…and The Big Picture Take-Away Point is that pace is terrain-, gear-, and surface-specific.
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12.5! As you were, I’m impressed with his precision…
As a less precise indicator, my guide friend said that you can “feel it in your skis.” If they feel like they’re still sliding forward, rather than feeling any back pressure, then you’re probably in the right range. I was skeptical at first, but there is a point when the back pressure is more noticeable, especially when putting in a new up track.
Stano at Skintrack has a good article on slope angles in skimo versus running. His conclusions:
The most efficient angle for:
- skinning for guided clients is believed to be 12 degrees.
- skinning for trained athletes is 13-16 degrees.
- skimo and uphill running isn’t the same.
- skinning is lower than the one for uphill running.
Another factor is slope angle (as NE Rando hinted with leg strength.) If your 20m/mile and 45m/mile paces are on different terrain, they’re not comparable.
I’ve put in a lot of hours of treadmill training for skimo (with running shoes, not skis.) I noticed that steeper is not always better for climb rate. (Although this is largely a huge secret to the Hulk Like Harder crowd.) There’s a “sweet spot” angle that is the right mix of horizontal and vertical effort that results in the greatest vertical meters per hour.
A ski guide friend of mine also confirmed this. Although the sweet spot angle is lower for clients than skimo racers, he can make faster progress with less effort with clients at more conservative climb angles.
(I found that my sweet spot was 25%—about 14 degrees—but I suspect the ideal grade may vary by person. As a rough rule of thumb, I noticed that for every 1% change in grade (either up or down) my climb rate would fall about 2%. So a 5% change in grade would drop my climb rate by 10%, given a constant intensity. Pretty significant!)
Below that sweet spoot angle, climb rate falls because (I assume) more effort is going toward forward motion rather than vertical. Above that angle, climb rate also falls because (I assume) more effort is going toward vertical motion than forward.
The latter may sound counter-intuitive, but think of it in a climbing context. Even if Alex Honnold can climb The Nose on El Cap in two hours (for 1,000m), he’s still slowAF compared to a skimo racer. 100% of his effort is vertical, but the rate in meters per hour is far less than he could do on lower angle terrain.
So it’s really hard to compare your two paces. They may very well be equivalent and respectable, all things considered.
I hope that helps.Scott Semple on February 23, 2022 at 8:09 am · in reply to: Heart rate monitor and avalanche beacons #63576
On a similar note, I remember reading a Mammut study several years ago that interference was an issue when other devices were within 20 cm of the transceiver. The recommendation was to keep them 50 cm away when the transceiver is in use.
But of course, being immobilized in white concrete may reduce one’s range of options.
Which Backland boot?
My first thought is gear weight:
I don’t have the worlds lightest setup but like 1600g skis and lightweight touring boots (atomic backlands).*
Even with the Backland Ultimate boot, that’s a huge difference from running shoes. It’ll have a big decrease on cadence and a big increase in fiber recruitment.
If a trail running shoe weighs 300 grams per foot, and if we assume your boots are ~1,000 grams per foot, and skins are 300? grams per foot, then you’re increasing the load by almost 900%: ((2900 / 300) – 1) * 100. Plus, I assume you’re carrying more pack weight as well? So perhaps over 1,000% increase in load?
In that context, it sounds reasonable to slow from 20m/mile to 45m. Expense is always a factor with ski gear, but that seems like the lowest hanging fruit to me.
* Every manufacturer calls their gear “lightweight” which makes the adjective useless. And most retail salespeople won’t have the experience to offer an informed opinion. In more concrete terms, I think you can get plenty-enough performance out of boots and skis that are in the sub-1000-grams-per-foot range. (That’s based on a size 27 boot which seems to be the manufacturer weight benchmark. Scale up or down proportionately.)
Eddie makes an excellent point. A metric that you can test more often will be much more useful than something more precise but harder to measure. Frequent tests are ideal for guiding the training process as things change.
That makes sense and fits with the UA perspective (and most professional endurance athletes.)
Current zone systems grew out of a three-zone model where ventilatory thresholds (VT1 and VT2) marked the bottom and top of Zone 2 in a three-zone system (and corresponding to AeT and AnT, respectively.)
Later on, Zones 1 and 3 were split into 1/2 and 4/5, respectively. So Zone 2 in a three-zone model corresponds to Zone 3 in a five-zone model.
I think there’s some confusion about the typical zone definitions. I haven’t read the article, but in most five-zone frameworks, “under AeT” means zones 1 and 2 while “over AnT” means zones 4 and 5. In that context, it would be zone 3, not zone 2, that is to be avoided minimized.
The reality is that zone 3 is useful, but too often over-emphasized and over-used (because it’s gratifying and most people confuse effort and gratification with progress.)
An effective approach would be to use a largely polarized model early in a macrocycle and then include the appropriate amount of zone 3 close to a goal event. As suggested, “appropriate” is often over-estimated.Scott Semple on October 13, 2021 at 4:16 pm · in reply to: Mountaineering vs. Mountain Running #58026
Another thing I learned is that speed in the mountains comes more from having the right partner, knowing the route, light gear, and doing things efficiently etc. than fitness.
And being really fast comes from both.
Is the goal of aerobic training to become faster at the same AeT HR, to raise the AeT HR, or both?
Both. Initially, both will improve, but HR will eventually stop. The narrowest AnT HR / AeT HR gap that I’ve seen (in more than one person, but after years of training) is just under 5%.
I see some elite runners doing mountain runs with HR between 130-140.
That’s meaningless on its own. HRs are like fingerprints; they’re unique to their owner. You’d need to know their threshold HRs for that information to be relevant. That said, if the runs are long, then they are likely at a low percentage of AnT HR.
After four months of shifting my training to ~3/4 Z2 workouts, I have seen my AeT rise from 145 to 151. My speed at 145 is the same, which surprised me. I have noticed other improvements like being able to do hilly neighborhood runs at Z2 (previously I’d spike to Z3) and my Z3 and Z4 mountain efforts are quicker.
That makes sense. Improving your base will also improve your speed at higher intensities.
That’s common. HR is even less reliable in a race due to the reasons you mention in your last sentence.
Especially at the start, HR is more if a measure of nerves than anything else. If your splits we’re that close, then it sounds like your pacing was right.