No progress/detraining

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  • #13451


    I started to follow structured training program based on TFTNA 9 months ago. My training history before that consisted of few years of running too fast all the time (I had no progress even though I increased hours running), then I did almost nothing for 2 years and returned to regular training about 3 years ago when I got interested in mountains and climbing. Year 2017 consisted mostly of climbing (indoors) and some running below/at HR 135bpm – I had some injuries (stress reactions) which prevented me from running for few months.

    Last year and until this spring/summer I had good success and progress with running – my pace consistently increased at the low HR. In june I had alpine course after which I took a small break and restarted training with short transition period (4 weeks) and moved on to base period.

    For last 3 months my running performance is dropping – I have to run at 30 sec – 1 min slower pace to maintain 135 bpm than back in April or May. Garmin has constantly downgraded my VO2Max estimate from 54 to 50 since then. Even though I’m slowly increasing time I’m spending running, Garmin gives smaller and smaller aerobic improvement ratings for these runs. Even Training Peaks calculated TSS is smaller for each run. Few months back 1h30 run with average heart rate of 135 was rated TSS 245, todays 1h 50 run with same heart rate TSS is 235.

    I don’t understand what I should to to get back on track. Even more so because I feel stronger every week with my strength training and running also feels very easy.

    Any advice?

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    Anonymous on #13464

    If you feel fitter and are faster then that is what matters. But here are a few specific things to consider: Forget the maxVO2 numbers from these watches. They are based on some general algorithm and have no way of actually knowing what you VO2 is. Its takes a gas exchange test to tell this. If you really want to know (and why would you care?) then go to a lab and get tested. But forget the watch maxVO2. Many people report this exact same thing.

    Regarding TP metrics: Have you set your zones based one some actual testing. Or are you guessing. Based on the TSS scores you quote I can say pretty pretty assuredly that something is way off. What TSS are you using? rTSS or hrTSS. Running in the aerobic realm (below AeT) will typically net a hrTSS of 55-65 per hour. So a 1.5 hour aerobic run on flat ground will give you a hrTSS of 90 not the 245 you were seeing. A TSS=245 workout is a VERY taxing workout.

    Have you changed HR monitor? Do you use a wrist monitor (terribly inaccurate) or a chest strap?

    So that covers the data side of things. You could be experiencing some actual physiological reason for you needing to run 30-60 sec/mile slower to stay at 135HR. The first thing I would guess is fatigue. If you have been consistent in your training and careful not to do too many harder workouts, you should see improving pace in the aerobic zones. If not, it is more likely related to too much or too hard training not too little.

    Other possible causes could be related to illness or nutrition or poor recovery.

    Let me know if any of this helps.

    sandijs on #13466

    Thank you for your input, Scott!

    About TP metrics: I have not adjusted HR zones in TP, I entered only resting, max and threshold HR values.
    I estimated my AeT of 135 based on “nose breathing” method but I think I have set it too low (just to be on the safe side of error):
    1) I have problems breathing through nose;
    2) on a good day I can run for hour or more and my Pa:Hr will be below 5% mark even with average heart rate of 150;

    I have done some actual testing in a lab few years ago when my AeT was estimated to be 146 and AnT of 188 but during the test I was “nervous” and my heart rate was elevated significantly. At that time it was not unusual for me to finish half marathon with average HR of 185.
    Most likely it is time to repeat the test …

    For my runs TP is automatically calculating in “TSS” – probably because my Forerunner 935 is uploading also Power data for runs. If I convert TSS=235, then hrTSS=73 and rTSS=126.

    At the same time I’m providing TSS (not hrTSS) for 1hour of max strength of 65 and that is most likely incorrect as I feel significantly more tired after such workout compared to 1h easy run with TSS=130 …

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