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VO2 Max

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Quote:
What is VO2 max?
VO2 max refers to the maximum amount of oxygen you can utilize during exercise. It's commonly used to test the aerobic endurance or cardiovascular fitness of athletes before and at the end of a training cycle. VO2 max is measured in milliliters of oxygen consumed in one minute, per kilogram of body weight (mL/kg/min).
It's not the same thing as heart rate, though it can be just as effective, if not more so, to measure and track your fitness progress. VO2 isn't excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which refers to the increase in oxygen your body uses after a workout, not during.


https://www.cnet.com/health/your-vo2-max-explained/

Anybody successfully improved their VO2 max through specific training? (e.g. HIT, Long duration low intensity)
If so what did you do and what sort of improvement did you see over which timescale?


http://youtube.com/v/K5Rco-XtKnI
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I did an 8 month endurance training programme for triathlons a few years back, and according to my (not very accurate) heart rate variability function on my heart rate monitor, managed to improve VO2 max significantly. Starting as a relatively untrained novice with a VO2 max of ~38, and improved to ~55.
The key was building a deep base of aerobic, low intensity fitness (= long slow distance) then adding high intensity intervals only when I was fit enough to handle them.
The low int part of training was prob close to 90% of the total volume, but it was the high intensity that gave the top end gains.
But, the time I could sustain that intensity of training for was only really a few weeks /year. I used a variety of intervals, from cruise intervals (3-5 mins work with 1/2 that time to rest), VO2 intervals (typ 2-4 mins on similar rest) and max efforts for 1-2 mins on 4-6 mins rest). The golden rule was keep the interval work to min 15 mins and max 25 mins total per session, and never more than 2 days per week. My coach said high intensity is like a prescription steroid drug, it needs using in the right quantity and at the right time to work, then it could do amazing things for you. But too much leads inevitably to injury, illness or burnout!
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@DB, mmm, this could get interesting.

Why would you want to improve your VO2 max? From what little I have gleaned from fitness literature and available information, for most people looking to improve their fitness (and in particular those seeking to improve endurance, like ski tourers/mountaineers), information about VO2 is of little or no help.

Other easily established markers can be much more useful in gauging fitness and for establishing workable training zones.

Crossed in the post with above.

Virtually all of that can be done just armed with knowledge of your 2 ventilatory thresholds.
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@HammondR,
I was under the impression that a high VO2 max tends to correlate with high performance. e.g. Kilian Jornet has a test VO2 max of 92. Many top cyclists and biathlon skiers have a very high VO2 max.

https://www.nfpt.com/blog/understanding-vo2-max-and-the-altitude-challenge


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Sat 29-08-20 19:33; edited 1 time in total
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@DB, VO2 max correlates strongly with endurance performance (although perhaps not so much as sport-specific lactate tolerance). Classic endurance sports are those you mention, plus ski touring and mountaineering also being good examples. But VO2 Max does not help so much with alpine skiing performance, although it certainly doesn’t hurt (although I suppose the point is that time training endurance/VO2 may be better spent training strength, power, agility, balance & coordination etc...to become a better alpine skier)
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Should have mentioned Ski-touring / ski mountaineering in winter and mountain biking / mountain trekking in summer are my main sporting interests. I don‘t do many days of alpine skiing anymore.
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gra wrote:
@DB, VO2 max correlates strongly with endurance performance (although perhaps not so much as sport-specific lactate tolerance). Classic endurance sports are those you mention, plus ski touring and mountaineering also being good examples. But VO2 Max does not help so much with alpine skiing performance, although it certainly doesn’t hurt (although I suppose the point is that time training endurance/VO2 may be better spent training strength, power, agility, balance & coordination etc...to become a better alpine skier)


Can see why a high VO2 max is not much use to alpine skiers. Alpine ski races don't take long and recreation skiers aren't normally skiing with high heart pulse rates. It would be interesting to see the heart rate graph of a world cup downhill racer during a race.

This link supports the theory that VO2 max isn't the best thing to improve.
https://www.uphillathlete.com/max-vo2-myth/

Having said that my best performance on the mountain bike (on my regular route) was after I had been interval training on a steep hill.

