Basic Principles of Training: Maximizing Your Running Experience
There are three basic principles of training:
1. Progressional Overload
Progressional OverloadThe overload principle is the fact that one must exercise beyond their usual accustoms in order for a training effect to occur. The system will gradually adapt to the stressor and establish a new "normal" baseline level. To fully optimize the overload principle one should learn and apply the FIT acronym:
F-Frequency of training
I-Intensity of training
T-Time of Training (Duration)
It is important not too increase any one of the above factors to quickly as this could lead to injury or mental burnout. A standard rule is to increase only one factor a week and not too increase any of the factors by more than 10-20% in a given week.
As you get to higher levels of fitness it becomes harder to find that right mix of workouts to keep applying the overload principle, while simultaneously avoiding going over the edge to over-training. With a basic understanding though, you have armed yourself with a little bit of knowledge to try and tackle the puzzle
SpecificityThe specificity principle refers to the fact that you should design your workouts to be functional for the movement your doing and to target the systems in your body you want to improve. Examples include the muscle fiber type, the energy systems (sprint or distance), the velocity of muscle contractions, and the type of muscle contraction. This principle might seem fairly straight forward, however there are usually multiple systems interacting at all times and understanding which ones are playing the prevalent roles is important in designing a fitness protocol.
ReversibilityThe reversibility principle refers to the fact that physiological conditioning is quickly lost after a period of de-training. This phenomenon is more profound in less conditioned athletes. When one ceases to exercise, in as little as 1 week you begin to notice the difference as a result of your body becoming less efficient at extracting oxygen from the blood, becoming less efficient at pumping blood throughout your body, and as a result of your muscles losing endurance and strength.
It is important to realize that de-training means complete rest or no physical activity. A slight reduction in exercise can maintain your current fitness level for quite some time, if not allow you the time to refresh your systems and improve.
With the knowledge of the basic training principles, I hope that you can now make more informed decisions and collaborations when it comes to designing your fitness regime. Never be afraid to ask questions of why you are performing a certain exercise. The person prescribing you should be able to answer in a clear, coherent manner that is backed up by principles.