The Sock Doc Training Principles: Become a Strong, Fast, Efficient, Injury-Free Athlete

This is Sock Doc’s Mega-Post on Training Principles. It’s divided up into 5 parts, all relating to each other at various levels. I hope you enjoy them and learn a thing or two. Please post any comments or questions here on this post, or the individual articles.

Sock Doc Training Part I: Aerobic Activity Is the Foundation to Your Health AND Fitness

  • What exactly is “cardio” exercise?
  • Aerobic activity will benefit everybody – it is NOT “chronic cardio”
  • Understand the difference between aerobic and anaerobic and their importance for health and fitness

Sock Doc Training Part II: Build Your Aerobic System – (Move Your Ass Often, But Not Too Quickly)

  • How to build your aerobic system correctly and efficiently
  • Dangers of too much true aerobic activity
  • HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training – when and why you should, or should not, do these workouts

Sock Doc Training Part III: Strength Training – Do It. But Make It Work For You

  • Strength conditioning for endurance athletes- it’s a good thing if done correctly
  • Aerobic training for strength athletes – yup, them too

Sock Doc Training Part IV: The Sock Doc Training Formula

  • A new Sock Doc Training Formula for optimum health and fitness
  • Improving your health and fitness without sacrificing one or the other
  • Overtrained or under rested?

Sock Doc Training Part V: That Marathon May Kill You?

  • Long distance training can wreck your health or send you to an early grave if you train improperly
  • Train smart, race smart, and live a healthy and fit life

Comments

  1. Steve, you are a writing machine! Thanks for such comprehensive coverage. Now to read through 3 or 4 times to get the most out of it all :-)

  2. What about insoles such as cork ones which mold to your foot? Recommended or not for PF?

    Would you recommend vibrating massage tools?

    Any other strength exercises would recommend? What about raises from toe/ball of foot on the stairs?

    As a chronic suffer (most recently for more than a year; on and off for 20 years), I enjoyed your video and hope to benefit by following your recommendations.

    • No on the cork insoles. No on the vibrating massage tools – they can’t work out a trigger point though some of them can help with fascial problems. Toe raises are okay but you’re not going to turn on muscles that are inhibited (turned-off) by exercising them.

      20 years? Wow. Even 20 days is too long for PF, or any injury.

  3. David Snape says:

    Firstly, thanks for spending your time in putting together this web site, have really enjoyed reading through the various articles and waiting the videos. I have read quite a lot on many of the topics you have discussed and have come to very similar conclusions.

    I did, until recently, disagree about aerobic training and intervals. I have read much research showing the benefit of intervals. For the last three months I have concentrated on high intensity interval training and it has been quite an interesting experience. My sport is cycling in the form of mountain biking. Beginning of this year I did a couple of circuits in local wood to get times. I then starting the interval training and initially (first four weeks) I got quicker. However after three months my times on re test were slower! And I felt generally tired. I did take appropriate rest and only completed max three interval sessions (most weeks only 2).

    After reflection I totally agree with your approach of concentrating on building a good aerobic base and only use the more anaerobic training at specific times as described in some of your posts.

    For the next couple of months I am going to try staying in my max aerobic HR by using the formula 180 – age (never come across this one before). I will time myself on couple of different routes and see what happens.

    One question I do have is that you mention for bike to subtract 5 – 8 beats. Is this of your max heart rate. So for example I am 37 years old giving me a rate of 143, so for on the bike my max heart rate would be 138 – 135.

    Thanks again for a excellent website, I look forward to more posts.

  4. You have me some great information on a past post regarding using Maffetone’s method on heart rate. I am 54 but found the 180-age+5 not getting me anywhere. So you suggested that I bump that up to 135 for easy days and 140 for harder aerobic days. Two questions: How many harder days a week can one do? Is it okay for say two to three with one easy long run in? Second I ran my first race of the year a short 2 miler. Wow does that get done fast. Anyway I noticed on my Garmin that for the final sprint in my max HR was 190. Does MR really have anything to do with aerobic zones?

    Thanks!

    • Well I wouldn’t call those days “harder” in regards to anaerobic – since they still should be aerobic basically if you’re aerobic is improving over time then eventually you want more to be in that 140 area and less in the 135 and below.

      What is “MR”? Something max I’m thinking? If that’s what you mean then no, not related to aerobic.

      • I did mean Max Heart rate. It’s interesting as what I’m learning from you and Phil Maffetone is so different from others. It seems all the others factor in max HR but you guys don’t. But since following your suggesting things just get better and better I’m going to stick with your knowledge and advice. Thanks!

