AeT and MEP/adapting training plans

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  • #9770

    I recently had a metabolic assessment test done at Real Rehab in Seattle. It raised a number of interesting questions for me about how to structure my training. My test revealed a plot that looked like the example you gave of someone with ADS due to an excess of HIIT/unstructured training.

    The crossover point was at a HR of 80 bpm, which occurred at 2.5 mph for me. Bert, the technician who ran the test suggested that my aerobic threshold/top of Z1/2 was 130 bpm, based on an inflection point in my heart rate as the pace increased. Obviously this means I have a lot of work to do, and I’ve begun shifting my diet to improve fat-adaptation, and have been training ~8-12 hrs a week below 130 bpm, about half of that walking at below 110 bpm.

    I’m in the process of using the 20 week 50k training plan for a race on september 1st, and i’m curious about how best to let the results of this test inform my plan going forward.

    My main questions are 1) is this way of estimating AeT for those who have low/no crossovers a good way to guide training plans? 2) Is this a good approach to developing a more reasonable crossover point? 3) Since I’m almost halfway through the 8-week “base period” of the training plan, but I have such an underdeveloped base (test was done two weeks ago), do I need to extend the base period, or modify the specific strength period to include more low-intensity work? Or is it possible for my body to respond to the base period training enough to be adequately prepared for the specific strength period?

    For those who have success stories of putting in long hours at low intensities I’d love to hear their input on this as well!

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    Anonymous on #9782


    The good news is that when you get your aerobic house in order you are going to be amazed at what it does for you. If you are looking for success stories our testimonial page and quite a few of our athlete stories deal with exactly this sort of thing.

    To improve your AeT pace you need to train near 130. To improve your MEP and fat burning you need to train much slower. I suggest starting to do all your runs in a fasted state. This will really help to jump start your fat metabolism. You can try some in the 120-130 range and see if you can complete them with no major drop in energy.

    Keep in mind that one of the most powerful aerobic stimulus is glycogen depletion. Starting a morning run fasted will mean you are already in a somewhat glycogen depleted state. The run will deplete you more. This gives you the double bonus of aerobic and fat adaptation.

    This is not sexy training but it will pay huge benefits if you approach it with patience and in a few weeks you will see changes in a a few months you’ll be a different athlete. You do not need to alter the training plan you are on. Keep the strength portion as is. If you can increase your under AeT volume you will see change in aerobic capacity faster.

    I’ll as Scott Semple to chime in. When I started working with him a few years ago he was a poster boy for ADS. Now he is nationally competitive in Skimo and VK running races. Huge change.


    patrick.nygren on #9810

    Thanks for your reply, Scott. It looks like part of it got cut off.

    Follow-up question: Is there any benefit to supplementing the UA 50k training plan with more recovery walks at ~80-105 bpm as a way to increase fat adaptation?

    Anonymous on #9812

    I could be wrong, but I would only do strength and base work at this stage, and do it in the ranges that Scott recommends.

    The good news is that it probably won’t feel very difficult or fatiguing, so you’ll be able to do a lot of it. It sounds like you already are.

    I didn’t know it, but I was in a similar state five years ago. I spent the first three years doing primarily only base training with nose breathing as my limiter. I’m glad I did. It’s made a big difference.

    As Scott said, it’s not sexy training, but it works.

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