Weekly Volume planning

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  • #26950
    uphill_dhamma
    Participant

    Hi everybody,

    being this my first post, it seems quite an obvious thing to do, but I can’t thank Steve, Scott and Kilian (and all the people on this MB as well) enough for all the precious knowledge shared on TFTUA.

    I’m actually planning my next (ultra) mountain running season and I’ve got some questions regarding an ideal weekly volume progression.

    On TFTUA there are examples based on the athlete category and goal races, all of them indicating distance.

    The progression are clear: 10-12% increases with one recovery -50% week.
    If this distance-wise progression is clear, what I’m trying to figure out is basically how much elevation gain and how to distribute it during the week.

    Do I have to plan my progression based on my goal event of the season?
    Let’s say the race is 80Km 4500m D+: do I have to plan my “elevation gain progression” with peak volumes of 4500D+ per week?

    I don’t know if I’m doing it wrong or missing something, but what I’m trying to do right now is to plan a weekly volume in terms of distance and elevation gain, then distribute these 2 metrics (in terms of %) among the various workouts according to the week type (base, intensity, recovery, spec., etc…).

    (sorry for my bad english).

    Thanks

Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Moderator
    Scott Semple on #27002

    …what I’m trying to do right now is to plan a weekly volume in terms of distance and elevation gain, then distribute these 2 metrics (in terms of %) among the various workouts according to the week type (base, intensity, recovery, spec., etc…)

    That sounds like a good plan to me. You’ll want to progress both the distance and elevation gain throughout your macrocycle, so your approach makes sense.

    Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #27025

    Re-read the the discussion on pages 304 and 305 of Training for the Uphill Athlete. Notice it says that you should aim to hit your goal event’s vertical during 2 weeks of the base period.

    Progress to this starting with 30-50% of the event vertical in the early weeks.

    Train on as similar terrain as you can to the event. Then the vertical and distance progression will come at about the same rate. By this I mean that on flat terrain the distance will go up faster than the vertical in the progression and in steep terrain the opposite happens.

    Scott

    Participant
    uphill_dhamma on #27080

    Hi Scott(s),

    thank you for clarifying!

    This leads me to my next questions.
    In the book you specify Early and Late Base Period.
    Let’s say I’m planning 2-3 goal A (may-july) events for the next season, along with some B and C tune up races in the middle.

    I’m now at the beginning of my Transition Period, so no worries about time, but what I would like to know is when to consider all those “B” (base) weeks Late or Early.

    Do you mean “early” and “late” according to the macrocycles or the whole season?
    Try to better explain: will be there some early and late B weeks for every macrocycles / “A” race or absolute early (september > february) and late (from march towards the end of the season) base weeks?
    I hope you understand my doubt.

    I also have another question regarding the main topic (weekly elevation gain) of my post.

    Let’s say I’m planning one of the Base weeks leading up to my A race (80k 4500mD+).
    The goal would be to do 2 Late Base (peak?) weeks of 4500D+ each.

    From the example at page 353 i see this scenario.

    weekly Elevation: 4500mD+ (100%)

    d1 – off
    d2 – 15% weekly vert = 675
    d3 – 10% of time = ?
    d4 – 10% of distance= ?
    d5 – 10% weekly vert = 450
    d6 – 15% weekly vert = 675
    d7 – 40% weekly vert = 1800

    in this way there are something like 900m left ti distribute on the days where the elevation is not a specified target (d3 and d4).

    is this the right approach?
    my concern here is: in my previous training seasons I’ve always added lots of runs on flat and gentle terrain, also adding speed workouts (some of them on track).
    in this way I do not have the time and room for flat runs: I fear I’m missing something.

    Thanks and sorry for all this confusion.

    Participant
    uphill_dhamma on #27253

    just, wondering (but maybe I’m, again, super-wrong).. is that meant to be to work with double workouts (AM/PM)?