Just to be clear I'm not saying VO2 max is the be all and end all, I do mix my trainning intensity and also do balance exercises & core workouts for the ski season.
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There is certainly a genetic element involved in vo2 max. Some suggest you can only expect to improve genetic vo2 max by 5-15% through training. I have seen someone go from low 50s to low 70s but that was over 4 years and is probably an outlier rather than normal.

I wouldn't focus too much on vo2 max. Chances are you are not going to go to a lab and get it measured (watches are not really accurate), so it's hard to see if it's improving. I also suspect your interest is improving performance rather than vo2 max,which is a lot easier to track.

As said above, the first thing is to build an aerobic base. This means lots of time at relatively low intensity. The exact specifics of how to do this are debatable. A popular and simple concept is that you should be exercising at an intensity where you can breath through your nose and speak in sentences. You can also use heart rate (one example is maf training), which has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Once you have your base (some say 8-12 weeks of training to achieve this) you can switch to a polarised training program. The idea of polarised training is 80% of your training should be slow aerobic training (not dissimilar to base training). Then 20% should be very hard (intervals, sprints, climbs). Again there is a range of theories about just how this should be optimised. The general idea is to stay out of zone 3/grey zone which is the moderately hard workout most people generally train at, not getting the optimum benefits of fast or slow training.

You are probably thinking this sounds too easy. We have the idea "no pain, no gain". But when studies look at the elite endurance athletes (cyclists, marathon runners), they find most have this style of polarised training program with the majority of time being spent at low intensity. Here is a great example of elite x-country skiers training analysis that found most training is low intensity
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2017.01069/full

For cycling you should look into power. A huge advantage of cycling is that power can be easily measured. Once you have a measure of critical power you can use this to create a training plan. Of course this is only of much use if your cycling flats and uphill too, if you are taking a lift up and riding predominantly downhill probably not of much interest to you.
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Years ago when I was racing cycling, 25 mile Time Trials, then I did a couple of lab VO2 max trials as Time Trialling was all about maintaining max power but back then we didn't have power meters so HR was really the only guage and even without the tests I sort of knew what HR I should be trying to hold.

Nowadays with power meters and smart trainers you can ride to a training plan to increase your FTP which many people I know do.

I use The Suffferfest and they have a 4DP profile which they say is better than FTP that said at my age I sort of dread having to train at that intensity and their test is a killer.

https://thesufferfest.com/blogs/training-resources/is-your-training-app-accurate

A lot of people are scared of pain and don't push themselves anywhere near their max HR.

So for cycling at least maybe VO2 test is no longer important, but if you're a 10km elite runner then yes it's a good test and the only way.

Obviously if I'm training on the turbo during the winter as I can't cycle on the road the fitness benefits when I'm ski touring are immense and every now and again I'll push it hard circa 600m per hour but that all depends on the terrain and xc skating also helps.
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Thanks for the feedback.

I'm almost 52 and my main target is to improve fitness or at least limit the effects of my advanced young age on my performance. wink I enjoy being out in the mountains and pushing myself a bit. Friends of a similar age tend not to be interested in challenging trips in the mountains anymore so I find myself increasingly with people signifcantly younger than myself. The longer I can keep up with them, the more the enjoyment I have.

The thing that got me interested in VO2 Max is a Garmin watch that I purchased in June 2020. I started doing more exercise and according to the watch I went from 45 to 49 VO2 Max. Recently I dropped back down to 48. Confused … but yes a watch isn't that accurate for VO2 Max anyway.

Just started reading this book : Training for the New Alpinism

http://youtube.com/v/PMmIihjaWVY
Although the book is aimed at mountain climbers (which I'm not) I hope the same training principals will help for my ski touring / ski mountaineering activities.

The book also goes for long low intensity workouts over an 8 to 12 week period to begin with.
The main training zone to be 50% to 60% of heart rate, they call this "Zone 1".

