Train slow...to get fast...
This may be the most difficult concept for athletes to understand.
The general thought is...in order to race fast you need to train fast, right?
Well, this is only partly true.
When training for an endurance event the training method changes drastically!
Did you know that a 5K (3.1 miles) run is already considered an endurance event?
Most of you are training for events longer than 15 minutes, so you are considered an endurance athlete and your events are considered long distance.
In order to prepare the body to complete a long distance event at the fastest pace possible, it is necessary for specific physiological adaptations to take place.
The training plan has to be designed with that goal in mind and taking into consideration many factors unique to each athlete.
Each workout has a specific purpose and we can only get the benefit of that particular workout if done at the right intensity.
Some adaptations happen when we train at a high intensity, and others can only happen when we train at a low intensity. Failing to do the workouts at the correct intensity will not create the results we are looking for and it is often a waste of time and energy.
There are no short cuts to achieve these physiological adaptations. It takes time for the body to change the way it processes energy and to improve efficiency.
Training faster than specified will not allow your body to make these changes.
Train correctly and besides seeing real results you'll also get nice bonuses:
- shorter and better recovery rate
- decrease risk of injury and physical / mental burn out
- more efficient training
- ability to train consistent
- faster times in all distances
Patience is a virtue...as they say!
Well, it cannot be more true in this situation.
Athletes who have the patience and discipline to follow the plan and stay in the correct intensity (aka Heart Rate) are the ones who see bigger improvements. On the long haul, they become stronger, more efficient and faster athletes, who will see constant positive results in training and racing.
This is not magic...it is science!