AeT (estimated) differences on Incline | Uphill Athlete

AeT (estimated) differences on Incline

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  • #16298

    In the past month, I’ve finally started HR training and thought I had my estimated AeT pinned down. The top of my nose breathing limit for flat running, <10% incline running, 15-25% incline walking is consistently at 159-162. On Green, this pace was 56min over 2338vert, and at 140-144bpm, pace was 1:07. Just about linear pace/HR. However, when doing the Manitou Incline, my nose breathing limit is 169-172. This pace was 37min, which I did on the 1st and 4th lap, and could have repeated over again with no problem. It felt same RPE as the 159-162 does on all other terrain. However, dropping 10% off this pace (to 154), my pace dropped to 47-48min. Clearly, non-linear (>20% difference). My usual fast pace, lets assume AnT, on the incline is 33 minutes, which seems about right as far as AnT vs AeT (33 vs 37 ~10%).

    I’m going to assume AeT is the 159-162. But, my question is, what is different about the incline? Is it just that it is anaerobic in nature because of the big steps? Could it be that my calve muscles are not as efficient as my big movers in the glutes/quads, which limit the other activities more than the Incline? Should I treat 169-172 as AeT on the incline and 159-162 as AeT on all other terrain?

    I will hopefully be getting a test done next week on my deload week to sort things out officially, but I do train on the incline frequently so I’d just like to know if maybe I should treat it differently. Because there is no way I could keep the pace at 144 (10% below normal AeT), as 154 already felt like I was barely moving.

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    Anonymous on #16304

    I’m not sure about the ten beat difference, but I suspect it has to do with economy. Either way, I would use the lower value ~160 for your AeT across all workouts regardless of RPE. Maybe even 155 as an upper limit to make sure you don’t exceed AeT when you’re training AeC.

    On a related note, be careful about trying to be too precise. Thresholds are a moving target that will vary from day to day. It’s not that important to get AeT dialed in within a couple beats. It’s much more effective to know where it is roughly and then intentionally undershoot it.

    “It’s better to be roughly right than precisely wrong.”
    ~ Warren Buffett

    Anonymous on #16309

    Nose breathing MAY work for you. Ventilation rate and depth at the first ventilatory threshold is often used as the Aerobic Threshold and generally corresponds well with the 1mMol blood lactate rise above base line. I used to believe this was universally true for everyone and that’s why I wrote that in Training fr the New Alpinism. That was before I had any experience working with people with aerobic deficiency. When it comes to them all bets are foo with ventilation a as marker for AeT.

    So, as Scott S says don’t try to get too precise. Especially using perceived effort and nose breathing. Recovery state can easily account for a 10 beat difference. If I were you and you are really curious I’d by a lactate monitor and self test rather than going to a lab. You can test often and note changes. You can compare flat running, gradual trail incline and steep stairs. It is very likely you will see differences that will inform your training HRs. I agree with Scott that these will mostly be due to economy differences.


    Anonymous on #16319

    One more thought. You said:

    Because there is no way I could keep the pace at 144 (10% below normal AeT), as 154 already felt like I was barely moving.

    Be careful not to underestimate that pace. Sub-AeT paces are the most important. The more hours you put in at those intensities, the more high intensity you can do later.

    As your fitness improves and as AeT rises, you’ll spend more and more time at fractions of AeT and much less at it or above it.

    For example, this year my training volume is higher than I’ve ever had it, and here are the sub-AeT portions:

    * <=70% = 32%
    * 70-80% = 32%
    * 80-90% = 22%
    * 90-95% = ~7%
    * 95-100% = ~3%
    * Above AeT = ~4%

    Easy is mentally hard, but very, very worth it.

    Anonymous on #16367

    Thanks for the replies Scott S and Scott J. Sounds like it is best to not get too specific about it but just stay roughly >10% below AeT most of the time. Recovery should at least be easier, as I was putting in 12-15+ hour weeks most of last year, and realizing now that a good chunk of that was well above AeT. No wonder I wasn’t getting much faster, only capable of handling more volume at the higher intensity. It is all making sense now.

    Would you recommend maybe doing a transition phase at this point then? Or keep the volume where it is (~14 hours right now) but just making sure intensity is lower since recovery should be better anyways at the lower intensity/same volume?

    Anonymous on #16368

    Where are you in your macrocycle?

    If you’ve been training for a specific objective, and if that objective has been completed/attempted, then yes, I would take a break/transition before jumping into another cycle.

    I know it’s tempting not to. We’d all rather have the fitness tree grow to the sky. But a break is really important both physically and mentally. Otherwise, you may find yourself three or four months into the next cycle, feeling burnt out, wishing you’d had a break, but then feeling like you can’t afford the time off.

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