Building up mileage for Norwegian Style Threshold training

Please note, that my ideas and way of thinking is always kind of translated to trail and ultra trail running ! Not necessarily to run a sub 30 road 10km or to excel in the 1500m.


Yes, this is extremely important. Percentages of Threshold out of total mileage recommended by the “authorities” on the subject like Peter Coe and Marius Bakken, can be up to 40% sometimes, but definitely at least 30% maintainable for long term. The thing is, that the percentage of aerobic training has nothing to do with aerobic development, mitochondrial density and metabolic health.

Did you get the connection ? If not keep, just keep reading ! So if you ran a total of 60km a week, with 30% of Threshold, what is 20km and you did 30% of recovery at sub 70%HRMAX, then you have 20km left of pure aerobic running. Add in hill interval sessions, one long run, the warming up and the cooldown and boom, you are running only 10km a week aerobically, 20 km at threshold and 30 km in Zone 1. So running low mileage cannot be associated with the double threshold style training.
The lower the mileage is, the more you gotto periodize and specialize as the least variety you can keep.

In case of Marius, he observed throughout decades runners from all countries. The Sweet Spot is around 20 to 30km a day with a weekly mileage of 180km. Some can perform well at 100 to 140, but more likely for shorter distances and with compensated strength and plyo sessions. Some handle big volume of 170 to 220.
180km a week = sweet spot. No that is not the goal ! That is a result of sensible planning !

180 – 30% = 60km of Threshold, 10km VO2max and anaerobic touches, 20km Z1 and 90km of aerobic development. In addition, at base training, LT is only once or twice a week, so they might run 100miles in total aeroby !

So yes, if you wanted to run +30% of your mileage at threshold, you got to build up to around 120 to 140km a week of running at least. Even in this case, the aerobic support runs are not necessarily sufficient to add in a VO2Max session every second week, hill sprints, fartleks and so on. You must think and get your objectives and training periods right !

Actually 120km a week starts getting there. If you stick to smart double threshold days, plyo and strength and conditioning, monthly racing will take care of higher intensities. At the beginning for 2 to 4 months, you might not have the results you wanted. But after ! All will fall into place !

I propose you two simple ways to build, depending on the runner you are. One is to jump right into high mileage and totally cut the intensity and keep a very honest precise look at your HR, all the time. You might do long hikes and nordic walks 3 to 4 times in the morning, keep on doing double and triple days with a lot of short jogs and aerobic runs. Use always at the beginning a run walk strategy and keep it very low intensity. After a month, you’ll see how you hold up and how you can transform your performance to running purely. 2 hours in the morning, 1hour in the evening. Use the knowledge you get from the MAF method.

Second. Use the traditional method. Drop the long run. No need for the moment. For me a long run starts and 20miles. So, yes you would still do the 60 to 120min runs in the weekend. EZ !
You start with adding in 5km a week. The moment you feel the difficulty overwhelming you, stop increasing. Keep the mileage. No intensity, keep the heart rate low and run a lot in MAF range: 180 – your age – 10 ! That is 150 to 140bpm for a 30 year old runner !

In both cases, once you arrive to the total mileage needed, try running at least 80% of that in the MAF range for at least a month. Low end when tired, mid range when blah, high end when fresh.

I cannot write everything here. The moment you got a shitty stride and don’t take care of your body, you try running all of it on the concrete and not eating any veggies and fruits and so on…you’ll break the “F” down ! Keep stretching, keep mobilising, keep sleeping, eat raw fruits and veggies, eat meat, fish and eggs at least once a week. Keep your weight low, but eat enough ! Keep the amino acids coming in to stimulate your enzymatic response ! EAA, Creatine, Glutamine, Citrulline Malate, Beta Alanine, L-Carnitine, HMB ! Massage, use creams and lotions, E-Stim, Ice and sauna !


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