I almost forgot. Here is a table of my data points to compare markers from test to test.
1. Ascent Rate at top of Zone 2 increased from 2760 vertical ft per hr (with no ankle weights) to 3587 vertical ft per hr (ankle weights, poles), 30% improvement
2. Ascent Rate at top of Zone 3 increased from 3204 vertical ft per hr (with no ankle weights) to 3971 vertical ft per hr (ankle weights, poles), 24% improvement
3. MEP (metabolic efficiency point – 50/50 CHO-FAT crossover) moved from 128 bpm to 156 bpm
4. FATmax or maximum fat burning almost doubled: it went from 0.52g/min to 0.93g/min
5. Baseline lactate dropped from 1.6 mmol to 0.7 mmol!
6. Top of Z2 moved from 152 bpm to 156 bpm, 759 kcal/hr to 1075 kcal/hr
7. AeT moved from 170 bpm to 175 bpm, 940 kcal/hr to 1247 kcal/hr
8. AnT stayed put at around 183 bpm
9. 4mmol lactate point moved from 184 bpm to 191 bpm
10. I gained 6 lbs of muscle in my legs, and lost 2% body fat
Test 1 was performed at CU Boulder Lab on 4/12/18. Treadmill was set to 19% grade. Speed was increased throughout test for hiking, arms free at sides.
Test 2 was performed at CU Boulder Lab on 3/21/19. Treadmill was set to 25% grade. 3 lb ankle weights were used on each leg to simulate the weight of skimo race boot/ski setup. Speed was increased throught test for hiking. Poles were used to simulate biomechanics/bioenergetics of skinning. Objective of this new test was to determine fueling requirements at event-specific pace.
I do realize that vertical speed efficiency is improved by raising angle of the treadmill. I tried to mitigate the effect of this by wearing ankle weights. I am so much stronger now that I knew if I did the test at the same slope as before, I would have to run and then the test would not serve its event specific purpose.
Between tests, I trained for six months until an injury in August, after which I was sedentary for six weeks. I began training again in October and have built volume consistently, gradually, and with modulation since that time. Current training volume is 20 hours per week of pure uphill and 25 hours per week of total aerobic hours. 50% of training is on skis, 25% is on trail, 25% is in gym (split between stepmill and treadmill). 10% of training is ME with 55lb pack as steep as possible. Zone time breakdown is 72% of training is at top of Zone 2, 19% of training is in Zone 1, 6% of training is at top of Zone 3, and 3% of training is at top of Zone 4. I am still 1 month out from peak and taper.
Some of the things I have learned this year:
1. Once past 15 hrs of uphill per week, fasted training takes too much of a toll on recovery for me. The difference between intraworkout fueling and hydration and not during the bigger days can mean completing the target week volume vs not completing target week volume
2. Once past 15 hrs of uphill per week, not eating immediate recovery meals consisting of carbs and protein takes too much of a toll on recovery for me. The difference between inter-workout fueling and not during the bigger days can mean completing the target week volume vs not completing target week volume.
3. Once past 15 hrs of uphill per week, low carb diet starts hurting my training. My performance, recovery, energy, and mood are much better when I have lots of carbohydrate support. All the carbs make me feel bloaty and not very lean, but the performance difference is unquestionable for me.
4. My biggest gains in aerobic performance arrive during my weeks of lowest psychological stress. Sometimes I waited 7 weeks without seeing any signs of improvement; then I figured out a way to destress and relax more, and poof – MASSIVE improvements that didn’t go away. This happened 3 times this year. Trust the process and be patient.
5. Things will not go according to plan. Accepting this as fact and learning to roll with the punches, made a big difference in mind-stress reduction and therefore ultimately performance gains. My training plan spreadsheet is an outline now, not a list of ORDERS.
6. As long as there is progressive overload in the training volume and/or intensities, the mesostructure does not have to be perfect to achieve gains. Hold, Build, Build, Recover may be the goal, but Build-Build-Recover-BIG BUILD-Recover or Big Build-Recover-Bigger Build-Recover etc etc can work OKAY. Therefore, if the body says rest, listen to it and figure out a new training cycle structure strategy to get through and keep improving.
7. My heartrate gets suppressed after big weeks of training and that means BACK OFF! 50,000 foot vertical week followed by 55,000 foot vertical week… that one caused heart rate suppression badly. Pushing up past 135 bpm felt like Zone 4! Crazy stuff.
8. Don’t enter your first races ever during said big weeks and actually expect to do well. Embrace them as fun training days if anything.
9. Diet must support training. If I don’t have enough calories, motivation to train starts dropping after awhile. Biggest clue actually for me is loss of sex drive. Calorie deficit starts making me lose sex drive bigtime, then I know things aren’t right and I need to eat more.
10. Next year, I am hiring a nutritionist.
11. If I don’t have motivation to train, it is time to take a couple of days off. Motivation lack and heart rate suppression are my two biggest indicators of pushing past my limit.
12. 9 days of being sedentary causes a scary amount of fitness loss. 6 weeks of being sedentary caused me to go back to baseline. DONT BE SEDENTARY.
13. It does not take very much volume to maintain fitness. I did a bunch of research on this, and then gave easier recovery weeks a shot, and found out that backing off to 40% volume during recovery weeks was a boon!
14. For me, 50% or 60% or 70% volume during recovery/consolidation weeks is too much for adequate recovery!!!! 30-40% is better.
15. 20 hrs of uphill per week is about the most I can do and still do a good job at work (engineering) provided I can accept having no life outside of those two endeavors.
16. Keep the goal/dream in the front of your mind to consistently stoke motivation.
17. I love the process. I love to train.
Photos and Annotated Plots attached.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.