More often than not…

WARNING: Rant Ahead. Be advised: lack of objectivity. Proceed with caution.

More often than not,

You don’t become resistant to fatigue by training in a fatigued state.

You don’t create more strength and power by training yet more strength and power.

You don’t become better adapted to running more miles by running yet more miles.

More often than not,

You need to train without fatigue in order to develop the systems that help you resist it.

You need to train easy in order to let your body grow from strength and power training.

You need to develop the capability to run more miles so that your body doesn’t break when you try to.

More often than not, performance and training are different things.

What do you think (and why)?



4 thoughts on “More often than not…”

  1. An interesting thing is that only Type II and IIX muscle fibers (the fast-twitch ones) really get “torn” during exercise as a matter of course. In the slow-twitch (Type I) ones, it’s really the cellular mitochondria dying for the most part (and the cell bolstering its numbers).

    In other words, the parts of the body (and the way they get broken down) between high-intensity work and low-intensity work is really different.


  2. Many great examples of this – ‘training slow to get faster (at aerobic paces) as Arthur Newton memorably said ‘start gently’.

    You have written very well here about the relationship between the stress response and the anaerobic system and I see that as key to why things work as you describe above. Add in the central governor idea and the entire training process becomes about inoculating the body/mind complex against ‘more of a similar stress’ (but always less than the target stress because the body supercompensates).

    My own first priority with runners is to make their body ‘accept’ running as a normal and low-stress activity. Only once the body has accepted the motion as such can we ramp up the ‘dose’. The principle of Mithridatism in action


    1. Completely agree! Glad you like my work.

      I’m very interested in the psychological side of how we relate to our supercompensations—not just the psychological adaptation to exercise, but how we tell ourselves that the supercompensation means that we’re “fitter” and NOW is the time to do another training session.

      In other words, I feel that people often mistake the peak of a training oscillation with their actual—call it “physiologically real”—athletic capability. The performance benefit they get from functional overreaching is not understood as such, and instead is taken as leave to train even harder (and usually catapults people straight into injury and overtraining).


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