Trail Running

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  • #9549
    max_frey
    Participant

    Hi,

    For the past 10 weeks I’ve followed a self-written structured training plan based on TFTNA — I’m doing 1-2 strength workouts / week, 1-2 runs (45 mins to an hour but almost all at 14:00min/mile pace in zone 1, ~55 miles logged) and one long hike/ski tour a week.

    Here’s what I’m wondering. I went for my first trail run last night (I was well rested and ready to go), and realized how hard they are. Basically instantly, my HR was above 160. In nearly any running form, no matter how slow, I was above 150, even when I felt like I was somewhat-comfortably breathing. The run was varied terrain, but no major climbs.

    So my question is, how do I reconcile this type of workout in a training plan? Is this type of workout OK to sprinkle in to my weeks? From what I’ve read, it sounds like it’s a classic no-man’s-land effort.

    If a goal of mine is to do this type of workout in zone 1 (and with more climbing and longer distance), what “direction” do I come at it from — spend all my time in zone 1, until my pace increases with aerobic power? Is the trail environment just harder, and thus there’s just going to need to be some of these workouts to adapt to it, before I can even hold zone 1 comfortably?

    Typically I run twice a week, and hike once. Should I bump up the running at this point and keep hammering at zone 1?

    And finally — if anyone has any info / recommendations on Luke Nelson’s mountain running plan, I’m strongly considering buying it. Any information / experience with the plan would be awesome.

Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Moderator
    Scott Semple on #9553

    Hi Max,

    Here are a couple things to try:

    * First, do a workout in flat terrain, but only breathing through your nose. Start out walking. Over the course of 30-40 minutes very gradually increase the pace. Note at what heart rate it becomes difficult to breathe through your nose. At that HR or just below is your aerobic threshold.

    Note that it’s important to approach it gradually to get a good estimation of the threshold. Read this: https://uphillathlete.com/step-by-step-diy-guide-to-determine-your-aerobic-threshold-outdoors/

    * Second, on trail runs, stay below that aerobic threshold heart rate, even if you have to walk.

    * Third, keep on keeping on! It sounds like you’re on the right track.

    I hope that helps.

    Scott

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