Z1 running with ADS?

  • Creator
  • #52727

    Hey everyone, love these forums and the great info in here!

    I’ve been training (semi-structured) for the last 14 months. My Aet is 150, and from a recent half marathon time trial (avg HR 180, 4min/km) I think it’s safe to say my Ant is above 180 (185ish).

    Despite keeping all of my running in Z2 for the past 14 months, due to I think running too long on my long runs and not recovering well I ended up burning out and injured.

    At that point I re-examined my training, took a few very easy weeks and am getting back into things slowly. My question is concerning how much volume should I do in Z2 vs Z1 – My Z2 pace is about 5:10min/km on flats and 6:15ish on moderately hilly terrain – while these runs feel pretty easy I’m afraid they could still be too hard to properly recover from? Does it make sense for me to continue pushing Z2 until my AeT increases? I find it hard to believe that it would get up within 10% of 185 or is it smarter to add in more Z1 and recovery work while increasing the mileage?

    Any tips would be hugely appreciated, thanks!

Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Participant
    PaulB on #52841

    Yes, you can get within 10% of your AnT of 185 but it might take a while especially if only have limited training time each week (you didn’t mention your weekly training time). Continuous work, progressive building, and patience will get you there.

    If you’re worried about burning out or getting injured you could try a 2:1 build:recovery structure. A “traditional” 3:1 gives 13 recovery weeks per year (assuming you train every single week) but a 2:1 gives 17 recovery weeks, so you get a full month of extra recovery each year.

    Slow down your ramp rate (how much time/mileage you add each week), at least of the Z2 mileage. If you want to ramp up faster, make the excess time very easy Z1 or recovery, even if it means brisk walking. Eventually you’ll max out your available training time with the Z1 and recovery and then you can slowly replace it with Z2 if you want.

    Make mid-Z2 your max training HR. There’s several mentions on the forum that AeT varies day to day so if your AeT is 150 and you train at 148-150 every day then you might be going over your AeT several days per week if your AeT that day is actually lower due to fatigue or life stress. Maybe shoot for 140 set 145 as you max training HR.

    Lastly, on the uphills, don’t be afraid to slow down to a walk. A brisk uphill walk is often easier on your legs than running and you can probably still keep a low Z2 HR.

    With all that said, I don’t know what your goals are or what your timeline is for those goals. For my own training I’m taking the long view because I usually have 2 “big” events per year those are trips with friends, not competitions, so I can afford to make slower progress. But seeing that progress while not getting burned out is also pretty motivating.

    jd.swainson on #53002

    Hi Paul,

    Really appreciate the good advice! I’ve been doing between 4 and 7 hours/week over 4 training days. Looking back I made plenty of mistakes – recovery weeks were only 20% less volume than peak weeks, and I did stick fairly close to the top range of Aet especially on the second half of long runs.

    The 2:1 build/recovery weeks is a good idea, rather be cautious and healthy! I’ve put together quite a conservative plan for a 50k a few months from now and a 50mile trail run in the fall. I’ve previously raced marathon distances on a few hours of training per week but definitely wasn’t in great form and was at risk of injury – hence the taking it slow and getting stronger approach.

    Slightly off topic but when putting together long term training plans with a limited time available in a week (avg 7-10hrs max) how do you prevent a plateau once the max duration has been reached? As I understand it base training involves slowly but constantly increasing mileage/vertical but how do you periodize the training once increasing time on feet becomes the constraint? Still a ways away from this of course but would like to plan well.


    PaulB on #53053

    Hi Jeremy,

    I have maxed out my training time but not yet for an extended period, but I will face that over the next months. As I understand, you can still see improvements even after you’ve maxed out your time. You can see some improvements in AeT (especially if AeT is still well below AnT) and your pace can also improve.

    You can always change things up to see improvements. Try max strength and/or hill sprints, the gym based ME workouts, some Z3 work, run flatter/faster routes for a while, find even steeper routes, etc. Or do a month of less training (maybe 70% of what you were doing) and do structural work (hips, glutes, etc.) to get a good recovery and then increase back to your max time again.

    But, like I say, I haven’t faced that yet so maybe someone who has can give more ideas.


    Anonymous on #55124

    It wouldn’t be surprising at all to get within 10% of 185, perhaps closer. I’ve seen AeT be within 5% of an AnT HR in the low-190s.

    As your speed increases, more your fatigue will be neuromuscular rather than metabolic. When this happens, more of your volume needs to come from lower intensities. This is totally normal and a good sign of a stronger base.

    When thresholds get close together, Z2 training will becomes almost as fatiguing as Z3. At that point, it’s trained with intervals rather than continuous sessions.

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