Endurance Sport Training

Discussion in 'Other' started by Bro Mo, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Read this article which I thought was interesting with comparing volume and intensity focus for cross country skiing.
    Granted this article focuses on VO2 Max which improves from training VO2 Max. I have been shifting my training to include more low intensity training to follow more of the 80/20 principles for the purpose of improving recovery from high volume of high intensity. However, perhaps 80/20 isn't the primary takeaway and just training the ends of the spectrum are more important than the ratio of one to the other.

    What are some other studies that compare volume and intensity focus for endurance sports?
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  2. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    @BroMo, I don't think it's quite as simple as that study article makes it sound. We also have stories of high level athletes who, while recovering from injury, went on to exceptional performances after a few months or longer of very intense, low-volume training. My point is that nothing works forever, and it seems reasonable to expect that increasing the amount of high intensity training would yield a benefit for some endurance athletes, but there is no guarantee that it's going to continue to be a better approach over the years.

    IMHO, PlanStrong gets at the essence of this issue, which is that there needs to be a certain kind of variety. Brett has talked about it articles here and I've mentioned it as well, cycling one's training in, using my own example, cycles that run 5 years or longer at times.

    JMO and YMMV.

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  3. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Almost every study is pretty short term. I would like to see a study that continued on after what that study did. Unfortunately, most studies only seem useful for concepts related to peaking. It would be nice to see studies run multiple iterations to see how methods fair in the longer time horizons. Simple periodization of increasing intensity or intensity-volume then starting the cycle over is pretty tried and true and it seems like the study above is only good at claiming the concept of changing a load is better than not.
  4. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    Yes, I agree. I think the answer is lies in finding the right dose, and in this case, that means the right amount of intensity on average, coupled with the right variation in levels of intensity.

  5. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I wonder what it looks like to replicate something like conjugate methods that don't periodize as much.

    I suppose the two elements of endurance sports are to use oxygen/fuel and discard waste.

    Use fuel
    1. Low intensity steady state to increase total surface area of muscle-blood interfaces
    2. VO2 Max oxygen uptake
    Discard waste
    1. Lactate threshold tempo runs
    50/50 split between the two kind of emphasises tempo runs because the other half is split between two elements.
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  6. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    The interesting thing about the linked study is the intervention was a correction to poor adaptive response to another training protocol. "A" didn't work well in these subjects, maybe they are predisposed to a "B" strategy instead. To me this casts well deserved doubt on any one-size-fits-all training regimen.

    I also found interesting but not very surprising that once a solid base was achieved, the subjects improved more by increasing short duration intensity rather than increasing longer duration volume. It makes sense that the body responds better to the greater momentary challenge as long as the base is solid enough to support the work.
    Bro Mo likes this.
  7. kurt perham

    kurt perham Double-Digit Post Count

  8. mprevost

    mprevost More than 500 posts

    Lots of studies on this issue. Generally the higher the intensity of the work, the quicker the plateau. High intensity intervals (VO2 max intervals...i.e., Tabata) typically plateau at about 2-4 weeks. Lactate threshold type intervals (tempo..i.e., 10K race pace) the plateau is around 6-8 weeks. For low intensity volume training, the plateau is years...decades probably. This is the primary reason for the 80/20 rule. This is specifically for running. Other modes can be different due to a higher skill component.

    One of the best long term "studies" was published in the International Journal of Sports medicine. It reported Paula Radcliffe's data over decades. Though her VO2 max did not improve from 17 years old (actually went down a little) she was able to run, much, much faster as she got older. Her lactate levels at specific speeds decreased significantly and her run economy improved by abotu 15%.
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  9. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    How do different splits between the types when training them concurrently affect the longevity of the plateau?

    If I recall, your program starts with something like 1 tempo day, then the next week, 2 tempo days, then 3 with the rest being LSD, then exchange one of those tempo days with an interval day, etc.

    Were you ever able to compare your running program with different ratios that stayed static every week?
  10. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Today I came across this article that references/summarizes some others that conclude an 80 minute duration to stimulate the desired aerobic adaptations.
    Optimized Aerobic Prescription
    It also suggests longer duration starts to have negative effects. I thought I recalled other content here in the forums indicating ~75 minutes for desired aerobic adaptations but I don't remember where or why.

    What is the minimum and maximum duration window to get enough but not too much? I am guessing the 60-90 minute range based on multiple indicators. I'm sure training less than 60 minutes isn't for nothing but perhaps not necessarily achieving the specific adaptations desired from low intensity work.
    Karl likes this.
  11. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    Interesting article, yet it alluded to how the pros train... and pro cyclists ride more than a 90min session... a lot more
  12. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    I read somewhere once that for running, 50-something minutes, which fits in with tried and true 40-60 min base runs. For regular folk, there doesn't seem to be much benefit in going over an hour, except for fun. I think the activity also matters. From my experience, a 45 min run feels like I did something, but on the bike, not so much. Unless its hard techy MTB.

    I think Al Ciampa wrote here something like 75-90 min.

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