When exercising, it’s important to monitor your intensity to make sure you’re working at a pace that is challenging enough to help you reach your goals, but not so hard that you blow a lung. One way to do that is to use a Perceived Exertion Scale. In general, for most workouts you want to be at around Level 5-6. If you’re doing interval training, you want your recovery to be around a 4-5 and your intensity blasts to be at around 8-9. As you’ll see below, working at a level 10 isn’t recommended for most workouts. For longer, slower workouts, keep your PE at Level 5-6 or lower.
Zone 1 RPE Level 1-2: I’m comfortable and could maintain this pace all day long
Zone 2 RPE Level 3-4: I’m sweating a little, but feel good and can carry on a conversation effortlessly
Zone 3 RPE Level 5-6: I can still talk, but am slightly breathless
Zone 4 RPE Level 7: I can still talk, but I don’t really want to. I’m sweating like a pig.
Zone 5a RPE Level 8: I can grunt in response to your questions and can only keep this pace for a short time period
Zone 5b RPE Level 9: I am probably going to die
Zone 5c RPE Level 10: I am dead
For power level and heart rate zone levels checkout the Zone Calculator