Why Find Your Fitness Level?
First off, when I am talking about fitness level throughout this course I want to be clear and let you know that I am referring to your aerobic fitness versus your anaerobic fitness. Your aerobic fitness is important for endurance sports such as long distance running which requires you to move for a long period of time instead of requiring you to give off short but very powerful bursts of energy such as in olympic weight lifting (more anaerobic).
Aerobic fitness requires the use of oxygen in supplying you energy whereas anaerobic fitness does not. Therefore if you want to be able to compete in aerobic fitness sports, such as the marathon or half marathon you need to train aerobically.
Since this course is for runners who are training for long distance running everything is centered around your aerobic fitness. This is why we will be finding your aerobic fitness level and then help you figure out what speeds you need to run in order to get faster while being able to go for longer distances at those faster speeds.
We are Bound by 2 Factors
The first step in finding what paces you can train and compete at is to first find out your fitness level. Let’s face a brutal reality. You will only be able to go as fast as your body, at a point in time, will allow you to go. You will be bound by two things:
- Your current fitness level
- Your genetics
Your Fitness Level
Your fitness level is always changing depending on the training you are undergoing. Those who are more unconditioned at the start of a training program will always see the greatest training improvement.
Generally a normal active adult will be able to increase their fitness level by about 10-15% per training period while a highly conditioned athlete may only be able to see a 3-5% fitness increase since there margin to work at and improve is smaller.
When you are training for an endurance activity such as a marathon or half marathon, your muscles are going to be changing and adapting to become more aerobic in nature.So when you are focusing on becoming fitter and build your endurance and speed at the same time you will want to be targeting the right workouts in order to build more aerobic type muscle cells versus anaerobic (not conducive to endurance athletes) cells.
This is what this pace kit is going to help you achieve!
Your genetics obviously cannot be changed. Some people are more endowed with endurance capabilities versus others and so will be more receptive to a long distance running program. No matter what training program is used, some of us will not ever be able to reach an elite level of aerobic fitness (Vo2max) simply because of genetics. But we each have our own potentials and improvements to achieve!
How to Combine our Fitness Level & Genetics
So as an athlete we focus on what we can change and then we train to increase our potential in that direction. That is why I always like to start and end each new training session with a fitness test.
A fitness test allows you to see what progress you have made. Granted you will not always be able to increase your fitness level. Genetics will play a role in shackling you to a certain level of potential. Your aim though is to reach your full potential or at least that next attainable level.