I had a similar experience: until fairly recently, I was walking more than five hours per week, all at <Z1 intensity. I counted this as active recovery as I didn’t think the intensity or duration were sufficient to count it as training.
Recently I started a new job which is a 30 min walk from where I live. I make that walk 6-10 times a week, so accounting for time spent waiting for lights and such it comes to 2.5 – 4 hours a week of just walking quickly.
I’m not sure how to log it. I can’t get into zone one on the flats without running, and there is only one 30m hill on the way home that gets my hr up at all so it’s just recovery at best, and on the light side for even that compared to what I usually do.
I’m currently earlyish in an extended TFTNA style base period, training about 15.5 hours a week. Devoting 4 hours of that to recovery seems like a lot, and perhaps counterproductive. It’s also making it hard to get as much vert as I was before with the entirety of my training time devoted to longer deliberate efforts. This makes me feel like I’m losing quality and useful specificity.
I know I should probably log stuff like this somehow, but weighting it equally to zone one work just feels wrong. How do others log this kind of semi-training time? Am I just falling into the ‘training should feel harder than this’ trap?
Posted In: General Training Discussion
Perhaps should have added: the walking I was doing was independent of the training volume I was doing (anything from 6-14 hours/week). I had to walk and figured I might as well track how much I was doing. I’m sure it helped for active recovery and I rarely did any additional AR. That said, I have no idea how much AR was ‘optimal’ given my training load.
m-ryta and Mariner;
Good for you guys walking so much. You can’t do too much basic aerobic training. It all adds up. At some point it will definitely become less and less stimulus to your aerobic system as you fitness increases. If it can just come on top of your other training as opposed to supplanting it then you’ll really benefit form the this added low intensity volume. If however you try to make this the Z1-2 base then you will not see the gains you hoped for. You may find that as your training load gets higher this much Active Recovery is too much and you need to take the bus or ride a bike to work.
Great Q and A, I’ve been wondering this for years. The solution I’ve settled on for myself is to make sure I hit my targets for the week (25% zone 1 outing, two max strength, etc.) and then I am free to count my farm chores, walks, and bike commutes as filler to get me to my total planned volume for the week. Everything at a swift walking pace and above is picked up by my Apple Watch as exercise. Again, I only record the amount I need to fill the gap between my planned workouts and my planned weekly volume. I think TFTNA says in the planning chapter, “the rest [of the weekly volume] at zone 1 or recovery pace”. To be clear, if I miss a planned workout, I don’t fill the void with routine exercise. For me, with a full time desk job plus farm obligations (hand digging, wood splitting, cleaning pens, tromping through fields, trimming orchard trees, shoveling the drive, firewood cutting, etc.) I’m at or near my ceiling for formal training right now so to count or not count is somewhat moot, except that I need to ensure that I don’t let chores plus training push me into a fatigued state. That’s where workout grading and being self aware during all activities is key.
I think I remember S. House saying somewhere, “It all can be training”. That also seems to be the theme from Will Gadd’s article last year on training philosophy. Wax on, wax off – B.I.