Beat ADS, but now going slower?

  • Creator
  • #43622

    Asking this question on behalf of my training partner. We are training for trail running/running in general. When she first started training, she had ADS based on a HR drift test (yes, she uses a chest strap) and lactate threshold test (AeT 147, AnT 167; 12% difference). So she was doing the bulk of her aerobic workouts at AeT, which was a slow run for her (~12:30min/mile). After 6 weeks she saw great improvement in both her pace and ADS. Retesting found an improved AeT of 152 at a pace of 10:45min/mile. She no longer has ADS!
    Based on our understanding of TFTUA, she should now be doing the bulk of her aerobic workouts in Z1 now, which is 136bpm. For her this is jogging on flats(13-14:00min/mile), and when she hits a hill, she drops to a walk pretty quickly. Most of the advice I’ve seen on these forums says that when you have ADS, it’s worth putting in the time to be able to exorcise the ADS demons and eventually get to going at a faster speed.

    This seems like the inverse problem: She fixed her ADS, and now has to walk more (to stay in that lower Z1). Do you still recommend that she do that, or would it be worth staying right at AeT for a bit longer to improve her pace to the point where she can jog slowly on uphills in Z1?

  • Participant
    Reed on #43627

    I think that she would see continued improvement with consistent training in Z2 (~140-150bpm) for many months to come. The cautions against too much Z2 work become more important as speeds increase and the total work / wear & tear / neurological impact increases. Running 20 miles per week is substantially different from running 50 miles per week.

    I’d suggest focusing on increasing time and miles below AeT, mobility and flexibility, and strength training (e.g., core workout 2x/week). Taking a conservative approach is excellent. There’s nothing wrong with hiking uphill and running downhill!

    One way to gauge progress is to track speed at aerobic threshold. If it’s a 10:45 pace now, there’s room for it to speed up to 10min/mi, 9min/mi, 8min/mi… over the coming months and years.

    patrick.nygren on #43629

    She typically does close to 40 miles/week right now (has a long history of hiking/fastpacking/etc).

    I guess part of the question could be reframed as: is the caution against too much Z2 based solely on the speed-related mechanical impacts, or are there other considerations that she should be careful of at “easy” speeds as well (general cardiovascular fatigue? muscular recovery time?)?

    Reed on #43634

    If she’s averaging 40 miles / week, that suggests 7-8 hours of training. Keeping most of that training (80-95%) below AeT will lead to progress.

    It could also be that force production is more of a limiting factor, so strength training (sprints / squats / etc.) may be valuable.

    More time in Zone 1 is worthwhile. Progress over six weeks is great, but more progress can be made over six months or six years.

    I’ll let others offer further guidance on the physiological considerations of zone 2 training. There are also several threads on this forum that cover some of this in further detail. E.g.,

    Anonymous on #43643

    What Reed said!

    In particular:

    There’s nothing wrong with hiking uphill and running downhill!

    99.99% of humans cannot run uphill at AeT or below. (Maybe 100%?) “Mountain running” is a salesy phrase because “hiking races” doesn’t have the same sex appeal.

    Anonymous on #43660

    Strength could certainly be a factor; that’s my limiter with uphill. As strength improves I bet she could do more running in zone 1. Alternatively, if it feels easy, going up to zone 2 could still be fine as long as it’s not creating a muscular load that hampers recovery, and her heart rate drops on the flats and downhills so she’s not pegging it at AeT the whole time. All that said, I still hike a ton on uphills, and it’s often faster than my friends “running”, but with a lower metabolic cost. She could use that time to eat a snack, practice keeping a high cadence (which might lower her HR), or simply enjoy the scenery.

    patrick.nygren on #43784

    Thanks all for your detailed responses! I passed these on to her. I think Reed and Alison’s point about strength as well as Alison’s note on cadence are both especially relevant to me as well.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • The forum ‘General Training Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.