Improving Aerobic Capacity

As some of you may have noticed, JB has started posting Endurance WODs on beyond the whiteboard again. I’ve also noticed some of you guys hitting the track or running the trail right outside of the gym. Since I’m seeing more and more people getting outside of the gym and running, I wanted to offer some advice on how to improve your overall aerobic capacity.

First of all, what is aerobic capacity? Aerobic Capacity is the maximum amount of oxygen your body consumes during exercise at any given time domain. Running, biking, swimming, and rowing are all great examples of aerobic activities. For this post though, I’ll stick to examples that pertain to running.

So, let’s use an 8:00 mile time since it has nice round numbers when we break it down into intervals. An 8:00 mile comes out to be 2:00 per 400m. A good way to start trying to improve your mile time is by getting some interval training in at your mile pace. For examples, 7 x 400m run at mile pace (2:00) is a good place to start. From there, to improve your aerobic capacity, try running the same amount of intervals but at 1:55 or 1:57. The following training day, go ahead and try and drop it :03 – :05. Obviously you’re running faster than you would normally for 1 mile, but the goal is to drive adaptation towards improving your aerobic capacity. As your body adapts, it will soon run 400m at a 1:55 pace with less strain.

You can use this concept on improving your 2 mile times or 5k times. It’s more so an important training method when trying to improve longer distance times. The reason being, is that when it comes to longer runs, you want to manage the overall distance you’re putting in during training. It’s not always the best idea to just go out there and run the distances you’re training for, simply because that’s a good way to lead to overtraining pretty quickly. So again, in this case the intervals I mentioned above are a good idea here!

Now, it’s a good idea to mix up the distance for you intervals also. You can break your intervals down into 200m, 800, or even 600m distances. You just have to decide what pace you’ll be running in relation to the mile/2 mile/5k you’re trying to improve.

Hopefully this sheds some light on how to attack those endurance workouts JB is posting. Let any of your coaches know if you have any questions, happy training!