The topic of improvement runs very deep. We can talk about motivation, effort required, interest in the training, periodization, and so much more. Context is also different for professional athletes and people who are new to fitness. To keep things as general as possible, unless we have an ultra sport specific goal, or we’re a professional athlete in tune with our weaknesses, this is the clearest path to improvement:
Variation is the best path to improvement on so many levels. Variation can mean a lot of different things though, varying the movements we do in a training program, varying the intensity of the movements, varying the energy systems we use in any given workout, and many more. For the sake of this article, we’re talking about energy systems (why we actually roll on the floor after a workout). Let’s hop back into our running shoes for a second.
The reason those two obviously bad training programs were not a good path to improvement is because there was no variation, specifically, no variation in energy systems. We’re not going to do a deep dive on energy systems here but to give you a little information about our bodies energy system, there are basically three than can be catagorized like this:
Sprint – Short and very fast.
Short Term – A fast pace that can be sustained for longer than a sprint.
Long Slow – A slow pace that can be done for long periods of time.