Scott Semple

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  • Keymaster
    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Training Effect of Bikepacking the CT? #45193

    …it doesn’t seem right to consider the ~170 hours of volume on the CT as well-structured base training since it wasn’t well-structured or gradual/progressive in nature. Any thoughts?

    That is a very wise assumption. It’s much more common for the average person to think, “I am so Superman right now.” Good job getting it done.

    Your trip was likely a mix of “spending” and “saving” from your aerobic bank. Because of the huge volume, I’m not really sure how to quantify either side to determine where it’s left your “bank balance”.

    I suspect that you’ll need more than two weeks to fully recover. That is a huge load. Even when you physically feel recovered, other systems (adrenal, etc) may need longer.

    Once you’re fully recovered, figure out the previous year’s average weekly volume. Try a week of it and see how you feel. When starting a new training cycle, the first week should feel pretty light. (And you’re recovery weeks may be at half that amount.)

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Negative drift test results? #45162

    I agree with Shashi.

    Also, the speed looks very unstable. There are what seem like stops (at traffic lights, maybe?) You need to keep your speed as steady as possible to get a decent result. So running on the street (unless it’s deserted) won’t be helpful. Use a track or a treadmill instead.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Programming Question: Where to “get” the other 15%? #45161

    Strength and the bike ride count as training.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Weekend Warrioring #45144

    I would choose a plan that fits in with the cycles of your life. The best plan is the one that you’ll stick to, so you want to have minimal conflicts with other obligations. My first thought is that something between 12 and 16 weeks is probably a good choice. You’ll want to have some weeks of R&R each year, so something like 3x 16wk or 4x 12wk with a rest week in between might work.

    It’s important to think about training plans as hypothetical. They’re certainly not single-use. You have to abstract the concepts and rhythms and then adjust as your constraints and fitness change. That’s not only with off-the-shelf plans but with custom coaching too. If you think in terms of training principles, you could use one plan forever. Just adjust the components so you keep progressing.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Estimating TSS for a 16 hour trip #45143

    Good job. That sounds like a fun trip.

    I think it’s hard to know exactly what the training stress is for these types of trips. It’s always an estimate and (both of) yours seem reasonable to me.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Base building and Freeletics #45099


    …mainly bodyweight cardio with no rest (burpees, pushups, air squats, situps, pullups…)

    So… strength training. It’s not aerobic training, and even aerobic training shouldn’t be called cardio.

    The goal is to finish the given workout as fast as possible. It’s a sort of bodyweight crossfit. It’s not strictly HIIT because many workout don’t have rest between series. It’s strongly glycolytic. You’re mainly in Z3/Z4.

    Which means it is, roughly, 1000% HIIT. The main problem with HIIT is that adherents lump high-intensity into one big, hugely varied basket.

    it cleary don’t build an aerobic base. I wouldn’t advice to use freeletics for a aerobic goal.

    God, no. I totally agree.

    If you want to develop an aerobic base indoor you can do box step-ups or some kettlebells protocols involving swings/snatches (mainly A+A).

    BSUs at a base-building intensity, yes. But KBS will probably be too intense. It’s more of a strength exercise anyway.


    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Dealing with Cardiac Drift in Z3 intervals #45077

    It sounds like you’re going too fast to start. Unless there’s a very big difference in the relative strength of your cardiovascular system versus your legs, your legs shouldn’t burn in Z3. That happens at higher intensities.

    Related to this is that there’s too much lag in heart rate to use it as a reliable measure of intensity over AeT within the first few minutes, especially on the first repetition. If you do some treadmill training, you’ll find that the first few reps at Z3 pace will feel much easier than you expect.

    It sounds to me like you’re trying to hit your Z3 HR too quickly, so to do so, you’re going too hard out of the gate. Then your legs get trashed, your pace slows in later reps, and your legs don’t have the power to tax your CV system into Z3. I suspect that’s why you’re seeing a stop in HR.

    Next time, start more conservatively and try to maintain a constant output per rep. Look for your HR to be in Z3 late in the first few intervals and sooner in the later ones.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Compression boots for recovery #45076

    Regardless of how they affect adaptations, alleviating the pain will be more important.

    From what I’ve read, part of how adaptations are initiated is the signaling that happens via inflammation. So if we accelerate recovery, then we lower inflammation and dampen the signal.

    So it depends on the priority. Shortly before a race, or during a stage race, fitness cannot be gained, so recovery and being ready for the event is much more important. SO then it makes sense to use ice baths, etc. Months before, when training is the priority, recovery tools may not be a great choice.

    But again, pain is a worse choice. I would fix that first.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: High AeT but too slow? #45074

    Based on the Pa:HR in that test, it looks like 155 is a good estimate for AeT. You could try another one at 160 to confirm.

    Weight definitely makes a difference in all weight-bearing sports, especially those that go uphill. “Pounds make pain” as they say.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Learning from failure #45073

    I agree with Shashi. It sounds like a combination of (perhaps) too much training beforehand combined with fatigue just before the event.

    Perhaps some good news is that with sufficient base training, it’s reasonable to expect that your AeT HR could rise into the high 160s. So that HR may well feel much easier in the future.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: AeT feels like a decent effort #45038

    Just for the avoidance of doubt, I assume the “too easy” statement refers to training done within Z1 and Z2. My understanding is that anything below Z1 is “recovery” and hence has little to no training stimulus. Whilst it won’t do any damage, equally it won’t drive any adaptation.

    As usual, it depends on the athlete. For the first few years, that may be true. But eventually, most training hours will be in Zone 1 because the speed of higher zones is too stressful to account for the majority of volume. At that point, the metabolic cost of Zone 2 is still low, but the neuromuscular cost is high. It starts to feel almost as fatiguing as Zone 3.

    When that happens, Zone 2 training will shift from continuous sessions to an interval format to reduce the stress.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: HR static across pace zones #44988

    Imagine if you were doing a whole bodyweight lifting exercise like squats. What’s more important to track and guide the training: the weight on the bar or your heart rate?

    For running, pace is the weight on the bar. For road runners, they should train by pace above all. And cyclists should use power.

    But for mountain athletes, the terrain changes, and then so does the pace. So pace no longer reflects the intensity of what we’re doing. So we’re stuck with heart rate.

    With thousands of training hours, you’ll bet a better and better feel for what certain intensities feel like. At low intensities, RPE may become useful (although it’s always useless above AnT). And even better is ventilation.

    Basically, without an objective way to measure the external load (like pace or power), we need fudgy, kung-fu-like methods to indirectly estimate the external load via the internal load. Heart rate is a good place to start with that.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Drift tests all over the place. What do I do next? #44961

    Nick is correct. Your method is a good one, and these are all good tests. You’re trying to be too precise with something that can’t be.

    The only difference I would suggest is to use 130 instead of 125. It’s not a significant difference, but the first-half average in the last test was 130 and the drift was less than 5%. So that’s the number to use.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Throughly confused #44960

    What Shashi said!

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Rollerskis training #44959

    That’s certainly possible. The main thing is that the ME loads will be high, so you have to be willing to do less of it if those sessions start to hamper your general base sessions.

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