Hej Alex, one question is whether over time you have more-or-less followed the same training structure. In such a case you may have adapted to that increased volume and plateaued and your body needs new training stimuli. Taking a critical look at your training structure would be useful, whether done on your own or with a coach to provide an outside perspective.
Forum Replies Created
rich.b on March 15, 2023 at 6:22 am · in reply to: Increasing Training Volume but no progress? #76347rich.b on July 30, 2022 at 12:23 am · in reply to: Downhill training #69557
Similar to others, my HR downhill will never come up to what it is on the uphill. Separate from that, as to getting faster downhill, obviously downhill training is key. However, I find that regular speedwork training is also essential. Despite more vertical in recent years, I have actually gotten slower on the downhills because I have gotten lazy about speedwork — both intervals and tempo sessions. (I will admit there is also an age factor.) That kind of speedwork without adding the technical component of trails and downhills was essential for me for developing good leg speed and efficient turnover, which I could then apply to downhill running on trails once winter ended.rich.b on June 4, 2022 at 11:36 am · in reply to: Overtraining #67992
Good question. Keep in mind that overtraining is not just about ’overtraining’ as a standalone issue. Overtraining syndrome results from a chronic state where the cumulative total of all stresses is greater relative to recovery – this includes the actual training, but also all other life stresses in relation to the recovery, which would include sleep quantity and quality and nutrition. Fatigue from a harder/longer run or during a particular training block with higher volume or intensity is normal, but when this is a chronic state then there can be problems. Which I had the joy of experiencing for a large part of 2021. Just keep in mind to insure adequate recovery day-to-day, but also with regular periods of recovery.
Cheers.rich.b on May 23, 2022 at 8:12 am · in reply to: What to do with strong, but maybe useless quads? #67508
As a formerly avid telemarker back in the mid/late-1980s and a runner since, I can say that running never helped me much the few times I ever pulled out the old tele-skis (Karhu Extreme, so we are talking pretty old). Different demands, as you describe from the other direction. So seemingly there is a lot of aerobic base building to be done. However, by your description of what you are doing when you bike, it gives the impression you are working too hard, especially how you describe on a bike trainer. Your approach to training may be subconsciously biased from your long experience from telemarking, as suggested by your references to power output and strength intervals. Endurance building is slow, steady work.
Wiser voices will likely/hopefully come with better comments, but what you describe is essentially one of the key topics Uphill Athlete focuses on – aerobic deficiency: https://uphillathlete.com/aerobic-deficiency-syndrome/
/richrich.b on May 18, 2022 at 4:01 am · in reply to: Easy running in zone 1 and 2 feely extremely difficult after recovering from OTS #67321
OTS for me was a combination of same amount of training hours per week (9–12 hours/week) during winter 20/21 but broken up into more smaller bits to accommodate running, training with an adult dog and building up the condition of a puppy – for quite a while it was 30-45 minutes 3 times per day; and reduced sleep quality with a puppy (compounded by our early sunrise in the far north; 3:15 a.m. right now). The transition out of winter 20/21 to bare ground season physically seemed to start well, but the chronic under-recovery from reduced sleep quality I believe was the bigger factor that did me in. Although maybe the specific circumstances were unique, it was essentially classic chronic imbalance between recovery and stress.
More-or-less recovered from OTS now, I believe; the main challenge is still re-calibrating the balance between the bikejoring/skijoring with the 2 dogs and running, but it is working well now. I have avoided longer runs (>2.5 hr) so far and am only just rebuilding that endurance – but think during July I should be back pretty close to a normal solid base and plan on a 100k in August. For that, however, I will not be at 100% race form, so the goal will be to put in a good, but very controlled effort and not go absolutely all in.rich.b on May 17, 2022 at 8:16 am · in reply to: Easy running in zone 1 and 2 feely extremely difficult after recovering from OTS #67300
Last summer I dealt with OTS and it was similar to how you describe it, where the effort felt hard but HR did not increase in similar fashion and resting HR was maybe 2-3 bpm higher than when properly rested. The path into and path out of OTS are likely individual, but for me it was a matter of patience and accepting I dug myself into a bit of a hole (but I can try to lay the blame on raising a second dog for skijoring). Not getting outside was not a realistic/acceptable option, so I did continue to train, but with reduced volume, only easier effort (both in terms of RPE and HR), and no long runs – the total opposite of what would normally describe the summer season. Just as with coming back from an injury, every now and then I would push for a short section just to test how it felt, but never as a sustained effort. In short, it was a patience game.rich.b on May 13, 2022 at 4:48 am · in reply to: Troubleshooting performance at elevation and training #67096
As you note, George, reality is not alway conducive to doing what is optimal. All research comes with caveats, which for acclimatising typically includes focus on elite athletes, small study groups, specific altitudes, specific timeframes. The declines in performance with altitude occur pretty much immediately, and day 1 is the already the low point (up to day 3). Fly-in/fly-out is a bit of misnomer, because you have travel to the starting line, which means you are likely well into day 1 or even into day 2. After day 3 there seems to to be the start of a recovery. As noted already, 14 days is the optimal compromise based on athletes needing to move between competitions (although the optimal is a few months) for parameters such as power output and time to exhaustion, but after 7 days you get about half way there (Schuler et al. 2007. Scand J Med Sci Sports). Hydration as Lindsay points out is always considered important.
