vertical vs. horizontal distance in macro cycle

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  • #46193

    In the 2nd book (TftUA, I have the german edition) I chose the “idealized plan for 50k for cat. 1 runners”.

    There the Y-axis is the distance per week (in terms of “horizontal” kilometers to run).

    In my next step I hopped to chapter 13 and looked at the example week for mountain runners. The days in this example week are described relative to the ascent (“vertical” distance) per week … which I don’t know from the upper macro cycle plan.

    Is it correct to “convert” my days like:

    instead of “15% of the weekly ascent” I took “15% of the weekly distance”



    For my case this resulted in:

    6 kilometers for the shorter runs, 16k on sunday … -> about 40k per week
    6.75 … 17.2 -> 43
    7.2 … 19.2 -> 48

    (you see my Excel-skills? ;-))

Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Participant
    sgw on #46338

    I am in week 3 now, 2nd day with 7.2 kilometers (following my questionable calculation from above).

    I strictly *avoid* hills for weeks now as I try to stay within Z1/Z2. Do I understand that correctly?

    The run on last sunday went surprisingly well, over 17k, I only walked 2 or 3 times for a minute or so to get below the ~141 bpm which seem to be my AeT for now.

    Some days even feel easy or let me think “I want to do more”. A run of ~40 minutes isn’t much work to do while trying to stay isolated because of Covid … Sure, I could do more strength and stability work 😉

    I assume I could/should do another drift test in week 4, when the overall load goes *down* ?

    It’s a new experience for me to follow a strict plan, we’ll see how that develops.

    sgw on #46432

    I just report back .. and continue my plan until someone tells me to change things 😉

    Today I promoted (is that the word?) the long run from sunday to saturday: 19.2k resulted in just below 2 hrs with 139 bpm average heart rate. A bit too high maybe, or my AeT already has increased a bit since I started.

    If I feel fit enough tomorrow I will do the skipped run (15% of weekly distance -> 7.2k for this week) then and rest on monday. OK, not exactly rest, maybe some sport climbing.

    Have a nice weekend!

    sgw on #46547

    Seems as if this question/thread slipped through somehow 😉

    I’d still like to know if I started my plan correctly by taking the weekly distance as base value for calculating the individual days (instead of the ascent).

    Thanks for any feedback here.

    sgw on #46857

    OK, another entry here, gets kind of a diary 😉 (talking to myself?):

    today I did the long run of my week 5 in the “50k beginner plan” … as I calculated it this meant 20.4k of flat Z2 work. As I skipped yesterday’s ~8k because of doing some hours of nice multipitch climbing I decided to go for the half marathon distance of 21.1k … for the motivation.

    Currently I have no TP account, not even the free one, because I assumed the free account wouldn’t calculate HR drift (does it?).

    But I have that Drift App / data field on my Garmin, and I am quite happy to see values of around *minus* 2% at around 1:00h into the run and around 3% near the end. It took me around 2:20h, no record, sure, but the focus was to stay in Z2, below 141 bpm (I had 22min in Z3, but only a few beats: max HR 145).

    Am I right that I might adjust my AeT already?

    I have to add that I have no big base of running ~40k/week before starting this plan.
    I was more of a road cycler and “speed hiker” before, not a dedicated runner. But I am getting into it 😉

    Thanks for any feedback and correction here, Stefan

    Anonymous on #47199

    Due to variations in your local terrain, distance and elevation gain will never go according to any plan. The plan is intended as a rough guide to see what a possible macrocycle would look like. You’ll need to adjust it (as you’ve done) for your particular circumstance.

    If you want to retest (AeT or AnT) then the end of a recovery week is a good time to do so. However, know that similar to training sessions, frequent tests may or may not show continuous improvement. Usually, improvement fluctuates with a general upward trend over the long-term.

    If a base session feels like something you could do day after day, then it’s a good sign that it is the right intensity and duration.

    You don’t have to avoid gain entirely during a recovery week. Go by how you feel. If your legs need a break, then minimize the gain. If they’re fresh, then add some.

