Author Topic: Longer, low-intensity workouts?  (Read 2845 times)

FloridaWindSUP

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Longer, low-intensity workouts?
« on: June 01, 2019, 04:21:15 PM »
Everyone seems to agree that some high intensity training sessions are good, especially high intensity short intervals workouts. Certainly, people who ONLY do low intensity never seem to get fast, no matter how much they paddle. But I've seen some confusing and conflicting advice on how much, if any, lower intensity workouts to mix in with the high intensity stuff.

1. Some say that the bulk of one's paddling should be longer paddles at HR zone 3 or so, with only one or two high intensity workouts per week.

2. Others say that those long, slower-than-race-pace distance paddles are a waste of time that just makes you slow, and you're better off just alternating your high intensity workouts with rest days or weightlifting

Which is it? I've been following philosophy #2 for the last couple years and it has gotten me fairly fit and fast, but I wonder if #1 might improve my efficiency and endurance in ways that would improve my race performance. 
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Re: Longer, low-intensity workouts?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2019, 05:14:48 PM »
This is an interesting question and the answer is not simple but the simple answer is you need to train your body to burn fat if you want to be faster at distance. How you do that is open to debate but a reasonable approach is set out here and includes some of the science.

https://www.marathon-training-program.com/fat-fuel/

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natas585

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Re: Longer, low-intensity workouts?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2019, 04:32:51 AM »
What are your goals? There are many ways to the top of a mountain. Some will get you there faster and with a minimum of wear and tear on the body. If getting to your goal with the highest degree of health and longevity, then spending more of your free time training in the higher intensities might be a better idea. To be able to accomplish the higher intensity workouts to the best of your ability you would need a well established aerobic base in the first place. A well rounded athlete should incorporate all modalities to be complete so mix some longer workouts in if you have the time. But you will have to experiment to see what you can fit into your schedule and which combinations work best for you. But no matter what you will be able to exhibit a higher degree of force production no matter what your sport or your abilities if you are stronger. Nothing will accomplish that better than proper strength training. That means lifting weights in a progressive manner, not trying to replicate a skill/sport in the gym on a balance ball.
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singingdog

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Re: Longer, low-intensity workouts?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2019, 04:46:35 AM »
Long, low intensity workouts are where you train your body to burn fat. You can only go on glycogen stores for about 1 hour (depends on your body), then you start using fat stores to fuel muscles. If you want that kind of long-term endurance, then you need to train for it. If not, then don't sweat it.

IMHO, the mistake that most "citizen" athletes make is doing most of their effort at zone 2 (think group bike rides), which has very little fitness benefit. In a highly technique dependant sport - flatwater SUP, noric skiing - that zone 2 training can be very important for technique training, not so beneficial for fitness.

surfinJ

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Re: Longer, low-intensity workouts?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2019, 05:05:15 AM »
Back in high school track and cross country the coach mixed up the high intensity interval sessions with LSD, long slow distance.  I think the combo of both types of training are important.

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Re: Longer, low-intensity workouts?
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2019, 05:05:38 AM »
If you paddled 12 hours a day, every day, at only moderate intensity, you would get fast, eventually. Itís just that there are very few people who would do that. Most people who pootle along just donít do much.

The whole fitness industry is oriented towards maximum return in the minimum amount of time. Thatís what sells. The danger with this is the risk of injury, so the whole industry revolves around balancing stressing the body, while just staying shy of what will cause injury or overtraining. A tricky balance, and not necessarily a healthy one. I suspect that at some point you have to decide between performance and health: many top athletes are very fit, or course, but they arenít very healthy.

Anyway, I digress... IMO the main shortcoming with the approach youíve been using is that it is very hard to work on technique during HIIT type sessions. Yet technique is critical to speed and efficiency. So, IMO the role of low intensity workouts between high intensity ones is partly for recovery, but also substantially to work on technique. Lying around on a sofa, going down the gym, or doing some other sport, will not help your technique get better. Fairly long low intensity sessions with strict technique goals will. Thatís why Olympic swimmers swim 6-12 miles a session, two sessions a day, six days a week. SUP hasnít even begun to get its act together really, as regards training discipline and volume, compared with these established sports. They are doing lots of high intensity stuff, but also lots of moderate intensity stuff. Plus lots of other cross-training and weight-bearing stuff as well. Exhausting, not much fun, and unsustainable in the long run. So ask yourself what your goals in life are :) IMO the healthiest form of exercise is the one that you are enjoying so much that you arenít aware of the effort you are putting in. Iím never going to win any races with an attitude like that :) But maybe Iíll still be doing SUP at age 85 when my ďfasterĒ friends bodiesí have long since collapsed.

gzasinets

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Re: Longer, low-intensity workouts?
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2019, 08:33:52 AM »
I think that 80% of training should be in the lower HR zones - the ones that build endurance and higher HR zones mixed in only about 10% or so of the training volume. If we extrapolate from running - you don't get faster at 5k by pushing your body to the extremes but rather increasing training volume at lower intensities. Doing the other way around you will put unnecessary stress on your body especially heart that might eventually lead to st segment depression on your ECG. Don't ask me how I know.
All boils down to your goals and paycheck - if you are pro athlete - just push your body to the extremes and deal with consequences later since you make your living on it. All other cases - not worth it - your heart will thank you. My 2cents.
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FloridaWindSUP

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Re: Longer, low-intensity workouts?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2019, 08:47:37 AM »
Thanks for the tips, everybody. Seems like the consensus is that at least some longer, slower (but not too slow) paddles are worth incorporating in the mix for training aerobic base, fat metabolism, technique efficiency, etc. Worth trying, at least.

