Vaguely interesting 3 minute video from the GSK lab Jenson doesn’t beat Mr Brownlee…sorry for the spoiler !
Vaguely interesting 3 minute video from the GSK lab Jenson doesn’t beat Mr Brownlee…sorry for the spoiler !
Let’s talk “Monthly HRV Load”…
You’ve seen it in the box on the left, but you’ve been too caught up in what your daily HRV score is telling you about how to adjust your workouts to really care.
After all, you can’t go wrong with the simple “green means go, amber means slow” guidelines, right?
While it’s tempting to limit HRV data to its day-to-day utility, the real juicy information lies within the bigger picture:
Am I receiving enough training stimuli to achieve my goals (performance, body composition, or other)?
Am I continuing to see progress or am I at risk of plateauing?
Are my methods, intensity, or volume more than my body can sustain over time?
These are the kinds of questions that can be explored when looking at monthly HRV load.
A green monthly HRV load is indicative of a relatively low level of stress over the last 30 days, which can be good or bad, depending on your goals at the time.
If your primary goal is to improve your fitness and HRV, a low monthly load may mean that you are not providing with your body with a large enough stimulus to continue seeing improvements in your conditioning.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HRV is that if you’re training hard, you should expect to see a moderate or high load. The reality, however, is that if you’re been on the same program and aren’t seeing much improvement in the gym or in your training, chances are that the body has already adapted to the program and this will often result in a low HRV load.
Once the body adapts to a program, the body perceives it as a low level of stress, regardless of how hard you “feel” like you’re training.
What you feel and what the body perceives are often two different things.
When looking at Monthly HRV Load, this means that context is important.
Have you experienced improvements in your performance, body composition, or other goals?
If yes, then you shouldn’t worry about having a low Monthly Load.
After all, the purpose of HRV monitoring is not to train yourself until you see amber readiness scores.
The purpose is to monitor you training so that you see continual progress while avoiding injury and overtraining; so long as you’re seeing that progress, don’t worry.
However, if you have been experiencing plateaus and your progress has been stagnant, consider tweaking your training load to induce the changes you’re striving for.
More often than not, a MED Monthly HRV load is a sign that your overall program and lifestyle is the right mix of stress and recovery.
This will be reaffirmed with a positive change in Monthly Change, or how much your average HRV score has improved over the last 30 days.
So this means if you see an amber monthly HRV load, it’s probably a good sign.
You are likely providing your body with enough stimuli to promote positive changes in performance, body composition, etc.
The key to maneuvering this phase is to carefully monitor your HRV for signs of overreaching or plateauing.
Think of the amber monthly load as the fulcrum of a teeter totter:
You are currently balanced, providing yourself with enough stimuli to improve but not so much that you increase your risk of injury and disease.
However, with a slight increase or decrease in stress load you could easily tip the teeter totter to the right or left, into the regions of exhaustion or undertraining.
If you’re monthly HRV load is red, something needs to change quickly.
You’re placing a higher amount of stress on your body than it can recover from and you are at increased risk of injury and disease.
Does this always mean that your physical training is running you into the ground?
Since HRV looks at the impact of all stressors on your autonomic nervous system, several influences are likely at play at once.
Possible culprits could range from a lack of sleep, to a break-up, to increased work stress, to a change in diet…
Critically examine the components of your daily life to get to the root of the problem.
The Monthly HRV Load is an important gauge to understand how your body is adapting to your program and lifestyle as a whole. Most often, a MED Load is the right amount the majority of the time, though you always want to consider the context of your training and changes to performance/fitness over the last 30 days.
If you’re seeing LOW Monthly HRV Load and very little or no progress, it’s likely time to change your program and/or up the volume/intensity a bit.
A MED Monthly load, on the other hand, is generally a good the right balance between stress and recovery and is what you’ll want to see more often than not.
Seeing a HIGH Monthly Load, however, is cause for concern and you’ll want to review you current training program and lifestyle stress to see what may be causing it. Although it’s normal to see a HIGH HRV load on occasion, if this is sustained for very long, you’re at a high risk for overtraining and/or injuries.
With my impending Hever Gauntelt HIM then I just want to check out where my LTHR is right now as for longer races, eg IM and HIM distances, then you can’t stay over your LTHR. Well I can’t anyway.
So am doing a few tests, mostly for my bike as I can pace the run by ‘feel’, to make sure that my ‘limits’ are updated in line with my current fitness (or lack of it) as well as any kind of loading I may well do…notably caffeine. Just had to buy some ProPlus today just for that purpose in fact. Take 300-400mg 1 hour before the race and replenish 100 – 150 towards the end of the bike in a HIM.
By Jackie Newton. Level 3 UKA endurance coach.
