You can enjoy clear-cut targets for simple training in your hardest zone
Do you dread your highest, most intense training zone?
If so, I understand why.
The highest training zone can be painful.
It is vast.
The highest training zone can last from an all-out mile effort to a short sprint lasting less than 8 seconds.
It is hard to compare between efforts too.
Comparison between strides on the grass to sprints on the hill are hard to make using traditional metrics like pace & heart rate.
When you mix all these factors together, many distance runners outright avoid their top end effort unless they absolutely have to run in it.
And, I have fallen victim to this mindset as well.
In the past, if I was not avoiding the hard workouts, I was dreading every second until they began.
Now, I realize that intense training does not need to be intimidating.
You can solve all three of the problems of "intense training" at once.
You only need a method of measurement.
If these efforts were properly measured, you would be able to transform your aproach:
1. The highest training zone is painful --> Intense training does not need to be painful.
If you had a measure of intensity, you can consistently target an intensity slightly under your 'pain' threshold that you can withstand, but that target can still be intense enough to be beneficial.
2. The highest training zone is vast --> Intense training can be specific and intentional.
If you have a granular measurement method such as running power, you can target a specific intensity for your mile efforts and a different intensity for your sprints. This makes your training far more intentional when you have a smaller intensity range to target.
3. It is hard to compare efforts in your highest training zone --> You need a different method of measurement.
A measurement method, such as running power, that incorporates external running conditions can make your efforts comparable so you can target consistent intensities for whatever changing conditions you want to run in.
While I think it is important to track all of your running efforts, you are going to get more "bang" out of your data when tracking your high-end work since it is an untapped area of potential for many distance runners.
Stryd's running power is a great way to track high end efforts because running power has great granularity at the highest intensities and also makes intense work comparable across conditions.
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