Need advice for double threshold training

I have been doing the schedule below for a about three weeks now and everything is working well for me. I do however have some questions on how to tweak it that I hope you can answer.

Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri, Sun: Moderate or easy pace 16-23 km (either 1x16km or 2x8km-11,5km)

Wed&Sat: AM: 5x6 min at threshold pace + 4 seconds, 2 min rest

Wed&Sat: PM: 10x3 min at threshold pace, 1 min rest

My questions are:

  1. Is there any reason to add a day with hill repeats? My main race distances are 10k and half marathon, but I also do marathons and some 5k “races” by myself on a track. If I do that, what should the inclne of the hill be and how far and how many should I run?

  2. If I do not add a hill session a week, could I instead add another day with double threshold sessions without overtraining? I have been running since august 2022, but only ran around 80 km per week up until about 2 months ago.

  3. Currently I do some of the non-threshold days sessions at moderate pace (HR 77-80% of max). Is this ok/beneficial if I can still manage my double threshold days, or should I do all those sessions at easy pace, below 75% or max HR?

  4. Should I add a long run a week or will it just wear me out and make me more injury prone?

  5. Should I throw in an easy week now and then, with only easy running?

  6. How should I taper for a race when Im on this program?

@Chris_the_viking you might be asking on the wrong forum! Ha! I’ve asked about half a dozen athletes/coaches that were trying to follow a ‘double threshold’ schedule some of those questions. Here is what I can gather…

Do hill repeats? Traditional (is is correct to say ‘traditional’ about something that is around for less than half a decade?) double-threshold approach is not much hill work & not much long run stuff. So there is that…but also some of the most famous athletes using the approach are track athletes. So maybe that’s just a matter of practicality? To me, if you are going to be doing 10k road races you should probably run hills…because there will be hills to run.

Non-threshold days intensity? Comfortably less than VT1. You know me, I always say the additional adaptation you get from running right at or just above VT1 is outweighed by additional fatigue you accumulate from those efforts. You’re blocking up threshold work so you have more time to recover between sessions…so don’t jeopardize recovery by running too hard on non-threshold days. Walk down the hill.

But at least half of the athletes/coaches I talked to have one fartlek day in addition to threshold days.

Easy week every now and then? I do. But I’ve started doing ‘absorption weeks’ instead of easy weeks. Same frequency, Same volume, but eliminate all intensity. Or, same volume but eliminate all ‘high impact’ work (only swim/bike/row/ski).

I’m no taper expert…but two weeks out 4x6/8x3 on threshold days…one week out 3x6min/5x3min Wed/Sat & 10-14 km mon/tue/thur/fri/sun. So, you know, just the usual. About 60% volume, maintain frequency, maintain intensity. Be disciplined.

Hopefully you’ll get some better responses. I think those are good questions.

This is a huge training load for anyone.

How old are you? What are your goals and what paces are we talking about here? What’s your training background?

Am I right that you’re essentially running 100km relatively easy and then ALSO doing 2x threshold workouts twice a week?

And your history is 80km weeks until a couple of months ago… and now you want to know if you should do more?

  1. No. Maybe do one of your threshold sessions on a hill. I wouldn’t add any more intensity to this.
  2. No.
  3. Easier.
  4. No.
  5. Yes.
  6. Maintain some intensity, drastically reduce overall volume and total volume of threshold running.

I’ll be surprised if this is a program you can maintain for very long at all if I have this right. And I think you’d be better off long term doing less, and probably way less, than this plan (again, if I have it right).

Kurt Braeckel: Thanks for answering. My background is the following: 45 years old, been playing ice hockey until 20, and then again a few years before i turned 30. Been doing kick boxing, BJJ and some MMA after that, while always working out at the gym. Im no body builder but Im in most cases bigger and stronger than most of the guys that finish races ± 1 minute from me. My best PB is 37,27 at 10K. I did a 60 minute all out run today outside to calibrate for threadmill running, ending up at 15.6 km (just below 3.51 per km), which suits my threshold paces indoors quite well (after I have translated threadmill speed to outdoor speed to compensate for lack of air resistance). My easy pace is 4.50 per km while my moderate pace is 4.35 per km.

