“flat” terrain workouts and getting into Z2

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  • #59832

    When I can’t get outside or the weather is crappy, my Z2 workouts are almost always on an elliptical machine. To get my HR to an appropriate level, I can crank up the resistance or increase SPM and leave the machine incline very low. But when I am outside I can’t run (knee issue, at least for now) and getting into Z2 on flat terrain while hiking is quite difficult. I am moving along about as fast as I can without breaking into a jog.

    Any suggestions? More pack weight? More uphill? Be okay with tooling along in Z1?


  • Moderator
    MarkPostle on #59836

    Bill- Adding weight on the flat is unlikely to help much (pace will slow more anyway) and will cause more knee wear and tear. I would seek out hilly terrain (try and get into Z2 on the ups, don’t worry about the downs) as a first course of action. Barring that a good chunk of the time in Z1 is not the end of the world by any means but the aerobic adaptations will likely take you a bit longer.

    bill on #59838

    Thanks Mark. I am recovering pretty well, so I will try adding more hilly terrain and see how it goes. – Bill

    BTW, I wasn’t able to make the Wednesday Zoom call but watched it today. Lots of helpful info!

    p.tenaerts on #59912

    I am in the same situation. The only uphill around here is the bridge. I am thinking of just getting a treadmill as I am also not comfortable working out in gyms.

    Separately Are there knee braces that are particularly helpful to off set the cardiac work out versus wear & tear on knee?

    Nate Emerson on #59949

    An orthopedic specialist or physical therapist is the best resource to give specific advice about a knee brace. For many individuals, a knee brace is probably very low on the list of interventions for prevention and treatment.
    In many situations, “wear & tear” can be minimized with a balanced training program. The Chamonix Mountain Fit incorporates elements that try to improve movement patterns – hopefully resulting in more balanced movement and making wear & tear more generalized and less acute. The Cham Mth Fit could address functional imbalances in your body, but can’t account for all structural problems – e.g. if you have a large degree of existing wear and tear, or a current injury. So if you have specific questions and aren’t confident in your self-assessment, those are probably best addressed by a specialist who can assess you in-person.

    This article is a great starting point for many athletes with orthopedic concerns:

    Dealing With Injury as a Runner, Climber, or Skier

    We also have an injury and rehab forum:

    Injury & Rehab

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