Physiological vs connection model.
(This is going to be a long one…heads up…..)
I hate zone training. It’s a pet peeve of mine. I hate the idea and the concept behind it. But so many coaches out there use it, and in actuality we all tend to classify workouts into different zones. I’ve wrestled with trying to explain my hatred for zone training and what I’d call the alternative method for a while, but it’s a difficult thing to wrap your head around. I knew I hated it, but I couldn’t effectively explain why to outsiders. I’d dance around the why’s but never had a satisfactory answer. Part of the reason was I didn’t have a simple way to explain the alternative. I could throw a bunch of information and examples to describe it, but there was no easy descriptor. Before getting into what the alternative is, lets look at what exactly the physiological model is and how we got there.
Defining a model:
The physiological model of training is one that relies on the premise that there are a few big physiological parameters that govern performance. The big ones mentioned in research and the literature are VO2max, Running Economy (RE), Lactate Threshold (LT), and sometimes lactate tolerance or anaerobic capacity/tolerance depending on publication. The idea is that these four things combine to create performance.
The central premise of the physiological model is that IF we improve one of these parameters, then performance improves.
But how does this relate to training? The model takes another step and says that there are certain intensities or zones that will improve X parameter.
So the full model really states that IF we do X training, Y parameter will improve and thus performance improves.
If this was a logic class it would look something like this: X->Y=↑ P
Sounds reasonable right? Well, hold your horses…