  5. Chuck W says:

    Dr. Gangemi, I have been following your training articles with great interest, thanks for all the info! I am a recreational runner, and I want to try the aerobic training with a heart rate monitor. During the aerobic “base building” period, should I refrain from any strength or speed training (anaerobic workouts)? I’ve heard that the base building period can last 3-6 months–that seems like a very long time to me. Won’t I lose strength if I go 3-6 months without any resistance training? Thanks for your advice!

    • Thanks Chuck. As I mention in the SD Training Principles I think that if you’re healthy (not injured, sick, on meds) then strength may be just fine and actually recommended. I’d hold off on speed anaerobic until your aerobic base is well established.

  6. Hi there,

    A couple of questions about your article.

    1) You mention CRP, “A healthy CRP level should be <1.0 mg/L, although “normal” is allowed up to 3.0 mg/L. I’ve raced 20 Ironman races and check my CRP at least once a year. It is always well below 1.0 mg/L , often <0.5 mg/L."

    Do you test this at a point when you are not racing? Mine was 2ish and wonder if my training impacts this or strictly a less than ideal diet?

    2) You mention avoiding refined carbohydrates. I've recently switched to the paleo diet (pretty good most of the time). The book "Paleo for endurance athletes" suggested intake of refined sugar is okay immediately after the work-out to restore glycogen stores. That being the time the body is most ready to store it as such, rather than going to my waist.

    What are your thoughts on this? It has made a HUGE difference in my recovery and readiness for the next day of training.

    Thanks!

    • 1) I have never tested mine immediately after racing; that is something I eventually need to do. Everything I discuss in the Principles and throughout this site affects CRP – stress basically. So training too hard, racing, inadequate rest, poor diet, emotional stress, etc. If it’s high (above 1.0) when you’re not racing, I’d say that is not healthy. If it’s high right after racing it’s definitely something to be aware of. Hard to say what is “normal” there. Maybe a bit elevated is okay, but still above 3.0 I’d think would be a problem, especially if this is a common occurrence.

      2) Yes I have read that book. It depends on the intensity and duration of you workout, as well as your health. I would be eating refined sugar after an aerobic run, but probably would after a race or hard intensity intervals. More on all that here: http://sock-doc.com/2011/02/nutrition-before-during-and-after-exercisecompetition/

      • I’ve started training with HR and doing the MAF thing again but still work hard days 2x or so a week. Shorter but hard. If diet is good, work is work, sleep is good and CRP is high, is there anything that can be done?

        • Well yeah – don’t train hard 2X a week. You don’t want a high CRP.

          • Interval, Tempo, VO2max are typical training sessions for improving running speed when mixed with easy running. Are you suggesting it is a trade-off ? Thanks again!

          • These all have their place and are all explained in the V Principles series.

  7. Margaret says:

    Hi Dr. Gangemi,
    Thanks for your in depth review of HIIT. I started HIIT about 3 months ago and noticed significant improvements, including a reduction in abdominal fat for the first time that I can remember. I do the HIIT work out just 10 minutes at a time, about 3 – 4 days a week. I set the treadmill on 9, more or less, and hop off and on every 12 or 8 seconds for about 10 minutes. This type of exercise has been very addictive for me, and I find it hard to stay away from it for the recommended 48 hour recovery period. I will say that I have noticed some aches and pains in my thigh and hip areas. I also do traditional running and I take a weight lifting class a couple times per week. After reading some of your posts I have reason to worry as I understand these aches could be signs of serious problems down the road. I will have to seriously consider the pros and cons of my routine.
    Thanks again,
    Margaret

    • Hi Margaret – yes not to put fear in your mind here but it is highly unlikely you will be able to continue that type of training much longer without getting injured. You’re already seeing signs.

  8. Chuck W says:

    Hello again! Very interesting articles & discussion. I have a question about using fats vs. using carbohydrates as energy sources. You present this as a question of aerobic vs. anaerobic metabolism. But isn’t it possible to utilize glucose aerobically in the cell, as in to oxidize glucose completely using oxygen? Is it perhaps a proportional question, such that when burning more sugars, the anaerobic proportion of energy utilization increases? Thanks again for your advice and insight!

    • Yes – remember you’re pretty much always using both to some degree unless you’re sprinting hard <200 meters, on average.

