Maximum training time and peaking too soon.

  • Creator
  • #49589


    I was just wondering about the issue of reaching your maximum available training time too early in a base building period, and how to continue programming for overload.

    Due to work, life and more work commitments, I’ve found my maximum regular training capacity is around 10 hours a week, which constitutes, at the moment, about 80km of running and a couple of strength sessions.

    I work 9 to 6, five days a week, generally like to get my training done in the morning with an after work recovery jog a couple of times a week (I’m on my feet all day apart from maybe 20 mins at lunch time and by the time I get home I’m generally not psyched for a big training session).

    The event I’m training for is in mid August but I seem to have reached my maximum weekly potential already.

    There are weeks I can push beyond these number (ie when I have a week of work, or even the occasional extra hard week when I am working) but I’ve found it to not really be sustainable.

    Time seems to be the main pressure, obviously as my AeT slowly rises I will squeeze a few extra km into that 10 hour training window but I can’t see that being a massive increase week on week.

    Any suggestions on how I can continue to work more overload into my training?

    My thoughts so far are:
    1) To progress on through your ME circuit in the mountain strong part 4 post.
    2) Work more ascent into my runs (although, staying aerobic this often means I just cover less miles)
    3) Continue the way I’m going and rely on the gradual increase in pace to up my mileage
    3) suck it up and wake up progressively earlier to squeeze in the extra training.

    Cheers all,

  • Participant
    Reed on #49598

    There’s a quotation I’ve seen attributed to Renato Canova: “Training is not the work you do but the effect it has on your body.”

    It might be useful to try and identify whether there’s any low-hanging fruit that would allow you to see further improvement with the time that you’re able to devote to training. From my vantage point, ten hours per week is pretty great!

    Are you recovering well? Eating well and sleeping enough? Waking up earlier to squeeze in extra training might be counter-productive. Is strength or force production a limiter? Any mobility work that might unlock some performance improvements?

    Plotting out a structure of periodization / blocks of focus between now and August should be valuable, too.

    LindsayTroy on #49601

    I agree with Reed, what is it you’re trying to improve with this training block? Using the time you have to do a full, idealized periodized plan (transition, max strength, muscular endurance) would be great since you have so much time, but it would be best to identify what it is you’re trying to specifically improve to tailor it to that.

    fredrikkeate on #49646

    Thank you both for your advice.

    I think sitting down to write a more long term periodised training plan, particularly for the strength work, would be beneficial.

    You point about sleep/recovery is partly why I’ve found the 10ish hours a week to be my sustainable limit, beyond that it cuts too much into my recovery and general time spent enjoying life.

    I think perhaps a bit of time spent this weekend looking for potential low hanging fruit, as you put it, would be a good idea (mobility and balance are two that have been screaming for attention).

    One final question, would you recommend varying my training mileage/time or just stick to the maximum each week from now until august? (recovery weeks excluded of course).

    TerryLui on #49740

    This may be in line w/ Reed’s thought but you can try identifying areas where you are particularly strong, dial back the amount of time you spend training those areas to maintenance levels (only train those areas to the point whereby those respective strengths are kept/maintained) and then utilize the extra “found” time on improving weaknesses.

    Ex. You already possess sufficient muscular strength so you do not need to progress it further for your requirements. Reduce gym time and increase aerobic time.

    Of course at the far end of the aerobic spectrum, you will come to a point where you will just simply need to increase the amount of time you spend training your aerobic capacity. Volume is key, no real shortcuts on that one (that I know of at least…)

    melissadjeffrey on #49755

    Agree with Reed!

    fredrikkeate on #49759

    Thanks all, definitely given me a lot to work with. Time to have some fun tinkering with the old training plan!

    Anonymous on #49943

    Yeah! Thank you, Reed, Lindsay, and Terry. All great suggestions.

    : As said above, I think low-hanging fruit and periodization are the things to focus on. And those intermittent windows in your schedule can be good opportunities for bigger weeks.

    Also know that everyone, even professionals, face time constraints. And when you get to that point, it’s still possible to make progress using the advice listed above.

    The longer I train and coach, the more I think that there are adaptive processes that are too slow for us to observe. I’ve seen this several times with clients that have been diligent, but repetitive. When I start working with them and add X and Y on top of their routine, it gets such good results that it almost feels like cheating…

    Our brains are too short-term oriented. Think about saving $100 per month. In the second month, you doubled your savings! And then every following month, the impact is less and less. But that $100 per month always makes a difference, albeit to a smaller and smaller degree.

    Having savings are important because, when an opportunity arises, you can take advantage of it.

    fredrikkeate on #50142

    Hi Scott,

    Some good pearls of wisdom there, many thanks.

    I’ve been having a tinker about and implemented a few of the suggestion from you all.
    I think strength work is an area I’ve been particularly neglecting, and one which could reap some pretty hefty rewards. I live in the middle of a fairly flat city, currently in lockdown, so my legs don’t get much chance to adapt to the pounding of downhill running, hopefully I can prepare them for that a bit in the gym (aka my living room).

    Thanks again to everyone who’s taken the time to reply, this really is a great cracking community you guys have built here.

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