According to the watch my lowest heart rate is around 47 bpm while I'm sleeping. When I'm awake but seated the pulse is around 52 bpm. Should I use 47 or 52 bpm for my resting pulse? The max pulse registered by the watch is 174 bpm but this was while climbing seated and not going full out on the mountainbike so probably doesn't represent my true max hr. Even by taking the higher resting pulse and assuming my max pulse is 180 bpm for Zone 1 that means exercising between 116 & 129 which does seem low. With a max pulse of 129 while out on the mountainbike it will feel as though I'm stuck in first gear. The next two months will probably incorporate watching many films while on the cross trainer. Maybe now is the time to take up jogging in the local forest.
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@DB, I would use 52 as your resting heart rate -which in itself is very good.

When I'm reasonably fit, mine is about 57 bpm - but I'm now 60 years old. When I was younger, that was in the early 50s.

I have always trained (aerobically) keeping my pulse around 80% of maximum - but ideas may be changing.
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@DB, if you’re using the wrist optical heart rate on a garmin watch for any serious training then you might want to upgrade a bit, whether it’s for VO2 max or any other effort/ heart rate measurement. Everyone I know has issues with consistency on wrist HR.

I use a polar oh1 arm strap which is a good upgrade comfort-wise from my previous polar chest strap, and both are equally ECG- accurate (I’m geeky enough to have a Kardia mini-ECG to compare against...!) If I run using the watch wrist HR my stats are all over the place by comparison.

I’ve taken my Garmin- estimated VO2 max from 52 to 58 but just through general training - 30-60 miles/ week of running, about 80% at low intensity plus 1 tempo and 1 intervals session a week. For me, Garmin’s VO2 tracks my overall performance very well - my VO2 max peaks coincide with training or racing PBs.
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@snowdave, The HR on my Fitbit Ionic was ok when not training - but while training was a bit erratic, so ended up checking manually. Shortly after the warranty ran out, it gave up.
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@snowdave,
Yes I know the wrist measurement is not good once you start doing serious exercise, especially when you start to sweat. That's why I use the chest strap when exercising.
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Quote:

I have always trained (aerobically) keeping my pulse around 80% of maximum - but ideas may be changing.


Yep this would probably fall into zone 3/grey zone. It's where most people tend to naturally go because you feel like you're working hard enough to get some benefits but it's also not pushing yourself to flat out either. Unfortunately it appears to not be effective for training. Zone 3 you are not getting the full aerobic benefits of zone 2 training, or getting the full anaerobic benefits of zone 4 and 5.

For training with heart rate calculations using heart rate reserve seem to be more accurate than calculating from only max HR. As said above it can be a little difficult establishing max HR, and there is some disagreement about howmresting heart rate is defined (i.e during sleep doesn't count). For a quick and dirty method I like MAF, (180-age then add 5 if well trained and no recent injury history or -5 if out of shape. That will give you a limit for HR and is probably accurate enough. (Gives you a limit of 133 so aim would be 123-133 which is pretty close to your books calculation).

As others have said wrist based HR is not accurate. I would always use a chest strap personally (as it's tried and tested over a long period of time), but as said above the the polar arm strap seems to be just as accurate.

This kind of training can be very frustrating at first. It will feel painfully slow, you may even have to walk at times. You tend to make progress pretty quick though. This low intensity does give you some benefits you won't get at higher intensities. Of course as you adapt you will be able to run faster at the same HR.

Quote:

The thing that got me interested in VO2 Max is a Garmin


A watch can not measure vo2 max. It's using some measured variables and an algorithm to try and estimate it. It can be quite accurate for some people, and completely wrong for others. I'm a fan of using as much data as possible, so don't see the harm in keeping an eye on it. That said you have to take it with a pinch of salt.
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Do you need a power meter to get a vo2 max on a Garmin edge?
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@boarder2020, Interesting insight.
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Whenever I had my VO2 max tested it involved blowing into a device that measured flow rate & volume so how on Earth a watch can measure it, I don’t know! snowHead
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Just found this …

Looks like it's making an estimate of the users performance based on GPS data then linking GPS data to HR readings. Hard to see how it differentiates between a road runner and an offroad runner. eg running on gravel / roots is harder than pavement. The same mountainbike route can be harder based on many factors i.e. wet ground, wind, humidity etc. Temperature makes a difference but if it takes the temp from the watch and you are wearing the watch on your wrist rather than mounting it on the bike this will also make a difference. Garmin admit there are better ways to test VO2max and it is not 100% accurate.


http://youtube.com/v/DRem4jt0_9A

Looks like there is a minimum heart rate and duration for Garmin VO2 max caculations.
https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=lWqSVlq3w76z5WoihLy5f8


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Mon 31-08-20 8:39; edited 1 time in total
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@boarder2020, not heard about that MAF but seems on a par with the old 220 minus your age in terms of wild inaccuracy?

