Threshold 1/5

First day into my Threshold phase. It consists of 5 x 8-9 day cycles. The first 4 cycles consist of an increasing workload with the fifth week for recovery and testing, before heading Specific phase of training.

As the name suggests my primary focus is on improving my abilities around my threshold. For my take on this concept check my last post "Threshold Training Rehashed". This time I am approaching the threshold training with a two-pronged attack, meaning there will be two dedicated sessions per cycle.

The first stage of attack is what I list as my Medium run. It is simply about 90 minutes of running at a steady-state intensity a bit below what feels like my threshold pace. This should see my heart rate climb within in the range of 75-85%HRmax, but I suspect will generally be at 80-83%. By running just below, but close to my threshold (remember it is a range, not an exact point), I will be developing the structure, neural pathways and physiology to support enhancement of the threshold.

Second part of the attack is running at or a bit above my threshold. This session is listed under the Steady heading. It will generally be two intervals with 2-5 minutes recovery running in between. The first interval will be about 20min, while the second will start at 10min and progress to 20min over the next few weeks. Heart rate will typically end up between 85-90%HRmax for each interval.

I like to think the Medium run works at by reinforcing the body ability to shunt and utilise the byproducts of anaerobic metabolism. Lactate and pyruvate are produced at lower intensities, even on those long and easy runs. The difference is the rate these byproducts are produced in relation the ability to use and buffer them. The steady intervals challenge and extend the upper levels, by providing a moderate but increase level of anaerobic metabolism. Collectively the training is quite challenging on the body, both from a structural sense (ie. there is an increased risk of soft tissue injuries) plus the bodies systemic recovery will be further challenged. It is really the first step towards race specific training.

Of course I will not neglect the other areas of fitness. The emphasis is just shifted. Basic aerobic endurance will be addressed by a weekly 2 hour endurance run. Speed will be addressed through run-throughs and drill work incorporated into easy run or as part of warm-up. The other important areas of hill running, agility and the like will be addressed in a fartlek run over very hilly terrain. Strength training will be different, in terms of only having two key, but shortened sessions per cycle, with some daily remedial exercises to address injury prone areas.

The first cycle:
  1. LONG: 2 hours
  2. MEDIUM: 90min @ 75-85%
  3. STEADY: 20min & 10min @ 85-90% with 5min rec
  4. INTENSITY: 1 hour over steep hills

The rest will be very, very easy runs of about 60min, with some drill work.


  1. Enjoying your thoughts & info - thanks Jason


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