When I was going to run in the Alps for the first time – I live at sea level in a low-topography landscape – I spent a chunk of time researching what to do about acclimatising (I work at a uni so have incredible access to research journals), and aimed for one week before race day (partly a good excuse for a family vacation). There were two parts to acclimatising, I believe: one was some adaptation to the altitude (the race finished at 3000 m) and getting a sense of how it impacted me, the second was also mentally adapting pacing to the much longer climbs paired with altitude. It was not only a matter of going from 30 m above sea level to 3000 m, but also from training on a hill with only 47 m of vertical to continuous climbs lasting up to 1000 m of vertical. The point I am trying to get at, is that I found it critical to re-calibrate my pacing and effort and get a better sense of where I felt like I was red-lining and risking a blow out versus what felt sustainable. I suppose settling into your own pace/rhythm might be easier in a race than if on an adventure outing with a partner. And not being paid to acclimatise as a professional athlete, we can only do what reality allows.rich.b on May 6, 2022 at 6:57 am · in reply to: Running form while training #66671
Not to cop out, but training both running and hiking are important – glutes are critical for both. But running and hiking have different gaits, where hiking does use the calves more. A critical question to ask is how much you hike versus run on uphills – this should dictate which you emphasise (as Thomas was indicating). That said, I consider them equally important, which includes as well the ability to rapidly transition back and forth based on both on variations in terrain and in racing strategy at particular points.
For training, on the tiny local ski hill (all of 47 m of vertical) I will do some repeats as runs and some repeats where I switch mid-way where the incline steepens a bit from running to power hiking (with or without poles). [Or at least will do them once the snow melts enough to leave an open track up.]rich.b on May 3, 2022 at 3:40 am · in reply to: 50k in 6 weeks? #66497
As long as your goal for the 50 km is in line with where your training is at, it would be doable. What to do with the 6 weeks (now a bit less) until then is the question, and my thoughts only reflect how I would approach it if I were in your situation. Subtracting for a period of recovery/taper before hand then this leaves less than 5 weeks, and ramping up both distance and vertical simultaneously can be a tall order. How to balance those (endurance, vertical) also depends somewhat on your strengths/weaknesses in those areas – that is, what will give you the most payoff over the short timeframe.
I am more comfortable (psychologically as much as physically) having confidence in my endurance first, and for me a few dedicated vertical sessions go a long way. The idea of running the 32 km course with 1500 m vertical as a training round sounds good (and like a good day out on its own), because it hits both of the points: one, it would let you know if 50 km would be a stretch and you could make the switch in race distance if it feels like 50 km would not be a good idea; and two, based on your comments that maybe your vertical training thus far is limited, it would prime your quads for the downhills on race day. If you don’t have the vertical base, then this would possibly destroy your quads for a few days or more, so best done 2 weeks out from the race in order to be recovered. That would leave less than 4 weeks until then, over which time endurance might pay off more, but with some hill sessions to prep for the training round on the 32 km course.
Anyway, an interesting challenge as to how to approach it!rich.b on April 29, 2022 at 3:03 am · in reply to: What to do when recovering from ME workouts #66370
The answer is likely individual, and for me it would depend where I am in the big picture of a training cycle. Running on tired legs can be good sometimes, but I would not want to do that on a regular basis nor if it is more than average DOMS. In such cases I opt to cycle because I can still do a productive training session, and I find it helps recovery from DOMS more than doing total rest.
More fundamental, however, might be figuring out what is it within the ME workouts that is leaving you with such lasting DOMS that significantly impacts your running. I would consider the equation from that side maybe first.
cheers/richrich.b on March 23, 2022 at 5:06 am · in reply to: Strict HR adherence during ultras #64651
I have found that in a race I can sustain a HR above what I could do in training, and at critical moments or challenging sections hit and sustain for a period of time HR values that in training would likely lead to blowing up. Also, it would be hard to determine what to set it at: for me, cruising on the flat at 5 min/km, HR is maybe 115 or so, and on a hard, reasonably long uphill push where I typically gain time and places I might be sustaining 145-150 (for me this is quite high, observationally my HR values and zones are seemingly very low compared to most others; your middle zone 1 is into my zone 4). Sometimes you also find that you are running in a small group that begins to split, and it can beneficial to stick with the fast train on that break when you sense those falling off the back would be too slow. If I were to stick to HR zones 1-2 then I would lose ground on the uphills and miss sticking with the right group. Last, I live at sea level, but have raced a few times at higher elevations (1000–3000 m), which adds complexity to setting HR values. Consequently I remain old school and have always relied in races on perceived effort – if I track HR, it is only for curiousity.rich.b on March 10, 2022 at 7:11 am · in reply to: Plant Based Diet #64089
A couple important points to add some clarity. First, penmypaper is not in the least a reliable source of information – it is a paper-writing mill for students looking to cheat. For reliable sources of information, it is necessary to go straight to the research articles themselves. Second, based on the misguided source of information, there seems to be a misunderstanding by Cadmium what a plant-based diet is. It is not simply a pile of vegetables or fruit on a plate, but includes all plant-sourced foods including whole grains, seeds, nuts, pulses, legumes and more. Energy density is not an issue.
