Foundation/Transition Questions

  • Creator
  • #8769

    Hey guys,

    I had a few questions about the transition or foundation period. In the book it has you doing all aerobic work in zone 1 with only one weekly workout in zone 2. Recently, I purchased the rock climbing foundation 5 week program and all the aerobic work is done at the aerobic threshold, which if I’m understanding things correctly is at the top of zone 2. I’m almost finished with this 5 week program, but I’m wondering if I need to back down my aerobic work into zone 1 as I get ready to start my transition program for my year long training program.

    Also, when it comes to over training, if I’m sore 2 days after a strength work out would this be a sign that the weight and/or volume is too great at this point in my training. I fear I might need to back off on the strength workouts as I am sore and carrying this fatigue into my weekly runs. The runs however, do not make me sore to the same extent and I can usually recover in 24 to 36 hours.

    Lastly, when it comes to various modalities of training aerobically is it okay to change them up, say between running or hiking? The reason I ask is because for longer duration workouts, say greater than 45 min, running seems more difficult than box steps and more strenuous on the body. Do I need to do both running and box steps consistently in order to increase duration as time progresses?



  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #8771

    Hi Seth,

    I’ll try and answer these:

    # I’m not familiar with the rock climbing plan in particular, but if you’re new to structured training in general, then a lot of Zone 2 work shouldn’t be a problem. If you’ve done years of structured training, and if you’ve seen the top of Zone 2 come within 10% of the bottom of Zone 3, then you may want to add in some easier volume.

    Going by feel, how hard is Zone 2 for you? Would you describe it as “no big deal, I can do this all day”? Or “oh man, I don’t think I can sustain this over the long-term”? Or somewhere in between? Both are possible in Zone 2 depending on the training history of the athlete.

    # If you feel like DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is interfering with your aerobic work, then you may want to back off. Again, this is a judgment call about the overall impact of the strength training.

    # I would recommend changing up your training modes as required physically and mentally. So long as the modes are weight-bearing–i.e. cycling will not be a great substitute–then you should get a similar benefit from running, hiking, and box steps and can increase duration without monitoring durations per mode.

    Of note, I have similar issues with flat running. I find 45-60′ the limit for my hips and head. Trail running, however, is way better, so you may want to give that a shot. I suspect that I have fewer issues with trail running because the variable running surface and changing grades keep the motion less repetitive.

    I hope that helps.

    Scott S.

    Anonymous on #8772

    I’ll reinforce with Scott S says above:

    If you have a big aerobic base and your AeT is high then you will not be able to handle as much Z2 training as it will be too hard. Steve assumed, when he wrote the 5 and 8 week rock alpinist plans that the vast majority of alpinists have aerobic deficiency to some extent and so lots of Z2 for them is probably fine.

    Muscle soreness and stiffness for a couple of days (peaking at 48 hours) after strength workouts is not anything like Over Training Syndrome.

    Running on flats is very high impact and due to the repetitive nature is hard on you. Read this: It takes a lot of time to safely condition your body to the impact of running. I can’t imagine that box stepping is less boing than flat running though!


    s.luedtke on #8812

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I am definitely aerobically deficient. I’m working hard to correct this.

    I’m getting ready to start a year long plan but noticed in the book almost all work is done in zone 1 during transition. I got confused because I’m the rock alpine plan it’s all zone 2 work during foundation.

    With respect to the strength training I find that my body is sore and tight during both mid week runs. Is this something that gets better with time or am I going at it too hard during the strength sessions. My running pace goes down about 30-45 seconds per mile after a strength session as compared with a post rest day run.

    It’s hard for me to run in zone 1 but I can easily run in zone 2. I would have to go REALLY slow (<11min miles) to run in zone 1. Zone 2 feels pretty good. I can’t do it all day but I can fairly easily accomplish a 2 hr plus run. I did a 2:30 run the other day and logged 14 miles.

    Should I carry on with the zone 2 work in my annual plan during transition phase or limit this to once per week? And fill in the rest with zone 1?

    Lastly, with modes of training I guess what I was getting at is hiking for 2 hours isn’t that hard on my body, but running for 2 hours took me some time to build up to do my body could handle the pounding. I take it from your comments though that I should be fine to switch back and forth between hiking/box steps and running during any given week?



Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • The forum ‘General Training Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.