This is the shortest of the events classed as long distance and so you need more speed for this one! More speed = higher intensity, which means you need more recovery to give the body time to repair itself and make you fitter. This programme has 3 fast sessions each week, 3 slow sessions and one day of complete rest.
R = Rest
E = Easy pace
F = Faster than race pace. Recoveries in repetitions should be for the same amount of time as the previous effort.
Any session that includes fast running should also include a 10 minute warm up with dynamic stretching and a 10 minute cool down with static stretching.
The sessions don’t have to be done on the days suggested – they should fit in and around the rest of your life but try to keep to the formula of having an easy day or a day of rest after the faster sessions. Recovery is a very important part of training. Likewise, if you are feeling tired on a day where a fast session is scheduled, save it for another day and have a day off or an easy run. It is important to listen to your body. It will tell you when you need recovery. An elevated resting heart rate is also an indication that you need to rest as there is a possibility that you are fighting off a bug or virus. Don’t run if you are ill or run down. You shouldn’t try to make up for lost time either. If you have to miss sessions it is probably best to get back onto the schedule where you left off and change your target race.
|40 – 45 mins E||12 X 400m F||40 – 45 mins E||3 X 5 mins F||R||2 X (8 X 200m) F with 5 mins between the sets||75 mins E|
|40 – 45 mins E||12 X 400m F||40 – 45 mins E||10 X 40 secs uphill F||R||6 X 300m F||75 mins E|
|40 – 45 mins E||2 X (8 X 200m) F with 5 mins recovery between sets||40 – 45 mins E||3 X 5 mins F||R||4 X 800m F + 4 X 400m Faster||60 mins E|
|40 – 45 mins E||4 X 1km||40 – 45 mins E||10 X 40 secs uphill F||R||6 X 300m F||75 mins E|
|40 – 45 mins E||2 X (8 X 200m) F with 5 mins recovery between sets||40 – 45 mins E||3 X 5 mins F||R||4 X 800m F and 4 X 400m faster||60 mins E|
|40 – 45 mins E||4 X 1km F||40 – 45 mins E||5 X 600m F + 5 X 300m faster||R||20 mins E||RACE DAY|
While runbritain takes every care to help readers with training, diet and injuries, neither they, nor their contributors, can accept responsibility for illness or injury caused as a result of advice given.
The free parkrun 5k training plan to get those times falling even more.
You’ve got the parkrun bug. You’ve improved quite a bit and want that improvement to continue. Yet you seem to be struggling to improve. Each week the parkrun seems to be getting harder and your times are hardly improving at all. You’re training quite a bit and you really want to include parkrun in your training plan. You went on holiday had too many beers and yet when you came back you did a parkrun PB. Actually, thinking about it, you’re training a LOT more than you used to and yet you’ve ‘only’ improved 15 seconds in the last month.
What on earth is going on?
You must need a parkrun 5k training plan? Or at least you think you do. (Don’t worry I’m not going to charge you for it; read on!)
Well it’s all very complicated and I guess the convoluted answer to many of those points and questions (above) are what drove me to start writing this whole blog before I got inextricably tied up with triathlons and duathlons.
The 5k parkrun plan is at the end of this article. It’s not perfect but it’s simple enough to follow. You can check out some other plans here on my free training plans page. For the speedier amongst you here is a straightforward Sub 20 minute 5k training plan. I’ll answer some of the points/questions from above that maybe drove you to this page in the first place. Or maybe it was just the word ‘Free’. :-)
If you are training a lot and not improving you are either doing the wrong kind of training or not allowing your body to sufficiently recover (adapt) from (to) the training you are doing. That’s basically one of the key components of a plan….recovery and adaptation to the right kind of stimuli.
Anyway if you can run a parkrun without stopping then maybe this plan is for you:
Analysis: There is not enough time to recover properly from Thursday’s session for your next parkrun on Saturday. Depending on how fast you run it (race vs VO2 vs tempo vs jog vs plod), the parkrun might tire you too much to properly execute the Sunday session. Really, that pesky parkrun every week gets in the way. If you were really racing a 5k very hard then you would do a much easier Sunday. Never mind, you like to do parkruns remember? You wanted them in your plan because you love them!
So. The options going forwards.
1. The boost: Once a month or once every two months really go for a good time. The training for that is easy-peasy. You have Thursday’s session off. Yep, 3 clear days of rest. That should make you go LOTS faster. Perhaps combine that, too, with missing out session 3. (gym) in the same week. Yes; a really easy week WILL make you go MUCH faster on your parkrun. You obviously won’t get faster by having an easy week every week. But in your heart of hearts you knew that. I just thought I’d make it clear. :-)
2. You could change around sessions 2. & 3. at any time. Most people prefer to do longer runs on Sundays. Ideally you would do a real slow run to recover (I included that on Saturday remember?) but they don’t necessarily make you faster (And for all you good people, yes I know the reasons why they do make you faster).