    Participant
    uphill_dhamma on #27324

    any idea? 🙂

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #27397

    I’m not sure I understand the question, but I think that Early and Late will refer to their place in the macrocycle.

    If more specific training (i.e. uphill runs) take up so much time that you don’t have room for flat runs, I think that’s okay. They’re more specific to your event.

    Does that answer your question?

    Participant
    uphill_dhamma on #27414

    Hi Scott,

    thank you very much for the help.

    My concern is about the distribution of the vertical during the week.

    Take the Late Base example I mentioned in my post, based on a week scheme according to page 353 in the book.

    If I understand well, if my goal event is 80k 4500mD+, it would be good to hit that volume during 2 weeks in the building up phase.

    Speaking only about vertical gain, if I look at the % of the total elevation (4500m), this would be the distribution:

    d1 – off
    d2 – 15% weekly vert = 675
    d3 – 10% of time = 450m (??)
    d4 – 10% of distance= 450m (??)
    d5 – 10% weekly vert = 450
    d6 – 15% weekly vert = 675
    d7 – 40% weekly vert = 1800

    As you can see there will be no space available for flat runs unless I double some days or dramatically increase the distance on those 10% days (d3 d4) in order to better distrubute the vertical gain and turn them in some kind of gentle / rolling terrain ones.

    But, I’m sure, I’m doing something wrong with this.

    Thanks!

    Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #27453

    If I understand your question correctly you want to know how to fit flat, extra runs into the plan. I wonder why you want to do this if you are training for such an extreme event as 80km with 4500m in it. If you do add flat runs then I would suggest they are just for recovery. And you will need to include their volume onto the weekly volume of running.

    As for the distribution of the volume (time, distance, vertical) into one of these late base period weeks, recall that this is going to be one of the biggest volume weeks of the program. That example week you propose looks fine to me. One very big run in the 7 days along with 5 shorter/smaller days. I do not see any problems using the schedule you propose.

    I hope this helps.

    Scott

    Participant
    uphill_dhamma on #27456

    Hi Scott!

    For sure this helps.. A LOT.
    I think that the best answer to my doubts lays in your words:

    I wonder why you want to do this if you are training for such an extreme event as 80km with 4500m in it

    And I’m talking about the doubts I had in the last 2 years of training for these kind of events.

    With my past coaches I always wondered about the reason of all that flat training during the whole season.
    Flat speed works (6×1000, 500m, fartleks, etc..) but also recovery runs.
    I’ve always been told that “fast & flat” works fine also for big vertical gain events and to stop focusing to much on uphill workouts.
    Sometimes to me this sounded quite nonsense: one of my weakness have always been the uphill.. especially during the last climbs in such long events (8-9 hours).
    How could I improve that skill with all those “flats” weeks (some times targeting less than 2500-3000m) in my legs/body?

    I was (and I still am) quite a beginner to the sport, but maybe my intuition finds now proof in your approach.

    Basically that’s the reason why I’m avidly reading TFTUA and trying to understand WHY and HOW to train.

    I think that finally being able to lay down a training plan by myself and stick to it, is part of the achievements of this sport, thanks.

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #27481

    Track workouts can be helpful, but I agree that you’ll want some specific work with uphill runs.

    Participant
    Brinkster on #38232

    I had a similar question / clarification on pg 304/305 in TFTUA. Was the total vertical for the late base week supposed to be in a single week or two weeks combined (was answered above).

    Follow up to this, should we plan on more than 100% race vertical for any given week such as in the “I” or “S” weeks [Fig 11.7 TFTUA]. Keep the same ratio as dist/vert? Thus an 80km “S” week might have 120% of race vertical for that week (if Goal week is 68km). Cheers.

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #38380

    As a general rule, yes, but it’s pretty much impossible for both vertical and gain to mimic the sample plan in the book.

    If you’re targeting distance, then how much gain you get will depend on the average grade of the terrain and vice versa.

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