How do I get faster @(or below) AeT?

  • Creator
  • #32133

    Hi guys,

    Given I will get rid of ADS the next weeks, what will make me faster at ski mountaineering (not skimo) below or at AeT? I mean I can walk forever but I’m very slow (too slow) in Z2.

    Is it Muscular Endurance? Or is it Z3 (and later Z4) training?

    Best regards

Posted In: Ski Mountaineering

  • Participant
    jswell on #32171

    Increasing AeT and “curing” ADS will make you faster on its own. As you improve, your body will be working less hard to go the same pace. By extension, for the same amount of work it currently takes you to go at AeT, you will be going faster for longer.

    Adding ME or Z3-4 will help improve pace eventually, but if you’re slow at Z2 you have more room to grow aerobically. This long term outlook is what the books are all about. When you add in additional work also relates to your goals and when that goal is taking place.

    Dada on #32180

    Thank you for your comment!

    I would disagree though. I pretty much cured my ADS (2 bpm left to reach [AnT/AeT -1] = 10%). And I got faster. But still slow. So now it’s time to include some intensity to become significantly faster. The question is how?

    DominicProvost on #32187

    Not being aerobically deficient doesn’t mean you’ve maxed out your aerobic potential. The answer to your question is in the books.

    TerryLui on #32699

    Hey Dada,
    Can you define what “faster” means for you?
    And can you also reference your current “speed” and duration which you want to be moving for?

    As DominicProvost mentioned above, narrowing the gap between AeT and AnT brings you to a “baseline” of aerobic efficiency, next stage is to build a larger aerobic Capacity.

    If you haven’t already, I recommending reading the below link, as it may shed some light on your inquiry and the above comments (i.e. aerobic capacity & speed):

    Sandcastles: A Model of Endurance Training

    Anonymous on #32719

    As other folks have said, narrowing the gap between AnT and AeT heart rates is just the beginning. It’s a “first wave” response that happens relatively quickly (in terms of months).

    Once your aerobic house is in order, then more Z1/2 training will gradually increase the speed of AeT. This can happen for years and years if you train at the right intensity frequently, gradually, and in a modulated manner. And if you don’t sabotage the process with too much high-intensity training. (As a very rough rule of thumb for events of two hours or more, keep HIT to 5% of training time or less–i.e. <= 30' in a 10h training week). The third and most important phase is to then decrease the gap between AnT and AeT paces. That’s trickier in our sports, perhaps impossible without a treadmill to measure.

    Dada on #32849

    Hi guys,

    thanks for your comments!


    The problem I have is that I’m guiding for the local mountain club and I’m super slow at AeT (~350 vertical meters per hour) in ski mountaineering). Moreover, there is no chance I can stay within Z1. But AeT still feels very easy.

    Hiking got better. I can hike at Z1 and got okayish speed at AeT and it feels hard.

    Uphill running is the same as ski mountaineering. There is no way I can stay within Z1.

    I must guide all winter, but I gotta be faster.

    @Scott: I understand. Makes sense. What I’m worried about is that I can only train ski mountaineering at Z2. Is this too much muscular load?


    Anonymous on #32886

    I’m a little confused, but no, I don’t think so. It sounds like more Z1/2 is what you need.

    The one thing though is that if you’re guiding, and if your clients are fit, then you probably need to go at their pace. If that’s out of your Z1/2, then it seems like a necessary constraint of your job until you can raise your Z1/2 pace.

    Dada on #32924

    Hi Scott,

    Guiding is just a weekend hobby. I used to guide exclusively in Z3. And when my glycogen was used up, I had to slow down. Since the guests were also running out of glycogen as well they had to slow down as well. And since me anaerobic system was well trained I managed to go longer compared to them. So that was no problem. I know that they are going in Z3. By doing so, they are faster than me going at AeT. Of course I could go forever, they don’t.

    But I keep training in Z1/2, although Z2 is not possible in ski mountaineering right now.


    Anonymous on #33033

    Since the guests were also running out of glycogen as well they had to slow down as well.

    You’re guiding way too fast… Client pace should be slow enough and breaks consistent enough, that guests never bonk.

    Of course I could go forever, they don’t.

    That’s not the case. Perhaps relative to your clients you could go forever, but if you’re in Zone 3, the clock is ticking. And it’ll run out.

    …Z2 is not possible in ski mountaineering right now.

    Of course it is; you just need to go slower until your aerobic system improves.

    To be honest, it sounds like you go too hard all the time. If you want to develop a strong aerobic system, you really need to dial it back and put in the hours at much slower paces.

    TerryLui on #33101

    Hey Dada,
    I’m a guide as well and can appreciate the conflict faced when taking people out and they’re under the assumption that “If I’m not huffing and puffing then I’m not maximizing the experience.” This is often times the same situation when going out w/ friends who aren’t familiar with aerobic training.
    (Of course, if your clients are paying you to get their butts kicked in the mountains…then you’re in a bit of an aerobic pickle…)

    You’re probably already familiar with this but it may be worth mentioning for others who may be following this thread – before heading out w/ my clients/friends, I set the tone on the expected pace and why (ex. have more energy reserved for skiing, extra margin for the return trip, can do longer distances + multiple days, etc).

    Here’s an article that discusses guiding and aerobic base fitness:

    Steve House and the Roots of Uphill Athlete

    Dada on #33121

    Thanks for the hint to this article!

    Sorry, I made some spelling and explanatory mistakes.

    1. The clients do not bonk. They go slower and make more breaks. This is bc they are going too fast and in Z3. They are not familiar with aerobic endurance and are member of the happy hard party. I will communicate the Z1/2 pace beforehand (thx for the advise, Terry). I wanna go faster for me personally or well trained friends.

    The old Dada from last year was going in Z3. The new Dada from late last season to this point is not going fast anymore. Never Z3, Z2 while uphill running and ski mountaineering and Z1 while running and mountaineering.

    3. “…Z2 is not possible in ski mountaineering right now.” was a spelling mistake. It’s supposed to be Z1 rather than Z2. This is one of my fears though, that I come to a black hole bc I train at Z2 and not at Z1 while doing ski mountaineering.


    Anonymous on #33227

    1. The clients do not bonk. They go slower and make more breaks.

    …which means the pace you were setting for them was too fast.

    pult on #34569

    Dear Dada,

    I have read your comment with interest and tried to figure it out with a 100hm ski tour opening the this year winter season. I am not very trained (doing 300h sports/ year, however doing ski tours since 38years – but now not living in the Alps since 20years just only 10-15 skitours/year)
    I tried to stay in Z1 for that ski tour at the weekend and this resulted in 70% Z1 and 30% Z2 with 2h for 800 height meters. It was hard to keep the slow pace but you should be able to do Z2 ski tours – with or without guests


    Dada on #34577

    Hi Heiko,

    Yesterday, I did my first Z1 Skitour. I was incredibly slow and was passed by old ladies. At the end my average HR was at the top of Z1 and 35% Z2 and 65% Z1. I did some pick-ups though.

    On Sunday I did a Z2 Skitour but was still passed by many people.

    Thx for your test though.


    pult on #34589


    lets pass them and do the tour twice


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