If I followed that MAF I be pootling along at 120 which is zone 1 for me.

I know I'm old (sic) school when it comes to this - but if one is serious about training, then you can get far closer to your Max HR than trying to guesstimate it, but with a strong caveat that you have to bit fit and strong and have mental discipline to really push it and hurt yourself, I've helped a good handful of folk find at least another 15bpm and they probably had more in them.

Basically go out for a ride / run and increase the tempo, ideally find some terrain that finishes with an uphill drag leading to a short sharp climb, as you hit the bottom of the climb you should be pushing it so hard and then use the visible top of it to go all out to get there, at the top you should be nigh on fainting puking with absolutely nothing more in the tank, it does help to have a mate shouting encouragement (obscenities) at you, behind you, and or alongside you questioning your effort Laughing

However like I've already mentioned the likes of Zwift / Sufferfest have way better fitness tests based on increasing your FTP and these are excellent at developing sustained power and once you have your FTP you can then base a lot of your training around that.

I don't ride out on the road with power-meters like some mates but do like the concept on the Smart Trainer stuck in the garage in the snow.

Few days ago I was testing my legs running to see what might be in them and peaked at 169 and I know that there was at least another 10bpm in there which would make my max 180 which isn't too bad considering 30yrs ago I was working to a max of 195 so would seem that I've not lost the one bpm with each year lost/aged etc?

I'm 62 this year.

10km run with the Mrs this morning who is 65 as she aims to do 100km for the month and she has never gone down the max HR route etc though did have a period of an over active Thyroid and it was her high HR running (170+ for a 10km race) that alerted her to something may not be right!

Should also add that amongst mates we've all had HRs so different to each other yet similar ages, excellent Time Trialling mate's max was only 170 when I was 195
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Link on FTP

http://youtube.com/v/MfGsUFw5PhE

The conclusion was that FTP (like VO2 Max) is not the ultimate fitness indicator or training intensity indicator.
Again they steered things towards a mixed training plan incorporating -
a) high volume low intensity (lower than FTP) &
b) low volume high intensity
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Fascinating stuff here guys
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@DB, and here's another one Laughing

One is not enough. Why Four-Dimensional Power™ is more effective than FTP. from The Sufferfest
https://vimeo.com/238127752

Crying shame this morning relative to this thread and what I wrote this AM in that my HRM was paired to my Mrs as her's was playing up, and then mine stopped, but was no real issue.

However, I then got into a dust-up with another runner and it was almost text-book max HR terrain and would have been really interesting (for me at least) to see what I peaked at as the old git went past him to the "summit"*

* he started it by putting the hammer down Laughing
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@weathercam
Seems like your MAF would be 123 (180-62+5). If your max HR is 180, zone 2 = 108 to 126 (60-70% max HR). Again MAF pretty much matches. Like I said it's a quick and dirty method, but generally works out pretty similar.

@db
I'm not sure how Garmin calculate it. If you have the person's height and weight, GPS pace data, and then use barometric pressure to calculate what angle slope the person is running on you can have a pretty good go at measuring metabolic cost (vo2 consumption). Coros watches have just started measuring running "power" (it's another thread in its own and shouldn't be confused with cycling power which is much more established and actually definable) and found good correlation with stryd foot pod, which in turn has been found to have good correlation with metabolic cost. You then use HR to predict when the person reaches vo2 max and take the estimate of vo2 at that point as vo2 max. I think there is potential for future if they can get all the algorithms right, and measure input data accurately enough. Right now it's still very much an inexact science and the only accurate measure of vo2 is directly measuring it in a lab.

