Aerobic base building & Detraining

  • Creator
  • #29717


    I am asking your feedback about my approach for the next ultra running season.

    As previously described on another topic on this board, I come from a horrible 2019 in terms of racing.
    My best ultra racing season (2018) was the most succesful one but the most destructive as well: compeltely overtrained, injured (ITBS), unhealty (anemia problems and other blood levels issues) and
    oviously with ADS.
    During the first 3/4 of 2019 I kept on trying to get back on track in terms of training without succeeding.
    The injury was still there, whenever I increased the weekly volume I re-started to feel sluggish (blood levels down again), etc.
    Simply put: my body was still trying to recover.

    Few month ago I finally decided to take a real break.
    Vacations done, rested and also start being monitored by my doctor in order to fix all the blood related issues.

    In terms of training I want to start from scratch.
    Let’s say my A and B races will be from spring to summer 2020.
    Peak events: 70-80km 4000-4500m D+.

    My plan now is to gradually start building a strong Aerobic Base: one thing that I never done in 3 years of racing.

    I started 10 weeks ago, building up my fitness with almost Z1 only runs, gradually increasing Elevation gain along with Distance.
    Always with the same pattern: 3 weeks increasing and 1 week -50% to recover.
    Given the fact that we are only in October and I’ve got lots of months ahead, my idea is to emphasize this building phase.
    I think I’m doing pretty well in terms of general fatigue and recovery.

    Now my main doubt: what about detraining? Is this a real risk?
    For sure I’m aware of all the benefits of going slow, but am I wasting time leaving out all the training above AnT?

    Please note that I haven’t been tested, so when I talk about Zones I refer to RPE and HR values that I know from my previous years: basically I never push and run easy most of the time.
    Also, the plan is to but a Lactate meter in order to consistently monitor my progress and avoiding to use the same values from the Lab during the whole season.

    Again: the idea now is to gradually building up volume until I can handle it without flling again in the fatigue > injury trap.
    Also, being so conservative in terms of intensity prevents to trigger ITBS issues: I noticed a few times that if I try to put some hard strides I somehow start to feel a tiny tension down there that needs to be foam rolled out in the eveining.

    Sorry for the lenghty post.
    Your book and this board are GEMS and I would like to have your precious feedback to help me with this fantastic training journey.


Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #29733

    If you are coming back from a long lay off and overtraining and injury the best approach is the one you suggest. Months of easy base building below your AeT. I suggest actually testing for this rather than going off RPE. It sounds very much like using RPE let you down in the past. So, what rely on it now?

    Yes, the top end >AnT will not get a training stimulus during this base period but if you read all we have to offer in our book and this site you will see that high intensity training must stand on top of a solid aerobic base. You are fooling yourself if you think you need to keep hitting that system when you are aerobically deficient and coming back from OTS. At the very least this will delay the ADS correction you need and at worst will lead you back to OTS and injury.


    uphill_dhamma on #29881

    Dear Scott,

    getting a feedback from you is really appreciated: thanks.

    Regarding the past: I was basically using a mix of the same values I got from the lab at the beginning of the season and some sort of RPE.
    Anyway I think that one thing that surely contributed to my problems was also a no-sense approach to training: not paying attention to recovery, always pushing and too much too soon.
    I agree with you that beginning to test my self right now (even if we are in the early stages) would be a wise thing to do.
    But most importantly in order to know when it’s time to add intensity (10% test) to a more structured program.

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