AeT/ADS Questions

  • Creator
  • #51841

    These questions are in regard to this recent post by DC


    How old are you (approx)?

    I presume you intermittently re-checked your AeT HR over the past year and applied this new AeT HR as the top of your zone 2 as the year progressed. It seems like you started with an AeT HR of 135, then 152–were there higher ones you used, or was all your training below 135, then below 152?

    Currently, when you’re at a HR of say 165-167 (ie ~5 beats below your AeT, that is within your aerobic zone) does your perceived effort (degree of mouth vs nose breathing, and ability to converse, etc.) remain easy and similar to it was when you were training at a HR of 130-135 a year ago?

    In asking this last question I’m trying to see if one can have <5% drift result during an AeT test when in fact they are above their AeT during the test. I presume if your perceived effort remains ‘easy’ this is not the case, and you are truly below AeT. (not sure)



  • Participant
    d.c on #51871

    Hi Steve

    Im 34,

    i did the AeT test to determine the 135 around April last year, then one that determined 151 around June and i kind of just stuck with using 151 as my threshold since then.

    Which means since June I’ve been in the very low zone 2 mostly zone 1 range.

    Ive been doing a lot of volume, a lot of weeks last year were 180km and one of 200, so i knew i didnt want to push zone 2.

    Regarding the nose breathing/ ease of being 5 beats below AeT, i was still breathing from my nose when i did the recent test at 175ish, and could have a little bit of a conversation.

    I cant properly compare the recent test with ones in the beginning because the volume of work in-between makes it slanted. And because i am closer to AnT then before it wont seem as easy, but i felt comfortable that i would be able to sustain the effort for 2-3 hours.

    There are times when i go out now and do zone one runs and breathing doesn’t feel as easy as it should be. All days are different. I live on the coast and theres is always a really strong headwind that makes it difficult to zen out all the time combined with oppressive heat.

    i also smoked for most of my life until 3 years ago, so my lungs have a long way to go.

    In response to your last question from what i understand when you do a drift test you will naturally go above your threshold if you want to get close to a 5% drift as possible.
    Targeting your perceived threshold at the beginning (after your warmed up), so from there if you did get just below a 5% drift you would of gone slightly over your threshold during the test.

    all the best

    russes011 on #51896


    In summary, you have performed 780hr (15-16hr/wk) of Z1/Z2 work over the past 12 months as a 34 year old and you still have ADS: an AeT HR of 170 and AnT HR of 190 your separation is 11%. You want to not have ADS before you add higher zone work to your routine, hence your interest in having an AeT HR of 175.

    I understand many folks with date specific goals just move on to higher zone work despite knowing (or not knowing) they have a separation of >10%, but to maximize your ability to absorb higher zone work you need to be without ADS, which is a reasonable prerequisite.

    So how is it possible that after 780hr you are still aerobically deficient? Well, either the ADS threshold of >10% is not completely reliable (ie you aren’t aerobically deficient), or, alternatively, you’re in fact still aerobically deficient. I don’t know the answer, but I suspect both are partly true.

    These are interesting questions I do not know the answer to. I will post again below with my thoughts, but it would be great to hear what others think.

    — Steve

    russes011 on #51918


    Grab you covid face shield because there’s firehose of unsolicited spray coming your way.

    All day endurance, say trail running, has four interconnected training components: aerobic base, anaerobic base, technique, and durability. By interconnected, I mean each component can’t be optimized without training the others, but at the same time training the others may be paradoxically detrimental to optimizing a specific component.

    AEROBIC BASE may be further split into its two components: cardiovascular endurance (CV, “the delivery”, ~VO2max) and muscular endurance (ME, “the uptake”, ~lactate threshold).

    ANAEROBIC BASE can also be split into two components: muscular endurance (the same ME as for aerobic base above), and power/strength.

    ME functions on a spectrum: one end of the spectrum is more aerobic (lungs are the rate limiters), while the other end is more dependent on power/strength (legs are the rate limiters).

    Z1/Z2 training develops the CV component of aerobic base, and to a lesser degree the ME component. Only training Z1/Z2, however, even for a prolonged period of time, will leave the ME component relatively underdeveloped, and therefore one will remain ‘aerobically deficient’ until this is corrected.

    Muscle and/or sport specific interval training (eg, hill sprints and hill fartleks) develops the ME component of aerobic base, and to a lesser degree the CV component (it probably develops both equally per unit time). An extreme, nonspecific example of this type of training would be the metabolic circuits done in Crossfit.

