Types of cardio training
Last week I wrote a blog for all of the non-runners out there; giving the low down on lots of types of cardiovascular training that doesn’t involve pounding the pavements.
Within the abovementioned blog I mentioned some different cardiovascular training methods – I also wrote that I’d go into a bit more detail about what these are so that you can implement them into you own training programmes.
The first thing to remember is that our bodies are really smart: they’re masters of efficiency. If we give them our body the same workout over, and over, and over again, it will cease to have much result. If we do what we always do, we’ll get the results we’ve always had. We need to mix things up regularly to challenge the body, and by introducing some of the below types of training into your programme, you can reap huge rewards.
Long slow distance training (LSDT)
LSDT essentially means that you’re covering a long distance at a relatively slow pace. Ideally, you are working at 50-70% of your maximum heart rate, for a minimum of about 30 minutes. It should be easy enough that you can hold a conversation whilst working - you will be working aerobically.
Lactate-threshold training is also known as Tempo Training, Fast Continuous Running (FCR), or Anaerobic Threshold training (AnT). This type of training is much higher in intensity, and the workout significantly shorter (maybe 15-30 minutes). The idea is to find a ‘comfortably hard’ pace, and maintain that – working at your threshold. You’re working aerobically but only just, so at approximately 80-85% of your maximum heart rate.
Moderate intensity training
Moderate intensity training is working somewhere in between LSDT and lactate-threshold training – a mid way between easy and hard. This would mean working at approximately 70-80% of your maximum heart rate. Your breathing should be controlled but fast and you might be able to say a few sentences, but unlike LSDT, you shouldn’t be able to hold a conversation. Ideally moderate intensity workouts would last 30 minutes or more. As with LSDT, you’ll be working aerobically.
Interval training means to mix high intensity (often anaerobic) intervals of exercise, with lower intensity (aerobic) ones. Unlike Fartlek training (below), the intervals won’t be random - so an example might be 30 seconds of sprinting followed by 1 minute of jogging, repeated 10 times. The intensity of the intervals can be modified to suit your fitness level appropriately.
Fartlek training (random speed play)
Fartlek training means to work a variety of different paces within one workout. You’ll work at different speeds and for different periods of time. Unlike interval training, the increases and decreases should be random – so an example might be 20 seconds of sprinting, followed by 2 minutes of jogging, followed by 45 seconds at a threshold pace. Fartlek training can be used as a bit of a bridge between LSDT and lactate-threshold training, mixing sections of each, along with some anaerobic sprinting intervals.