Marathon or a sprint??

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Marathon or a sprint??

Before I go any further I feel I should caveat this and say I am talking in general terms/about general development, and not about any specific sport or situation - although still something to consider.

Everything lately is about doing more in less time (and why wouldn’t you?) which seems logical for any endeavour as you get more time to do what you want, and in physical developmental terms, more time to recover.

Let’s consider interval training, something I’m sure everybody is familiar with. ‘It gets you lean, beach ready, shredded’ and all of that. It can be used as a method to coach and develop a lot of sporting endeavours. Getting these goals quickly is awesome, it makes you happy and you can look fantastic on the beach!

However.......

Are we missing something?

Let’s take a method that is widely recognised... the Tabata protocol (1996).
A method which took participants through a 6 week protocol using mechanically braked cycle ergometers, and performing at intensities of 170% of VO2max for 7-8 bouts of 20s sprints with 10s of recovery, multiple times per week vs 60 minutes at 70% of VO2max. Unsurprisingly, the group that worked harder, saw increases in both VO2max and anaerobic capacity.

What most people aren’t aware of is that the group participating in these intervals, actually performed a large volume of training at lower intensities during the 6 weeks. They didn’t solely rely on the interval training.

So we need to look at the big picture, working harder in the short term will yeild better results... in the short term (shock)... but for long term development we can NOT separate these training methods completely. Both compliment one another and aid in long term development.

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