Brennus, thanks for answer. So if my threshold pace (in the middle of this training program without tapering) is 3.51 per km, what easy pace would you suggest? Sometimes when I run indors in a cold gym I have to run at moderate pace to get my heart rate up. What is the minumum HR I could have for the session to be useful?

This is the Norwegian method type training?

I’m only going to add that when they say ‘double threshold’ they don’t mean right at threshold. They are usually targeting 2-3mmol of lactate. It’s more like 85-90% of threshold.

If I’m wrong I’m glad to be corrected. I’ve been fascinated by the Norwegian method and broken interval training for a while and have been wondering why we don’t do anything like this in cycling. (I know we have over / unders and all that but this is a bit different.)

Right-o! :smiley: We talked about this before on the forum…when they (runners) are talking about threshold they really mean sweet spot in cyclist-speak. And when runners say ‘tempo’ they often mean ‘threshold’ in cyclist speak. But, anyhow, sweet spot. Not right at threshold. At least for one of the ‘double’ workouts.

Talk test pace. A little less than talk test. Try that for a week and see how you feel. Or, if you actually have your lactate/HR curve, just below LT1.

Since you are a 10K/half-marathon athlete, those races tend to be run pretty close to threshold pace (10K especially).

I wouldn’t use HR in real time, especially if you’re using a treadmill. You can control pace very easily and I generally prefer power → pace/feel → HR when it comes to running. An example of when I use HR is when I’m running on sand or trails, maybe up or down hills if pacing is critical (e/g/ a marathon) and I don’t have power.

I’d recommend 4:45-5:00/km as a good endurance pace for you. Your speed is about the same as mine when I’m in running shape, and I can do a whole lot of good volume right around that 7:30-7:45/mile pace (equivalent to the metric pace).

I recommend going for a few runs at that pace, and see what HR that has you hanging out at, so you can use that as a backup.

OP,

Just my opinion but don’t waste you time chasing exotic workouts or fads such as “double thresholds.” Don’t do workouts after races and whatever the smokescreen pros put out there. Remember, these are pros. They workout, eat, take a nap, workout again. We go to work.

My advice: Keep it simple. Keep it consistent.

Monday - 60-75 min Training run + Strides
Tuesday - Longer reps (i.e mile, 1200, 1k reps).
Wednesday- 60-75 training run
Thursday - tempo / half marathon race pace
Friday- 60-75 min training run
Saturday- Long Run
Sunday - Recovery / day off

Yes, long runs are important. You can get close with constant high weekly mileage but that long run really helps “shorten” the race.

Hill repeats are awesome! I use them for 800 runners early in the season all the way up to XC. For half marathon I prefer to just do my training runs on forest trails in the hills. Enough volume adds strength. That said, hill reps are a great way to get in speed work without actually doing speed work. I’ll leave it to the philologists to explain why, but never had bad results from hitting the hills. Though the longest rep we do is about 2:30.

Hope this helps. Best of luck to you!

3 Likes

Well that is pretty much what I did before when I hit a plateau. Then I first tried to increase my milage, going 210 km for one week at the most (but nothing near threshold that week) and since my body did not break down I thought I should go for double threshold and see what it does for me. If I start to get injured, fine, then I know its not for me, or at least not for me yet. But so far I am doing fine energy and injury-wise.

1 Like

Thanks, another question for the easy sessions. Could I get more out of them by turning the AC and fan off? What I mean by that is that if I run at a certain easy pace it will be easy on my legs and I will get a certain heart rate. If I make the room warmer I will get the same amount of stress or my legs and joints but my heart will have to work harder, as my HR will be higher. Wouldt not that be beneficial, for example if I can run at 4.50 pace but get my heart rate up to what I normally have at 4.30 pace?

