In the endurance world, we’ve come to believe that there are certain intensities or paces that do more than others! If we run at these specific zones, we will improve, and if we run bit too fast or too slow, we are in a grey zone where workouts don’t help as much. VO2max, Lactate Threshold, Critical Velocity, and so forth. Run at these paces, not faster or slower, and you will run fast.

It’s all BS. There are no magical training paces. Yes, they do different things, but that doesn’t mean that they are better or worse.

In this episode of the On Coaching Podcast, we delve into the nuance of workout intensities.

Topics covered include:

  • Science vs. Nature
  • The physiology behind all of the different intensity zones
  • Clean Slate Phenomenon- Why any training (including dumb stuff!) works for a short time!
  • Misattribution of success- Why we are fooled by training intensities.
  • Seeing the big picture.
  • The recovery response to the activity is the source of the improvement!
  • What’s the best way to damage athletes? That’s what we are doing. Damage leads to an opportunity for improvement.
  • Utilizing a variety of ingredients, instead of relying on the magic ingredient.
  • Training = Fatigue Tolerance.
  • The 5 Types of Fatigue

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast

The Unforgiving Minute by Ron Clarke

Clean Slate Phenomenon

Stephen Seiler

Stress + Rest = Growth from Peak Performance

High Performance West Scholar Program

Share your thoughts with us on social media:

High-Performance West

Steve: Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube

Jon: Twitter and Instagram

Ways to Listen and Subscribe to the Podcast:



via E-mail


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    1. Louise Wood on February 1, 2019 at 7:58 am

      Hey you guys, you can get the ebook of the Ron Clarke book from therunnerstribeshop for $15 Australian dollars. That’s less than $11 US. Forget amazon for this one.

    2. Craig on February 4, 2019 at 7:08 am

      In this podcast, a book was mentioned that one of you has said has changed your life.

      I wanted to look into it but cannot remember the title, help would be appreciated!

    3. Douglas Avrit on February 5, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      Everything is BS, is it not. Wait a year and all of this will be BS. Go with what you know works and stay committed to it. Yes, listen to what others have to say but understand that many are just throwing thoughts on the walk and seeing if they will stick or anyone will salute them and buy books. This is the genius of Lydiard and he figured it out without all the science, he just knew it intuitively.

      • Jim M on March 6, 2019 at 11:19 am

        I also say go with what you like too. If you like doing 15km progression runs (I do) then why not do them? The science says they might not belong in your training week but so what? Ditto long runs. I had one coach tell me once to stop running after 90min. But I always felt that long runs were good for me. I’m not saying only do what is easy mind you, or to avoid those workouts you might groan about. You need to challenge yourself sometimes. Who was the runner who said, and I paraphrase, “you run here and over there and all around the place and somehow you get better at it?”

    4. Marcin on February 7, 2019 at 5:00 am

      Hi, what is the second type of fatigue that Jon mentioned? I understood central nervous system, muscle, energy and emotional.

    5. Sat Ganesha S. Khalsa on February 11, 2019 at 3:00 pm

      great model/map about fatiques!

    6. Lyes on April 9, 2019 at 8:06 am

      Good morning,

      I am interested to learn more about the idea that there are no magic training intensities and why Physiological Model of Training and “zone training” are outdated.

      – How can we train then in order to maximize our improvement for a better performance? (no benefit to improve Vo2Max or RE if there is no improvement in performance)

      Thank you in advance for your answer.

      Best regards,

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