Recovery time and seeing benefits

2 years 3 months ago #34376 by uk gearmuncher

uk gearmuncher: thanks for all the comments! There is so much marketing hype in this space that it's hard to find decent advice... Finding relevant and reasonably scientific studies is some of the best I've seen. Sigh.

Be wary about citing studies that have tested certain training methods like those being cited in this thread. You need to be aware of the limitations. The main one being the small pool of participants, the short length of time the study is undertaken and some lack of controls

I would add the limitation that (all?) the studies compare training program A with B and often you're really interested in A vs C. The study says A is better, which means that it's better than B, but that doesn't really imply anything about C...

It's also tricky to detect how they match A and B up. For example, in the study I quoted they matched the durations of the low intensity training, with the result that the total training volume in the threshold program was higher than in the polarized program. If I remember correctly, in some of Seiler's studies the training volume for polarized programs was higher than for other programs, so possibly the gains were bigger because polarization enables a higher volume, not because polarization is better at the same volume.

Thanks for the link to 'Training and racing with a power meter'! More to read! Ha, that's a new way to reduce training volume: spend too much time reading about training :-). I wonder how hard it would really be to measure power on a paddle. It seems that the power measurement stuff has done a lot for cycling (I'm not a cyclist).


With this in mind, read this webpage:  www.wattkg.com/polarized-training/  (the interesting study to read is the one shown here that compares a few methods to each other). Your thoughts are right about training volume measurement comparisons. 

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2 years 3 months ago #34377 by SamTaylor
Man, probably nothing to be gained in engaging with message board training debates, but ya know. I'm bored.

UKGearmuncher, you're right, nothing wrong in and of itself with a 1' recovery. For all the sessions described I'd still say too many intervals, too short of recovery, IF the goal is to achieve above-threshold intensity that will drive adaptation. My opinion only, of course, but there you go. I look at those sessions as described and see threshold, threshold, threshold and a quick path to burnout and stagnation.

I've used training load measurements (power on the bike, TRIMP, etc) and they're great. BUT they require a pretty good amount of education and experience, and it's easy to bog down in data overload and second guess everything. If you're trying to squeeze out every last bit of speed, invest in a power meter or high-end HR monitor and pay a coach to write you a program. Very worth it IF that's your goal.

For most of the masters/punters/DW/recreational crowd who are self coached- like me/most of us on 4/days a week- I find sticking to simple, easy to follow principles and working on doing them consistently produces better results then trying to make it complicated. What I've found works best is simple polarization- 2/3 to 1 ratio of easy/steady to hard workouts, develop the hard sessions over the course of the season (with a focus on efforts that mirror events you're training for), gradually go longer on the easy sessions as time allows, listen to your body and rest when needed.

YMMV.... but everyone is different. What makes coaching fun is that we're not working with robots but human beings.

Sam
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2 years 3 months ago #34395 by uk gearmuncher

1) Man, probably nothing to be gained in engaging with message board training debates, but ya know. I'm bored.
2) My opinion only, of course, but there you go. I look at those sessions as described and see threshold, threshold, threshold and a quick path to burnout and stagnation.
3) I've used training load measurements (power on the bike, TRIMP, etc) and they're great. BUT they require a pretty good amount of education and experience, and it's easy to bog down in data overload.
4) For most of the masters/punters/DW/recreational crowd who are self coached- like me/most of us on 4/days a week- I find sticking to simple, easy to follow principles and working on doing them consistently produces better results then trying to make it complicated.
5) What I've found works best is simple polarization- 2/3 to 1 ratio of easy/steady to hard workouts, develop the hard sessions over the course of the season (with a focus on efforts that mirror events you're training for), gradually go longer on the easy sessions as time allows, listen to your body and rest when needed.
6)YMMV.... but everyone is different. What makes coaching fun is that we're not working with robots but human beings.

Sam

1) Don't be so cynical ! - If people share a reasonable argument, its interesting to explore new ideas (unusual to do this on a forum I know).
2) I agree with you. However, the bigger issue for me, isn't the session, merely the lack of progression that 'plans' like this have. Too many amateur athletes do a random session or do the same thing ad nauseum and wonder why they can't get faster.
3) Agreed. I guess that's why we need coaches and sport scientists sometimes but the basic principles are simple enough - work, recover, supercompensate, progression. Rinse, repeat. Write everything down and reflect. 
4) The only thing I've found that makes really it complicated is when the terminology gets thrown around or the sessions become unnecessarily complex. It doesn't need to be. 
5) I'd simplify it further rather than calling it polarised, i.e. you merely need X days of recovery for Y type of session intensity. For me, in the main, I'm similar in approach to what you're describing - I do a hard workout and then typically need 48 hours to recover. Seiler's approach is even more extreme but I question whether many athletes in a paddlesport in particular can really push the intervals hard enough due to the technical constraints of the sport. Either way, I think the Seiler polarised approach has been made 'famous' and completely misunderstood or misquoted.
6) Absolutely !

