Beginning the 24 week expeditionary plan

  • Creator
  • #15612

    Hi everyone,
    I just purchase the 24 week plan and will be starting on Monday.

    Regarding the training volume, would you suggest I follow the plan as prescribed or reduce the volume?

    I come from a predominately strength/Olympic weightlifting background and have for the last 18months been engaged in CrossFit. The last 6 months has seen me slowly transition towards more cardio/endurance based training.

    If I was to reduce the volume how would you suggest I go about it?

    Thanks in advance!

  • Participant
    Mike_Oregon on #15613


    Anonymous on #15699

    Short answer:
    There is no way to tell you what volume you should use based on what information you have provided. But, read on.

    We design these plans using what we consider the minimum training needed to achieve the desired outcome/goal. This is a great plan for building basic aerobic capacity as it is our longest one. With your background in strength training I’m going to make a wild guess that you are already way too strong for the sport of mountaineering. You might want to check for single legged strength deficit with our box step test described here

    But chances are good that you have excessive strength capacity and significant aerobic deficiency so your focus will need to be directed at the low hanging aerobic fruit.

    The thing about improving this aerobic capacity is that more volume (at appropriate low intensity) is almost always better. You may find that your AeT is low enough that the pace there will be quite slow and to the muscular load very low allowing you to actually do MORE volume then less.

    My recommendation is to try the suggested volume for a week or two and see if it is manageable. If you are not recovering and fight fatigue on many days then you should dial it back. In that case extend the Transition Period (first 8 weeks) by starting with a lower volume and using a similar ramp rate so that by the end of say 12 weeks you are able to handle the suggested volume to begin the Base Period.

    Good luck.

    jschoombie on #15779

    Hi Scott,
    Thank you so much for the response – I think what I love about this community the most is that people like yourself take the time out to respond. Much appreciated!

    I just completed the AeT and AnT test and have set my zones as follows:

    Zone 1 Recovery: 120-134
    Zone 2 AeT: 135-148
    Zone 3 AnT 149-182
    Zone 4 Hard: 183-200

    It will be really interesting to see how things change over the coming 24 weeks. I am especially looking forward to seeing the top of zone two creep up so that my zone three isn’t so large.

    Thanks again.

    axjms1 on #15784


    I am no expert and don’t claim to be but I am running through the same plan for the second year starting this week. I didn’t take half a year off or anything just switched to the ultra running plan for the second half of the year. One thing you said made me want to chime in regarding you looking forward to your zones moving up. Steve and the others can definitely correct me but I don’t think you should expect your zones to move up in a significant way, they didn’t for me. If you do the work what will change is your pace at the same zones. You will become more efficient and your endurance will increase. Also, I would encourage you to do the time, even if it feels like you aren’t working hard. Stay in your zone and do the time. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts.


    jschoombie on #15785

    Hey Axjms1,
    Totally understand that you should be able to increase speed while staying in the lower heart rate zones. I can’t wait for this to happen as my speed is nothing but embarrassing right now.

    For some reason however, I also thought that as you increased your aerobic capacity that zone three would shrink? Perhaps I misread that somewhere.


    axjms1 on #15806

    Hey Schoombie,
    Yeah, I agree with you because I felt like I read that somewhere as well. But when I repeated the test after a year of consistent training my aerobic threshold moved up from 149 bpm to roughly 152 bpm. Not a as much as I was thinking it would. I was a lot faster though.


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