Different training frequencies

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  • #71379
    Student
    Participant

    Theoretical consideration here:

    If volume is king in aerobic base training would squeezing more volume in during the week be better? Even if the per session stimulus is very low, the weekly addition in volume could be significant.

    Athlete 1: 2 sessions of 15 hrs of z1/z2 running a week.
    Athlete 2: 60 sessions of 30 min z1/z2 running a week.

    Same total volume, same intensity, same outcome?

    I know this is extreme, however it is just to try and clarify if it is worth milking every opportunity to add volume, even if the session stimulus is weak.

    Thoughts?

  • Participant
    Cory from Wisconsin on #71390

    Volume is important, but consistency is king. That’s why an athlete that consistently trains throughout the week will end up ahead of the weekend warrior who puts in big days sat/Sunday, but adds nothing to the bank on the week days.

    Plus recovery is a key component and it is more realistic to recover from shorter sessions, even if it has a high training stimulus, vs getting crushed on a big objective and needing an extended time to recover. Yes, the big objective may be the prize you are working to, but generally it shouldn’t be the training stimulus. Of an athlete can handle long Z2 day, that’s good and many of the plans have 3-4 hr Z2 work on weekends, but that’s in addition to Z2, Z1, and strength work during the week.

    Hope that helps.

    Participant
    Eddie on #71426

    Student,

    Duration is the biggest training stimulus to ST fibers. And to develop the aerobic base, it requires a steady diet of Z1-2 where you can recover day after day, i.e. consistency, as Cory wrote above.

    Scott Johnston touches on this in a past post: “If you are planning training to improve basic aerobic capacity then it must be low to moderate intensity, long duration and frequent. This training engages the ST fibers which already have high endurance so to improve there aerobic capacity requires using them for a long time quite often so they remain in a glycogen depleted state to cause aerobic adaptions If you run 30 minutes 2 x per week thats is going to have minimal impact on improving this quality. This is why endurance athletes must train a high volume of Z1-2.” [1]

    I also like how Stephen Seiler writes about it: “the recipe for endurance training: Frequency, Duration, Intensity. And the order conveys the importance. To build a foundation for performance, you have to start with frequency. Once I have built up both the habit of getting out the door “X” times per week, *and* the ability to recover and manage the stress of this habit in my life, *only then can I start lengthening* some of these training sessions. After I extend the duration – and I am able to recover and manage the stress of this habit in my life – from there, I can begin to work more in intensity.” [2]

    Gradualness is a key principle in endurance training, so add volume gradually to avoid loss of consistency, e.g. injury.

    [1] https://uphillathlete.com/forums/topic/what-has-the-most-pronounced-effect-of-frequency-duration-and-intensity-for-end/
    [2] fasttalklabs.com article: Do You Need to Rethink Your Training? (paywall)

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