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High/low intensity
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Author:  Jjp7 [ Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:30 am ]
Post subject:  High/low intensity

Hey,

Most weeks I try to follow a routine that implements a schedule of high/low intensity workouts that is written in a few articles on the site. On race weeks my schedule goes high/low/high/low/rest/race. I have a couple questions about following that training plan. First, the day before I race which is my rest day, I would prefer to stay off my legs all day. However, I race xc and I like to walk the track the day before the race (my rest day) and the track is usually around ten miles and up and down hills and through rugged terrain. Does this affect my rest day to the point that you would recommend not walking the track and completely resting instead?
Second, I have read quite a bit that you should do high intensity with shorter workout times closer to the race day. Usually I cycle for 2-3 hours and ride 3 days before the race(high intensity). 2 days before the race I usually ride and jog 3-4 miles slowly(low intensity) and again the day before the race I rest/walk the track. Do you recommend that I switch this up and do the longer training at the beginning of the week and do shorter interval type training towards the end? Or would you say to stick to the high/low model?

Thanks a lot for the help.

Author:  JoelYounkins [ Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: High/low intensity

Hey sorry for taking a couple days to get back to your questions...I am going to try and start helping out a little more on this forum when I can. Anyways glad you liked the articles and are trying to apply them to your own training! The first thing to look at for the high/low model is to realize it is only a weekly training model to help plan out your week (which I see you understand that). Secondly you have to pick out exercises and place them into categories of either high or low for each individual. Beginners will always struggle with this model because the low intensity activities will still be considered high activities and may not even have the capacity to actually execute a high intensity session. For yourself, you say a high intensity day is a 2-3 hour bike ride. I would most likely place that on your low intensity days for my best guess. Look at it this way for a high day. All conditioning should be near your anaerobic threshold. So different types of interval training that shouldn't last anywhere close to 2-3 hours. Strength exercises should be near maximal loads focusing on compound movements which would be your main lifts and plyometrics (true plyometrics and jumps, not p90x plyos hopping around). Riding should be sprints, motos etc. These activities done at the right intensity will stress your CNS in which you want to increase its potential. For low days, that's when you will do your longer bike rides at lower intensity. Strength work should be accessory movements, lat pull downs, lunges, ab work etc. And your riding could be placed as technical skills, starts, rock sections, hills etc. These types of days you will still get valuable work accomplished but your CNS (Central Nervous System) will be able to repair itself. My advice on race weeks is to at least allow for 72 without any high activities. Keep the volume relatively low to allow yourself to be fresh for the weekend. On weeks without a race, or "big event" that would be the week to up the volume and intensity so you can stress the body enough that week to make gains, then use the week of a race to prepare for the event. The day before will probably be best to rest, if you want to walk certain sections that would be fine, but 10 miles is a lot of walking the day before the race. Walking down the hills will stress you the most during the track walk as well. So yeah that's a lot, and barely scratched the surface of your questions. Just try to place activities in the right days and keep managing your overall stress levels through the season. You need to be at least 90% each race to bring your A Game throughout the season.

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