Recovery vs Zone 1 replacement

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  • #17015


    I’m following TFTNA transition period and as I believe I need to work on my climbing technique more, I am replacing the zone 2 run with another climbing workout. The original example plan gives zone 2 in the morning followed by a recovery run in the evening. I’m switching it to climbing in the evening and run in the morning that day.

    Based on the switch, is there a benefit to doing a recovery run in the morning mid-week on that day or would it be a better idea to do a zone 1 run to add more aerobic training?


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    Anonymous on #17016


    In these low intensity aerobic zones the distinction between Recovery and the bottom of Z1 is not well defined. Meaning, there is quite a bit of overlap in the HR zones and even the training effect. Think of these zones this way: Z2 is the maximum intensity that is still predominately aerobically fueled by fat. So, the best intensity for increasing aerobic this basic aerobic quality. Z1 is best thought of as aerobic maintenance (rather than building). Recovery can be anything from a very easy jog to even a brisk walk. It’s purpose is to speed recovery to get you back to training (building fitness) as soon as possible. These need to feel very easy and leave you feeling better at the end that you did when you started. I’d suggest using Z1-2 in place of those suggested recovery runs. But need to base this decision on how tired you are feeling. Use a recovery workout when needed.


    Jan on #17025

    @Scott Johnston:

    So Zone 1 workouts don’t build aerobic capacity? This kind of surprises me.

    Especially when you add weight as suggested on page 249/week 9 of the base period, it gets hard to stay in zone 2 constantly, at least if you don’t have bigger mountains in front of your door. And even then, hiking with a pack downhill in zone 2 can’t be good for your knees.

    Right now I do a hike with a 30 pound pack as part of my base period training, 9 miles with 1600 feet elevation gain in hilly terrain, where I’ll be in (the lower end of) Zone 1 for most of the time, only getting in zone 2 during the short, but frequent uphill sections. It takes me around 2 1/2 hours. Would that time be better spent with a different workout? More zone 2 trailrunning (with only 3 pound of weight)? I already do around 5 hours of that per week.

    Sorry if I take that thread in a direction that was not intended by the opener!

    jakob.melchior on #17026

    @Jan I personally don’t associate added weight with basic aerobic sessions. What is the purpose of the 2.5h relatively flat walking with a heavy pack? That sounds quite miserable to be honest.

    Regarding the intensity, the way I understand it is that with just 5 hours a week you probably want most of it in zone2 and not much zone1 to get the most effect for your time.
    If you were doing >20h a week than all zone2 would become too much from a recovery standpoint so some of it needs to be zone1. Also the fitter you get the higher zone2 becomes which adds additional stress.

    Jan on #17027


    Well, the book (p. 249) states pretty clearly that you should add weight. I really hope Scott and Steve don’t want me to carry up to 30 % of my body weight while running.

    The purpose would still be to build a aerobic base, as until now I thought that both zone 1 and zone 2 workouts do that.

    As I am mostly a hiker, that is also the most specific workout that I do, with about the weight as on a lot of my goal hikes. I also try to hike fast and hope that this will feel like “normal speed” on goal hikes (some day). And I would guess that this prepares your tendons, ligaments etc. in a different way than running does. I know good runners that got tendonitis after 4 days of carrying a pack.

    This is also definetly an exhausting workout, though in a different way than a trail run.

    Nothing too miserable about that. The weight doesn’t feel uncomfortable on my back, I like being in the woods, I like hiking, I like listening to music. But too much time spent if it makes no sense for sure.

    It’s 5 hours of trail running in zone 2 by the way. Plus the weighted hikes, a bit of trail running in zone 3, ME-workouts, core and strength training.

    Steve House on #17434

    Jon, Jakob-
    Please don’t run with a pack on. The weights are indeed for hiking. Running with a significant amount of weight will likely lead to injury!

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