Scott Semple

Forum Replies Created

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 1,704 total)
  • Keymaster
    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Racing with HR #55979

    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.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Zone 1 frustration with hills #55812

    Also, “destroy your aerobic system” means that the upper limit of Zone 2 will get slower. Taken to extremes, the upper limit heart rate of Zone 2 will get lower.

    We see the results of that all the time with new clients. Two years ago, I started working with someone who had an AnT HR (top of Z3) of 180. His AeT HR (top of Z2) was only 130. 180 / 130 = 1.38. A 38% gap is… not good.

    In contrast, my fittest athletes have gaps of less than ~5%: 190 / 180.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Zone 1 frustration with hills #55811

    @dahlindan: By “unsupported,” I meant in too high a proportion in relation to the more important aerobic training of Z1 and Z2.

    Think of Z3 and above as salt. The right amount makes a meal taste great. Too much will ruin it.

    Or as debt when investing. The right amount will juice your returns with an acceptable amount of risk. Too much debt and you can lose your original investment.

    The problem is that most people gauge the “right” amount of high intensity by how they feel. “I’m working hard so I must be getting fitter!” That’s almost never the case. Anything that feels like “such a good workout” is probably using up aerobic capacity rather than building it up.

    As a real-life example of proper training, when Moses Mosop ran his first marathon in 2h03m, only 3% of his training leading up to that marathon was above Z2. (The average intensity of a ~2h event is typically just above aerobic threshold, the top of zone 2.)

    Granted, Mosop’s Z2 is really @#$%ing fast, but at a metabolic level, most of his training was quite “easy” and way below the upper limit of Z2. Even more so, 78% was below Z1.

    In contrast, newcomers combine a mistaken gratification bias (fatigue means fitness!), underdeveloped aerobic systems, and friends with the same problems. So almost everyone goes too hard too soon together. With social pressure and unrealistic expectations, most people have a really hard time going slow enough to build up their aerobic systems. They overdo Z3 and quickly hit a hard plateau. Then they double down and go harder! Cue downward spiral…

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Swim recovery after ME! #55730

    My guess is that the main mechanism is a combination of low-intensity and increased blood flow, I suspect the cool water may also help.

    I’ve read that cold water immersion, while enhancing recovery, also reduces inflammation and as a result may also reduce the response from the training stimulus. At first glance, that may sound like a bad thing, but I think it makes the tool even more useful for ME and other intensity work.

    ME in particular and high-intensity in general can reduce aerobic capacity if it’s overdone. Using easy swimming to modulate the load is a great tool to compensate for workouts that may have been too much too soon.

    I don’t know if all of that holds true, but it’s a bunch of different threads that this discussion has triggered.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Fasted Training/Runs #55712

    Yes, that’s correct. There’s no reason not to take water (other than it’s heavy… πŸ™‚ )

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Perceived exertion: HR disassociation #55637

    Good question. When I was doing a daily orthostatic test, I created a “workout” on my watch with the necessary intervals. Then my watch would beep when I needed to change position.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Training without a heart rate monitor #55515

    That’s great news. I’m glad that it helped.

    I was thinking more about this today and thought that the synchronization is probably based on two factors: the recruitment necessary for the movement pattern (steep terrain recruiting more muscle fiber than flats so increasing the demands) and the steps-per-minute (SPM or, in cycling, cadence at half the SPM.)

    I found that on the less steep sections of long variable climbs I often had to hold myself back, staying at 2/2, even though I could have gone faster, knowing that, if I did go faster, I would have to slow way down, or even stop, once it grew steeper again. By staying at an even 2/2 pace, and even slowing down to 1/1, I could keep my effort steady all the way to the top.

    That’s one of the qualities that I find really helpful. There’s a lot less lag than there is with heart rate, so with more real-time feedback, it’s pretty reliable to hit a rough intensity target.

    One exception is that after a high-intensity effort, the synchronization will totally change as the CV system catches up. This is really noticeable during recovery intervals in intense workouts. But again, it’s also good feedback that says that the load is still being absorbed.

    Going downhill, of course, my HR dropped. I don’t have the leg strength and joint stability to run downhill fast, at the speed I would need to maintain my HR. Instead, I alternate walking and light jogging on the downhills, knowing that my HR will go down, but saving my body from injury.

    This is normal. I just breathe normally (at random) when going downhill. Trying to put out enough effort to make synchronized breathing necessary would kill your legs from the eccentric loading. The local effect on your thighs would be way higher than what your ventilation would suggest.

    Another similar example is when really fit mountain athletes try to run in the flats to stress their CV system to the same extent that they would be going uphill. They often don’t have the strength endurance to withstand the pounding and end up with very sore legs afterward.

    I’m glad it helped. It can be quite meditative as well. I never use headphones while I run, so the combination of silence and synchronized breathing can be really great thinking time.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Over-Training #55458

    Sorry for the confusion.

    Long periods of fatigue are not periods of positive adaptation, excessive fatigue for more than a week or two is detrimental.

    I totally agree. But it’s a false choice to say that all fatigue equals excessive fatigue and that the only other option is bi-weekly gains.

    Perhaps you’re training too hard in too short a timeframe.

    ME periods are the same, if you are not getting fitter every few weeks you are for sure over-training. Overtraining defined as the absence of improvement over a couple of weeks.

    By that definition of overtraining, which is incorrect, the former statement is correct. But the lack of improvement is not the definition of overtraining.

    For well-developed athletes, effective periods of ME can be 8-12 weeks long. And during them, top performances are not possible.

    What data do you have to support that someone can be in a state off fatigue for 6-8 weeks and positively adapt at a higher level.

    Coaching a lot of athletes through successful training.

    Coaches who deny overtraining have not had enough experience to know what overtraining really is.

    I totally agree.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Swim recovery after ME! #55457

    The goal for these sessions is recovery which is generally facilitated by movement and circulation (as far as I understand it.) So the intensity (super low) is much more important than which activity.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Racing with HR #55411

    In my experience this is really, really not the case:

    I think most of us are experienced enough to race by feel and modulate our effort depending on the type and distance of the event.

    In contrast, most people think they can modulate their effort, but very very few can resist the social pressure of going too hard too soon.

    …there is less information on race day strategy, specifically regarding pace and effort in a multi-hour race.

    Yes, racing is a different animal and probably deserves its own book. I think it has to be practiced more than trained for.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Fasted Training/Runs #55359

    I asked the questions only to illustrate that training is never a simple answer. If you go by the general guidelines that I gave, you should be all set.

    For more specific advice, feel free to set up a phone consult with one of our coaches. (Specific coaching isn’t possible due to the number of forum questions we get.)

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Grand traverse plan vs SkiMo racing plan #55355

    Starting any day… πŸ™‚

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Initial HR Spike? #55354

    @dejongbiz: As Philskies said, if you’re using a wrist monitor, HR readings are pretty useless.

    Scott Semple on · in reply to: Books on Building Mental Toughness #55353

    And of course:

    You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.


Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 1,704 total)