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2 years 3 months ago #34399 by tve

SamTaylor wrote: 1) Man, probably nothing to be gained in engaging with message board training debates, but ya know. I'm bored.


Thanks for engaging! The vast majoprity of stuff available is very biased by vested interests, e.g. selling a book, video, gadget, platform, etc. Almost nothing talk about paddling, it's all running, cycling, and maybe a bit of triathlon. So hearing from other paddlers that are not trying to sell me something is really helpful!

5) I'd simplify it further rather than calling it polarised, i.e. you merely need X days of recovery for Y type of session intensity. For me, in the main, I'm similar in approach to what you're describing - I do a hard workout and then typically need 48 hours to recover.


Interesting, something similar is what I was concluding after reading a pile of stuff. The rules I came up with (everyone needs their own!?): (1) do as much volume as you have time for, (2) do as much high-intensity sessions as you can, (3) never start a high-intensity session if you're not fully rested, instead do a low intensity session or rest.

I found the "time crunched cyclist" stuff to be interesting, especially  humancyclist.wordpress.com/2015/12/13/time-crunched-cycling/  because it talks in real-life terms about the recovery and not starting a high intensity session if not well-rested. It seems that HRV (heart rate variability) is one way to measure the restedness, not sure I want to go there vs trying to learn to listen to my body...

Seiler's approach is even more extreme but I question whether many athletes in a paddlesport in particular can really push the intervals hard enough due to the technical constraints of the sport. Either way, I think the Seiler polarised approach has been made 'famous' and completely misunderstood or misquoted.


Can you elaborate on the "I question whether many athletes in a paddlesport in particular can really push the intervals hard enough due to the technical constraints of the sport"?

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2 years 3 months ago #34400 by mrcharly
Paddling is as technical as swimming, I postulate (possibly even more so).

When paddling flat out, it takes an exceptional or highly-trained person to maintain form throughout every session. Most of us are wasting energy, and end up reducing cadence and effort to try to maintain speed. Paddling hard when form goes is exhausting. 

For my sins, I was 'running' (i.e. doing the timing for) an intervals session on Mon. I listened to the advice here and ran 3x6 with 2min recovery, 4min recovery, then repeat. 
The group was mixed; a good ex-sprinter who is now in Div3, a Div4 youngster with lots of experience (4xDevizes-Westminster) and a returning-post-surgery Div5 paddler. 
We all found it an exhausting session. I thought that 6min felt like a good time interval; I could paddle a bit faster than normal race pace for each interval. 

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2 years 3 months ago #34416 by uk gearmuncher
By the way, for people who do a similar training routine week in week out, note the following:

"a high intensity daily exercise program does not result in a further increase in VO2max or further decreases in the blood lactate or heart rate responses to submaximal exercise after 3 wk."

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7219130

Put simply, if you don't progress after just 3 weeks, you're stagnating. Your choices are reduce the recovery time (not recommended in my view unless its for pre event specificity), up the power (good but not mentally sustainable in the longer term) or lengthen the work period (nearly always the first port of call in my view).

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2 years 3 months ago #34417 by uk gearmuncher


1) (1) do as much volume as you have time for, (2) do as much high-intensity sessions as you can, (3) never start a high-intensity session if you're not fully rested, instead do a low intensity session or rest.

2) It seems that HRV (heart rate variability) is one way to measure the restedness, not sure I want to go there vs trying to learn to listen to my body...

3) Can you elaborate on the "I question whether many athletes in a paddlesport in particular can really push the intervals hard enough due to the technical constraints of the sport"?


1) I agree with this. The trick is how you quantify volume. In other endurance sports you've got things like TRIMP scores or software like WKO4 (which I use). Many old school athletes still use distance (awful) or time (fractionally better). To be honest, I'll probably get a kayak power meter soon or use my Vaaka cadence sensor at worst.

2) HRV is not foolproof but its a good place to start. I will say though that knowing myself as I do, if I'm having mood swings or don't feel like training, I'm probably overeaching and I don't need a HRM to tell me I need a day off at that point.

3) Because if you take short intervals of 10-60 seconds, it's potentially a great way of boosting your aerobic capacity and your buffering capacity but in a kayak your stroke is either not going to be able to cope with moving that fast or you'll have such a poor stroke it would be counterproductive for efficiency.

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