Quote:

Again they steered things towards a mixed training plan incorporating -
a) high volume low intensity (lower than FTP) &
b) low volume high intensity



For me this is the key. There is simply too much evidence that this is optimum for long term performance. It's what we consistently see all the top elite endurance athletes doing.
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Quote:

The conclusion was that FTP (like VO2 Max) is not the ultimate fitness indicator or training intensity indicator


I think it was a little more nuanced than that. FTP is a very useful measure, and a good predictor of performance. It's a great fitness indicator, if your FTP goes up you would be getting "fitter" by most people's standards.
Of course it's not the most useful thing for everyone. As they showed for sprinters it's of little use (although I'm sure most people knew that already). It's like asking an elite 10km runner and usain bolt to run a 20min race PB. Bolt of course would be slower, so then his training program would prescribe slower sprints than the 10km runner, even though he clearly can sprint better than the 10km runner. If you take a measure designed for one population and try to use it on another it probably won't work, but that doesn't take away its use for the target population.
A lot of elite cyclists are using power in their training, so there is clearly something there. Of course they are also using HR, RPE, blood lactate measures etc. There are some training zealots who will swear by one type of training. The more sensible approach is using all the analysis available rather than limiting yourself.
Even for polarised training power is still a useful tool. You can set a max power for your easy cycles to make sure you don't push too hard. It's much better for this than setting a pace, as power takes into account slope so you are not pushing the uphills too hard as you may do trying to maintain pace. For interval training it's a useful tool for assessing how hard you went.
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boarder2020 wrote:
@db
I'm not sure how Garmin calculate it. If you have the person's height and weight, GPS pace data, and then use barometric pressure to calculate what angle slope the person is running on you can have a pretty good go at measuring metabolic cost (vo2 consumption).


I think this is how they do it. Akin to knowing details about a car (e.g. weight, drag factor, top speed etc) and then working back to a maximum air intake value from a calculated maximum power output and corresponding fuel requirement. This will only lead to a best guesstimate but better than nothing and maybe a useful benchmark for the indiviual to judge his or her current high intensity fitness state.
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Garmin acquired firstbeat earlier this year, this is the technology that underpins the VO2 max figures the watched produce.

https://assets.firstbeat.com/firstbeat/uploads/2017/06/white_paper_VO2max_30.6.2017.pdf

I find it useful as an indicator of where I am in a training cycle and it correlates well with my performance in terms of PBs.

Stryd takes the whole thing to another level of data- it's an amazing gizmo for training and racing. Then you can start comparing speed, fatigue, power, heart rate, aerobic efficiency etc etc. Sadly my Stryd is quarantined in France Sad
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boarder2020 wrote:
I think it was a little more nuanced than that. FTP is a very useful measure, and a good predictor of performance. It's a great fitness indicator, if your FTP goes up you would be getting "fitter" by most people's standards.


The more I look into this, the more I think these indicators are for different parts of the fitness spectrum. The mistake I made was to think just because an elite athlette had a high VO2 Max level that this indicator determines all his / her performance. Elite athletes have high values across the board.

So now I'm thinking, what should I do with the information. Options include -

1. Stuff it. In terms of sports I'm a never has been and at 52 never will be - just carry on with what I've been doing. I can't tell my MTB mates to slow down just because my pulse is over 129. Just have a sweat, a beer and a laugh. I can always buy an E-bike later.

2. There's only one alternative to old age and with the years I ain't gonna get any quicker with my current training regime. It's not so much racing the whippersnappers (unlike you Weathercam wink ) just avoiding the time where when other fit people go on the big trips I'm like Cinderella not going to the ball. My neighbor has three dogs, it's got to the stage where they don't take the oldest dog on long walks as it can't keep up anymore. Just want to delay being the old dog for as long as I can so I can enjoy more years in the mountains. Racing the youngsters is only going to give them more incentive to make me look like an old man at a later date, and they will. I find keeping up without using all my reserves gains more respect.

3. Maybe there's a middle ground where I can work in my weekend trips with low intensity training during the week and see what this does for performance in the long run. The long run being years rather than short term indicator gains. This option probably has the greatest health benefits too.

4. Buy yet another otherpriced gizmo in the hope this is one toy, errrr one tool to rule them all. @snowdave how much are these Stryd things you speak of? wink
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@DB, £200. They give properly accurate pace and distance as well as power. However they're very much a running tool, not a cycling one.
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Quote:

Stryd takes the whole thing to another level of data- it's an amazing gizmo for training and racing.


