The what and how of speed and pace zones

What are speed and pace zones?

Speed and pace zones are a new way of guiding the efficiency of your training during sessions. They work just like heart rate zones, however the intensity of your training is based on your speed or pace, rather than your heart rate. They provide an easy way to choose and monitor the intensity of your training based on speed or pace, and help you mix up your training with different intensities for optimal effects. There are five zones, and you can use the default ones or define your own.

How can I benefit from speed and pace zones?

The easiest way to benefit from speed and pace zones is to use the ZoneLock feature to lock into the zone you are currently in. You can also create training targets based on the zones, and receive guidance from your training device during training.

The ZoneLock feature is described in detail later, and for more information on creating training targets see How do I create a training target in Polar Flow?

Where can I edit the zones?

The zones can be edited in the Flow web service, and can be individually customized for each sport profile they’re available in. To edit the zones, login to the Flow web service, and click your name in the upper right corner. Choose Sport Profiles, and the sport profile you want to edit. The zones can be set under the Speed/Pace Settings.  After editing the zones, sync them to your training device via FlowSync.

How should I set the zone limits?

If you have tested your actual thresholds, such as anaerobic and aerobic thresholds, or upper and lower lactate thresholds, you can adjust the zones based on your individual speed or pace thresholds. We recommend that you set your anaerobic threshold speed and pace as the minimum for zone 5. If you also use aerobic threshold, set that as the minimum of zone 3. The minimum of zone 4 is halfway between zones 3 and 5.

What are the default speed zones?

The default zones are the same for everyone, and are not calculated based on your personal or physical information. They are an example of speed/pace zones for a person with a relatively high fitness level.

In what sports can I use the zones?

The speed and pace zones are available in running, cycling, rowing and canoeing sports. If the zones are available for a sport, you’ll find them under the Speed/Pace Settings in the Flow web service Sport Profiles.

What is ZoneLock, and how can I use it with speed and pace zones?

The ZoneLock feature helps you to accumulate certain intensity by allowing you to lock into a zone on the fly. After locking into a zone your training device will alert you if your speed or pace is too slow or fast, so you can speed up or slow down to stay in your target zone.

ZoneLock for speed and pace zones must be set on for each sport profile individually. To set it on, login to the Flow web service, and click your name in the upper right corner. Choose Sport Profiles, and pick the sport profile you want to edit. ZoneLock can be set on under the Speed/Pace Settings.  Sync the settings to your training device via FlowSync after editing.

How can I set ZoneLock on during training?

During a training session press and hold the START button to lock the zone you’re currently in. If ZoneLock is enabled in heart rate or power settings as well, you can choose which zone (speed/pace, heart rate or power) you want to lock. To unlock the zone, press and hold the start button again.