Do you have any reason to be heat-adapted soon (like the next few weeks)? If the answer is no, then the answer is no. You’re making those easy-paced runs more stressful. Stop obsessing about heart rate.

The overarching point I’m trying to get you to see here is that you’re already doing too much for your profile IMO, you don’t need to do more.

There are way better ways to break through plateaus than what you’re doing. All you’re doing right now is accumulating fatigue by running too much, too hard, too often.

My overall advice is to introduce some actual speed work, shorter intervals, because you are likely limited by VO2max right now. Bashing your head against the wall with more threshold and more volume isn’t going to break your plateau. It’s going to lead to injury and/or burnout in my opinion.

Your plateau is as likely caused by excessive fatigue as it is your need to train more, again in my opinion based on your mindset and limited history. I’d bet a month’s worth of free coaching that you need rest.

1 Like

are you planning to progress any of these workouts?

Not at the moment.

I might not have been clear. I progressed very quickly from 2022-10 to 2023-07 (being able to just barely run a sub-20 5K in 2022-09). In 2023-07 I hit my currently best PB of 37.27 at 10K (at a track). In 2023-08 I did my second best PB with 18.03 at 5K but after that I did hit a plateau. I then did lower milage (80 km a week) but included a lot of 400s and 800s. This did not seem to help me as I ran a 10K race at 38.03 in 2023-10. During the plateau I tried to break my half-matathon PB of 1.23.24 but didnt manege to. I did break my marathon record of 2.57.04 from 2023-04, but only by a little more then 30 seconds.

In other words, my 10K PB is the best, followed by my 5K, half-marathon and marathon PBs, so I hardly need VO2max training, thats not the bottle neck.

Then after recovering from my marathon in early 2023-11 I started to increase my milage by a lot, doing over 200 km in one week, before starting my current double threshold program.

I did run a test “race” by myself two days ago on a quite flat course in which I got 15.6km in 1 hour. This is a vast improvement of anything I have done before. Sure that time equals a 37.30 10K, which is a few seconds more than my PB, but this was done in the middle of a hard training week, with a double threshold day just 3 days before (and with no rest day for a month).

Also, my HR was way lower than usual, at a max of 90% of max and an average of 89% of max, to be compared with a 95% of max when I recorded my 10K Pb and 92,5% of max when I recorded my half marathon PB. Another interesting fact is that I was at 80.2kg before I ran this test race and just below 78kg when I hit my PBs, so I could gain additional speed by reducing my body weight (which I dont care to much about in the off season).

If you are only running then mileage is king. Certainly once you get past 5k. I only run for bone density/variety now as I TT (hence being on TR). When I ran in the past I found that there is a fine balance - my best marathon was off 60 miles/week (2:47) but when I did that I was only running 1:19 for a half and 36 for 10k as I had to cut the intensity down to run the mileage. When I only ran 40 miles/week I was including more intensity and was down at 1:17 for a half and 35 min 10k but I could only manage 2:50 for the marathon - moral is tailor your training to your goals. 10k - 90 min long run plus plenty of intervals at 3-5k pace. Marathon - as many miles as you can with a few tempo runs and longer intervals.

What @Jolyzara said above. That said, coincidentally today I was reading this: http://www.mariusbakken.com/the-norwegian-model.html which may help answer some of your questions and/or lead to more questions :smile:

1 Like

Thanks but isnt threshold pace the most important factor for everything 10K and up (with VO2Max being the most important variable for 5K and down)?

  1. If the above is correct, why run a lot of intervals at 3K/5K pace, clearly below threshold, if focusing on 10K (and after that half marathon).
  2. No matter if the above is correct or not, why do the Ingebreksens do double threshold and not faster workouts more than once a week with their hill session?

Then this isn’t a training plan