Just giving a little, say, update/insight on what feels easy for me when training and how it looks like from an HR standpoint. Since it’s winter, my long days are spent skitouring because it’s obviously the most fun (for me at least).
Yesterday was a good day, 20km loop with 1500m of vertical ascent, two summits, some good snow, some windpressed ice, sunshine, and feeling strong. I took my skinny light skis out to have less weight on the legs and move a bit faster.
Here’s the workout on Training Peaks: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/athlete/workout/KEEMNW3DQRNT2RS3XIQWSVEKZQ
I don’t think that one can see through this link the percentage/time spent in each HR zone (I currently have them set so that my AeT/top of Z2 sits at my MAF, 154bpm). I pause the watch during transitions/at the top of the mountain.
I spent about 55min in Z3 (not on purpose but it kinda just happened, must have been from wanting to pass all the other people on the skin track early on…), 1h45min in Z1 and below, and the vast majority, 2h30min in Z2 (136-154bpm).
To me this clearly means that an HR above what the doctor recommended to me is sustainable and feels easy for many hours. I have to add that I also only ate a single clif bar the entire tour and a part from really being hungry at the end, I didn’t experience anything close to “hitting the wall” from the combo of low glycogen/glucose availability + increased glucose utilization that comes at intensities above AeT.
This seems to be one more pointer in the direction that my AeT is indeed sitting somewhere around the 145-150bpm range and not 132 like my lactate test stubbornly suggested. Looking at the graph of the test this would mean that my AeT is around 3mmol/l blood lactate concentration. Is this possible? It does fit with the “baseline concentration +1mmol/l” formula…
Other than that, I have been trying to do my easy runs at an HR of less than 145bpm, most often I sit around 135-140 when it’s flat and it does feel good and my little gluteal/hamstring issues (am working on it with PT) seem to prefer this intensity much more than if I try to run at my suggested “MAF AeT” – I actually think that me suddenly running at this HR (between 150-154) too much and too often, even if aerobically totally doable, was too much for my connective tissues, tendons, etc because they are NOT used to that intensity. Heterochronism!