Cardiorespiratory training: Anaerobic-endurance training

Anaerobic-endurance training is for those who have endurance/performance goals and/or are performing seven or more hours of cardiorespiratory training per week.  This training ensures that there is enough training volume, intensity, and recovery to promote performance changes that help you achieve your goals.  Kikkan_Randall_B_FIS_Cross-Country_World_Cup_2012-2012_Quebec_02You only need to have progressed through the aerobic efficiency training phase and be motivated to advance to this phase.  Most training (~80%) should be done at intensities where speaking is comfortable (RPE=3-4).  About 10% of training should be done above a very hard intensity or RPE=7.  Training in the ‘intermediate’ zone (RPE=5-6) does not provide the gains needed during anaerobic-endurance training.

To prevent over-training, alternating between ‘hard’ and ‘easy’ training days is a better approach than training the same very day.  In fact, you should not perform more than three or four high-intensity or very long training sessions per week.  Recovery training is a very important component of this phase.

During anaerobic-endurance training, you will improve your aerobic efficiency and build anaerobic endurance.  By increasing your anaerobic endurance, you will be able to perform physical activity at higher intensities (RPE=7 or above) for longer periods of time.  This will improve your endurance, speed, and power.

Training intensity during this phase of training should consist of 70-80% at RPE=3-4 (speak comfortably), 10-20% at RPE=7 or above (hard to very hard intensity and can only speak single words), and only short periods (less than 10%) at RPE=5 (moderate intensity).  This interval training that includes the higher intensity (RPE=7 or above)  should only be performed 1-2 times per week for individuals that are not highly fit.  The amount of training should gradually increase by <10% per week until the total weekly volume reaches a maximum of three times the expected duration of the event for which you are training.  Below is an example of an anaerobic-endurance training program.

phase 3 table

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