Getting the suggested vertical in Mike Foote's plan | Uphill Athlete

Getting the suggested vertical in Mike Foote's plan

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  • #22867
    Jared Casper

    I’m working on customizing Mike Foote’s plan to my target event, but I am a bit confused by the instructions for the amount of vert to include in my runs. Most of the weeks (at least in the first period) have several runs that say to “stay on the flats or gentle terrain”, so the only runs with any vert are the weekend runs that the weekly notes say something like “should make up around 60% of the weekly totals for distance and vertical”. Those instructions make sense for distance, but not for vertical. If the only runs with any real vertical make up 60% of the weekly total vertical, where does the other 40% come from?

    It seems if 30-40% of the week’s distance is on “flats or gentle terrain”, then if my weekly distance is X% of the event’s distance, my weekly vert will be quite a bit less than X% of the event’s vertical. How do I reconcile that with the weekly notes that say the week “should contain about X-Y% of the event’s vertical and distance”?

    I realize in practice everything is just approximate and the general principles are more important than the specific numbers, but the engineer in me wants the numbers I have in the plan to add up. 🙂 Just want to make sure I’m not missing something here.

Posted In: Mountain Running

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    Anonymous on #22892


    This is a completely valid question so thanks for asking. Let me start with saying that during the first 9 weeks of the plan the “vert” training effect comes from the weekly ME workout. That’s why the recommendation for keeping most of the mid week runs need to be on gentle terrain. Your legs are going to be tired after the ME workout. That also explains need to pile the real vert into the weekend runs. So I hope this explains a bit of our rationale.

    Now, where we’ve erred is in not being more clear about the division of how much to include in which runs. I’m sorry for the confusion. We should have been more clear and even used different terms or amounts. However, I can see that you get the gist of the message we are trying (admittedly with problems) to get across. Bulk up on the vert on the weekend and dial back mid week when the ME is providing the stimulus.

    I do appreciate your criticism and will look at how I might better word those instructions.


    Jared Casper on #22904

    Makes total sense, thanks for the reply Scott! All those jump squats and step ups are going to add up to a lot of “vert” even if it doesn’t show up on training peaks! Maybe just a note in the ME description that they will provide the remaining 40% (or whatever) of the vert for the week would clear things up? I agree it’s hard to get the phrasing.

    The plan looks great and I’m super excited to get into it next month! I have a few extra weeks so I’m doing a bit of a transition period now to get myself ready before starting those ME workouts. 🙂

    Anonymous on #22973


    These are essentially the same workouts Luke Nelson used last year before this. It works:-)


    Xtal1 on #23024

    I was also wondering about this, tha ks for clearing that up Scott

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