Thursday, June 8, 2023

Training Target for Long Slow Distance

Again - My nutrition plan feels solid and somewhat

battle tested.  I feel like I can start to weave in more 

emphasis on training, without the risk of derailing the

diet. This post is about as bro-science-y as I get!

One of my prized possessions is the typewriter printouts of my coaches training plan when I was 20.  We spent a lot of time in two zones called "aerobic 1", and "aerobic 2".  Every other afternoon workout was a 60 minute long slow piece, and a few mornings a week, a couple of us would add another one.

These pieces felt meditative, somewhere on the upper edge of 'regenerative', like less of a mental heavy-lift than the speed work we also mixed in.

Training targets @ 20 years old for aerobic 1 was 150BPM or 75%  max heart rate (MHR), aerobic 2 was 165BPM or 82.5% MHR.

Using 220-age for MHR estimation that would be currently equivalent to 131BPM (A1) and 144BPM (A2). This paper (which looks suspiciously formatted as a journal article, but is self-published) suggests potentially subtracting 5BPM for being in a 'detrained' (ehem...) state, leaving 126BPM (or 72% MHR) and 139 (80% MHR) at age 46.

For me a single-value target is most useful, so I sort of arbitrarily set that at 70% based on the above, that works out to 122BPM.  Right now I'm at 30 minutes, but I'd like to work up to an hour about 4 days a week to leave room for strength training.

What I have noticed is that it takes a 10 minute warm up to get to about 65% MHR, and another 5-8 minutes to feel like I want to go stay around/above 70%.  None of this feels really strenuous.  I will note that I'm doing this on a recumbent exercise bike, not an erg.  It doesn't feel like a good idea to just sit down and try to hit 70% MHR cold.