I'm still not completely sold on stryd, but it certainly has a lot of potential. There are some issues (there is no definition for running power, it can't be simply calculated based on a well accepted formula like in cycling). I'm also not sure how accurate some of the other things are, clearly stryd can not directly measure things like leg stiffness and vertical oscillation from a foot pod so it's going to be an estimation. Then there is the question of what can be done about the numbers it comes up with, for example they have a form power metric which supposedly is a measure of running economy. Even if this does accurately measure running economy, it doesn't provide any indication of what can be done to improve economy.
Like I say a lot of potential, and more data and metrics can only be a good thing. More research is needed to validate it and show its efficiency as a training tool. Does seem like it could be a good option for pacing though.


Quote:

Elite athletes have high values across the board.


And great doping programs wink

@db

Like you say you are not going to become an elite athlete. If you are not getting paid for something you might as well enjoy it! Is cycling at the same speed as your mates the most efficient way to train? Probably not. Will you gain some benefits? Almost certainly. It's a case of trying to find a balance that suits you and produces what you consider suitable performance
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Never forget all those newspaper stories about middle-aged men dropping dead outside the gym. It’s never outside the pub! Laughing
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boarder2020 wrote:


db wrote:

Elite athletes have high values across the board.


And great doping programs wink


"It's not about the bike" Lance Armstrong Toofy Grin
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Gordyjh wrote:
Never forget all those newspaper stories about middle-aged men dropping dead outside the gym. It’s never outside the pub! Laughing


Laughing True dat.

Over here (Austria) many old men die every year in the mountains with heart attacks and falls relating to poor fitness etc. That's probably one of my greatest fears, putting in all that effort and not reaching the pub afterwards. wink
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@DB, it's all about a dynamic equilibrium, I train so I can drink and drink so I have to train Laughing

One aspect we've not mentioned here is altitude, during the winter I live at 1,400m so exercise be it XC or turbo and we tend to ski-tour above 2,000m so that does put me at an advantage over my tourist whippersnapper mates that come out so I'm the one usually setting the pace etc and it's always amusing to see the "wheels fall off" them at around 2,300 when they forget why they suddenly feel lethargic Laughing

Though a couple of years ago I really noticed the difference again at around 3,800m which was quite an eye opener.

But then there are other whippersnappers that come out in the summer for road biking and I simply can't stay with them on some climbs, though descents are a bit better due to experience.

Anyway, for me it's not an engine issue it's the feckin chassis rolling eyes

Though during the second phase of lock-down in France I knew I had to do something about loosing the winter kgs as they were not naturally shifting due to limited exercise so lost about 8kgs by cutting back on a lot of food and that in turn helped my achieve times I was doing six years or so earlier and bettering some of them, have now put a number of them back on.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
DB wrote:


Over here (Austria) many old men die every year in the mountains with heart attacks and falls relating to poor fitness etc.


Round these parts it is all the ultra fit types that keel over beasting themselves. I'm always hearing people say "did you hear Jean-Marc had a hard attack doing the 4 summits ultra trail? Unbelievable, so fit, resting heart-rate of 45bpm, 5% body fat"
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Weathercam wrote:
@DB, it's all about a dynamic equilibrium, I train so I can drink and drink so I have to train Laughing

One aspect we've not mentioned here is altitude, during the winter I live at 1,400m so exercise be it XC or turbo and we tend to ski-tour above 2,000m so that does put me at an advantage over my tourist whippersnapper mates that come out so I'm the one usually setting the pace etc and it's always amusing to see the "wheels fall off" them at around 2,300 when they forget why they suddenly feel lethargic Laughing


Poor sods, with friends like you who needs enemies. wink


Weathercam wrote:
Though a couple of years ago I really noticed the difference again at around 3,800m which was quite an eye opener.


Monte Rosa wasn't it? - we were in the same place within weeks of one another. I was going up with mates who live in Austria but are around 15 years younger than I. We were ascending at just under 400m / hour between an altitude of 3650m & 4550m with a heavy pack. These are the sort of trips I wan't to keep doing. In the end their wheels fell off at around 4200m. I'll be honest, part of me got a great ego boost (life in the old dog yet) but part of me was thinking how long can I keep this up without my head exploding?


