Best ways to break ADS?

  • Creator
  • #26921

    Hello, new to forum and couldn’t find answer for this.

    My background varies from thaiboxing to ski touring. However now training first time endurance for real and been reading quite a lot of the topic (new Uphill Athlete book was a real eye opener, thanks!)

    My AeT is around 135 (AnT 173) and noticed that running speed is pretty low when going close AeT (~7:00/km) so pretty normal ADS case here I guess 😀

    As there’s no mountains in my backyard right now so doing lots of walking on treadmill with incline. But now I’m wondering if that’s the most effective way and I’ve been trying to find how much following workouts differ when trying to raise AeT:

    – walking on treadmill with incline
    – on a rolling track walking uphill and running downhill (keeping my HR under AeT)
    – slow jogging on flat surface

    Also, I’ve noticed that sometimes my HR drifts quite a lot during the workout so wondering that should I:

    1. start workouts lower and let HR drift close (or over) my AeT
    2. start closer AeT and then reduce pace when getting over AeT
    3. start closer and not mind about drift

    I do understand that AeT is different from day to day and for clarity let’s assume that it magically just stays same for every day. 🙂

    I think this is an interesting topic and really in need of advices so thanks in advance if someone could help!

  • Participant
    TerryLui on #26937

    Hey Frank!
    First question – I would say the closer your training modality is to your intended endurance event, the better. So if you’re planning on doing some form of running/hiking event, then walking on the ground will be most beneficial (I assume your “rolling track” option is on the ground?)

    I’ll let others chime in re: AeT drift, your #2 option would be my best guess.

    Also, re: “my HR drifts quite a lot…”, I wonder if you may be starting too high? Have you done an AeT test? (I assume you have considering you seem pretty specific with you AeT & AnT #s but just thought I’d 2x check)
    In case you haven’t done one yet…

    Anonymous on #26939


    Terry has it right with his first comment – in seeking to improve your aerobic capacity you want to aim for the more specific modalities to your sport, so if you’re a mountaineer: uphill/rolling hiking is great. You can adjust the degree of incline based on what your HR is doing, and don’t be afraid to start very gradually as consistency is best. Moreso than dialing in perfect terrain, your best weapons against the spectre of ADS will be frequency and duration: train often (at your current AeT), and gradually increase the duration of those sessions, including at least one long workout per week.

    To the question on HR drift, that quite likely will be due to muscular fatigue over the course of a workout. As such, seek to modulate the output to keep yourself as close to AeT as possible the whole time without going over (sort of like the “Price Is Right” rule of aerobic transition phase training). Walk/run workouts are great for this, wherein you start with 5-10min of brisk walking to warmup, then alternate :30sec run, :30sec walk while trying to keep the HR at AeT (and not over) during the run portion. You can mimic this format on an uphill hike, increasing effort up to AeT then slowing a bit for short periods to let it recover. Over time, your HR will stabilize better and you’ll find your Zones 1 and 2 get more broad (by output) under your AeT.

    Good luck!

    frnkr on #26947

    Thanks for the answers.

    Terry: my rolling option is on ground 🙂 Also, I test my AeT in a lab every 3-4months


    Do you mean that on treadmill I should start quite close to my AeT and then decrease the incline if my HR drifts too high (no idea abt “price is right” 😀 )?

    Also, you said: “You can mimic this format on an uphill hike, increasing effort up to AeT then slowing a bit for short periods to let it recover. Over time, your HR will stabilize better and you’ll find your Zones 1 and 2 get more broad (by output) under your AeT.”

    Why this instead of just finding the page that keeps HR near AeT?

    In addition, if my HR drifts because of muscle fatigue I guess that’s relatively easy to tackle with strength training?

    Anonymous on #26952


    Start on the treadmill at an incline/speed which doesn’t immediately force you to peg the HR at AeT, but instead allows you a bit of a build-up over the course of 5-10min before you hit that AeT heart rate. Then, you can decrease speed and, if necessary, incline, in order to keep the HR at or under the AeT.

