I had my heart-rate zones measured lately and I know where my Aerobic & Anaerobic thresholds are. The doctor made an in deep explanation what it means. Though I feel I lost him midway the explanation of the training part. It was going way to technical...

I know the basics like 70% of the weekly milage below the aerobic thresholh & 30% above the aerobic threshold. And how to plan my training with warmup/cooldown-parts.

I thought I would find the remaining explaination on the net. Though I was wrong, it always seems to be to broad without any real-life examples to work with.

So I was hoping you guys might be able to help me. I'm looking for clear explanation on how I should plan my weeks. Something mainly focused for long distances runners (half-to-full marathons), so I can adjust my training accordingly.

FYI: My weekly training scheme

  • Monday: 1h to 1h20 Easy Tempo

  • Tuesday: 20min Warmup - 40 min Intensive/extensive duration - 20min cooldown

  • Wednesday: Rest or some light cycling

  • Thursday: 20min Warmup - 5 times 4min at Anerobic Threshold with 2 min rest inbetween - 20 min cooldown

  • Friday: Rest

  • Saterday: LSD-run (20 to 30k) at low intensisty

  • Sunday: Rest of recovery training (cycling)

1 Answer 1


Part of your confusion stems from the fact that people use threshold training to mean different things.

Most of the time, joe runner on the street uses threshold and interval training as terms in comparison to race times, not to the actual physiological AnT (Anaerobic Threshold, or lactate threshold).

In those terms, threshold training is training done near race pace, with short rest. Interval training is done above race pace, with long rest.

For an example: You go out and run an all out 5k, and get a time of 18:38, which is a 6 minute per mile pace. This establishes your baseline max. A threshold workout would be something like 8 x 400 on 2:00, hold 1:45. (Meaning run 8 400's, try to keep every one under 1:45, leave on the 2:00 mark for each one). An interval workout would be 8 x 400 on 1:15, 1:00-1:30 rest between.

Threshold workouts are done to increase the amount of time you can spend at or near race pace. Interval workouts are designed to make your race pace faster. The rest of the time should be mostly LSD, done well below your AnT, maybe with some occasional pickups/strides for tempo. The biggest mistake the vast majority of endurance athletes make is they don't go easy enough on the easy days, and they don't go hard enough on the hard days.

Now, since you had a doctor do your HR zones, you may actually have a decent idea of your HR max. (Ignore 220-age, it's meaningless drivel. I'm 51 now and I can still hit 190. It was originally based on bad science, and repeated because it was easy). Your AnT is going to probably be in the neighborhood of 80-85% of your HR max, but that's not 100% given.

For your training plan, I'm not really a fan of it. You have two days where you run great big whacks of distance, a couple interval days, and 3 days rest. For half to full marathons, I would keep the long Sunday run, but then chunk up the Monday run and add a couple days, so make Mon, Wed and Fri each 10kish in distance (at an 8 minute pace, a 10k takes you about 50 mins), and make sure they are easy tempo, well within the aerobic range. Vary your interval and threshold distances from 400-1600m (10 minute warmup, 5x1600 at 6:30 with 1 min rest, 15 min warmdown is a great workout), and pay attention to nutrition and rest.

  • 1
    Some great inisght here. Added those 'modified' interval/treshholds to my training schemes And did my first training yesterday. It was hard,but damn it was fun!!!
    – User999999
    Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 7:17
  • @User999999 - If you want some good info about what the anaerobic threshold is physiologically speaking, look at the Cori cycle, Krebs cycle, and the aerobic, glycolysis and phosphagen systems. It's basically where lactate starts accumulating faster than the body can reprocess it.
    – JohnP
    Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 15:08
  • I specially liked the The biggest mistake the vast majority of endurance athletes make is they don't go easy enough on the easy days, and they don't go hard enough on the hard days. I think it really is my case and answers like this will help me improve the way I approach trainings. Thanks a lot!
    – fedorqui
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 9:05
  • So you suggest Mon, Wed and Fri each 10kish in distance on easy tempo, but with some intervals also? It is not clear to me if you suggest those for each of these days, could you clarify?
    – fedorqui
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 9:09
  • 1
    @fedorqui - Neither, unless you don't have any other interval or threshold days. That type of training should ideally be done as standalone workouts.
    – JohnP
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 13:46

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