  9. You said that it is possible to overtrain aerobically and I am wondering if I have.

    I am 57 years old and have been running four to six miles 5x per week at a steady jog, no intervals, not anaerobic. I’ve been running since 1986. My resting pulse is low, usually 45 to 48 but can be as low as 41-43. Blood pressure is normal but has been slightly low a few times. Tinnitus started suddenly about 7 years ago and 3 years ago other strange symptoms started — mainly sleep disturbances including myclonic jerks and a chronic whooshing snapping sensation that occurrs repeatedly when waking from sleep. I also get periodic hangover feelings some mornings. Another thing that’s been happening lately is a sensation which is similar to someone putting their hands over my ears and pumping them to create a pulsing effect.This typically happens when I get up from a seated position, and then lasts about 15 seconds. I also get an intermittent metallic taste in my mouth and random twitching muscles, typically when waking. The “migrainy” symptoms (feeling like I’m hungover) are relieved by running, caffeine, eating or sex. Sometimes they’re actually worse when I’m relaxed after a run…especially the pulsing effect in my ears.

    I don’t drink alcohol or take drugs, have been to two neurologists and had 2 MRI’s and a EEG. They diagnosed me with migraine variants , it seems because I’ve been getting optical migraines since I was in my twenties and they didn’t know what else it could be.

    Do you think any of these symptoms could relate to my exercise regime? After reading this post a month ago I have added about three 5 minute intervals a week to my jogs but haven’t noticed any changes yet.
    Thanks for a great site and whatever advice you have.

    • You have many of the “overtraining” symptoms I describe here – http://sock-doc.com/2011/02/warning-signs-symptoms-of-overtraining/ – which can be from the wrong type of training or from just too much stress in general. It sounds more like fatigued adrenal glands to me – and then the sympathetic-type activities (caffeine, running, sex), tend to help. So first you have to look where any other stress may be coming from – if I had to guess I’d say you eat some refined carbs or your body is very poor at processing them (which is adrenal dependent). I say this because I’ve made a correlation with tinnitus and dysglycemia as well the metallic taste (usually a heavy metal toxicity or zinc deficiency). If you should not be training anaerobically and start it would obviously make yourself worse.

  10. When I had previously read average correlations between 5k & marathon times I just figured I wasn’t the norm (7:00/mile vs. 9:30 for 26.2), but your explanation of fit vs. healthy/aerobically prepared makes complete sense now.

    I am training for a 100mi ultra and was wondering if your body can switch back to aerobic fat-burning mode once you cross the threshold. In other words, is it okay to run up hills (during shorter training runs) and be temporarily anaerobic, or should I be walking to stay in my aerobic zone.

    Thanks for the great info! (Came here from Trail Runner Nation podcast)

    • Yes not the norm but definitely very common. Can you switch back? Yeah, but it’s not as easy as staying there. For an ultra of that distance you’d want to walk the hills until the end (maybe the 90 mile mark – depending on how you feel). In shorter training runs I think running the hills would be okay – but not every workout and not if your HR goes say from Zone 2 to Zone 4-5.

  11. Mike Andersen says:

    As a 25 year old marathoner who would consider himself sub-elite (2:31 marathon), I am very interested in your article on the issues surrounding stress and damage on the heart muscle as one trains for longer distances. I run consistently over 100 miles per week and would like some clarification if for nothing else but peace of mind. I do 90% of my training between a HR of 130-155 and only do anerobic work on average of once per 10 days. I value rest and usually run twice a day to spread the stress and make sure the second run is always around 140 bpm and 30 minutes long. I wondered about the recent studies that say that excessive, intense exercise causes scarring of the heart over time. I guess my question is, does this refer to mostly higher HR efforts, such as greater than 70% vo2 and such? Isn’t long distance running at a lower HR a good thing as it should not stress ones heart beyond normal meaures? I enjoyed your article about marathon training but as always, I wanted to dig a bit deeper. As a quick background, my family has no issues of heart disease although my brother does have type 1 diabetes. I am also a vegetarian. I understand this is a random question and appreciate any info you can offer on the subject. I really respect your efforts in the athletic and medical community. Thanks for taking the time to read my rambling, hypochondriactic question.

    • Hi Mike, thanks for your interest and comment. Yes, it sounds like you’re doing all the right things in regards to training and lifestyle and I’d say this would greatly lower your chances of any cardiovascular event. Chronic high intensity training, especially those of long duration, is what is going to cause the most damage. Yes running at a low HR is great for you, but even at some point it will not be. The question becomes – “At what point does even long, slow ‘easy’ runs become harmful – say after 50 miles, 80 miles – or 150 miles?” It’s a question nobody really knows the answer to. So you have to listen to your body especially any warning signs of fatigue, minor injuries, or any health issues. Ultimately you try to find the balance between superior fitness AND health.