A proper, diversified plant-based diet, based on whole-foods, can easily meet the nutritional and energy demands of any outdoor athlete, but any healthy diet, whether flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan, requires some forethought and effort. A risk for some people switching to a mostly or all plant-based diet is that this is done solely by reducing/eliminating meat, dairy and/or eggs, rather than thinking about it holistically. There is quite a bit of research on vegan and vegetarian diets within sports science, which shows no negatives and possibly benefits (for example, the ongoing NURMI study, with several recent papers by Wirnitzer and co-workers), and more broadly within epidemiology that shows positive effects particularly regarding cardiovascular disease. There are also good reviews addressing macro- and micronutrient issues for vegan/vegetarian athletes (for example, Fuhrman and Ferreri, 2010, in Current Sports Medicine Reports), where, for example, B12 can be a concern requiring supplements. Game Changers has a lot of merits, I think they represented the science fairly well, but it is short on ‘how to’, so if you are unsure where to start, then having a discussion with a dietician/nutritionist could be a useful starting point, as suggested.
One person’s experience is only anecdotal, so the only personal note I will make is that I am in my late-50’s and have been vegan for more than six years, and it has not impacted my ability to sustain a training habit of 10+ hours per week and run ultras when I occasionally decide to. In all honesty it is impossible to state objectively whether I recover faster, have less inflammation, etc. – I have no reference ‘me’ to compare to. It is only fair to say I can train a lot and diet is not a limiting factor. With that switch I did and still do spend a great deal of time reading the research literature out of personal interest, and spend more time and effort cooking; more plants in the diet means more time at the cutting board, but also opened the door to seeking out new foods and new recipes. Importantly, by your description at the start of this thread, your current diet is not working so well, so there is only going forwards – and I wish you luck in your progress.rich.b on January 10, 2022 at 12:43 pm · in reply to: Shoes for skyraces #61875
Shoe choice is obviously very terrain specific and then what fits your feet. That said, as someone who has run in the S/lab speed and still does and that running in the Swedish fjäll can be analagous to your fell terrain, I can relate to your question. The Speed are a great shoe for mountainous terrain where muddy, boggy conditions and/or steeper mountain terrain are encountered — although my criticism of particularly Speed 2 is they do not drain well, and I was unlikely to a second pair of those had they continued. The original Inov-8 x-talon 212 were the best, but they changed the last and materials and subsequent versions never fit my feet.
If not expecting much mud and thus mostly harder ground or rocky conditions, my preference is the Inov-8 Terraultra G270. The grip for me is very good and the shoe takes a beating. I’ve put a lot of km on my first pair. When the Speed 2 wear out (not so much the sole as the material due to wet, boggy running) I am looking at Inov-8 Mudclaw G260 as the next bog shoe. Sadly I have nowhere to try them on. I know VJs can be popular, but the fit haven’t worked for me. Hard to choose with the vast number of shoes out there nowadays.rich.b on September 16, 2021 at 1:16 am · in reply to: Hip/low Back Pain #57071
Finding the right PT is challenging for sports-related issues, but that will help identify where the root(s) of your problem lie.
Your description fits what I experienced this spring, with pain from the iliac crest across to the lumbar. Somehow made the wrong movement and the wrong time when I was tired. This occurred right before the summer when it was impossible to find an available sports PT but I had to do 10 days of fieldwork out of country involving carrying and lifting sampling equipment. Compensating for that problem set off a chain of issues. Although I had just had to let that inflammation calm down with time, an eventual visit to a PT confirmed my self-assessment that an (the?) underlying cause is an imbalance in strength and in particular for me the gluteus medius on one side – as you are suspecting. A by-product of all this has been an aggravated tensor fascia latae, which when aggravated after a harder run can cause tenderness in the ITB (and ultimately could impact stabilisation of the knee). Classic kinetic chain effect. This seems to be what you are describing, but it is useful to get help in identifying in your case what/where is the cause and what/where is the effect, so that the right muscles get targeted in a rehab program.rich.b on September 15, 2021 at 4:18 am · in reply to: Increased heart rate after a week off #57022
Making ‘good’ use of a coffee break, I spent some time searching the research literature on Web of Science. I was curious because the amount increase in HR seemed high (from the perspective of my n=1).
That said, most studies following detraining of endurance athletes often look at 2 week or longer intervals, and in those studies the average is typically 3-6 beat increase – but higher values like yours are also reported. Even with a taper HR apparently will increase.
An older, well-cited review paper:
Zavorsky (2000) Evidence and Possible Mechanisms of Altered Maximum Heart Rate With Endurance Training and Tapering. Sports Med 29:13-26.