How to train the different engines? // Why they’re both important?
We’re all guilty of trying to “squeeze in” our runs. Making time for a quick, high intensity session here and there instead of making time for the longer low intensity session.
This type of running happens when your body has sufficient oxygen. Your muscles have enough oxygen to produce the energy they need to perform. This includes your long, slow, low intensity runs. This type of training is essential to all endurance runners. It allows you to recover from your high intensity sessions while giving you time on your legs. 75-80% of you training runs needs to be done at Aerobic level.
This type of engine is used when there is not sufficient oxygen. Your muscles begin to breakdown and use other substances apart from oxygen. The benefit is your muscles produce the energy need to complete the high intensity requirement you’re placing on your body, such as repeated sprints etc. The downside is that blood lactate is produced which is what gives that burning sensation in your muscles.
Why is this important?
If you begin to run too hard too early during a training session or race, your body switches engines. Going from aerobic to anaerobic where it begins to produce lactate and burn your fuel stores faster. The result of this is that fatigue begins to set in and your fuel stores start to empty. For any endurance runner, you can tell that going into that stage too early can be devastating for performance. We all know what it feels like to bonk!
Knowing the difference between your engines is essential for you to know when to use them!