After a couple of weeks of running around mostly sub MAF, I start feeling my body getting into a good groove. Inflammation from previous high intensity period is greatly decreasing, what is one of the best signs of quality aerobic work. When your mitochondria is increasing in numbers and the metabolic efficacy of your entire body is dropping to total aerobic zone, your body can solve a lot of deep long been present issues. It can decalcify, it can increase mobility, it can start getting back to normal functioning. Of course the auxiliary work is obligatory, as if you did nothing, nothing will happen. Just instead of simple maintenance, now stuff is improving and developing. Anaerobic and general high intensity training is very catabolic and inflammatory to the body.
My squat got little better and deeper, my core is getting very strong due to the 2nd month now into a very special routine, consequently and irrepricocally my ankle mobility is just way more reliable and so on.
I now am into the 5th week of training. 40 + 60 + 75 + 60 + 80km . Slowly but surely building up the volume. I also feel that I really need to give it a good go time to time and it is a great part of MAF training. I prefer this sort of testing than the MAF test. Simply because I am in good health and has been forever. I do not add 5 to my MAF heart rate though despite that probably I could even add 10 if wanted. However once a week or each 10 to 15 days I am out on an honest effort to work in MAF-NEglected heart rate zones. I had one ride last week, where I dipped into the 150s 3 to 4 times, then followed by a 16km run where I ignored heart rate. I pushed a good 20ming climb in the heat and also was hammering the pace on certain descents. Then this week I was out riding the iconic Col de Braus where I also dipped into the 140 to 155 range for a couple of minutes. Then today I was out on a 2h37min run, where I put the hammer down. 25km with D+1000m ! I even got a headache on the last longer climb, I think I was really running out on fluids and glucose. I can run this at MAF in and around 3h15, so 2h37min is a 37min cut. I used the optical HR tight and high up on the wrist, so while it is more likely 5 to 10 beats off hear and there, it still gives a very good idea about where I am at. I had some signs of fatigue on a 1km climb at 15km and on the final flat section of 23,5km. 157 average heart rate and 181 at its highest.
What must be imagined, that if you wanted to win the 80km version of this race, what has 3000m of elevation gain, you have to run even faster than this. Depending on the temperatures and of course the participants, it goes from 7h30 to 8h for the winning time, in one particular year going at 7h15 due to the cool conditions.
What is great about the aerobic system, that it can be stressed way more interestingly than the anaerobic system. For instance you can do a hack load of training at a 100 to 130 heart rate – I mean like brutal volumes – , without breaking down, without undue fatigue, without joint and muscular stress and still improve performance on all of the heart rate zones above. Mix that with muscular development and technical practice and for an ultra you can build a very resilient body. Add in one high intensity session a week or every 10 to 14 days and off you go. Maybe two real anaerobic set a month where heart rate is still very low. Like 10 x 10 sec hills with at least 1:30min recovery.
This is what I will be doing in the next 4 weeks, as I still must build volume, but fitness and resistance too in the meantime. Speed if untrained is lost, as neuromuscular stimulation is needed. At this moment I will use very short, low repeat sprints, like 5 x 50m as part of warming up or cooldown and downhill running. Downhill running is epic as you can run very fast, damage your muscles very correctly and keep the heart rate low while stimulating the neuromuscular system and training turnover too.