Starting from scratch

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    Topic
  • #39295
    jeremy faulk
    Participant

    Hi Team,

    I’m posting this as a starting point and to pulse others on how to start. I’ve basically lost my entire base over the past 8 years. About 8 years ago I was injured, left the Marine Corps, and basically stopped all activities except for the occasional sport climbing and weight training. Recently, I found myself panting on approaches and have about the same level of endurance as my 35lbs 4-year-old.

    It’s time to face reality and build a base. To start this process, I went to CU Boulder for testing and it confirmed what I already knew, I’m starting from scratch (see picture). I don’t think anyone will dispute that I have ADS.

    My plan is to do the following and add 15min per week.
    M: Rest
    T: 1:15min – Zone 2
    W: 45min + Climb
    Th: Rest
    F or Sa: 1:00 – Zone 2 + Climb (depends on schedule that week)
    Su: 2H Zone (1-2) hike

    How should I spend time in Zone 2? Staying between 130-140bpm is really hard to do while running and basically I just need to do incline walking for now.

    1. When on a treadmill, there is a tradeoff between incline and speed. How do people decide or vary their incline? The treadmill I have access to can go to 30 degrees.

    2. If I do inclined walking, when should I transition to running? I find my heartrate is about 7bpm faster while running vs a fast walk.

    3. What do you think of the proposed schedule?

    4. How long should I do this (time or markers) before reassessing or changing my approach? I’m planning on 12 weeks which puts me at the end of July.

    Thanks for any feedback you might have!

    Onward and upward!
    Jeremy

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  • Keymaster
    Scott Semple on #39317

    How should I spend time in Zone 2? Staying between 130-140bpm is really hard to do while running and basically I just need to do incline walking for now.

    You answered your own question. And it will likely never change on inclines. Very few humans can run uphill at an aerobic level of effort. It’s normal to have to walk or hike.

    1. When on a treadmill, there is a tradeoff between incline and speed. How do people decide or vary their incline? The treadmill I have access to can go to 30 degrees.

    If steeper, go slower.

    2. If I do inclined walking, when should I transition to running? I find my heart rate is about 7bpm faster while running vs a fast walk.

    Let your heart rate be the deciding factor. The priority right now is to fix your ADS. Regardless of the activity, stay below 140. Gradually, the speed will increase. In future tests, your aerobic threshold heart rate will be higher (with proper training and patience).

    3. What do you think of the proposed schedule?

    This may be too high a volume to start with. I would start with 30-45′ 5-6x per week and see how that goes. Shorter, more frequent sessions will have a better training effect than longer, less frequent sessions.

    4. How long should I do this (time or markers) before reassessing or changing my approach? I’m planning on 12 weeks which puts me at the end of July.

    In six weeks, try a drift test to see if AeT HR has changed. (Search the site for hos to do one.)

    Participant
    jeremy faulk on #39321

    Thanks Scott! I will go with the shorter more frequent approach and do a drift test in ~6 weeks.

    Participant
    dcgm on #39322

    Shorter, more frequent sessions will have a better training effect than longer, less frequent sessions.

    I’d be very interested to hear more of your thinking on this when you get a chance. Is that a pretty solid general rule or are you specifically thinking of OP’s circumstances? Are we including warmup (which might just be the first 10-15 min of a zone 1-2 session)? What makes splitting the volume better than lumping it, within a week or microcycle or whatever?

    Participant
    Steve B on #39326

    In the book, they point out that your aerobic systems can recover in as little as 12 hours. Thus, frequency is important.

    Keymaster
    Scott Semple on #39345

    It depends on the individual, training history, and the event being trained for. In this case, @jeremyfaulk needs to cure ADS before doing anything else.

    A common mistake is the more-fatigue-equals-more-fitness approach (aka. “strong like bull, smart like tractor”) where the athlete grinds themselves into the ground with longer and longer sessions. For someone new to training, the sudden ramp in volume can overwhelm their ability to adapt.

    The temptation to do too much too soon is a gratification problem. It feels good to work and rewarding to be tired. So we equate the emotional reward with a physical one. That’s rarely the case.

    Regardless of fitness, we’re trying to coax our physiology into improvement, not bludgeon it into submission. Pros like Kilian Jornet are trying to coax a dragon, so they can use monster-size training loads. In relative terms though, I doubt guys like him get that tired very often or for very long. His aerobic system has the “appetite” to absorb the load quickly.

    In contrast to shorter, frequent sessions, someone with a strong base and training for an ultra needs to do longer sessions to condition themselves for their goal event. In this case, that would be counter-productive.

    Keymaster
    Scott Semple on #39346

    I should also point out that the general idea can also apply to ultra-focused athletes as well. One of my pros puts in monster volume, but he’s also an MD. So during work weeks, most of his sessions are 45′-90′. Then he does longer sessions on his days off.

    It’s helpful to think of mitochondria as those super insecure friends that need constant reminding that you want them around. The more reminders, the more they stick around and invite more of their relatives (which, in this case, is what you want).

    Participant
    Shashi on #39350

    Scott – love the “super insecure friends” analogy.

    Jeremy – wish you the very best!

    Participant
    dcgm on #39354

    The temptation to do too much too soon is a gratification problem. It feels good to work and rewarding to be tired. So we equate the emotional reward with a physical one. That’s rarely the case.

    For sure, but why is (say) 60 min Zone 1/2 3x/week more fatiguing (“doing more”) than 30 min Zone 1/2 6x/week? Hell, is it? I’ve done both, more or less, and I’m not sure I noticed a difference, though it’s tough to adequately control for confounding variables. I was more fatigued after one 60 minute session than after one 30 minute session, obviously, but I also had extra rest days.

    someone with a strong base and training for an ultra needs to do longer sessions to condition themselves for their goal event.

    Right, this makes sense.

    It’s helpful to think of mitochondria as those super insecure friends

    OK, fair, I saw the graph in TFUA too. So let’s turn this around–is there a minimum session duration (for physiological rather than logistical reasons)? If 30 min zone 1/2 6x/week offers a more favorable ratio of stimulus to fatigue than 60 min 3x/week (and like I said, I’m not entirely convinced that it does), would 10 min 3x/day work even better yet? If not, why not?

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by dcgm.
    Keymaster
    Scott Semple on #39368

    The required stimulus depends on the athlete. Someone just starting out can get a lot of benefit from just 30 minutes per day. Someone else with a solid training history will lose fitness on that same program.

    The point is not to arrive at a perfect number (because it doesn’t exist). The point is to acknowledge that we all have a “training stress range” that we need to respect. The bottom of the range is the threshold we need to exceed in order to get a response and adapt ourselves to a higher level. The top of the range is the threshold we need to stay below so that we don’t overwhelm our ability to adapt.

    The key thing to remember is that more fatigue doesn’t mean more fitness. Our egos don’t care about what’s effective, they care about what’s gratifying. That’s something to be wary of.

    Keymaster
    Scott Semple on #39369

    …would 10 min 3x/day work even better yet?

    For the right athlete, yes. I was very impressed a couple of years ago when Maya Seckinger, one of our coaches, started a new athlete on a 30-seconds-on-one-minute-off running routine. I never would have thought that such a mild start would be helpful, but it was. That same athlete ended up doing 10K races later on.

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