Zone Two cardio

When not listening to podcasts, I can often hold a conversation while running, and conversing is a proxy for Zone 2 cardio. It’s a Goldilocks exercise. Is this a better way to run?

Between Instagram stories, Andrew Huberman emails, and runner scuttlebutt, Zone 2 is in the zeitgeist. Without getting into physiology, can we figure out if it’s a fad or worth our focus?

Metrics. We count what’s easy. Miles and minutes are easier to count than training zone sessions. Hurricanes are graded by their wind speed but it’s the water volume that does the damage. Speed is easier to measure and report. Daily users were standard but it was people who used the product that gave Pinterest engineers a better signal. Easy to count, collect, and combine metrics are overrated.

+1 for Zone 2.

Incentives. ‘Why am I seeing this?’ is a good question. Who is selling me something? Vegetarianism is underrated because the people who sell it don’t have that much to gain. Status points, sure, but if something’s not being sold it’s more believable.

+1 for Zone 2.

Barbell approach. Sometimes average measures are worse. Exercise may be like that. Every workout at 145 beats per minute is not as good as some workouts at 170 bpm and others at 125bpm, though the average is the same. Zone 2 is easier than the 145 average which goes against the ‘more is better’ mindset.

+1 for Zone 2.

Swept up. It’s easier to get swept up in something. Housing bubbles. Crypto. Or just the feeling of a local sports team playing deep into the playoffs. The internet feed makes it even easier. Instagram knows my age, interests, and engagements. Oh, a forty-year-old running dude, the magic math concludes, here’s a bunch of running videos promoting zone two cardio. Is this an echo chamber?

-1 for Zone 2.

Conclusion: I’ll do more Zone 2 training. Happy New Year.

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