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I’ve been a listener and fan of Endurance Planet for several years now, but this is my first time writing in with a question. Thanks for all the great content – I really appreciate your work! My main question is: How much endurance training is needed weekly to maintain a moderate endurance base during a period of more focused strength training? Background: I’m a 49-year-old female with some background in running and triathlon since my early 30s. I’ve completed a few marathons as well as various distance triathlons (my only Ironman race was 8 years ago, I’ve been doing shorter distances recently). I am somewhat injury-prone, having struggled with IT band and piriformis issues multiple times. I’m also a martial arts athlete, and have had 2 knee surgeries (ACL, meniscus) in the past 3 1/2 years related to martial arts-related more traumatic knee injuries. I decided I needed to get stronger, so I started going to CrossFit and have gotten hooked. I enjoy the training and community there a lot. My plan is to take this next year and really focus on getting stronger through CrossFit. My question is on how to not completely lose my aerobic endurance during this process. I’d ideally like to be able to at least run a 10K without too much trouble. I currently do CrossFit 3 days per week (M/W/F) and martial arts 3 days per week (Tu/Th/Sa). I’ve only been running once a week (Sun), and it doesn’t feel like enough to maintain running fitness.
1. How many endurance sessions per week would be good in this situation? Keeping in mind the fact that I’ve got a job and 3 busy teenage kids at home……
2. Should I just run, or do one session each of run, bike, swim?
3. Should my endurance sessions mostly be done in Zone 2/MAF range? Or does this not matter given the low volume?
4. When would be the best days to fit in the endurance training to allow for recovery from all of this? Should I double up on the CF days? Or on the martial arts days? (Btw training intensity at martial arts is not too high – it’s much more technique-focused).
Hi Tawnee. I love your show and look forward to it every week. It broke my heart to hear about Siri Lindley. What an exceptional human being. She’ll be in my thoughts. I have a general question about tapering and the conventional wisdom. Most coaches seem to say that during your taper you should cut way back on volume, but maintain intensity, even for Ironman distances. They also say that the longer the race the longer your taper. This all seems backwards to me since you gain and lose endurance so much faster than you gain and lose speed or even muscular endurance. Wouldn’t it make more sense for iron people to reduce training stress by reducing intensity and leave their endurance workouts alone? And wouldn’t that suggest that iron people should have the shortest tapers, since we can’t even skip one long run without feeling it the next week? I’m wondering if the conventional wisdom is extrapolated from studies on shorter-distance athletes. It makes perfect sense that if you’re training for a 5k you can taper with plenty of intensity and lower overall volume since a good training plan gets progressively more race-specific. I also suspect that any athlete benefiting from a three week taper is really just recovering from overtraining. Am I thinking about this wrong? Is this just wishful thinking? I hate messing up my beautiful training routine for some silly race haha.