Lesson one: increasing aerobic capacity.

August 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Posted in running | Leave a comment

Aerobic capacity is your body’s ability to bring oxygen into your bloodstream, which, in turn, gives you the energy you need to exert yourself (running). When you increase your aerobic capacity, you are able to run faster, longer, and stronger.

Many people (including me, until recently) believe that the only way to build aerobic capacity is to do speedwork. But I’ve just learned that that’s not true! While speedwork (intervals, pace runs, repeats – more on those later) can certainly help, the best way to build aerobic capacity is to simply run greater distances. You are doing the most work when you push yourself just a bit more past the moment when you think you can’t go any longer. During that extra mile or half mile, you’re teaching your body to deal with the added stress so that it is able to handle it better next time.

Naturally, when training for a marathon, you do this every week as you increase the distance on your long run. But remember that your overall weekly mileage counts too, so be sure that you’re getting in all of your weekday miles. If you can only run four days a week instead of five, try to tack the missed miles onto your other runs.

A few from Tuesday’s practice:

See you tonight? 6:30 at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park. All are welcome.

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