Monday, December 8, 2008


Why do we need to do long slow distance, (LSD)? To start with going long builds endurance that you can't build any other way. Think of your leg muscles as a huge bundle of small fibers. Think of each fiber as an army warrior. In the walking around you do daily you only need a small portion of your warriors, so they are trained and strong. When you go farther than you are used to the fiber warriors that you normally use will only take you so far because they will tire out. When those fibers tire then your next reserves will take over and try to do the job. But these fibers are not trained and strong like your front line troops so they tire very quickly. This will continue with your muscles bringing up more and more reinforcements until all are exhausted.

Not only are your reserves untrained but they are not efficient either. Like an army, your muscles have their supply lines. The supply system brings oxygen and fuel, (Sugar), and removes waste products, (Lactic Acid). The more your reserves are used the more efficient they become at utilizing your supplies and getting rid of the waste. That's why when all you use are the muscle fibers required to get you through the day you don't feel sore.

Another reason for doing the LSD training is to learn what equipment works for you and what doesn't. You can't evaluate what shoe, sock, body lube, fuel ect... you will need for 13.1 or 26.2 miles by doing a 5 mile walk 3 times a week. You need to a least once a week go a little longer and at least once a month go further still. The rule of thumb is to increase no more than 10% at a time and that does work well. Never ever increase speed and distance in the same week.

Still on the comparison of muscles to an army, you have two kinds of fibers, you have the cavalry, (fast twitch) and the infantry, (Slow Twitch). When you are doing your long comfortable distance you are training and strengthening the infantry. When you sprint or speed up to pass someone or do short bursts of faster walking/running you are training the Calvary.

I personally do a lot of fartlack style training, that is were you train at different speeds during your walk/run. That way all my muscle types get a workout.

Thanks for reading.

Training Panda

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