Rest/Recovery Adaptation | 80/20 Endurance

Rest/Recovery Adaptation

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  • #13351
    RocketScienceRacing
    Participant

    I posed this question to David in an email, but he suggested that I post it here as well.

    I’m a middle-age male training for my first full distance triathlon on a Level 1 plan. I chose Level 1 since I had completed two half-distance events with my fastest being a 5:45. I’m about halfway through my full distance plan but am struggling with the fifth discipline of triathlon (after nutrition): rest/reccovery between workouts.

    So I posed the question to him: Should I artificially lower my pace/power targets or should I drop to a Level 0 plan?

    He ultimately ended up sending me a Level 0 plan, but I’ll let him add his thoughts to this discussion. I’d like to hear if other’s have had similar issues and what their solutions were as well.

    #13384
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    R,

    Thanks for posting! My intent was to encourage you to post your next question, but I’m glad you posted this one anyway so others could see. I’m just going to copy and paste my original e-mail reply to you.

    Your proposal to artificially lower your zones as a way to reduce total load is interesting. In 20 years of coaching, I’ve never considered that before as a chronic method to improve recovery. It’s been spinning in my brain all afternoon.

    What is better: higher volume at a lower intensity, or a lower volume at true 80/20 intensity balance? Training volume is directly linked to performance, but so is training intensity.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that it should not be dismissed out of hand, and that it is really dependent on the athlete. Artificially lowering the intensity might be better than a lower level for some athletes, but not others.

    In your case, I’m faced with a known and an unknown. The known is that the Level 0 plan will speed your recovery and I know it to be an effective IM plan. Your reduced-intensity strategy is an unknown that would require significant more research, and maybe some trial and error (do we use 90% of your threshold? 80%? What if we just keep the threshold the same but make it 90/10 intensity balance instead? Lots to consider…) I therefore I recommend the Level 0 plan.

    David

    #13385
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    R,

    Thanks for posting! My intent was to encourage you to post your next question, but I’m glad you posted this one anyway so others could see. I’m just going to copy and paste my original e-mail reply to you.

    Your proposal to artificially lower your zones as a way to reduce total load is interesting. In 20 years of coaching, I’ve never considered that before as a chronic method to improve recovery. It’s been spinning in my brain all afternoon.

    What is better: higher volume at a lower intensity, or a lower volume at true 80/20 intensity balance? Training volume is directly linked to performance, but so is training intensity.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that it should not be dismissed out of hand, and that it is really dependent on the athlete. Artificially lowering the intensity might be better than a lower level for some athletes, but not others.

    In your case, I’m faced with a known and an unknown. The known is that the Level 0 plan will speed your recovery and I know it to be an effective IM plan. Your reduced-intensity strategy is an unknown that would require significant more research, and maybe some trial and error (do we use 90% of your threshold? 80%? What if we just keep the threshold the same but make it 90/10 intensity balance instead? Lots to consider…) I therefore I recommend the Level 0 plan.

    David

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