Scott Semple

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    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Mountaineering + Triathlon Training #16820

    The following is from a study on Marit Bjoergen, the most successful female cross country skier in history.

    63 ± 3% (545 ± 18 h) of the yearly endurance and sprint training was performed as sport-specific exercise modes (i.e., skating and classical on skis or roller skis), with the remaining 37 ± 2% (318 ± 18 h) performed as non-specific activity forms (34% running and 3% cycling).

    Training distribution by specific and non-specific training activities

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Mountaineering + Triathlon Training #16819

    Perhaps, but that conversion likely comes from their running fitness.

    I’ve been training for skimo for six years, but if I tried to swim across a lake, I would die. It doesn’t matter how big my engine is, skimo training hasn’t helped my swim technique nor reduced its metabolic cost.

    I’ve never heard anyone express a swimming or cycling goal and then ask if running will be good training for them. But it’s all too common to hear the opposite.

    I think what’s really happening is a substitution bias. We want to know, “what training is the most effective?”, but our subconscious pushes us to answer, “which training is more fun?”

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Cross training – Any Bjj practioners here? #16817

    I have no doubt that BJJ is very aerobic and can be very intense. However, it’s not going to transfer very well to mountain sports because the movement patterns have nothing in common.

    To get the most bang for your buck, you’ll want to make training activities as similar to the goal event/activity as possible. For example, I’ve spent six years training for skimo, but it hasn’t made me a better swimmer or cyclist.

    Of course, it’s not bad to try different sports, but just be aware that aside from some general strength and the health benefits of being active, BJJ won’t help your performance in the mountains.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Mountaineering + Triathlon Training #16783

    From triathlon training, running will be the most complementary. But swimming and cycling won’t offer nearly as much benefit. They would be good recovery activities though, especially easy swimming.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Transition – Zone 4/5 Impacts w/ Zone 1 #16781

    You need to back off on the intensity or it will negate the benefit of your base work.

    Think of it like a bank account. Zones 1 and 2 make deposits; Zones 3-5 make withdrawals. The bad news is that, minute for minute, the withdrawals are 20x more powerful than the deposits…

    As a rule of thumb for long events, you want to keep your minutes of training above Zone 2 at 5% or less of your total training time. For example, although my main event is intense (skimo racing), in a 15-hour training week, I try to keep my training time above Zone 2 to 45′ or less.

    Judging by your description, a long focus on base building is what you need. But if you’re patient, it will be worth it.

    Although not as severe, I was in a similar situation when I started properly training six years ago. I had a long history of alpine climbing, but I still couldn’t jog at much less than 80% of maximum. And I usually lagged behind my friends. Now that I’ve built a good base, I can comfortably jog at 55-60% of maximum, and days out with friends are never over Zone 2 unless I intentionally pick up the pace.

    Be patient! You’ll get there.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Mountaineering + Triathlon Training #16780

    And the good news is that you’re in your mid-thirties! With smart training, you’ve got at least a decade of improvement ahead of you.

    To quote Charlie Munger, “I’d trade some big numbers for another decade.”

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Mountaineering + Triathlon Training #16768

    Hi MZ,

    If your true interest is in the mountains, then I would cut out the sports that conflict with that priority. Or accept a lower performance standard in your main pursuit.

    I used to bite off more than I can chew, and I was constantly stressed by it. The easiest way to balance my interests was to eliminate lower priority items until I only had one left.

    That’s probably not what you wanted to hear, but in the long run, it’ll be the most effective.


    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Recovery time after long fasted workouts #16758

    Great job. That’s smart training. Much much better than the grind-myself-into-the-ground approach that is all too common (and that I too was all too familiar with).

    Nice work.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Free Half-Squat V. Guided Half-Squat V. Deadlift #16626

    As far as exercises go, I use both deadlifts and squats. I progress it through the training season: double-leg deadlifts, then double-leg squats, then single-leg squats.

    As far as a rack goes, I would never use a guided rack based on the assumption that stabilizer muscles get a free ride and won’t engage.

    For safety, I always drop heavy DLs, never lower. (Admittedly, you need a proper gym that will allow this.) For squats, I use an enclosed squat rack and raise the safety catch bars on the sides to just under the lowest point of the bar.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: How to track "mountain work?" #16572

    This is a big reason why I wish that Training Peaks would allow for an LSS (lifestyle stress score) adjustment on a daily basis. That way, fatigue could be adjusted without affecting the TSS.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Transition Period – replace "Climbe one day" #16555

    Replace it with more Zone 1 (super easy).

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Question about AnT test #16554

    One more thought: the important thing is the consistency of the output, not your heart rate. So don’t start too hard too fast. If you take ~10 of the 30 to get up to the desired intensity, chances are that the output will be pretty consistent. (At the very start, when you’re fresh, your actual AnT intensity will feel too easy.)

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Couple Q's about hrTSS vs. rTSS (did something change?) #16519

    There’s no way an algorithm will ever reflect the actual loads of every workout in an athlete’s training log. So to get closer to reality, adjustments will be necessary in any system. But yes, it does take extra time.

    More important than what the numbers are is how you get there. If you don’t have the time for adjustments, then, by all means, leave them. But I would caution against increasing intensity to hit higher numbers. Long-term, that will decrease fitness rather than increase it, regardless of what the numbers say.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Question about AnT test #16518

    The key is to maintain a near-constant intensity. That may be possible by increasing speed on the sections that ease off in angle, but I think it’ll be very difficult to do so on downhill sections.

    I would say the consistency of the terrain trumps grade. So if there’s a less-steep hill that’s more consistent, I would use that one. Even better, use a treadmill; it’ll be both consistent and specific.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Diet at 8000m to keep fat adaptation #16453

    If this is your main objective, I wouldn’t worry about compromising anything. Performance becomes the priority, not maintaining a preparatory state. Whatever facilitates performance “on race day” should be pursued.

    In training, the priorities are switched: preparation over performance. That necessity is why real training is so unpopular. It’s not very gratifying. And it doesn’t lead to getting the course record on Strava.

    But on “race day” (whether that’s at 1,000m or 8,000m), just go for it. Use whatever’s available. Don’t rule anything out, especially when it comes to food.

    “Train on fat. Race on carbs.”

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