The Importance of Training Slow


The Importance of Training Slow

Impact Physical Therapy 

It may come off as a counterintuitive thought process for a competitive athlete to train slowly in order to improve aerobic capacity, ultimately increasing athletic performance and becoming a faster athlete. There are two basic energy systems one uses when training and they are anaerobic and aerobic. Why should one train solely the aerobic system?

  • The more time spent working in the aerobic threshold where there is more oxygen the more efficient the body becomes at using the oxygen when there is a lack of oxygen within the system.
  • Increase stroke volume of the heart. (More blood per heart beat)
  • Increased capillary density
  • Increased mitochondria density
  • Reduces the rate of lactic acid formation.
  • Improves the rate of lactic acid removal and increases energy production/utilization.
  • Decreased recovery time

When training within the aerobic threshold the primary fuel source is body fat. Spending more time in this threshold improves the body’s ability to use fat as its primary source of energy which is important because it spares the body’s glycogen storage which can be tapped into for later use. This makes you become a more efficient athlete. Now here is how to implement it:

  • Test your 1 mile run at the beginning of the cycle (as fast as possible)
  • 8-12 week cycle
  • Start at the low end of your baseline and train aerobically (About 60% of your maximal heart rate) and throughout the training cycle slowly increase the baseline to about 80% of your maximal heart rate.
  • Slow runs (Conversational pace), slow hill runs, hiking, walking, swimming, paddle boarding, rowing and hiking.
  • Take advantage of training at a slower pace to be able to really focus on form and efficiency of movements which is hard to focus on when performing at near maximal effort.
  • Re-test 1 mile run at the end of the cycle.

About Dr. Eric Hefferon

Dr. Eric Hefferon received his advanced doctorate degree in physical therapy from the innovative A.T. Still University. He has been practicing in the west valley for 6 years and has made strong ties to local gyms and medical practitioners. Dr. Hefferon started Impact Physical Therapy due to his passion for an individualized healthcare approach. He knew by creating a clinic that was out of network he could help give patients the results they deserve. His treatment style attracts patients from all over the valley and even out of state. People will travel to seek Dr. Hefferon’s solutions!

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