Are you training for performance?

By Jim on Monday, May 3, 2010

MyKayakCoach has responded to several requests about how best to train.  Our new service 'PET'  - Personalised Effective Training tailors training to suit your needs.  We will use the latest coaching advice, research and techniques to have you build at the best pace and perform at your peak.  Each program individually designed for you.  For more details see our My Coaching page.  Meanwhile here is some of the latest research advice on training programs. 

Effective endurance training involves producing the best combination of several key factors.  How you combine the intensity that you use in your training session, how long you train at varying intensity (duration) and how often you train (frequency).

The question that most ask is what is the best form of training?  Is it better to do varieties of intense short burst, intervals or longer steadier sessions.   The latest trend it towards interval training.  Many fitness centres, such as Fitness First,  run most of their classes around that formula. 

Many fitness experts, as well as some scientists, now argue that brief, high-intensity interval work is the only form of training necessary for performance optimization. The current research does not support this theory.   Best practice suggests that 'combining large volumes of low-intensity training with careful use of high-intensity interval training throughout the annual training cycle is the best-practice model for development of endurance performance' (Ingham 2009).

I recently read a great article that spells this out in more detail.  The article is, 'Intervals, Thresholds, and Long Slow Distance:  the Role of Intensity and Duration in Endurance Training'.  To read the full article click here.

The article concludes with the following:

        There is reasonable evidence that an 80:20 ratio of low to high intensity training (HIT) gives excellent long-term results among endurance athletes training daily.

        Low intensity (typically below 2 mM blood lactate), longer duration training is effective in stimulating physiological adaptations and should not be viewed as wasted training time.

        Over a broad range, increases in total training volume correlate well with improvements in physiological variables and performance.

        HIT should be a part of the training program of all exercisers and endurance athletes. However, about two training sessions per week using this modality seems to be sufficient for achieving performance gains without inducing excessive stress.

        The effects of HIT on physiology and performance are fairly rapid, but rapid plateau effects are seen as well.  To avoid premature stagnation and ensure long-term development, training volume should increase systematically as well.

        When already well-trained athletes markedly intensify training with more HIT over 12 to ~45 wk, the impact is equivocal.

        In athletes with an established endurance base and tolerance for relatively high training loads, intensification of training may yield small performance gains at acceptable risk.

        An established endurance base built from reasonably high volumes of training may be an important precondition for tolerating and responding well to a substantial increase in training intensity over the short term.

        Periodization of training by elite athletes is achieved with reductions in total volume, and a modest increase in the volume of training performed above the lactate threshold. An overall polarization of training intensity characterizes the transition from preparation to competition mesocycles. The basic intensity distribution remains similar throughout the year.


Remember for access to your Personalised Effective Training program see our PET programs section.