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    todd.struble on · in reply to: Managing Metatarsalgia #37744

    I thought I’d loop back and give an update. I started with an endurance coach with a sports MD background in December and their advice helped me return to training. 2 months later it feels pretty close to 100%; though that being said I haven’t been able to return to higher mileage weeks as unfortunately I developed sesamoiditis in my OTHER foot. Doh. I’m a bit demoralized but it feels like I’ll get over the sesamoiditis faster, as it feels far less chronic than the pain I was dealing with in November/December. I appreciated the advice; diligent foam rolling and calf stretching seemed to help.

    With all that said, if anyone else is working through it; it will get better, very slowly. What kept my fitness levels somewhat ok while recovering was fairly common sense in retrospect: See what I could tolerate without pain during or after a workout, and try to progress from there. For me, it was every-other-day running starting at 30 minutes, with a mix of inclined treadmill walks and swimming to keep some aerobic work without stressing my foot on other days. It’s taken months, not weeks to feel better.

    I don’t know if it warrants a different thread but the sesamoiditis seems to have me back in the same position though. I’m a bit unsure of what aggravated my “good” foot since I was doing very low volume running, but here we are. Perhaps a change in gait or other subconscious correcting?

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  todd.struble.

    todd.struble on · in reply to: Training Peaks and Training Plans Q's #35020

    1) Fundamentally, Training Peaks is a glorified training log and planning tool. There’s nothing magic about the numbers it spits out, but it does make it much more organized and I have found it really useful for planning and tracking. Steve House did a video on some of the more useful features of Training Peaks here:

    2) CTL, ATL, and TSB are pretty simple. There’s a little question mark next to the numbers on your Training Peaks main dashboard with definitions and links to more info. CTL = 42 day average of your daily TSS. ATL = 7 day average. TSB is just CTL – ATL. Conceptually, think of CTL as what you’ve been able to maintain over 6 weeks. ATL is what you did this week. If you’re building, what you did this week (ATL) should be a bit more than what you’ve been doing (CTL) and thus your form should be a bit negative. If you’re tapering, then you should see your form shoot up.

    3) Yes, you need to enter your zone ranges manually. You can use whatever zone system you like, and Training Peaks will track all of your charts and things automatically.

    4) Seems correct-ish to me, except I don’t think the % of Max HR is useful – all of these numbers vary from person to person. From what I can tell, there are several different ways to define the metabolic point we’re aiming to train below. AeT, VT1, Nose-Breathing, a certain lactate amount in your blood – and our metabolic system changes daily based on a million different factors. It’s like one of those things that you can go as far down the rabbit hole as you want. I thought about putting a lactate meter on my Christmas list (but didn’t…). If you followed the UA protocols and you feel like you got numbers that made sense and correlated with what you expect, I think you’re in “good enough” territory. For what it’s worth, what’s helped me is that maxim of “it’s much better to train well below your AeT than it is to train above it even a little bit” – and use everything I know to make sure I stay below it. If I tested my AeT HR at 150 but I’m struggling to nose-breathe at 150, I’ll slow down. If I’m easily nose-breathing but my HR is above 150, I’ll slow down. If my legs feel heavy but my HR is under 150 and I’m nose-breathing, maybe I’ll slow it down anyway so it feels like I could sustain it all day.

    5) The zone settings don’t matter in TP per se, but it will help you track how much volume you’ve done in each zone which is useful. In terms of if it matters to Training Peaks, my understanding is that the ONLY number that Training Peaks uses to calculate TSS is your “Threshold Heartrate” (I think even the “Threshold Pace” doesn’t do anything for hrTSS but it might for rTSS – someone else more knowledgeable than me might be able to answer.) BUT – if you’re using the Uphill Athlete zone system, the “Threshold HR” is what UA would consider the Anaerobic Threshold, so you would enter in your “Threshold HR” to whatever you are using for the top of Zone 3/Bottom of Zone 4. You can have Training Peaks to recommend a threshold number for you – I think their definition of their Threshold HR is what you can maintain for one hour at maximum effort. 100 TSS is supposed to be that effort. It’s important to remember that 1) it’s a personalized number – what I can maintain for 1 hour maximum effort is really different than what the pros can maintain for 1 hour – but in our Training Peaks we’d both get 100 TSS for the effort; and 2) it’s an “imperfect-but-the-best-we-have” proxy – if your threshold number is off in TP by a bit maybe it changes your TSS numbers to be off by a few percent which in the scheme of things probably doesn’t matter. The terrain won’t care if your CTL is off by 10% or not. In general the thing that’s useful in TP are the trends – how much fatigue are you carrying and are you building gradually and modulating – TP helps you visualize that information really well.

    todd.struble on · in reply to: Recommended mountaineering watches #33427

    I picked up a Garmin Instinct for the barometric altimeter (Training Peaks suggests that it’s more accurate than using their “elevation correction” function which maps gps tracks to known elevations). I guess I’m not sure what to expect in terms of accuracy. For example, I calibrated it last night using GPS elevation at my house. It finds it at 530′. I wake up this morning and now it thinks I’m at ~400′. I recalibrate and it goes back to 530′ at the start of a 1 hr trail run, and when I get back to my house, it finds me at 500′.

