2max. Working in this zone expands aerobic capacity.

Way too many amateur runners train too little in this training zone, because it is not comfortable. It is when we train in this zone, we will finally see some effect and improvements in our running.

Zone 5c (Anaerobic Capacity)

Zone 5c emphasizes anaerobic capacity. Work in this zone targets the ability to work anaerobically for events or portions of events that last a few minutes in length—such as starts, race surges, and finishing kicks.

It’s quite difficult to reach this zone, and probably you will not manage each time you are doing hard interval trainings, even if you do your best. This just happens once and a while when you have a good day.

How do I know my individual training zones?

To make this 100 % correct you would need to go to a professional training center that have all the equipment in order to do a properly maximum heart rate test.

Based on that your coach will be able to establish all the other training zones.

But, in order to not complicating things, we have created a running test for our runners, and based on that the coach can establish individual training zones, quite well.

There after our coach are adjusting the individual training zones once a year, because with great training, also your training zones will change.

Can I be a part of Team Arduua and your training?

Yes you can! Team Arduua is an international group of runners with different level in Trail-running. Our coaches are Online based and they are specialized in Skyrunning, Trail and Ultra-trail.

We will be glad to help you with your training, and you are also welcome to join us for Camps and Races.

Please read more about our Online Coaching and How we train different for Skyrunning and Trail.

For questions please contact Katinka at

Have a great week of training!

/Katinka, Arduua Founder, Fernando, Arduua Head Coach

Fernando Armisén, Head Coach, Katinka Nyberg, Founder

Like and share this blog post