Big "base" Week, opinions needed.

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  • #36862
    nullkru
    Participant

    Hi Everyone,
    i just came back from 7 Day trip to Gran Canaria with a friend of mine. He’s the 4th place finisher of Leadville 100 miler in 2019 (Ramon Casanovas).

    In those 7 days we ran around 260Km with 13k vert (161 miles/42k feet vert). All in really low intensity. Speaking of zones: mostly AeT-20% or lower, sometimes mid to lower Z1). Downhills easy prevent pounding and no pushing in the flats. The shortest outing was around 4h 30′. Biggest one was 9h 30′ (we crossed the whole island https://www.strava.com/activities/3037346083 ). This is his usual training approach.

    I really believe in this approach (if you have the time). I felt good the whole week and could handle this volume perfectly. In the UA approach keeping most of my Runs in Z1 (AeT-10%). I never could handle this much volume in one week.

    My questions now that i’m back in cold Switzerland:
    – For my normal runs (90′ – 120′) should i run them not so close to my Z1 top?
    – Downhills: should i run them easier in general? I tend to run them “fast” almost in all my weekly training runs.
    – He’s not doing any speed work but getting faster and faster. Is this due so much volume which recruits mostly slow twitch muscle fibers, till the fast twitch has to take over?

    Anyway i think all the work I’ve done in the last months. With ME Workouts, Z3/Z4 runs helped me to accomplish this! So thank you so much!

    have a good day — mirko

Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Moderator
    Scott Semple on #36867

    Awesome! Well done.

    – For my normal runs (90? – 120?) should i run them not so close to my Z1 top?

    Yes, absolutely. I’m the same. Most of my training is AeT -20%. I call this “Zone 0”.

    Here’s why: As the aerobic system improves, heart rates stop changing, but speeds continue to increase. Zone 2 starts easy, then becomes hard. Zone 1 starts easy, then becomes hard(er).

    As the speeds increase, the “easy” training is no longer easy. Lactate is still low at those paces, so it’s metabolically “easy”. But the speed creates more and more demand muscularly. Eventually (and it sounds like you may be there already), AeT speed is almost as tiring as AnT.

    So by all means, train in “Zone 0” if you think it will help.

    – Downhills: should i run them easier in general? I tend to run them “fast” almost in all my weekly training runs.

    I think it depends on the stress. If you’re trying to build volume, slow down. If you’re trying to sharpen for a race, speed up.

    – He’s not doing any speed work but getting faster and faster. Is this due so much volume which recruits mostly slow twitch muscle fibers, till the fast twitch has to take over?

    As I said above, the “easy” training becomes faster. I’m not sure why. My guess is that there could be some fiber recruitment and/or the slow-twitch fiber, unaided by the fast-twitch, has to get stronger? (I’ll ask Scott J. to comment.)

    Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #36868

    Mirko;

    Sounds like a great week of training and a good experience to expand your understanding of training. Scott Semple is correct in his comments. As your aerobic capacity gets higher, the easy (Z1-2) runs become faster and faster. While the metabolic load is still low (because you are still mainly using fat for fuel) the neuromuscular load is increasing (because the impact forces increase). The fitter you become the more polarized your training needs to be. The aerobic base volume must be done at a lower HR/lower overall stress so that the hard sessions can be hard enough to elicit the needed gains in the FT fibers.

    The theory behind why you get faster as your aerobic base improves involves both increasing the force production of the ST fiber pool and increasing the aerobic capacity of the FTa fibers. Both these things can happen using either extremely high volumes of lower intensity like your friend does and by utilizing the ME/intensity approach we also employ.

    I would suggest training fast down hill only occasionally, not on every long run. Nothing beats up your legs like running down hill fast.

    As you mention; only a few athletes will have the time to train this kind of ultra high volume.

    I agree with Scott that you’d probably see gains by making your aerobic base training easier if you can increase your volume.

    Scott

    Participant
    nullkru on #37018

    Thx Scott’s!!

    Yes it was indeed a great week! My biggest in a lifetime.

    Anyway, thx for your answers, suggestions and clarification. I will apply it to my training immediately and see how this develops.

    have a great day — mirko

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