    I can’t remember if the free TP account calculates drift, and I’m not familiar with the Garmin app, but neither is necessary.

    During a drift test on a FLAT course, warm up gradually for at least 15 minutes until your HR stabilizes at what you think is AeT HR. Then hold that pace for 60′. Press the lap button halfway through. So when you’re done, you’ll have one 15′ lap for the warm-up and two 30′ laps for the test.

    If the average HR in the 30′ laps is within five(ish) beats, then you can compare the average pace. Divide the average pace of the second lap by the average pace of the first. Likely the second half will be slower. If the pace drops off by less than 5%, then the pace and HR should be near AeT.

    Unlike an AnT test, an AeT drift test will feel much easier for most people. So feel free to test it more frequently.

    Aerobic Self-Assessment for Mountain Athletes

    Anonymous on #47200

    P.S. Your November 15th message is the last one that is in this thread.

    sgw on #47201

    ad your PS:

    I emailed to you with my technical issue earlier this day (this might have lead to your 2 replies) -> adding a reply failed for me today, at first the message didn’t appear (and, yes, it isn’t visible right now) and at the 2nd try it told me “duplicate entry”.

    I copy this message for reference and press SUBMIT now.

    sgw on #47616

    Thanks to Scott for the detailed reply, that drift test makes many people wonder, when I look at all the questions 😉

    I plan another AeT test at the end of the week or so, today I start week 8 in my little plan … with a rest day. I am quite happy with the progression of last month, it’s not that I see huge improvements, but only the fact that I was able to increase volume and distance each (non-recovery) week feels good.

    What I changed: I prefer to run the longest run on saturday, instead of sunday. When the weekend comes I like to attack the bigger run at first and not wait for it. So I did 24k on sat and 10 on sun/yesterday (which is quite a distance for me …). My legs were ok yesterday, that is great. So I “trust the process” and will not run today but do some core exercises instead.

    The dashboard on TP shows the increased load over the weeks etc, it motivates me. And as far as my body is able to absorb the running, things are fine with me.

    sgw on #47712

    Additional q: may I (instead of the slow run) do some ME water carry in my regeneration week? Just for a bit of change … Last winter I did several hikes with up to 20l of water, I’d like to see how that feels right now.

    Anonymous on #47777

    I would use the recovery week for the most important part of training: recovery.

    You can substitute an ME session into the first week back training.

    sgw on #47785

    Thanks for the short and clear reply, will do so.

    sgw on #47905

    So according to the plan I will start week 9 tomorrow (or tuesday, monday = rest) with another base week.

    Is that still the “begin of the base period” ? Or already “late base period?
    I ask because I want to know which week plan to look at.

    I also noticed today that there seems to be no example week plan for an “Intensity week” for mountain runners (in the german edition of TftUA)? OK, I can look at chapter 11 to get tips how to design these weeks, but I’d like to ask if there’s some example week to look at somewhere.

    thanks, Stefan

    Anonymous on #47986

    I don’t have the book in front of me, but I suspect chapter 11 will be a good template.

    sgw on #48139

    For the records: the free TP account does not calculate drift (for me ..)

    sgw on #48235

    As mentioned above I prefer to do the long run on saturday instead of sunday (the plan in the book suggests day7 = sunday for me).

    It feels better for me, but I wonder if I miss something by doing so.

    As far as I understand I am less exhausted on saturday so the long run should feel easier this way. That might decrease the overall effect of such a week … but on the other hand I am able to do a bit more volume/distance than suggested without hitting the wall so it seems to somehow work anyway (yesterday I did some easy kms more than needed, feeling still quite fit after the long run one day before).

    Maybe it’s just a question of personal preference, and the primary goal is “as long as you are able to do your stuff without injury and OTS, things will be fine”

    I just wonder if it’s a mistake to do so and what else I should adjust if I want to keep the long runs on saturday. Especially now that this week is “intensity week 1”.


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