Table 4 Intensity scale for elite middle-distance runners

From: Crossing the Golden Training Divide: The Science and Practice of Training World-Class 800- and 1500-m Runners

Scale BLa HR VO2max RPE TTF Race pace AWD Int. time Rec Training methods
9-zone 5-zone mmol·L−1 % max % 6–20 min min·session−1 min min
9 SST n/a n/a n/a n/a < 0:08 ≤ 60 m < 1 < 0:08 1–3 Accelerations, flying sprints (alactic)
8 SST n/a n/a n/a n/a 0:15 60–120 m 1–3 < 0:15 1–3 Progressive runs or maximal sprints
7 VHIT > 12 n/a 115–140 19–20 1 120–600 m 3–6 0:15–1:30 3–15 Lact. prod. training, TT, LS competitions, hill rep
6 VHIT > 12 n/a 100–114 19–20 4 800–1500 m 6–15 0:25–1:30 0:30–3 Lact. tol. training, TT, MD competitions
5 HIT 8.0–12.0 > 93 90–99 18–20 15 3000–5000 m 15–25 1–4 1–3 VO2max int., LD competitions, hill rep
4 HIT 4.0–8.0 88–92 85–89 16–18 30 10 000 m 20–35 2–7 1–3 VO2max int., hill rep
3 MIT 2.5–4.0 83–87 80–84 14–16 60 Half-marathon 20–50 3–10 1–2 AT runs, fartlek, AT int., prog. runsb
2 LIT 1.5–2.5 73–82 70–79 12–14 120 Marathon 20–90 n/a n/a Long run
1 LIT < 1.5 60–72 55–69 9–12 n/a n/a 20–150a n/a n/a Recovery run, easy long run
  1. BLa typical blood lactate (normative blood lactate concentration values based on red-cell lysed blood), HR typical heart rate, VO2max maximal oxygen consumption, RPE rating of perceived exertion, TTF time to fatigue (single effort), AWD typical accumulated work duration, Int. interval, Rec. typical recovery time (active or passive) between repetitions, prog. progressive, lact. prod. lactate production, lact. tol lactate tolerance, hill rep. hill repeats, AT anaerobic threshold, TT time trials, LS long-sprint, MD middle-distance, LD long-distance, LIT low-intensity training, MIT moderate intensity training, HIT high-intensity training, VHIT very high-intensity training, SST short-sprint training
  2. aWarm-up is typically performed in zone 1–3, although with shorter duration, while cool downs are typically performed in zone 1–2
  3. bProgressive runs are typically performed in zone 1–3