      Vegetarian? Make sure you get plenty of protein. Hopefully you’re eating eggs and some whey for protein. I’m well aware of the many great athletes such as Scott Jurek who is a vegan but in my experience, it doesn’t work for most.

  12. Hey Doc, love your stuff, trying hard to follow all the advice. I’ve been staying in the aerobic zone for a few weeks now and am getting slower. I was already real slow to start with. when I first started keeping it aerobic I was running 11:40/mile 140bpm now I am more like 12:10 at the same bpm and same course – I can’t go any slower. Yet I am sure I can probably run a 23min 5k if I wanted to. I have a high max heart rate (205bpm at my last VO2 max test)for a 35yr old. I am 6ft tall 200lbs heavy. I have been running pretty consistently for 3-4 yrs now including 2 marathons and lots of others. Can’t seem to lose weight and can’t get any faster (4:22 marathon) – thought I’d try something different, now I am getting slower. what gives?

    • You’re not getting slower. You were already slow. I’m not insulting you – I’m saying that you were going this pace before if you paid attention to your HR. It’s only been a few weeks – gotta give it more time. I’ve seen people run for years and go from training 8 min miles to 11-12 min/mile. Sure you can run a 23min 5K but look at your marathon time. It proves aerobic inefficiency (per Part V of my Training Principles).

      • I think you’re right, I am just a victim of a society with no patience. I will give it time. On the other hand, I ran this morning (struggling to stay in aerobic) for 2hrs with just a small water bottle and didn’t even feel like I needed a gel or anything to eat. That is very abnormal for me, normally I am dying without a gel every 30min on a run like that. I definitely felt the difference between burning sugar and burning fat for fuel. Plus I did not feel totally stressed out after. I will give it time………Thanks Sock Doc.

    • It could be the rise in temperature and/or humidity. I live at quite a hot and humid place and have found to be affected by both.

  13. This is a really fantastic site….greatly appreciate all this work & expertise.

  14. wolfkid94 says:

    Hi Doc,

    Firstly thanks for answering in your other site (if you don’t remember, I am the 17 year old who asked you about broken sleep recently). I have read your articles here, they are wonderful.

    I am 17 years old (going to be 18 soon) and through my whole life I have been very sedentary. I don’t do much exercise, except from a yoga routined called The Five Tibetans (but every now and then I would stop doing it for various reasons). I am weak, in terms of both cardio and strength. I don’t eat well (I have sugary things like cakes, chocolate milk, Snickers, etc. almost everyday). Lately I reckon I have relatively lots of stress, and since I turned 15 I have been able to sleep only 6 hours a night. My sleeps are generally of mixed quality (sometimes I wake up feeling OK and sometimes a bit tired), and I will wake up and go to the toilet if I drink a bit in the evening.

    After reading your articles, I know that I have overtrained and decide to take a rest for a few weeks. But I am still a bit confused about what kind of exercise I should do at the moment , and really want to be fit and healthy – for life. Can you give me a bit of detailed advice ? Really appreciate.

    • You’re welcome. Sorry I can’t give specific advice. That’s not the point behind this website. Specific and detailed advice is available in my office or via consults. Thanks!

  15. Hi Steve,

    For someone going through a period where they have a very limited time to train during their week, is it better to train once for a couple of hours or to have several shorter sessions. I’m referring to aerobic training such as jogging using the 180 minus age formula.

    I recently read something from Arthur Lydiard which indicated that the major physiological adaptations occur as a result of the longer runs. I think he suggested regular 2+ hour runs for this.

    Thanks again for your great websites, and the huge amount of time that you put into these things. I’m continually visiting to check details and I’m often referring people to your articles.

    Sam

    • Thanks Sam. Yes that is true on the loner runs but only if you have a sufficient and consistent base. In other words if you only had 2 hours per week and no more then it would be better to train 4 times for 30 minutes than one bout of 2 hours. consistency is key (a future SD article I’m sure).

  16. I started following the site a year ago via Patton at the Natural Running Store. I was going through various chronic injuries, but nothing that absolutely stopped me. I have been in minimal shoes for two years and I could usually find the hot spot, and work out any pain. However, I had to do this every night for one spot or another. I started to train for ultras and developed some knee pain I couldn’t get to go away.

