minimum duration of an Z1 aerobic workout

  • Creator
  • #8215

    Hi there,

    Scott, Steve, thank you for TFTNA and this great formum!

    I’ve got a rookie question for which I did not find an answer so far. I’ve been jogging before work in the morning on three days for a few weeks now (plus a long Z1 workout and a Z2 workout per week).

    Therefore, I was wondering what the minimum duration of such an Z1 aerobic workout should be in order to achieve an optimal training effect. I’ve read a few articels about this and some recomeded a minimum duration of twenty minutes, others said that there is no training effect under sixty minutes.

    What do you recomend? Is 30 minutes enough?

    Thanks a lot!

  • Participant
    l s on #8218

    i am very curious about this also. i generally don’t have big blocks of time during the week, but i can probably do 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes at lunch, and an hour in the evening. are these 30 minute Z1 workouts beneficial, or too short to matter?

    Anonymous on #8223

    If the event you are training for is more than 30 minutes, which is likely if you’re on these forums, you are better off doing fewer, longer workouts. Your best bet is carve out an hour in the mornings where you can run before you eat breakfast so you also get the fasted benefit.

    Anonymous on #8226

    Thanks a lot for your answer!

    It is absolutely clear that my training needs to become much more specific over time. It is also clear that I have to increase the training volume over time. In this regard, it is also logical that three one-hour sessions are more effective than three thirty-minute sessions.

    However, I am still in my first tansition period. Shouldn’t my current goals be (a) to get used to the load and (b) improve my aerobic base, regardless of my long-term goals? So I’m not sure if it makes sense yet to increase the training volume or to train more specifically .

    Therefore, my question remains: What should be the minimum training duration in Z1 that has a good effect on the aerobic base for an active but untrained person – regardless of the long-term goals?

    Or do I get it wrong?

    Anonymous on #8237


    While Adamsc is correct that longer is better you gotta do what you can do first and figure out how it effects you and what you can handle. Certainly if you are time crunched then 2-3 x 30 min is way better than nothing. The minimum duration related to your fitness level. Do a thought experiment with me: Imagine your grandmother, who, for this experiment we are going to assume has not run a step since she was a teenager. For her a 30 minute run will have a profound training effect. Now imagine Kilian Jornet (if you can). For him a 30 minute run will not be enough training stimulus to add anything to his fitness. In fact too many days of 30 minute runs and he will LOSE fitness.

    Can you see now that it is not so formulaic like you might have read on the internet. Training must be progressive to be effective. You must gradually increase the load of your body will stop adapting. Initially a 30 min might be a great starting point and really boost fitness for you but if you are still doing 1 x 30 min run 6 months from now there is a good chance that it will no longer be a sufficient training stimulus to cause you more adaptation. In that case, first you will plateau and soon drop in fitness because your body has become used to this training load.

    I hope this helps. There is no one size fits all prescription.

    Anonymous on #8238

    Yes, that makes sense. Thank you.

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