High AeT for untrained athlete?

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  • #9939

    This week I took my second AeT treadmill test. The first time I tested at 164 and I figured there must be a fluke (I wasn’t fasted enough, I was working too hard to nose breathe?). This week, I re-did the test 12 hours fasted and even asked friends to listen to me to make sure my breath wasn’t labored (kind friends). I got the same result again.

    I’ve been pretty confused because I don’t train aerobically so I naturally assumed I need to build a base to raise my threshold. My speed does not reflect a highly trained athlete but it seems my AeT does. Does this indicate that I would benefit more from Zone 3 work? I’ve been training three weeks at a very conservative target HR of 144 for fear of accidentally encroaching on the dead man zone…but it seems like that might be what I need to pick up speed.

    FWIW, I’ve never bonked or struggled with endurance even after extended effort so I’m primarily looking to train for faster approaches. Using the advanced rock-alpinist plan, I’m concerned the focus on zone 2 will not help me achieve my goal.

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    Anonymous on #9942

    “High” isn’t an absolute number. Thresholds are relative.

    To determine if you have a high AeT, you need another reference point, ideally anaerobic threshold (AnT). An aerobic threshold is solid if it’s at 90+% of AnT; “high” if it’s ~95%.

    So for an AeT of 164, you could start adding a small amount of intensity if your AnT is ~182 or higher. (~182 is 90%; 95% would be an AnT of ~173.)

    Was it a lab test that you did? Did the tech give you a number for AnT?

    Or was it a DIY test? If so, here’s a DIY test for AnT.

    alissadoherty on #9943

    Thanks so much for the clarification! I did the DIY AeT test and have no benchmark for AnT. I’ll do the AnT test next. If my AeT is indeed high (95% of AnT) or even solid, would you suggest program modification?

    Anonymous on #9944

    It depends. Is this your first time on a structured training plan? What plan is it? Who wrote it?

    If you’re new to structured training, then I would do the program as prescribed.

    alissadoherty on #9945

    I’ve done structured training specific to climbing (Anderson brothers) for several years. I followed my first cycle to the letter then customized it for my objectives in proceeding cycles. My cardio “training” has been almost entirely unstructured.

    The plan I am considering implementing is the uphill athlete advanced rock-alpinist plan. Before making a big investment of time, I want to ensure that it is the right plan for me and set my baseline zones. I’ve had great success using the Anderson brothers program for climbing fitness but my speed on steep approaches is an area that needs work.

    I’m sure I’m being overly cautious, but I want to ensure that the emphasis on Zone 2 work will translate to a pace increase if my AeT is already high.

    Anonymous on #9951

    I recommend doing the endurance program as prescribed. The Anderson rock climbing program is right on the money, but technical climbing fitness is very different and distinct from whole-body endurance. One does not lead to the other.

    Even when AeT becomes a high percentage of AnT as measured by HR, there are still huge gains to be made in speed. The changes in threshold heart rates are just the first step. After that, heart rate thresholds may stay roughly the same for years while speeds across the board can still be increased.

    I would stick with the uphill endurance program as is. There’s plenty of time and lots of opportunity to optimize later on. There’s more to lose by going too hard too soon than there is to gain.

    alissa.doherty on #9962

    Awesome, thanks for that feedback. I actually enjoy zone 2 work so glad to hear it.

    Anonymous on #9963

    That’s also great feedback. As zone 2 becomes harder to do and harder to recover from, you’ll know that your thresholds (AeT and AnT) are approaching each other.

    Z2 will start to feel like Z3, and you may think, “I don’t think that I can do a lot of this anymore.”

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