    One can independently develop either the CV or ME component of aerobic base to an extreme degree (looking at you DC). Extensive CV development does not require ME development per se, and vice versa. But to fully develop ones aerobic base you need both, and preferably both from the start.

    The catch is dosing.

    Mans’ ability to perform Z1/Z2 training is almost limitless; we are meant to be moving all day, everyday. Improvements over time can be slow but at the same time regression is also slow.

    ME training, on the other hand, can only be tolerated in relatively small doses, and when the dosage is HIGH we can only tolerate it for a short periods of time (weeks) before plateauing. Persistent and significant ME training (eg, >20% of total training time—this varies), regardless if its on the aerobic end of the ME spectrum (UA training), or more on the power/strength end of the ME spectrum (metabolic Crossfit circuits), can also lead to hormonal burnout, especially if you have other stressors in your life.

    That said, ME training can be healthy to perform year round, and, in fact, is required to build a strong and complete aerobic base. Small amounts of ME training from the get go probably also speeds up your aerobic development–nevertheless, a stout aerobic base still takes forever to develop. ME training should be low dosage, however, especially in the transition phase. For example, <5-10% total training time, or say 1-8x10sec hill sprints and/or 1-8x40sec hill fartleks. This seems like a homeopathic dose, but due to its potency, it can fulfill the requirement for full aerobic base development, while at the same time not causing burnout. It can periodized (ramped up) as you progress from transition, base, and ME phases of your training.

    The downside to not performing at least some ME work from the start may be twofold:

    Your aerobic base, as defined above with its CV and ME components, may be underdeveloped going into an ME phase, and although you will still benefit highly from the ME workouts, your overall improvement during an ME phase may be handicapped because you started with such a poor ME base. This is often manifested as feeling too weak, and/or with a HR too high, to complete the initial 45-60min ME workouts properly.

    You may also be more prone to injury if you go, for example, from only Z1/Z2 workouts, with or without supplemental strength (gym) training, to a cycle with workouts dedicated solely to ME (often 45-90min long), ie, going from 0% to 20% of your workout volume being ME, this often is just too big of a jump, even with a year or more of Z1/Z2 workouts and a well developed CV system. These injuries may manifest as muscle strains and cramps, often in the calf or groin. Alternatively, going from, say, 5% to 20% gradually over time, may be not only better tolerated, but more fruitful.

    DC, it’s my opinion that you should incorporate some Z4 into your schedule, even though there’s a >10% difference between your AeT HR and your AnT HR. Start very small, volume wise, and slowly increase it to about 10% of your training volume over the next few weeks—let this become your new baseline. Then feel free to kick into a full ME peak phase whenever you want.

    The easy stuff should remain easy. Continue the bulk of your training below a HR of 152, as you’ve been doing for the past year, whether it’s Z1 or Z2, it doesn’t matter much. I wouldn’t suggest doing much in the 152-170 zone, even though it may still be Z2 based on your AeT drift test. Keep in mind easy doesn’t necessarily mean slow, but it should definitely be easy, perhaps too easy.

    (My thoughts on these topics are evolving so any comments or corrections would be appreciated.)

    Anonymous on #51934


    Here’s what I posted on the other thread you started. I hope this helps. You’ve done a great job so far.


    Based on these recent tests I think you can use 170-175 as your AeT. Some days it will be higher and some days lower depending on your recovery state. When it feels easy then push up to 175 for some of you Z2 training. When it feels more effortful you probably are not ready for a Z2 run and should drop down 15-20bpm for that day. Chances are you will feel better the ext day.

    With an AnT of 190 I would say that you should be doing very little training in Z2 and when you do it should be a tempo workout of planned duration. Not a random trail run where you are in and out of Z2 for 2 hours. A really solid aerobic boost can come from 20-40 min at 175 for you. But don’t consider that easy mileage.

    Your last year of 780hrs of aerobic base work has done the trick and I feel pretty certain you are not aerobically deficient.

    I think you’re poised to see gains by beginning to sprinkle in some intensity. If you’ve not been doing them I suggest methods for introducing intensity when you’ve had a long break from it: 6-8 x 8-10sec hill sprints with long (>2min) recovery and an easy run with pick ups (strides). During a Z1 run toss in 5-6x 10-15 sec accelerations up to a fun fast speed. Not a full sprint. Take about 3 min easy between. These begin to build some of the running specific muscular endurance that will make the transition to a higher volume of intensity. Do these for at least 6 weeks. You should notice an increase in your easy running pace. Then try adding 30-30s (see our article on books about these).


Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.