Confused about Muscular Endurance budget

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  • #8721
    george.peridas
    Participant

    Scott,

    I am about to launch into week 10 of the base period, and ME workouts have kicked in. There are a couple of things I can’t figure out from the book. I gather that these ME workouts are meant to replace max strength sessions, that they are taxing and require proper recovery, and that in some cases (as in Steve’s Makalu prep) they were assigned more importance than other training. You also stress the need to maintain the aerobic base at the time.

    Here’ where I get confused: for an objective like Rainer/Shasta in a push, the goal vertical is ~7000-7500ft. As an ME workout with 30-40lb for a recreational athlete, this can take up a good part of a day. It’s not a short 2-3h workout. Nonetheless the book still recommends 2x long Zone 1 workouts for weeks 9-20 and 1x short Zone 3 workout.

    My questions:

    – Are those Zone 1 workouts mentioned meant to include the long ME workout, or are they separate workouts (hhikes with less weight, or runs, for example)?

    – If not, am I right that this represents a big jump in volume from week 8 to the subsequent weeks? Should we trim aerobic workouts to not overdo it (but maintaining the base is important…)? Or is the gradual ramp from, say, 1500ft of ME in week 8 to 7000ft in week 20 or so meant to take care of gradualness?

    – How do we count the downhill hiking after the ME hill climbs? I usually end up in low Zone 1 or recovery HR for those. Do we clock that time as part of the weekly volume at that zone or is it meant to be part of the ME?

    – If something has to give to prevent overtraining, what’s an acceptable ratio of ME to aerobic training? For the 7000ft biggest climb day goal mentioned above, should we aim to do the full vertical as an ME workout with weight, or should we trim the vertical and hit a desired ratio of ME to aerobic hours for that week (e.g. 50/50)?

    Thanks, as always.

  • Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #8725

    George:

    You say you are in week 10, are you using one of the training plans we sell? If so, which one? Or one you made yourself from our book? That’ll help me answer as we have several ME programs depending on the plan.

    Thank,
    Scott

    Participant
    george.peridas on #8727

    Scott,

    I’m following my own program using TFTNA recommendations – not one of your programs online. Might have to shorten the base period and/or specific period by 2-3 weeks or so depending on weather for the objective.

    My Z1-Z3 hours for week 8 were ~5: Three 1.5h hilly runs at Z1 and a 40min hilly run at Z2/3.

    Many thanks.

    Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #8730

    George: See my answers to your questions below:

    Are those Zone 1 workouts mentioned meant to include the long ME workout, or are they separate workouts (hhikes with less weight, or runs, for example)? The Z1-2 workouts do not include the Uphill water carries IF the water carries are acting as ME workouts. Read this to understand what I mean: https://uphillathlete.com/vertical-beast-mode-what-is-muscular-endurance-why-it-is-important-for-any-alpinist-or-mountaineer-and-how-do-you-train-it/. If they are light enough and easy enough then they can count in the Z1-2 volume.

    – If not, am I right that this represents a big jump in volume from week 8 to the subsequent weeks? Should we trim aerobic workouts to not overdo it (but maintaining the base is important…)? Or is the gradual ramp from, say, 1500ft of ME in week 8 to 7000ft in week 20 or so meant to take care of gradualness? I would strongly recommend against jumping immediately to 7k in weight uphill work. If you do very heavy carries like are described in the article linked to above then you can get away with much less elevation in them. 1-2k will do the trick. The total volume of uphill weighted work will vary dramatically based on your training history and capacity for this type of work. I can’t tell you that 3000 feet with 30lb is the right or wrong amount. That is why in the sited article I suggested noticing your improvement in time from week to week. This training has a very powerful training effect and if you do not see significant gains week to week it is most likely that you are not recovering, not that you are not doing enough. That’s why I say to start small and progress to longer weighted climbs as your fitness improves.

    – How do we count the downhill hiking after the ME hill climbs? I usually end up in low Zone 1 or recovery HR for those. Do we clock that time as part of the weekly volume at that zone or is it meant to be part of the ME? YES! Especially if you are carrying the weight down. HR doesn’t matter in ME workouts.

    – If something has to give to prevent overtraining, what’s an acceptable ratio of ME to aerobic training? For the 7000ft biggest climb day goal mentioned above, should we aim to do the full vertical as an ME workout with weight, or should we trim the vertical and hit a desired ratio of ME to aerobic hours for that week (e.g. 50/50)? Do not feel you have to do your the full vertical meters of your single day push on the actual climb during any single training session. Especially if this is new to you. You run significant risk of becoming over trained. ME ha a very powerful effect. A little goes a long way. If you can build even to 3k with a heavy pack you will do fine. Hopefully you will not be carrying 30lb in a single push long day. I have done both Shasta and Rainier car to car several times and never had more than a light day pack. That is after all the whole point of a single push style: No heavy camping gear. You MUST maintain the aerobic base training when adding ME with no drop in volume or you risk becoming stale from too much ME and loosing fitness. If you are not getting faster each week you are doing too much ME to Z1-2 training.

    Participant
    george.peridas on #8741

    Scott,

    Very clear and helpful. Thanks for taking the time to answer. We are lucky and grateful to have your advice.

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