This week someone asked me “Will my fitness level not improve much further if I do double threshold workouts (2 high intensity runs in a day), multiple times a week, compared to training mostly at a low heart rate?
Be cary careful here.
Yes, 3, 4 or 5 high intensity runs per week, might increase your fitness level in the short term faster, but at what injury risk and what health costs?
To answer that question, I zoom out and rephrase it:
“There are different ways to train, what training load (volume and intensity) is right for you?”
To improve your fitness level, your body needs to experience a stress event and it needs time to recover from that stress. During your recovery phase, several biological processes occur to bring your body back into homeostasis. Your body is now stronger and better prepared, able to handle slightly more stress.
If you experience too much stress (with training, racing, but also daily life stress) you run the risk of overtraining, exhaustion and injury, which leads to regression. However, doing the same thing over and over, will eventually not produce improvements.
So it’s a fine balance with athletic training to improve performance.
As a holistic running coach, I care mostly about the long term health and enjoyment in training and racing.
Many non-elite athletes have a significant amount of daily life stress, and running can play a big role to recover mentally from daily life.
I often come across athletes who have experienced frequent injuries, high stress levels, overtraining and / or mental burnout.
This is more common than you think.
It’s one of the reasons why I’m a huge fan of mostly low heart rate training and adding in 1 or 2 high intensity sessions when your body and mind is ready for this.
Because, it allows many athletes to gradually improve, in a sustainable way over long periods of time, with significant less risk of injuries so more consistency in training.
Last week on the Extramilest Show, coach Amelia Vrabel, coach Ben Edusei and I discussed 9 common mistakes runners make. Watch the full episode on YouTube, or listen on Spotify, Apple Podcast or other podcast platforms.
Below is a recent post by Mark Telford in our Personal Best Facebook Community that illustrates how much progress can be made gradually in 11 months time, without double threshold runs, multiple times per week.
- Yesterday we introduced a PATH projects x Speedland collaboration for a custom running shoe and shirt. This has been an exciting project I’ve been involved in with Liam Lonsdale and friends. Watch the 30 second video on Instagram here.
- I’ve been running in these Speedland shoes on several trail runs and they are super comfy, even on technical trails. You can win one of three $500+ prize packages from Speedland and PATH projects at PATHprojects.com/speedland
- Precision Hydration has offered our Extramilest community a 10% discount off their website with code FLO10. Visit their site here to get 10% off your first order of PF&H.
That’s it for today. I’m off to my morning run soon.
To anyone running the NYC marathon or any other race this weekend, have fun out there, enjoy the experience fully.
Have fun out there on your runs!