CSCS Study Guide Chapter 20

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    Chapter Goals:

    • Know the factors that relate to aerobic endurance performance.
    • Choose the modes of training for aerobic endurance.
    • Acquire frequency of aerobic training frequency based on training status, sport season, and the requirements for recovery.
    • Give aerobic endurance training duration and know the interaction it has with training intensity.
    • Give aerobic exercise intensity and know the different methods for monitoring intensity.
    • Discuss different types of aerobic endurance programs.
    • Give variables of program design based upon the season of the sport.
    • Know the issues of cross-training, detraining, tapering, and supplemental resistance training when designing an aerobic endurance training program.

    Factors Related to Aerobic Endurance Performance

    Maximal Aerobic Capacity

    When length of aerobic endurance events increases, the amount of total energy for aerobic metabolism increases too.

    High relation between VO2 max and performance in events.

    Lactate Threshold

    In events, the athlete that is the best among people with close VO2 maxes is the one that can keep up the aerobic energy production at the highest percent of VO2 without a lot of lactic acid build up in the muscle and blood.

    The lactate threshold is the speed or percent of VO2 max where specific blood lactate concentration is seen or the level where blood lactate concentration starts increasing over the levels at rest.

    Exercise Economy

    Measures of energy cost of activity for given exercise velocities.

    Exercise economy improvements enhance the max aerobic power and the lactate threshold.

    Designing an Aerobic Endurance Program

    Exercise Mode

    The specific activity performed by the athlete.

    The more specific training is to the sport, the greater the performance improvements.

    Training Frequency

    Frequency of training is the amount for sessions done per day or week.

    Training session frequency depends on interactions of exercise duration and intensity, the athlete’s training status, and the sport season.

    Training intensity

    Body adaptations are specific to training session intensity.

    High-intensity aerobic exercise increases cardiovascular and respiratory function and gives improvements in oxygen delivery for working muscles.

    Exercise intensity increases benefit skeletal muscle adaptations by affecting the recruitment of muscle fibers.

    Heart rate is most often used to give aerobic exercise intensities.

    Target Heart Rate Calculations

    Karvonen Method

    • Age predicted = 220 – age
    • HRR = APMHR – RHR
    • THR = (HRR X exercise intensity) + RHR
    • THRR is determined by doing this twice.

    Percent Max Heart Rate Method

    • APMHR = 220 – age
    • HR = APMHR X exercise intensity
    • Again, do this twice to get the THRR.

    Ratings of Perceived Exertion

    May be for the regulation of intensity of aerobic endurance training.

    Mostly with the 15 point Borg scale.

    External factors may influence.

    Metabolic Equivalents

    One MET is equal to 3.5 mL/kg/min of O2 consumption. It is the amount of oxygen needed at rest.

    Power Measurement

    Cyclists might use power cranks and hubs for measuring their intensity.

    Rate of metabolism is related closely with mechanical power production.

    Exercise Duration

    The amount of time of a training session.

    Exercise intensity often influences the duration of sessions. The longer the session, the lower the intensity.

    Exercise Progression

    Progression during a program has increasing frequency, intensity, and duration.

    Frequency, Intensity, or Duration shouldn’t go up more than 10 percent every week.

    Intensity progressions need to be monitored so we can prevent overtraining.

    Types of Aerobic Endurance Training Program

    Long, Slow Distance Training

    Training is longer than the race distance at 70% VO2 max.

    The ability to clear lactate and shift of muscle fibers to type I are some of the typical adaptations.

    Intensity is lower than competition.

    Pace/Tempo Training

    For this we train at or above our intensity for competition. Based on the lactate threshold.

    This is used to develop a sense of pace for the race and enhance the ability to keep up exercise at that pace.

    It can improve running economy and increase the threshold of lactate.

    Interval Training

    Exercise close to VO2 max for 3 – 5 minutes. Work to rest is one to one.

    This increases VO2 max and enhances the anaerobic metabolism.

    High Intensity Interval Training

    Done at levels above VO2 max for 30 – 90 seconds.

    Work to rest is typically one to five.

    Longer recoveries are needed between sessions.

    May improve the running economy and make the capacity for anaerobic metabolism greater.

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    Fartlek Training

    Other methods are put together.

    Easy running and fast bursts together.

    Can also be used for cycling or swimming.

    Applications of Program Design to Training Seasons

    Off Season

    Starts with longer durations, but low intensities. Intensity increases the most, with duration also increasing a little.


    Increasing intensity is a focus along with possibly reducing the duration.

    In Season

    Program relates to competition. There is low intensity and shorter durations near race days.

    Post Season

    The focus is recovering from the season but still keeping fitness levels.

    Special Issues Related to Aerobic Endurance Training


    Training hat is used to keep general fitness level during reduced training because of injury or recovery from cycles of training.


    This happens when athlete’s reduce the length of sessions or intensities, or if they stop everything because of the program, injury, or an illness.

    A loss of physiological adaptations from training may happen.


    Systematic reductions in duration and intensity with an increase in technique and nutrition.

    Resistance Training

    Resistance training while aerobic endurance training may have many benefits like: 

    • Short term exercise performance increases
    • Quicker recovery from injuries
    • Prevent overuse injuries and muscle imbalances
    • May improve climbing of hills, gaps bridges in breakaways and the final sprint.


    When altitude increases, atmospheric pressure goes down and so does partial pressure. 

    Performance drops may happen after 700 meters.

    In 12 – 14 days, your body can acclimate.

    Live High, Train Low is a typical saying for athletes that want to benefit from altitude training.

    So, you would live around 2k or 3k meters and train nearer to sea levels.

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    CSCS Chapter 20: Program Design and Technique for Aerobic Endurance Training 1
    CSCS Chapter 20: Program Design and Technique for Aerobic Endurance Training 2
    CSCS Chapter 20: Program Design and Technique for Aerobic Endurance Training 3

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