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Aet and training

Posted By: Paul F
Date: Friday, 17 August 2007, at 12:05 a.m.

KP and others,

Could you guys have read through this article I have written. I'm after feedback.

It's article on how I think you can use Aet pace and HR to help determine your optimal run volume each week.

Using your Aet (IM) pace in training

Once you identify the pace you are able hold at Aet over 10km your next step is to extend that pace out further and further until you are satisfied you can hold that pace for a full IM run. The safest and surest way to accomplish that is by spending as much time as possible at that pace and below that pace to work on your efficiency and economy as a runner.
When you start training at intensities that are above your Aet pace you start to quicken up your Aet pace however, you also begin to shorten the length of time you are able to run at that pace. Also training above your Aet pace will also lessen the amount of training you can do, because you start to train at an intensity that is not as sustainable as training at Aet.
In fact, in most cases youíll probably start training below the minimum volume required to go the distance. Unfortunately, I donít believe you can substitute intensity with volume in an attempt to reduce the minimum volume required to run an IM well.
The only time I would recommend inserting higher intensity work into an IM running program is when you find that your HR at goal pace is starting to drop well below your Aet HR. If for example, your goal is to run a 3:30 (5min k) IM run and your HR at this pace begins to drop greater then 10bpm below your Aet then your in a good position to start running faster and start the process again of extending out your new found Aet pace which might be now around 4:50 min kís.
Then you repeat the same process above but instead of running at 5:00min kís as much as possible you are now running at 4:50min kís and then you begin to again extend how far you can hold that pace for a greater distance each week.
So then how do you know when to speed up the pace youíre currently running at?
Well, if youíre running well under your Aet HRís for your long run of say 2-2.5hrs then you'll be in sound position to start running faster.
However, bare in mind that this new pace may bring your long run HRís back up to Aet or above. Therefore it is a good idea to reduce the length of your long run unitl you have fully adapted to that new pace. Overtime your HRís for your long run will once again start to drop well below your Aet. When this happens repeat the same process outlined above. This applies to 4+hr IM runners and or sub 3hrs runners.

Remember too by running at a lower HR youíll able to absorb a lot more training through the introduction of frequency first. Once youíre running as often as you can then start running longer. The problem with the higher intensity stuff is that it will make your Aet pace quicker but on the downside it will shorten the length of time youíll be able to hold that pace and also the amount of training youíll be able to do.

[B]The practical approach for addressing Aet in training[/B]

The first step is to do an Aet test of 10k to establish how fast you can run over 10kís at Aet hrís. Then start your long run at 16k with the objective of being able to reach that distance at Aet pace and HR. If you donít then you know that you're not ready to run longer then 16k as your running economy and efficiency is falling apart somewhere between 10k and 16k. You would continue to keep your long run at 16k and continue to run as often as possible in and around your Aet pace and hr with all of your other runs.
Once you're able to reach 16k at Aet pace and hr you know then you have developed the fitness, economy and efficiency to now move your long run up to 20k.
You should continue to run 20k each week until you are running 20k at Aet pace and hr. If you feel this is starting to take too long to achieve, ie greater then 6 weeks then this suggests that you are not overloading yourself enough volume and frequency each week. So you should look at increasing a second run out to 12-16k or start inserting some additional runs until you can reach that 20k run at Aet pace and hrís. This also assists you in determining what the optimal volume for you to aim for each week. There will be no need to add additional run volume (apart from your long run) each week if you are able to consistently extend the pace and hr of your long run out further and further. However, at some point you will stop seeing those improvements and thatís then the right time to insert additional overload into your running program.
You will find that the longer your long run is the more it will require you to do other runs more often in order to support that long run and extend your Aet pace out further.
Once you have developed your long run up to 30km and you are comfortable running that distance at Aet pace and hr you then retest your Aet pace over 10kís and you will find that you'll be running faster. Then repeat the process all over again by teaching your body to run at a new pace and start building up your long run from 16k again at that new pace.

Paul

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