2016 LSD (not the drug!) Long Steady Distance and HIT Training

Posted on 06 January 2016

January for most athletes is the base building phase, no longer called off-season training.  It’s funny how the words change and base building just sounds better in the mind vs.“off-season training”.   As we all know the common Long Steady Distance (LSD) training component is the main workout session for the early season. It has been the staple in my training year after year to build a large aerobic capacity then move toward more intensity after the base phase and the first races of the year.

Cycling for example is built upon a strong aerobic capacity and a key ingredient in long distance races.  However, as we have seen for the last 10 years there was a shift in base building training plans (especially after the 2004 Carl Patton and Will Hopkins study of the effects of high-intensity training for endurance athletes – small).   The study showed that with a small amount of specificity of high intensity interspersed into the base training plan may provide an opportunity to maintain some of the gains from the season.


My biggest challenge in the base building phase year after year has been to consistency of higher intensity sessions. You might have the same challenge, a few good weeks of HIT (High Intensity Training) workouts and then it goes out the window and moves to LSD especially when dealing with colder winter weather. After the season and a long race like the 10-day DECA Ironman my mindset has been focused on getting back in the groove with LSD miles. This year, I am determined to adhere to weekly intensity training in program and see what happens! What about you? Check out the IPhone app “Way of Life” for your HIT accountability  – real easy to use and quick yes or no answer (just a check mark required).

If you have experienced the same old LSD training for aerobic base building without the consistency of HIT workouts, consider mixing it up this year. Of course aerobic base building is still the goal during base building but also add 2-3 days a week of short high intensity intervals.

Bike Workout, consider the following:

5 sets of short intervals: 1:30 at 100 RPM’s followed by 1:30 of a hard gear at 60 RPM’s and 1 minute recovery after each 3 minute interval.

Mix and match the workouts to include short duration and mixing in higher RPMS immediately followed by low RPMS and harder gear ratio.

2016 is the time for short HIT sessions to your LSD base building plans!  I just love endurance junkie acronyms. If you need some ideas to your base training phase please feel free to contact me at www.wayne-kurtz.com

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