Advice on Plan

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  • #26891

    Hi. This is my first post. I’m a trail runner and have recently enjoyed reading TftUA and think I’ve got hold of some of the principles. I’ve been following the Maffetone method for a couple of seasons with blocks of training under MAF HR (130 as I’m 50) to improve pace at this HR which has happened. I want to apply some of the principles from the book as I look towards my next event which is a 190 mile continuous hilly trail ultra (and therefore will include quite a bit of hiking!). I need to re-test my zones before beginning a new plan applying what I’ve picked up in the book but reckon my current MAF HR (130) equates to top of Z1 and anticipate my AeT (Top of Z2?) to be about 143. My LT (Top of Z3?) is around 157.I am currently taking some time out to recover from Plantar Fascitis, keeping some aerobic conditioning through cycling. The plan is to then build over 29 weeks to the event with the following broad plan. I’d be interested in any thoughts. I’m 50 and have at least 2 years with about 400 hours pa of training (mostly MAF running with some cycling). I’ve completed about 6 100 mile trial ultras. Here’s the broad plan :-

    2 week transition with 20-25 miles per week of running.
    Week 1-6 : Early Base. 40-70 miles pw. Mostly Z1 with some Z2 plus 1 x ME workout, strength and core work.
    Week 7-12 : Late Base. 40-75 miles pw. Introduce more Z2 plus 1 x ME workout, strength and core work.
    Week 13-19 : Intensity. 60-70 miles pw. Introduce Z3 work and progress to Z4.
    Week 20-25 : Specificity. 70-100 miles pw. Cut Z3 work, Keep limited Z4. Introduce back to back long hilly jog/hikes with pack. Alternate with recovery weeks where volume is cut by 50%.
    Week 26-28 : Taper.
    Week 20 : Goal Week

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    Anonymous on #26895


    Welcome to the forum and thanks for buying our book and putting the effort into building your own plan. You’ve taken the right approach to start with the 30,000 foot view. Getting these meso-cycles defined and roughed out is the place to start. I like the looks of the plan and think you know enough about how you respond to this sort of training by now that you’ve included that knowledge into this lay out. Only one things jumps out at me. When you are able to start back after the injury define the top of Z2 first thing. You will find that the prolonged lay off will have dropped your AeT (Z2) and you need to restore/raise that. I’d put plan to front load those transition and early base weeks with more Z2 while the overall intensity load is lower. In the late base period when the ME work is more significant and your AeT will have bounced back to a normal level I think you’ll find dropping nearly all Z2 to maybe 1-2x/wk at most with a total volume of no more than 10-15% of weekly miles. Te rest of the base miles will remain in Z1. When you move into the intensity phase I’d drop all Z2 and replace with the Z3-4 work. As always heed the feedback your body is giving you about who you are handling the load. Rest when you need to and do not become a slave to the plan.

    I hope this helps. Good luck.


    davelockyer101 on #26896

    Thanks for the quick reply. That’s really helpful. Really enjoyed the book which I found very comprehensive and a good balance of the technical info and accessibility. I’ve just completed a heart rate drift test to gauge my AeT (whilst listening to the Stoke podcast). This was conducted on an elliptical with a 10 minute warm up and then 2 x laps of 30 minutes each. I was nasal breathing throughout the test and kept the rpm and resistance constant. I used a HR strap. Whilst I was inhaling quite deeply at time sthrough the nose I didn’t feel like I needed to open my mouth to gasp in excess air. I was surprised to find that for the first 30 minutes my average HR was 150bpm and the second 30 minutes was 149bpm. Using the calculation I reckon this means a 0.67% drift which means my AeT is much higher than expected as I usually stick to the MAF lmit of 130bpm. Does this sound correct and does it cast any further light on my approach? I’ve attached the graph from the workout (I don’t use TP so the data is from Garmin).

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    davelockyer101 on #26898

    Sorry, that should read 149bpm for the first 30 minutes and 150bpm for the second 30mins of the test….

    Anonymous on #26920

    Dave; It seems you conducted the test correctly. However I would suggest doing this test running. Since you goal event is a run/hike I’d recommend doing it on a treadmill running. But you can start this next test at 155 since this test exhibited no drift.


    davelockyer101 on #26922

    Thanks. Will re-do the test on a treadmill once the PF has improved. Should I expect a big difference? I had pegged my LT at 157 so the figures seem a bit strange. My max HR is about 1172.

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