    Is that variation the accuracy I’m supposed to expect? If so, what’s the usual margin of error for a given elevation over time? Is it always accurate within 50 feet? 100 feet? Does it get wider over time?

    Also, how does the “auto calibration” feature work? I have it on, but I really don’t understand as so far after a length of time it seems fairly off. Does it calibrate when I start an activity or at a certain time? Does it need internet through my phone to get the correct reference values?

    I also feel like it overstates how much elevation my workouts are. If you use the Training Peaks “elevation correction” feature it’s almost always less, sometimes as much as 10% different. I suspect if I did a track workout it would claim I gained and lost hundreds of feet. It also suggested on my 1-hour trail run that I had a net elevation change of -45′ despite starting and ending the workout at the exact same spot. It’s -2 using the GPS values.

    Do folks here tend to use the elevation correction feature or just leave the barometric altimeter elevation values as is?

    todd.struble on · in reply to: Managing Metatarsalgia #31802

    Thank you both for the suggestions. I picked up some Hokas and the cushioning is nice. I actually have an olympic bar for my garage gym but I’m not sure what the best technique for rolling out is. I’ll see if I can find some youtube videos but for now I’m just using it as an unwieldy foam roller.

    Alison, do you have any tips or thoughts on how to ensure I’m using my glutes enough and getting full hip extension? I don’t have any formal running technique training in my history, just team based sports, so any tips or resources would be great.

    todd.struble on · in reply to: Managing Metatarsalgia #31306

    Shoot – remembered a few more questions:

    1) Are those rockered running shoes something that I should consider in the future? If so, any brand/model recommendations to look at? I’ve seen Hoka One One and Altra seem to be the most likely candidates.

    2) Is there a calf-stretching protocol that works? I’ve just been doing sort of randomized stretches as often as I can but it’s fairly unstructured.

    todd.struble on · in reply to: AeT Thought Experiment #31129

    During my last DIY AeT test, my mind was also wondering about very similar questions, so I’m super interested to read what the experts have to contribute, so I hope you don’t mind my piggybacking on your thread.

    My question was a bit more generalized for the 1 hour test – why exactly one hour and 5% drift? I suspect the answer is two fold – 1) Scott J. has written in their experience 1hr/5% drift provides a 95% confidence that the result is accurate and my guess is that’s probably “good enough” for training purposes; and 2) 1 hour at low intensity is easily repeatable. You could test every week and it likely wouldn’t impact your training that much. An 8 hour test might be more accurate but I sure as heck ain’t doing 8 hours on a treadmill or around a track even once. I get bored after about looping the track after 15 minutes! That would also be (for me) almost my entire aerobic volume for a week in one workout and take a few days to recover from.

    But it does beg the question – does a 3% or 4% drift result provide a higher confidence? Would your longer protocol provide a higher confidence if we wanted to do a longer test?

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  todd.struble.

    todd.struble on · in reply to: Strength Training & Ultrarunning #25202

    I’m totally unqualified to answer your question, but since it’s been a few days, I think maybe this thread might be related to your question:

    Cardio: Is it better to split the long runs, or do them in a few big sessions

    It’s in the powerlifting vs endurance training context and doesn’t answer your question about whether to run first or lift first, but it does talk about the compromises involved. For what it’s worth, I’ve always read that you want to lift while recovered as much as possible, so I guess if someone told me I’d have to do both in a day, I’d lift first.

    todd.struble on · in reply to: Climbing substitute in the flatlands. #24935

    I’m not sure if you’re talking about uphill hiking or one of the rock climbing plans, but maybe this thread will help:


    todd.struble on · in reply to: hrTSS vs rTSS – default for trail running #24934

    I just stay consistent since that makes it easier to track. Since I use the fudge factors recommended, I just stay with that same system even if I do a flat run. That way I don’t have to decide whether something had enough elevation gain to justify using hrTSS or not.

    As noted a bunch here, the TSS thing is an “imperfect but the best we have” proxy, so I don’t sweat a few TSS here and there. I look at the longer term (weeks, months) trends to see if they’re following what I’m supposed to be doing.

    I think the only way I’d change to using rTSS is if I decided I was going to spend a 3-6 month block training for flat running goals. Maybe others have different opinions.

    todd.struble on · in reply to: Mt Hood Trail Suggestions #23408

    I’m a local! There are tons of trails that fit the bill, and I think all of them will be melted out by the end of June/July. The Timberline Trail as Rachel mentioned is a great option, especially if your partner is willing to drop you off at a trailhead and pick you up somewhere else like Timberline Lodge. Most of the hiking or trail running on Hood goes along or intersects with the Timberline Trail at some point, along with the PCT.