Good philosophical points, too, about how the optimal training for performance may not jive perfectly with what we  amateur athletes can find the time or the motivation to stick with in the long term. For example, I totally believe in the benefits of strength training, but it's not fun enough for me to prioritize into my mix of work, home life, SUP, surfski, and windsurfing. I finally had to admit it just wasn't happening and cancel my barely-used YMCA membership. I have a pull-up bar in the house so I guess I can still do pull-ups and push-ups.
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Re: Longer, low-intensity workouts?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2019, 01:10:36 PM »
"IMO the healthiest form of exercise is the one that you are enjoying so much that you arenít aware of the effort you are putting in." BINGO - hand that man a prize.   

I have a friend, ex. lifeguard/head-guard, who gym-rats and talks about various 'lifts' he's doing...  I cannot sup-surf worth a c'hit - he can't at all. From my perspective, I saved myself a ton of money and humiliation. Gyms are like other sorts of lineups, entry into Harvard, Bar exams, spelling bees...   There's always someone 50X better than you. 

I am just happy to look back at the beach knowing I am not one of those that has an aluminum chair permanently attached to his ass.

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natas585

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Re: Longer, low-intensity workouts?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2019, 03:10:50 PM »
Um alright folks. Don't confuse exercise with training. Skill work is for technique, strength training is for strength, and conditioning is what happens when you do it repeatedly for varying degrees of time. Most of you who think you're doing HIT or HIIT are not, you are just doing interval or circuit training. And if you are doing it correctly good for you. Because the science shows it works too. If you want to do long and slow go for it, but make sure you know why it works. No it is not the only way to train the body to burn fat. Just look up any research on the keto diet( I'm not a proponent of any one diet). You should be practicing your skills before you go and spend hours out flogging your paddle in the water to "teach the body to burn fat". And if you're content with loosing muscle mass as you age, which happens anyway, don't strength train. I recommend doing what gives an individual the most health and fitness benefits for their time invested rather than going out and just doing more of the same for longer and/or harder bouts. In 35+ years in the physical education field I have yet to hear anyone on any podium say " I could've done better if I was a little weaker". If you want to be faster, better, or operate at more of an optimum ability for who you are, strength training will allow you to apply more force to the whatever surface you find yourself occupying. Training is progressive, exercise is sweating and tiring, practice is what you do to become better at your sport.
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Re: Longer, low-intensity workouts?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2019, 04:55:11 PM »
My body was born knowing now to burn fat; it does that when I have some extra fat and eat less than I burn but not too much less and not being sedentary.

I don't think I am confused about training being exercise, but I agree it should not be the only exercise. I use my core a lot more paddling when I have worked it into shape with targeted exercise.

I think there is a mental aspect to "breaking through the wall" of doing long cardio sessions that are somewhat intense. When I used to run a lot before knee trouble. it took a while to get from being able to run a 5k to running a 10k (~3 miles to ~6), but once I got used to running in that zone past "the wall", it was less than a month after I started running 5 miles regularly that I ran over 10. Talking to others, that's pretty common. I had the same experience with long paddles keeping a decent pace.
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Re: Longer, low-intensity workouts?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2019, 12:39:26 PM »
my concern has become muscle mass--i always did long burn, many rep workouts--but, now i wonder, giving the wasting of muscle mass thaT I can see beginning at my fair age 60, if i shd be lifting weights with fewer reps, with intent to build/maintain mass

always avoided mass---didnt fit with climbing, surfing, skiing, squash, tennis, etc---and massive guys turned to lard back then, the minute they ceased lifting

but now i may do more of those reps of 8-10, fewer reps of 20 30 etc

my dad is down to skin and bones, and barely has the juice to stand from a chair---scares shit outta me!

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Re: Longer, low-intensity workouts?
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2019, 02:25:11 PM »
I'm 70.  About a year ago, I realized that I was losing muscle mass, even tho I was paddling three times a week, for about an hour each time.
I started doing Farmer's carries, weighted squats and kettle bell type swing, using dumbbells.  I noticed a difference in my paddling within a few weeks.
On the squats and swings, I'm doing 10 set with 15 reps each.  I started with two 10 pound dumbbells and later added two 15 pounders, splitting 5 sets each. 
Instead of a long workout, keep it short but hard.