TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — In Tuesday’s episode of Run for Fun, we focus on a different way to track how you run. Many runners judge their runs based on speed or distance, but using your heart rate is an effective way to train.

Leigh Spann and Coach Maria talk with Dr. Brian Fullem, a sports podiatrist and running coach. He trains many of his clients to stay in “Zone 2” heart rate range.

If you’re sitting relatively still, your heart rate will be in Zone 1, and during all-out, high-intensity exercise, it may reach Zone 6. By staying in Zone 2, your body can use fat for energy during exercise. Doing this low-intensity type exercise or a slower run helps build endurance or aerobic capacity, and you are less likely to have injuries due to overuse.

By building up your endurance with these slower runs, you will eventually be able to spend more time in those higher zones. Meaning if you spend more time in Zone 2, on days you want to go fast, like in a race, you’ll be able to hold that higher speed and higher intensity longer.

Coach Maria and Dr. Fullem explain why it’s important to only spend 20% of your runs in higher heart rate zones if you want to keep running and exercise as part of your healthy lifestyle for years to come.

Be sure to watch or listen to previous episodes of Run for Fun for more ways to make running a more enjoyable experience.