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118: Mark Burnley on training zones

This week’s guest is Dr Mark Burnley

Mark is an exercise physiologist by trade, currently an academic at Loughborough University, having previously been at Brighton, Aberystwyth, Kent and Wolverhampton.

Mark’s background is in oxygen uptake kinetics, having undertaken much of the pioneering work on priming – which I’ve used extensively in my work with athletes. Much of Mark’s work has centred around the concept of Critical Power and the physiological landmarks that distinguish different exercise intensities – essentially exploring ways in which we can distinguish the way our body responds differently in different domains of exercise.

This is relevant because these landmarks offer us some logic to how we might go about setting training zones. And that is what we get into in this discussion. We delve into what the key landmarks are, what happens when you exercise in, below or above different landmarks. We explore the strengths, mistakes and pitfalls of different types of zone structures, debating laboratory, field, precise prescriptions or margins, whether to use heart rate, power, speed, breathing as some of the ways to regulate exercise intensity.

As you can imagine the discussion goes in all different directions and what we’ve tried to do is define each concept as we go, just in case you’re not familiar with the various terms. But rest assured you’re in safe hands with Mark, his keen intellect, exacting precision combined with an eye for the applied practical implications of this topic – are all delivered with highest level of clarity in his communication.

Links to Mark

Mark on Youtube

Mark on Twitter

Hi, I’m Steve Ingham Sports and Performance Scientist co-founder at Supporting Champions. 

Take a look at my Applied Professional Practitioner course on Sports Physiology