    With regards to my comment about uphill hiking, that was in reference to your question about HR drift. If you can maintain a consistent uphill pace without exceeding AeT, all the better. But if the HR drift which occurs is forcing you to slow to such a snail’s pace as to be very non-specific, I would encourage you to try the alternating pace strategy I mentioned above, a form of “interval” training which allows you to spend small chunks of time at a more functional pace, interspersed with slower periods to allow the HR to settle back down a bit. You’ll have to play with these strategies to find what works best but the priority for you right now is to spend as much time as possible near your AeT heart rate, in specific modalities.

    Yes, strength training will help with the drift but remember that hiking uphill is a form of strengthening, and while foundational strength workouts such as weighted box steps, etc, can be very useful, ultimately it sounds like you can build a lot of muscular efficiency by continuing to work the uphill hiking, gradually introducing a weighted pack, all the while keeping that AeT HR.

    frnkr on #27549

    @Sam Thanks for the help! Maybe we could continue this conversation a bit more..? 🙂 Assuming TSS is abt the same which one is better treatment for ADS or is there any real difference?

    – having less but longer workouts (more over 60 min workouts) eg. 2 * 75 min + 2.5 hr (per week)
    – or more but shorter workouts eg. 4 * 45 min + 2hr

    (numbers are just random picks)

    Anonymous on #27571

    @frank: there’s definitely a benefit in more frequent “hits” of aerobic work during the week, versus only a couple, even slightly longer, sessions. If you can manage a few more workouts in the 45-60min duration during the week that will certainly be of greater help to bolster your capacity. I’ve also found that it’s ultimately easier to extend those more frequent workouts to longer durations, as once you’ve planned it into your day you can usually find another 10-15min as your base builds, whereas less frequent sessions are still interspersed with days of no training.

    briguy on #28239

    Some good info in here but I’m still wondering about “best way to beat ADS.”

    Isn’t the cure generally to spend most/all of your training type in Zone 2, which is defined as the range 10% below AeT?

    Then once your ADS is cured, you’re free to do 1-2 high-intensity sessions in your week with the rest in Zone 1 (as opposed to Z2). Is that understanding it correctly?

    I have the Uphill Athlete book and I think that’s what I’m getting from it, I just want to confirm.

    Anonymous on #28278


    If you’re in a truly deficient state, chances are your Aerobic Threshold is going to be a pretty mellow effort and as such, even though the AeT sits as the upper bound of Z2 you can spend much of your time near it as you improve your capacity and economy. As you notice your ability to move faster and sustain higher volumes of work, you will likely find that your economy (i.e. speed or pace) at AeT is increasing and it may begin to get more challenging, muscularly. At this point you would consider shifting more of the aerobic work during the week to lower in Z2 or even Z1, to support higher intensity work in upper Z3 and above.

    Beating ADS is ultimately about patience and frequency of workouts right at that sustainable aerobic threshold. The challenge most folks have is that when they’re facing ADS, their aerobic threshold is much slower/easier than they want to be going. Hence, patience training!

    Hope that helps clarify things.

    briguy on #28298

    Thanks Sam – I thought I was doing okay but just ran a threshold test and realized my LT HR is higher than I previously thought and I’m sitting at about 18% between AeT and AnT so I have the dreaded ADS it seems.

    Previously I had been doing a ton of Z1 work but then spent most of August wrapped up in trying to prep for a race and I think all the intensity may have thrown me off. I’ll start with more Z2 and then re-test in a month.

    Jim Schulz on #30145

    I’m currently finishing week two of the 24 week expedition training plan and will stretch it out to 30 weeks in prep for a Denali expedition in May 2020. I have had chronic ADS my entire athletic career, and have a deeply ingrained habit of training at too high an intensity or feeling like I haven’t really done anything.

    Here’s my question. In the four strength workouts I’ve done so far I’ve been in zone 3 and zone 4 a lot. Is this going to hurt my aerobic base building if I’m doing it only two days a week? Or will keeping my heart rate in zone 1 and the lower end of zone 2 during all my other workouts balance this out?


    depeyster on #30161


    Instead of posting this in someone else’s thread, you are more likely to get a response by creating a new thread.

    But, heart rate is not a useful measure of intensity during strength training. Intensity is measured relative to maximum reps capable of being lifted. E.g., “do two pull-ups at your two-rep max,” etc.

    Heart rate is a useful measure of the intensity of endurance exercise, so that is where the zones are targeted.

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