I was hoping someone could help me with some advice. Basically I’m an avid skier and have had a consistently substantial volume of recreation the last 20 years or so between road cycling, backpacking, skiing and surfing, but never trained whatsoever. I read TFTNA nine months ago and was inspired but didn’t really know how to apply it until I found this site and purchased the 12-week freeride skiing program thinking I had a pretty good base fitness and that would be perfect for preparing for the new ski season.
Before training I had been doing 45-minute zone 4 runs every other day and then a leg blaster progression two or three days a week in lieu of strength training. Plus some low-intensity bicycle commutes and occasional surf sessions.
When I first tested for my Aerobic Threshold at the beginning of August I got it bang on. At 145bpm over an hour on a track, Training Peaks showed a Pa:Hr of 4%. Not bad I thought, but 30bpm below my AnT of 175bpm so I had some work to do.
I shifted immediately to following the aerobic workout schedule in the Freeride training program, two one-hour zone 2 runs plus one two-hour zone 1 hilly hike/run. I couldn’t do the prescribed strength workout since gyms were closed, so I just replaced those with leg blasters plus the killer core routine as I had been doing.
Then gyms opened in mid-September so I decided to start the 12-week program over again, figuring my ADS could only have gotten better and now I could go to the gym to do the prescribed strength routine. So now I was doing everything to the letter. When I tested for my AeT again in mid-September I thought maybe I had raised it already, so I shot for 150bpm and “failed” the test as my Pa:Hr at that heartrate was 7.3%. Also my splits for that activity (on the same track) were 20s-60s/mile slower despite the higher intensity. It was disappointing, but I knew that AeT adaptations take a long time to manifest so I figured I’d keep plugging.
I’ve been noticing my speed has been slowing lately at the same heartrates, so I’ve avoided adding any work above zone 2, disregarding the progressions in the 12-week program that add zone 3 work since I know that that shouldn’t be added until ADS is gone. Today I redid the track test for AeT at a lower heartrate (140bpm) than my first test 10 weeks ago and the intensity was apparently still too high, as my Pa:Hr per Training Peaks was 5.9%. On top of that, my pace at that lower heartrate is two-minutes per mile slower than it was during my first test 10 weeks ago. (I should note that all three tests were captured with a chest HRM so the data should be good.)
I know it can take four months to see AeT adaptations, but is it normal to go backwards in between? Do I need to add more capacity volume? Am I overtraining? I’ve been doing four- to five-hours a week (spread over three or four days) of LISS, plus two days/week of strength training and one rest day. I don’t mind being patient, but I have a nagging fear that I’m missing something and not getting the benefit from training that I should.
Thanks to anyone who reads this overlong blog, but I’m quite confused and wanted to paint the whole picture!