3. The does-my-bum-look-sweaty-in-this option. If your 5k time is over 35 minutes and you find all this stuff quite hard then your best bet IS to do the slow runs (ie not this plan look for Couch-to-5k). Start off with 5 minutes jogging 5 minutes recovering (repeat 4-6 times). Try to increase the time/distance that you can go for – so ultimately you aim for 2 lots of 20 minutes or 3 lots of 15 minutes – something like that. Don’t worry about the speed. It’s a bit boring but just do that one day and rest the next then off you go again. Even use the parkrun to do 3 lots of 10 minutes running with bits walking…that’s OK too. Once you can do 5k then just try to extend (slowly) the time you run for and once you can run non-stop for an hour or say have 2×30 minutes non-stop THEN you ready for some speedier stuff.
PS The reason why going on holiday and getting drunk makes you faster is twofold: firstly you don’t do it too often and secondly it helps your body recover from training. (Well mostly; beer rarely helps but we’re all human and we all like some time off every now and then).
PPS This is not endorsed in any way by the nice parkrun people.
Swim Run and Bike….wrong order; wrong to do all 3 on the same day (probably).
I had an early lake-based 3k to wake me up. Failed miserably to hit a PB there.
Off to a parkrun on a glorious day; aiming to beat my time from a couple of weeks back. Still that was 30 seconds or so off my PB, should be do-able.
It wasn’t. I treid really hard. The heart said I did as well but the legs weren’t there. OK not ideal after a swim I know but my time from a couple of weeks back was set in the same circumstances. In fact the only difference was a VO2 bike session I did on Wednesday night ie two and a half days ago. That one session cost me a further 30 seconds.
So for the doubters of the correctness of tapering…you’re wrong. Extended periods of fast exercise are not what should be in a taper. I reckon such a session costs you 2-4% of your potential performance. See how much training you need to do to get that much faster. Much easier doing nothing.
There’s no substitute for training (except aero wheels!) but you’re gonna buy some gear so here’s what I think you NEED if you want to do half well. this is NOT what you need if all you want to do is finish. this is what you need to be a bit competitive and get the best out of what you’ve got. I think I’ve got everything in the list but let me know if not. Remember just things you NEED to be competitive:
Strength & Conditioning
Of course YOU might NEED specific things like compression gear or certain medicines. Of course there are lots of useful things over and above this such as a blood lactate test. That list gets a bit long.
Here’s one way of boosting the hits on my site I guess….yes, the ‘S’ word should do it.
Here is an excerpt of the relevant bits from today’s article on the bbc website (so it must be true?):
It’s well established among sports scientists that sex doesn’t inhibit performance (as long as the athlete gets a full night’s sleep). But the aversion to sex before sport persists, and isn’t just a footballer thing. British sprinter Linford Christie used to say making love the night before a race made his legs feel like lead. German tennis player Boris Becker made headlines after he defied a trainer who told him to remain celibate. Boxer Carl Froch abstained from sex for three months before knocking out George Groves in their world title fight last weekend.
So now you know what to do, or not do. GET SOME SLEEP! (Cherry Active helps that if you’re interested). What a boring end to an initially hopeful title !
Actually Zemanta humourously (ish) picked up an interesting picture below in a related article.
Too light or irregular training, no effect
Large part of the general public believes that they are doing enough physical exercise to keep fit. Contrary to their belief many people do not fulfil the criteria of training as their exercise is not vigorous enough to produce an improving training effect. This is a common problem of the developed nations.
Too hard training, too frequently
There are many amateur athletes who are very conscientious and tend to train too hard. They may want to follow the training programs that are written by the pro coaches to full time athletes. This does not work. The athlete very easily ends up overloading the body. As the training and recovery are not balanced and the body is not prepared for such training load, the risk of injury and overtraining runs very high. This is the case when a training program does not match the user’s fitness level and there is no mechanism to link outcome to needed change in training. Necessary time for recovery is often missing.
Always the same training, no improvement
It is very typical for amateur athletes (runners) and fitness enthusiasts to be very set in their own ways. This means that they always repeat a training pattern. This pattern may long since have lost its effectiveness. A lot of time is spent on training with no real improvement. In many cases spending less time in correctly measured and guided training would produce a far better result. This has been shown by many who have started to use Firstbeat tools.
I’ve just written a brief review of my experience with the BioForceHRV android app. I think it was an interesting experience. What do you think?
Basically HRV analysis is simple to do and the benefit is that it might stop you from training TOO MUCH.