Types of Aerobic Endurance Training Programs
Long, Slow Distance Training (LSD)
Long, slow distance training is when an individual trains at 70% VO2 Max or 80% of max heart rate (MHR). The allotted time for LSD training should be anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours which can be the same distance or more distance than the event being trained for. This is also known as "conversation training" as the individual should be able to carry on a fairly easy conversation without feeling like they are gasping for air.
The benefits gained from LSD training are generally aerobic in nature. What this means is that an individual becomes more efficient at removing lactate, increases mitochondrial energy production and oxidative capacity of skeletal muscle, as well as become more efficient at using body fat stores as a fuel source. The increase in efficiency of using fat stores as a fuel source also spares muscle glycogen stores for more intense bouts of energy such as a hill sprint or end-of-race sprint.
Pace/Tempo training is at or exceeds an intensity that will be used in a race competition. This type of training is also known as "threshold training" as it is intended to push an individual to their lactate threshold (LT) throughout their entire session. Pace/Tempo training can either be steady or intermittent. In other words, either an entire 20-30 minute session is geared towards pushing the LT or shorter bouts or intervals can be used to push the LT.
The goal with Pace/Tempo training is to increase the efficiency of both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems to improve overall stamina and performance.
Intervals involve intense exercise that is close to an individual's VO2 Max that can last anywhere from 30 secs/interval to 5 minutes. Any intervals that last in the 3-5min range should have equal rest periods (1:1), also known as a work to rest ratio. Interval training is intended to increase an athlete's VO2 Max as well as anaerobic metabolism.
Similar to interval training, "REPS" are conducted at intensities greater than VO2 Max in work to rest ratios of 1:5. REPS work intervals should be in the 30-90 second time range, but due to their immense metabolic strain on the body, that is why longer rest periods need to be followed. The benefits here include faster speeds and enhanced exercise economy. This is the type of training an individual should use in order to improve their final leg of a race.
This is essentially a combination of all of the different types of training modes listed above. The idea here is to remove monotony associated with regular training, as well as creating race-like variables into a training session that would mimic the conditions found in a race such as hills, sprints, etc.