    The only advice I didn’t follow is a change in diet. Diet change is such a difficult task to tackle. I think there are a number of people like myself who read your articles, know they should confront eating habits, but have no idea where to start. My wife and I sat down and just decided to make the change. We paid 30 bucks for a 1 month menu (BistroKatie) containing weekly shopping lists. We were able to switch to a very balanced plant based diet. I doubt we will ever look back.

    All the pain I expereinced disappeared in the 2nd week. I ran my first 50K in Angel Fire a couple weeks ago with no problem going from elevation in Oklahoma to Angel Fire over night. My recovery time is nothing short of shocking. I shed 10 pounds and have become much leaner, stronger, alert, and balanced. My weekly mileage of (50-60) didn’t change, just the diet.

    I could go on and on… I truly appreciate the wealth of information you supply. I send fellow runners to your site when they need advice on an ongoing basis.

  17. Thank’s for a very interesting site. I have a question about swimming aerobically. How do you establish which pace is aerobic, and how do you hold it? Or does this not apply to swimming?

    I have no HRM that I can use with swimming, but taking the HR immediately after stopping doesn’t indicate a very high HR but still I have some lactic acid in shoulders and higher breathing frequency.

    • Your aerobic swimming zone is going to be much lower than your running. On average a cycling aerobic HR is 5-8 beats lower than running, and a swimming is another 5-10 lower than that. Ideally the best way to know your zone would be to use a lactate meter and take a sample every 4 or so minutes after a steady set. Otherwise you go by your perceived exertion (which would be the same for each sport – in other words if your perceived exertion running aerobic zone is a 7 then it would also be a 7 swimming).

      BTW – most HRMs today are water proof.

  18. I ran a half marathon a fairly recently on a hot day. For most of the race, I ran with a friend at a pace that I could maintain while chatting (and took one-minute walk breaks periodically), and felt great for the first ten miles. By mile 12, I wasn’t feeling so hot, and really pushed myself for the last leg of the race (clearly running the last part anaerobically). I felt nauseous by the end of it, and was pretty dehydrated. A family member of mine died of congestive heart failure, so I want to be very careful. Are there tests that can give me an accurate picture of my heart health with respect to distance running?

    Thanks for your great work.

    • Sounds like you did okay until mile 12 but since you weren’t feeling well at that point and after, you should not have kicked up the pace. One test to check is the CRP – as mentioned in Part IV here – but really there is no “ideal” test to say “you’re good” or not. It’s really a balance of your lifestyles stress – all of it. Make sure you read this too if you haven’t yet:
      http://sock-doc.com/2012/05/micah-true-death/

  19. Hi Steve, Hoping you can tell me if any or all of the following indicate I am running aerobically.
    Ten steps per breath
    15 breaths per minute
    Breathing through my nose 100%
    Can keep going for at least an hour at the above pace..

    Heart rate is mainly 150-155 occasionally drifting up or down five when my mind wanders.

    I am 46 and I have been doing 4-5 slow runs a week at HR 135 accompanying a fast walker, but when I run alone once a week I can’t seem to keep a slower pace without constantly adjusting. I am a recent convert after finding your site a month ago and so enjoying the change in health I am not ready to try the 30 mins fast running method yet as based on earlier training my HR for this is likely to be 170.

    So I am hoping the above is a reasonable predictor that I am still aerobic, although maybe zone 3 or 4 based on the high heart rate???

    • At 46 a 150-155 zone is a bit high, so most likely you’re anaerobic there. I don’t understand though, how you say your HR is “mainly 150-155″ and at that pace you breathe thru your nose 100%. Really? did you mean to say 130-135?

  20. Yep, 150-155 and every single breath through my nose. And only 15 breaths per minute so I don’t think I am puffing? I measured this ten minutes in and also at the 50 minute mark (14) plus a few times in between. My resting heart rate with the same monitor is about 52 on average, sometimes less. I used to run for an hour at heart rate 170, and sprint a 2km race at 180. I start feeling sick at hr185-189…. Maybe I have a really inefficient heart?? Or??

    • Best way to know your zones in a case like this is to use the other methods. Ideally lactate testing with an actual meter.

      • Thanks Steve, will investigate. I am in Australia, haven’t heard or seen anything here regarding these, but I haven’t been looking either….

  21. frank bonerigo says:

    In your fitness articles you seem to believe in long slow aerobic exercises. You also are not adverse to some strength training. If that’s true then what’s you opinion on heavy hands walking. ( walking while pumping light hand weights)

    • No I would not call it “slow aerobic”, but aerobic. Doesn’t have to be slow, unless you are. I believe in health, fitness, and a balance between the two incorporates proper aerobic and anaerobic (strength and intensity). Walking with hand weights is a bad idea. It distorts gait and is not a healthy motion. Now, walking while carrying a stone or kettle bell in various positions I am all for, if you know the proper techniques, but not holding hand weights and swinging them while you walk.

