Friday, 14 June 2013

The next big thing..........

Endurance is the going to be the next ‘big thing’ in training. With more people looking to take on greater and greater challenges in their lives, with more people running, biking swimming and Tri-ing (Pardon the pun)! The only way is to go beyond and take on epic sportives, Long distance triathlons and Ultra marathons. We’re going to explore one way of going about this.

Have you done any cardio-vascular training in the past 3 weeks?

No! Yes skip to following paragraphs.

Have you done any cardio-vascular in the past year?
No: Keep it easy! Endurance training is becoming efficient at utilising fuel in your body (Carbohydrates, fats and proteins), to produce energy aerobically (with oxygen), without undue fatigue.” Your first job is to build your aerobic base. This is all about low intensity exercise that allows you to become more efficient at using fat for energy production. An easy way to identify the heart rate that equates to your maximum fat burning intensity is, 180 minus your age. This is the formula suggested by renowned kinesiologist Phillip Maffetone. TEST: Warm up to this heart rate over 5min then hold for 20min. Record the distance you travel in the 20min. Cool down over 5min by reducing your heart to as close to the starting value as possible. Start training on non consecutive days. A minimum 3 times per week, for 20mins, below your magic number. Build the duration of your main sessions you by 3 -5% each week until you reach the maximum time you have to train. Every 2nd  week run the test. Every 6th week cut your training by 50%.  Once you no longer travel further in your test, it’s time to sep it up!

Have you done any cardio-vascular training in the past year. Assuming you have not done any in past 3 weeks?

Yes: Start training @ 33% of your pervious training volume.

This will prevent you from over stressing your body and picking up injuries. The most rapid fitness loss occurs over the first 3 weeks. Build your weekly training by replicating the above training pattern for 12 weeks. Now is the time to add in some higher intensity training.

Have you done cardio-vascular training in the past 3 weeks?

Yes: Become a lactate munching monster. The next threshold to work on is your Maximum Lactate Steady Sate (MLSS). Lactate is a by-product of glucose being broken down in muscle to make energy. “The maximal lactate steady state (MLSS) is defined as the highest blood lactate concentration (MLSSc) and work load (MLSSw) that can be maintained over time
without a continual blood lactate accumulation. A close relationship between
endurance sport performance and MLSSw has been reported.” (Sports Med 2003; 33 (6): 407-426)
Lactate shuttle, identified by George Brooks, is a key energy system for people wishing to improve there endurance to work on.
A simple way to establish the heart rate at which MLSS appears is: TEST warm up for 5 – 20min at increasing intensities. Ensure that you do not fatigue yourself doing this. Then record your average heart rate for the last 20min of a 30min maximal effort time trial. Cool down at a low intensity for 5 – 10min. Sub tract 5 beats per min from your average heart rate for the test. Each week add a session where you are working at this heart rate for intervals up to 20min long. E.g. A nice main session on a bike might be: 3 x 20min with 10min low intensity, easy effort recovery.

Have you been doing cardio-vascular training in the past 3 weeks?

Have you plateaued?

Yes. Ask yourself, am I absorbing my training,? Many people don’t allow the body to recovery sufficiently to adapt to training stress. Add recovery days and weeks into your programme. Alternate easy day of training with hard days of training. Have a day off each week. Every 3 to 6 weeks reduce your training by >50% in volume and keep the intensity low.

Have you been doing cardio-vascular training in the past 3 weeks?


How much time do you have each week to train?

< 8hours

If you are able to, build up to 8 hours of training each week. This is a point of diminishing return for aerobic exercise. Each hour after this you get less punch for your pound!


Make sure you are recovering as hard as you train. It could be better for you to have a couple of 30min power naps and a sports massage each week rather than training those extra 2 hours!

Hopefully by following a few of these steps they will help you on your way to going ultra. Always consult your GP and speak to a personal trainer before you start training. Follow us on facebook or twitter @djptsmater.

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