Started tracking total volume vs aerobic – should I correct?

  • Creator
  • #50953
    Tyler Johnson

    I’m nearing the end of the transition period for the TFTNA training program. In the book under “Building your own base period endurance plan” it says “Count only the aerobic volume when planning the progression of training. … If you have been using the full weekly training volume to build your progression don’t worry that this is going to ruin your training plan.”

    Well, that’s me. Based on comments here, elsewhere, and who knows what I turned “Count everything!” into “Strength/climbing time counts towards your total volume.” And it seemed to fit the examples in the book, at least at first.

    Now I’m preparing the training plan for base week 1 and the examples are breaking down. A long Z1 of 30%, steep Z1/Z2 of 20%, two Max Strength sessions, and 45min of climbing leaves me with only 10 minutes for the “rest of the volume.”

    Any recommendations on how to proceed? I’m finishing the transition period at around 4 hours total. I’ve considered recalculating to have base week 1 be 2.5 hrs aerobic + strength + climbing. It would work out to about the same total volume, although my “long Z1” runs would be less than half what I’ve been running.

    Edit: Current log attached. There’s some (drastic) variation in hours for the first few weeks as I was trying to figure things out.

    Edit:edit: This training program has been amazing! I used to hike a lot but running was rarely above 5k. On week 5 I casually ran a 10k!

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    miles on #50963

    Hi Tyler – I had the same question recently. I was trying to manage 10+ hours of weekly aerobic volume, plus a cragging day and strength training, that wasn’t feeling sustainable for early in the base period.

    I found this thread to be very useful, but am still not 100% on the “best” thing.

    Curious to read more on this topic.

    Shashi on #50991

    miles – thanks for sharing the forum thread. It has some really good inputs from Scott.


    My strength workout duration does not change from week to week. For e.g. in the Base Period, I am doing two Max Strength Sessions (each 1.5 hours) and it remains the same for the entire Base Period. Strength Training gets captured (in Training Peaks) as part of the total training volume and I manually add TSS.

    Aerobic (Z1/Z2) volume changes as I progress through the training. e.g. Base Period Week 1 Z1/Z2 volume is around 6 hours 20 minutes and in Week 2 it is 6 hours 55 minutes. Week 3, it increases by another 30 minutes.

    Climbing for me is limited to indoor climbing in winter and is usually less than 30 minutes of actual time on the wall. I just add this as an additional workout to account for volume/TSS.

    In your case, one way to schedule your Base Period Week 1:

    Long Aerobic workout: 1 hour 20 minutes
    Steep Uphill workout: 40 minutes
    Another Aerobic workout: 40 minutes
    Recovery Run/Jog: 20 minutes
    2 Max Strength Sessions: 45 min. each (1 hour 30 minutes)

    For Week 2, keep strength sessions the same and increase aerobic volume. Please note that the above recommendation is based on how my 24-week mountaineering training is structured. Feel free to adjust based on your experience and comfort level.

    If you are climbing consistently every week and the additional volume (45 minutes) is impacting your ability to do other workouts, then lower volume from some of the other workouts to include climbing time.

    Hope this is helpful.

    Tyler Johnson on #51020

    Miles, thanks for the link. I’ve read through that one a number of times, believe me! It has some great insights into the “why” and is part of what lead me to ask here about how to proceed.

    Shashi, it sounds like your recommendation is to keep what I’ve been doing? Your example is pretty close to how my projected base week 1 looks with climbing swapped for another aerobic workout.

    Sorry if I’m getting that wrong. I understand that only aerobic workouts increase in volume and that’s what I’ve been doing so far. I’ve just been calculating everything based on the total volume, if that makes sense.

    Shashi on #51025

    Tyler – your understanding is correct.

    Tyler Johnson on #51065

    Thanks Shashi! I appreciate the help you’ve given me on all the questions I’ve had!

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