  22. Martin Rossall says:

    Hi,
    I’m a powerlifter who competes in the 66kg weight class. I probably have a terrible aerobic fitness level and after reading many articles on your website I’ve decided to improve it. Would one aerobic session per week (lasting 1 hour (including warm-up/cool down)) be enoigh when coupled with 3 anaerobic powerlifting sessions or should I incorporate more aerobic work? Do you think I’m likely to see any change in my strength (for better or worse)? I follow a mainly primal diet and fast 16 hours per day so my diet is mostly in check.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Martin

    • Hi Martin, thanks for checking out my site. You don’t have to be a hard-core endurance athlete to benefit. Part of the answer to your question would depend on where you are in a certain training cycle. If you’re in your off season, I’d look to incorporate a few (say 3) 30 min aerobic sessions per week to start, maybe moving up to 2 at 30 mins and the third at 45 or even 60 over time. You could even do something like carry a sandbag or kettle bell for one of those aerobic workouts to add strength + aerobic.

      If you’re in-season a getting ready to compete then start out real easy since it’s new to you. Maybe just 2 sessions per week at 20-30 mins, and see how that works for you.

      ** You should only see benefits in your strength and recovery if you’re doing it right. Start out slow, and think frequency rather than duration for the most part (so 2X30min rather than 1X60min).

  23. Hello Sock-Doc. I feel like this article (and your website) may change my life. See, I’ve long stopped being physical for fun. I started smoking and drinking in high school, and only recently quit those things. I had been strength training for a couple years, however. I always believed cardio was my (hardgainer) worst enemy. So my question is, for someone with such an off balance as me, should I start to work up to being able to jog three miles, over the course of, say, two and a half months (found on be program called couch-to-5k)? And would it be too taxing to do some push- pull strength training in there as well? I count my calories (all 3000 of them) so I’m getting proper nutrition, just have been training sooo.. Sooo… Wrong. Thanks so much for posting this article, and reading my long sob story!

    • It’s not about the miles, but the time and HR. So you start with maybe 15-20 minutes of walking (or something within your HR zone) per day.
      And it’s not about calories either. 3000 is probably a lot if anything and doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting proper nutrition. If 80% of those are refined then that would be worse than 5000 calories of unrefined foods.
      Keep reading the site, you will learn more. :)

  24. I actually try to get most of my calories from vegetables, fruits, and meats, and fill in with white rice now and again. I worked in my zones 1 and 2 on and off for about a half hour last night- already feel the difference. I almost feel like this was the last article I had to read to perfect my regimen, but I will certainly keep up with your posts and Facebook. Thank you once again, Sock-Doc!

  25. Hi Steve, always enjoy your posts and your contributions to trail runner nation.

    I was recently listening to a podcast that interviewed phil maffetone, and have a query about the 180 formula. I have been using it very successfully and I’ve increased my maf speed to 9.30 from 12.30 per mile in 7 months. quite a jump. My question is regarding clarity on the maximum areobic heartrate and how you adjust it year to year. Now from reading his book you’d think you take off one each year, but a recent podcast where he was interviewed suggested that once you’ve settled on your maximum aerobic heart rate you don’t need to adjust for a number of years. it wasn’t the clearest section of the interview and I can’t work out if I heard it correct.

    I was wondering if you had any clarity on the issue?

    Paul

    • The 180-age is a good place to start but once you become more “fit” it often doesn’t work as well because your LT is increasing so your speed will increase at the same HR. That also means that staying at the same HR, or lowering it by one each year, will result in lackluster performance; you’ll be training too slow too often.

      • Thank you Steve,

        This is very useful. Should I then reappraise in a number of years and if so, would I use another calculation? i.e. remove the -5 for being ill in the last two years?

        Kind Regards,

        • Hard to say, you have to see what works best for you. If the -5 is just too easy and you’re not progressing, then you know you need to increase the HR a bit.

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    [...] Athletic Training Principles: Guide To Injury Free Strength & Fitness | Sock-Doc – This is Sock Doc’s Mega-Post on Training Principles. It’s divided up into 5 parts, all relating to each other at various levels. I hope you enjoy them and learn a thing or two. Please post any comments or questions here on this post, as the articles themselves do not allow for comments. [...]

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