Fixing Aerobic Deficiency general timeline? tips?

  • Creator
  • #8084

    Afternoon! Currently working on fixing aerobic deficiency where I can’t run Aerobically and walking is to slow. Its kind of like rush hour! Run till HR gets semi-close 147-178, then walk trying to keep below 150-155, repeat. Keep my HR down below 150-155 is almost impossible, Ive seen it climb 10-12bpm for no reason that I can surmise. This is around a scorching 14:30/mile! red hot!

    After the 8 week program I got tested and I apparently have no middle ground.. walk 3.5mph=~128hr, run 4mph=168hr with my Aet about 150-155(.85 rer)). (tried jog SUPER slow HR still goes up).

    Wondering how long it took someone else to “fix” ADS? Any Tips to help? Generally of course per everyone being different training, physically, etc. I’m not or less 12 weeks in with no noticeable changes. I’m sure subtle ones have occurred. (I seem to recover faster? but HR still goes up fast so no idea)

    Currently doing the 24 week, 4 weeks in doing around 5-6 hours aerobic work, 18-20 miles last two weeks. (This week is recovery week tho so be less)

    And would it be helpful to say extend my aerobic run/walks in the 24 week plan? IE: it calls for 45m, do 90m? (the only time I “feel” anything is the hikes). I have extended a couple run/walkss per not feeling remotely tired and the weather was nice. I basically have time. Job isn’t to demanding, no kids to worry about, etc.

    I also try to do things outside whenever possible. But would a treadmill be better for the run/hikes on hilly terrain? I’m in a valley and it gets to dark to hit a trail after work. Not that I could go very fast on them! (Fenix registers 0 speed sometimes I have to go so slow to keep hr down).

    Cheers and good luck on your uphill pursuits!

  • Participant
    aset.danialov on #8091

    hi Jason,

    I had exactly the same issue, my heart rate would go 150-160BPM the moment I switch from fast walking to slowest possible jogging.

    I was doing some running between mountain trips and just gave up running on low pulse. It seemed that there is nothing possible to fix it, and doctors ensured that I have no heart deficiency of any kind. I never met anyone who had a similar problem, it seemed to be “abnormal” just for me, my pulse was higher than even amateurs to running.

    However, I am following the Training plan set up by John, after 3 months I am now able to jog with 120-125 pulse. In the beginning, this probably seemed very funny – me trying to simulate running at lowest pace, like a slow-motion movie.

    I need to admit, I was not doing very long aerobic training under the current program, and dont know how big was the impact of other exercises ( intervals, core & max strength) on my current performance.


    Anonymous on #8096


    You are in good company when it comes to ADS. By good I mean MANY if not most of the folks who come to us have this problem. You not alone in expressing dismay at your slow running pace in your aerobic zones. I feel your pain and frustration over this.

    Lets talk about a timeline first: The biggest stimulus to aerobic adaptation is the duration of exercise. So the more training you in that aerobic zone the bigger and faster will be the changes. AS you have commented and no doubt feel. This is not very taxing training form a muscular standpoint. This means that you can handle a lot of it if you have the time to train.

    When I started working with Adrian Ballinger he had pretty severe ADS but because he was a fit guy who could handle a lot of work and had the time to train he made huge gains in 4 months. He was routinely training over 20 hours/week of aerobic base training. You can read about this here:

    He was used to taking in hourly carb feeds on all his training. By shifting his diet, doing much of his aerobic training in a fasted stated coupled with his high volume he turned around a busted metabolism pretty quickly.

    I have also worked with many ADS folks who are amateur climbers and with an aerobic training volume of 8-12 hours/week it generally takes 4 months to see significant improvement. At 5-6 hours/week as you are doing it is going to take longer.

    In your case, increase this easy aerobic training volume up to your tolerance and what you have time available for. Keep in mind that if doing this sort of aerobic base work properly (volume and intensity) you should recover in 24 hours and be ready to go again.

    Try fasted workouts, try shifting to more fat less carbs in your diet, but mainly add more volume. AND BE PATIENT!


    Anonymous on #8097

    As an added reassurance, it WILL happen if you give it time.

    I’ve been pretty active over the past twenty years, but I only started training properly about five years ago. I think I was in the middle ground, where I didn’t have full-blown ADS, but as you’ve described, my heart rate would jump up as soon as I started running.

    It took a long time, but I can now run at low heart rates, and being able to do so supports more and more training at higher speeds.

    As Scott says, be patient and consistent, and it’ll happen. And it’ll be oh-so-worth-it when it does.

    P.S. If you need to train in the dark, get a headlamp. In particular, I highly recommend the Petzl Reactik is great.

    Jason on #8102

    Thanks for the replies & general tips/ideas. I figure this will be a long road, just how long!

    Most of my previous training has been sport specific, sprinting, power lifting, etc. Never really done much specific Aerobic work until last year but then I had sinus surgery.

    I think the general suggestion is the more & longer duration the better! And eat a more fat based diet which I think I’ve seen you guys mention. Train on fat, race on carbs. I already eat fairly low carb, generally around 60g per day with 100g pro, 150g fat. The weekend hikes I normally do not have anything to eat and 3-4 hours in I feel fine tho the stomach was complaining last time.

    I start another set next week in the 24 week, “transition set 2”, which I’ll look at increasing the Aerobic work. Possibly around 30 minutes to each session to see how I feel. Maybe an hour+ to the weekend hike. Then slowly ramp up each week 10-20% or so depending on feel.

    Strangely enough… yesterdays aerobic run/walks were around 15-20s per mile faster than last Thursday. Same route, weather as well.

    I’ll check out that headlamp. rechargeable would be nice! The issue around here is the trails close at 5 and/or dusk. But I would like to start run/walk in the morning before work for more fasted training. Which I normally can only do on weekends or holidays.

    Thanks again for all the suggestions!

    lapotka on #8104

    I have/had the same issues and am now 7 weeks into a serious effort to work on it. A few things that I think have been working for me are hiking with a 20 lb pack really slow uphill and using a treadmill set at 12% incline (that is as high as mine goes) and walking 2-3 mph. my running economy is really bad an the second i break into a jog my HR goes through the roof, I know i need to work on that separately at some point. I will typically get on the treadmill for my hour easy aerobic base and start out around 3 mph and watch my HR and as it drifts higher than I want I just decrease the speed by .1 mph or the incline by a degree. At first this felt super lame and I always erred on the side of too low a HR and made sure I was breathing easy with my mouth closed. I have seen significant improvement in my power output at a 150 BPM HR and nose breathing in my hiking, cross country skiing, and split-board climbs, usually lagging a bit behind my friends but with a significantly lower HR and way less fatigue. the treadmill routine still feels lame and once the weather gets a bit nicer this spring I plan on setting aside a small part of my routine to train running economy but not at the expense of my zone 1-2 work.

    Anonymous on #8107

    Jason: It’s not lame! You’re doing it exactly right. Keep up the good work. It’ll pay off. (And it sounds like it already is.)

    lapotka on #8110

    Yeah, it’s not lame, it’s totally working and I’m totally committed to it but it takes a leap of faith cause it doesn’t feel “intense” or “awesome” mostly just plodding along but it works.

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