Aerobic Capacity Training vs. Muscular Endurance Training

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  • #4054

    Currently in the Transition Period and thus my total volume and my volume in Z1 and Z2 is relatively low.

    I’ve been doing Z1 and Z2 training by doing stair climbs and have gradually been increasing the weight I carry (sadly I live >4 hours drive from the nearest mountains though I do at least work in a high-rise building). This feels more like muscular endurance training in that my legs feel tired at relatively low heart rates (e.g. below the top of Z1). My question is would I be better off doing Z1/Z2 (and eventually Z3) training without weights and leaving those for the muscular endurance workouts?

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    Anonymous on #4055


    Absolutely stop carrying the weight for this basic aerobic work. In the early stages if training, either in the Transition period or Base, build the individual components that make up the whole package separately. Train aerobic capacity on its own and train basic strength on its own. Don’t mix the strength and endurance work in these early periods, as which ever is weakest will impair the development of the other. Think of the Base (Fundamental) period as when you want to elevate the capacity of each of the Fundamental parts of whatever your event is made up of. And you can best do this is you train these fundamental components independently.


    Mariner_9 on #4059

    Thanks, Scott.

    I was confused because TFNA says (re: Weeks 9-16 of the base period), “If you have not been, now is the time to begin to carry weight on the two long Zone 1 workouts”.

    I interpreted that as meaning that I should be carrying weight during Z1/Z2/Z3 workouts earlier in the base period or even in the transition period.

    Anonymous on #4064


    As with any training there is no one recipe that fits everyone. If, as you say in your original post, your legs are a big limiter at very low HRs when you carry weight on your back then it could very well be that you need first to increase leg strength with a Max strength box step protocol while doing unweighted climbs. This Max period should then provide a strength base off of which you can build ME.

    As we try to make very clear throughout TftNA everyone will respond differently to training; based mainly on each individual’s training history. This is why we go to such lengths to explain the whats, whys, and hows of physiology and training theory and methodology. Writing the planning/program parts of that book was the most challenging for Steve and me. We knew that no matter what we said it would not apply to some people. We tried to give broad brush recommendations but always with the caveat that your results may vary so adjust according to the theory sections of the book.

    Without a coach to guide your training you have to be super diligent and read between the lines. Do not rely on the Planning sections of the book as if they we tablets handed down from God. They are imperfect and meant to be applied AFTER you grasp the theory.

    From you comments I gather that you need more Fundamental work on Strength and Aerobic Capacity. You can never go wrong building these qualities anyway. Try an 8 week Max Strength phase for box steps and see if that does not make a difference in your stair climbs with weight.

    I Hope this helps.

    pezrosi on #54517


    I think about this topic very much in the last time.
    I do my aerobic work mainly on steep terrain (25-30%), running/jogging slowly without weight with very small steps. My HR suggests aerobic effort, but I wonder how I can be certain I am not actually doing ME work?

    I do not feel leg burn or notice HR/effort decoupling. Considering the slow pace and that I do not use weight, is it even probable that I do ME here?

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