Now before you get a little to excited, this isn’t going to be about taking some psychedelics and going on a trip. More the LSD of the Long Slow Distance or Low Intensity Steady State type.
With the hype around High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This form of training has become somewhat of a forgotten art form with the mainstream fitness industry. But as the name suggests it consists of longer efforts (20-60 minutes) at a continuos pace and steady output (usually at below 65% max heart rate). Which although it sounds like its a little monotonous has some major benefits to your long term health, fitness & performance.
Build The Foundation.
Whether you are starting out or need to step up to another level adding some LSD sessions in will help you build and improve upon your training base. Think of it as a pyramid, with LSD at the bottom & HIIT at the top. The bigger and wider you can build that base the higher you will be able to build the peak.
Use Fat As A Fuel.
Although it is not the be all and end all when it comes to body fat reduction (calories in vs calories out). Long slow efforts tend to keep you at a heart rate zone where fat will primarily be metabolised to fuel the movement. Think of a diesel engine, it wont necessarily be the fastest but will keep on chugging along all day. This can be advantageous to help your body learn to perform at higher rates utilising fats (which are stored in abundance through out the body) and saving glycogen (carbohydrate) stores in the bank for when you need them.
Your ability to go for longer periods of time will also directly relate to your ability to recover between efforts, sessions and training blocks. When you use low impact movement (cycling, swimming) these sessions can also act to help recovery by getting freshly oxygenated blood running through your muscles with out adding to much extra stress to your body.
As mentioned earlier these efforts should be performed at below 65% of max heart rate, which is a pace you should be able to still maintain conversation at. Perfect for grabbing a friend and going for a run, cycle, hike or row.
One of the main reasons this style have training has become less popular is due to the fitness industries inability to sell the benefits. No one wants to pay to go to a class and sit on a treadmill at a comfortable pace for 45 minutes. But undoubtedly it will form an integral part to a well rounded training program.
These sessions are perfect to add into your training on weekends or off training days when you are looking for something easy.
Remember to stick to a comfortable pace. Start off short and gradually build.