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Mon 31-08-20 19:45; edited 1 time in total
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
davidof wrote:
DB wrote:


Over here (Austria) many old men die every year in the mountains with heart attacks and falls relating to poor fitness etc.


Round these parts it is all the ultra fit types that keel over beasting themselves. I'm always hearing people say "did you hear Jean-Marc had a hard attack doing the 4 summits ultra trail? Unbelievable, so fit, resting heart-rate of 45bpm, 5% body fat"


Yes we have a few of them too - more proof that missing out the pub/cakes is not good for you. wink

Seriously I guess these guys overtrain and blow a gasket, which is another reason I've started looking at this training lark in more detail. These indicators can tell you when to back off during over training / unknown illness.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
boarder2020 wrote:
Quote:

Stryd takes the whole thing to another level of data- it's an amazing gizmo for training and racing.


I'm still not completely sold on stryd, but it certainly has a lot of potential. There are some issues (there is no definition for running power, it can't be simply calculated based on a well accepted formula like in cycling). I'm also not sure how accurate some of the other things are, clearly stryd can not directly measure things like leg stiffness and vertical oscillation from a foot pod so it's going to be an estimation. Then there is the question of what can be done about the numbers it comes up with, for example they have a form power metric which supposedly is a measure of running economy. Even if this does accurately measure running economy, it doesn't provide any indication of what can be done to improve economy.
Like I say a lot of potential, and more data and metrics can only be a good thing. More research is needed to validate it and show its efficiency as a training tool. Does seem like it could be a good option for pacing though.


I agree, in terms of its absolute values, stryd tells me nothing. In terms of its relative values, for me, it is incredibly consistent and useful - interval training with high number of repeats show very clear trends. It also helps immensely with pacing - my stryd data showed that I should be able to hold 305W for 20 minutes and run over 5km in that time. My previous 5k PB was 20.13 but by holding the “watts” exactly on target I hit 19.42, quite a significant improvement.

Then again, I have a mate who doesn’t even use GPS and can pace exactly where he wants, so maybe less tech is better for some!

For me, the “what can be done to improve ” is the same as for most people. It’s not about optimising my training, my biggest return is from eating less, and eating better.
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@DB, you have made a great start with Training for the New Alpinism. These two really know their onions and train/coach hundreds of people who are pretty much in your shoes. The only book which is even more helpful is their second; Training for the Uphill Athlete.

With the books and the free resources on their Uphill Athlete website you have everything you need.

Lots of folks have set out their experiences and advice above. I will add my thoughts for what they are worth. If you are serious about committing significant time and effort to increasing your endurance and strength, don't start on foundations of sand by guesstimating your Training zones, or using formulas based on mass averages. You will not be average. As an example, my actual maximum hr is 185. None of the formulas would place it anywhere near that (i am 62). Not that knowing your max is that important, just an illustration.

You really need a good indication of what your 1st and 2nd Ventilatory Thresholds are (or Aerobic and Lactate thresholds). For the first one, nose breathing is no real help. The advice in TFtNA on this is aimed at well trained endurance athletes. For those who have spent long periods of time exercising at high intensity, nose breathing is hopeless, you will end up working much too hard. The best money you will spend is to get a proper test at the sport science department of your nearest university. In these times of lurgy shutdown, look to the DIY methods on the website.

Once your thresholds are established, a quick calculation will make it easy to see how you should train. Bigger than a 10% difference between the thresholds and you work solely in z1 and mostly z2 on all endurance work until the difference is down to 10% or less. Once the difference is under 10% you are in a position to 1) reduce the bulk of your endurance work to z1 (z2 will just wear you out at this stage) and 2) introduce higher intensity work exactly as @gra, describes above. Do that too soon, or too much and it will dismantle your hard earned endurance gains.

As Johnson and House set out, 2 x weekly core/strength sessions are essential. Also, the thing I like best is that it is better to take it a little too easy than a little too hard for the bulk of the endurance work. What's not to like!
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@DB, also, as you will note from TFtNA and TFtUA, the VO2 max measure is of little or no value for most training needs. Indeed, they constantly warn against lab or gym tests which provide that information as of limited use for establishing training zones.
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