Zone 2 and ADS – Should I Run Trails, or no?

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  • #50864
    ryan.ernstes
    Participant

    I’ve recently discovered that I am Aerobically Deficient, so I’ve set out to build my aerobic base by doing almost all my training in Zones 1 & 2. After about 2 months of base training, my AeT is approximately 136.

    The trouble is, I live in an area with excellent trail running and a lot of vert. I basically have to walk all uphills in order to keep within my aerobic threshold. Should I keep avoiding trails and sustained hills until my AeT increases, or should I train on trails too, but run VERY slowly? It feels really frustrating not to be able to run the great trails I have nearby. Any advice would be welcomed. Thanks!

Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Participant
    l.tregan on #50878

    There isn’t anything bad about going above the AeT by itself, the problem is the consequence of not spending enough time below AeT. People tend to go full speed and spend a lot of time in Z3+, then they are tired and not able to add another Z2 training session so they miss the aerobic training.

    If you run the uphills and the next day you are recovered, able to go on another run comfortably, you feel you can run every day for a week, that means the ratio Z1-Z2 vs Z3-Z4 is good.

    “The best stimulus is time” 😉

    Participant
    Shashi on #50920

    Ryan,

    You don’t have to avoid trails, just watch your heart rate and keep it below your AeT. As your AeT improves, your pace will increase. Your frustration is common with people who have ADS.

    Here is a forum discussion that you might find helpful –

    Beginner: I want to Run not Walk RE: AeT base training frustration 🙂

    Participant
    Diana on #50927

    Hi,

    Just a personal perspective here. I, like you, live in a place with fantastic trails with lots of vert (Lake Tahoe area) and am aerobically deficient. I’ve been venturing from my normal trail hike/runs to doing one run per week on flat terrain on the bike path. I think it’s good for higher leg turnover and running economy, and I can run the whole time under AeT with a couple minutes faster pace. I’ve resisted the pavement for so long, but now I actually find it fun because I get to go faster! But not fun enough to do it more than once a week!

    Participant
    ryan.ernstes on #50928

    Cool, thanks for sharing this perspective!

    Participant
    AshRick on #50980

    My personal journey the past few months…

    I’ve got great trails here. Issue is…my go-to trails are pretty much >10% grade. Meaning — I walked them all for the past year. Even did some 4-hour days, with 4500+ feet of vert. Walking up, running down.

    Then I took an easy week. Then did a 3-week block with Tuesdays as 3-4 x 8′ Zn4 (at or above AnT) uphill intervals with 5-7′ easy between. Good warmup and cooldown. Uphill routes were chosen so they were runnable. 3-6% grade. These are not flat-out intervals. Choose an effort that you *could* hold for an hour if you needed to.

    Saturday run: Warmup, then the same intervals as Tuesday, then continue on with 1.5 – 2.0 hour Zn1 run. Saturday runs were tough, but I still did easy runs Sunday and was recovered after day off Monday.

    Before that block, I had to focus to keep HR under 145 (AeT). Now I have to focus in the other direction to get above 140! Going over 140 is now “work.”

    I can now run up some of the grades I used to walk. As soon as it flattens out, HR drops right back down under 140.

    That tempo block worked out great. But — I only did it after about six months of basic Z1-2 running (and walking) all the time.

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #51535

    I basically have to walk all uphills in order to keep within my aerobic threshold.

    Great news. The problem is your expectations, not your ability. 99% of people will need to walk uphill sections. This is totally normal.

    Should I keep avoiding trails and sustained hills until my AeT increases, or should I train on trails too, but run VERY slowly?

    The latter.

    It feels really frustrating not to be able to run the great trails I have nearby. Any advice would be welcomed.

    As mentioned, don’t be frustrated. “Mountain running” is used because it’s sexier than “hiking races.” Almost everyone, always, walks the uphills, even pros if it’s steep enough.

    Participant
    AshRick on #51573

    “As mentioned, don’t be frustrated. “Mountain running” is used because it’s sexier than “hiking races.” Almost everyone, always, walks the uphills, even pros if it’s steep enough.”

    Yes! This is so true. I posted a pretty strong round trip up and down Half Dome, for my age group (No. 1 round trip on Strava; No. 2 uphill). And I ran maybe 500 yards of the uphill part. I got up in 2:40 moving time, vs a typical 5-6 hour hike. So…it’s still race-pace. But it wasn’t really running.

    It has been a pleasant surprise to me just how fast I can hike uphill as I’ve built fitness. My Saturday workout is 6.5 miles, with 4000ft of vert. I can get up that comfortably in under 2 hours now. Well within Z1-2. And I run maybe a half mile of that where it’s flat.

    There’s a blog post out there of a proven pacing strategy for Leadville that involves 60 miles of walking, and coming in comfortably under the 30 hour cutoff.

    Participant
    ryan.ernstes on #51574

    Awesome, thanks everyone for the encouragement. This has been really helpful!

    Participant
    krainlarry on #51727

    I am doing the 50k training plan. As my mileage increases, the run duration on trail is getting quite long. I’m worried about overtraining with hours on trail. Should I just suck it up, or do long runs on road? Thanks

    Participant
    Garret on #51735

    If your target event is on trails you’re best served by running long on trails.

    I was wondering why you’re concerned that running trails would lead to overtraining ?

    I’d be inclined to suggest agressively monitoring recovery levels, listening to your body and watching for the usual warning signs. Adjust your training plan as needed.

    On a personal note, I’ve found that I do better with more recovery. I use a 3 week cycle of 2 build weeks and 1 recovery week. As a result I’ve had no significant injuries. It’s a marked contrast from the all to frequent overuse injuries I used to suffer when using the typical 4 week cycle (3 build, 1 recovery).

    It makes hardly any difference to the overall duration of a 20 week plan.

    I adjust my Uphill Athlete plans in training peaks accordingly.

    – Garret.

    Participant
    Diego on #57558

    Hi Shashi! I don’t see the link you posted. Could you put it as an answer in this thread? Thanks

    Participant
    Shashi on #57574

    Here is the link I had shared earlier –

    Beginner: I want to Run not Walk RE: AeT base training frustration 🙂

    Participant
    Diego on #57592

    Thanks Shashi! The link I see only in the mail and not on the topic. You should solve this problem.

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #57593

    Hey Diego,

    Thanks for the feedback. The flaky visibility of links is not something that we can solve. It’s a bug in the forum software that we use.

    Scott S.

    Participant
    Dada on #57597

    @Diego:

    Links are not visible on mobile devices. You need to switch to desktop view to see the links.

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