I’m attaching a PDF with my most recent (~3 months ago) lab test results. I have a handful of questions I’d like to run by you. I hope you’re okay with the long post.
By way of background, you indicated to me a while ago that the biggest bang for the aerobic buck was time spent right at AeT or slightly below it. Taking this to heart (and having an obsessive personality), I’ve really worked for the last year and a half to do nothing but improve my aerobic system. On average, I’ve been spending about 6 to 10 hours a week trail running, which is about 40 to 60 miles per week since I’m slow. All of this has been at or below AeT. No Intervals. No Threshold Work.
For a while, I saw nice progress. And, for what’s is worth, under this type of constant work regime, you seem to magically wake up one day and find that your AeT has fallen 5 beats per minute or so (or pace has increased at a given HR). This last year and a half has taught me a lot of about patience because you don’t see results for a while and the progress is definitely not linear.
Anyhow, I’ve had several lab tests done (I try to go every six months) at the lab you recommended. And, I have updated my target AeT HR after each test. This said, I’m getting to the point now where I’m starting to feel that there are some serious diminishing returns to what I’m doing. I know you have discussed in the past your desire to see AeT within 10% of AnT before introducing higher intensity work. How do you feel about where these results lay on that spectrum? And, please remember these results were over 3 months ago, so I’m hopeful additional (even marginal) gains have been made since.
Finally, you’ll see that my running economy is quite high, so I don’t see any point in trying to improve it. Also, I have an above average Vo2 max, which I know from extrapolating other lab test results, which leads me to really wonder: why am I not faster? If we think (generally) about distance running performance = Running Economy + Vo2 Max + LT Threshold (or % of Vo2 Max you can sustain).
Anecdotally, because I understand this is as much art as science, I want you to have a couple of other observations. 1) My max heart rate in the last year according to TP was in a cross-fit style workout @ 185 bpm. 2) I’m having a hard time getting my heart rate high without being under load though, i.e., just running max speed. For example, today during my AM run after 3 miles at an average HR of 145pm I hit a part of the trail that has a sustained 5% grade (very runnable), so I go full speed up it for about 60 seconds and I’m talking max speed here, and my HR only hits 167 and in about 30 seconds of walking after the short sprint it’s back down to <130. I’m sure this is a common misconception but this type of training regime seems to have completely killed my speed. And, I even feel that neuromuscularly – slow turnover, heavy legs that can just plod away. 3) If it helps, I ran a 50K trail race in September. It’s at moderate altitude (Big Sky Resort, MT) and there is about 10,500 ft. of gain over the 31 miles. I finished in ~9:45, which seems to be about middle of the pack. 4) Finally, my goal is to further improve my aerobic system before switching gears and focusing on other capacities (think Max Strength and Local Muscular Endurance). I’m going to try to keep running as much as I can over the winter here in CO because I have a good feel for perceived exertion and good data to use now, but a lot of my training will inevitably switch to ski touring.
I want to end by saying how much I appreciate all of the advice you and Steve have offered since our first encounter back in Portland several years back.
Thank you for your time and expertise.
You must be logged in
to view attached files.