    Off the top of my head, I’d say check out Paradise Park. It’s very scenic and has a few options. You can do it starting from Timberline Lodge which includes more of a traverse and the up-and-down of crossing the Zig Zag runout. Alternatively, you can start from the Paradise Park trailhead near the Twin Bridges campground. That’s more of a straight up and down route with a bit more vertical and a bit more mileage. You could even go point-to-point and have your partner drop you off at the Paradise Park Trailhead or the Ramona Falls trailhead and then use the Timberline Trail to meet at Timberline Lodge. I think those are all in the 10-15 mile range too. If you take the Ramona Falls trail, take the detour to check out the falls though – it’s not that far and worth the view.

    If you want just maximum vertical, then I’d suggest going over to Cooper Spur. Park at the ski resort and use the Tilly Jane trail to the Cooper Spur stone shelter and then to tie-in-rock. It’s about 4500 ft of gain over five miles one way according to my TrainingPeaks data from when I skinned up there in early May. This area is also where the higher elevation sections of the Timberline Trail exist, so if you’re looking for training at 5000ft+ trails in this area are probably what you’ll want to explore.

    You could also do the climber’s trail at Timberline, (bring your skis if you like!) that’s also a lot of vertical. It’s a bit crowded but still a nice uphill hike with good views. If you’re comfortable traveling on snow you can get pretty high (~9500 feet) before you start feeling like technical gear would be a good idea.

    If you have trouble figuring any of these routes out let me know and I can try to explain in more detail.

    todd.struble on · in reply to: How low is reasonable for AeT? #22753

    I agree with Scott that maybe you should try a different method or test. I wouldn’t just use that TrainingPeaks Pa:HR number as the be-all-end-all of measuring your heartrate drift. There should be some level of analysis of your workout data to confirm what you experienced during your workout or test. Steve’s video on using the PMC helped me think about how to read my data a bit better. @ 6 minutes in Steve goes through looking at the data and the decoupling that happens over a much longer workout. Note how it’s sort of obvious when the athlete’s pace and HR start seriously moving away from each other.

    When you look at the data from your AeT test, is your pace dropping significantly like that in the second half of your workout or does it stay largely in step with your HR? This is sort of what the Pa:HR number is getting at, but in my experience it can get fooled easily by elevation gain/loss or bad data. Doing a manual calculation like Scott described will take out those possibilities.

    I’ve gotten some wonky Pa:HR numbers, and it’s been either because the road I thought was flat had a bit of a slope, and/or my GPS/HR monitor wasn’t working right. To get into the weeds, I had a problem with noise in the speed channel which messes with how TrainingPeaks calculates the Pa:HR number. I solved the slope issue by doing the test at a local school track, and the noise issue by picking up a GPS watch (I previously used my phone and the Wahoo app to record, which sampled data excessively often, creating the noise in the speed channel).


    This is great, can you post a few more photos or a link to an album? I’m not sure I get exactly how the bike is attached to the poles, and how the poles are “inside the pack” without it opening up.

    I toyed with the idea of a folding bike, a mountain skateboard, and others to implement this idea, but never pulled the trigger. I figured I could use the muscular endurance/strength training effect of going downhill a bit slower. It definitely compromised getting some elevation when time was limited though.

    todd.struble on · in reply to: AeT – Lactate Treshold Test #22131

    I don’t think you did anything wrong. It looks like you identified that you have ADS and need to focus on low-intensity work. See below articles on ADS and the 10% test.

    Aerobic Deficiency Syndrome

    Knowing When and How to Add High Intensity Training: The Ten Percent Test

    todd.struble on · in reply to: breaking up zone 3? #21898

    I’ll take a stab at this because I happened to be reading the section on interval training in the new book just now.

    I’m not sure what workout or guidelines you’re referring to. I’ve been following the 24 week plan and the Z3 muscular endurance workouts don’t start until the specific period (and even then I’ve read here the vertical beast mode workout is supposed to be Z1 or Z2 in your heartrate but feel like Z3 in your legs).

    That being said – that sounds like a lot of time in Z3 to me too. Reading the new book, (p.176 and the review on p.266) Aerobic Endurance/Z3 should be either continuous Z3 tempo for 20-40 minutes or intervals of 8-15 minutes for a total work volume of 40-60 minutes. So… based on that, I’d say not only are you OK breaking it up, it seems like you should.

    todd.struble on · in reply to: How Slow is TOO Slow? #21794

    Scott, what do you mean by 50%-70% of AeT? Does it matter if you are well-trained or not? For example, AeT at 140, 50%-70% of that is 70-98, which is basically standing around the house (for me anyway). I imagine a well-trained athlete might have their AeT closer to 160 or 170+ and maybe if their resting heart rate is in the 40’s that a brisk walk is getting closer to that 50% mark.

    But are you suggesting that if floresrm has tagged their AeT at 140, they’re getting a benefit if they’re walking at pace that keeps their hr at 70-98 if the duration is long enough? or am I misunderstanding the 50% piece?

    I’m sort of curious because I have gone on walks with friends and promised “you can’t go too slow for me” only to find that… walking really slow barely gets the HR to 100 and also wondered about the training effect.

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