Volume distribution and Z4 training in the BIG VERT plan

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  • #48373


    I have 2 questions regarding the BIG VERT plan, that I can’t see have been asked yet – apologies if they have.

    1. I’m training for a 44K race. That means the 20min runs either side of the hill sprints (which I’m supposed to count towards the weekly total) will amount to >10% of the weekly volume. In the remainder of the weekly plan, there are 3x Z1 runs (amounting to 10% each), a Z2 run (20%), and a long run (50%). I was wondering how to divide the week up so the volume adds up to 100%?

    2. Does Z4 training have any place in the plan (could it be incorporated somewhere, or the plan extended to incorporate it)? I read in TFTUA that it could be introduced when Z3=10% of weekly time, which looks like its achieved between weeks 15-18. But then I think I’ve read elsewhere on the forum that 30/30’s are the preferred method of introducing intensity, which also makes sense given they are less race-specific?

    Many thanks


Posted In: Mountain Running

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    Anonymous on #48392


    1) When in doubt add more aerobic base training volume. In your case that sounds like it needs to be in Z1. It does not matter what days this occurs.

    2) There is plenty of Z3-4 training in the plan after the ME block. We use the ME block as a preparation for the more conventional high intensity interval training. You get more from those Z4 intervals if you have more fatigue resistance legs. Doing Z4 during the ME block runs a big risk of overtraining. Z4 has a powerful ME training effect so you’d be placing a big ME load on each week. You may be able to do that depending on your work capacity but I’d be careful and add that in very slowly to see hoe you respond.


    siflower on #48397

    Great, thank you. I’ll just soak up the extra Z1.

    I can’t see any Z4 on the training plan though – only Z3 uphill intervals from week 10 onwards – am I missing something?


    Aaron on #48407

    If I recall correctly the Friday hill sprints that start at 8 to 10 sec progess to ~2 min efforts late in the program, I think that is where the z4 comes in.

    siflower on #48409

    Ah, thanks Aaron – I hadn’t clocked that.

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