Speed v Aerobic Endurance

Speed v Aerobic Endurance

The first step to improving is almost always identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Whether it be preparing for a job interview or dropping your 5K PR by 30 seconds, identifying the areas that need the most work allows you to dedicate your time to the activities and training that will provide the most value.
The difficulty lies in accurately targeting the right weaknesses, especially in running where what you feel doesn’t always correlate with what is happening physiologically in your body. For example, the heavy, cement-like feeling in your arms and legs at the end of a 5K isn’t a sign of muscle weakness or that you need to spend time in the gym. Rather, this feeling is caused by the release of hydrogen ions when racing beyond your anaerobic threshold, which creates an acidic environment in the muscles and impairs muscle contraction.
Perhaps the most often misunderstood concept of training, and the most difficult for runners to identify where their weakness might be, is aerobic endurance versus speed. This is why so many runners turn to the track for lung-busting 400′s to help them get faster.
Unfortunately, if you’re approaching training this way, you may be focused on the wrong weakness and thereby not maximizing your training time or your workouts.

How much speed do you need?
If you can already run far faster than your goal race pace, the problem isn’t your speed. You need to focus more on improving your aerobic endurance and lactate threshold.
From a training standpoint, economy and efficiency. In unscientific terms, speedwork helps you run goal race pace with less effort.
However, there is a limit to how much you can develop your absolute speed. At some point, your body approaches its natural talent point and working to improve speed provides diminishing returns. Luckily, improving your aerobic capacity is virtually limitless.
Therefore, once you’re able to run about 20-30 seconds faster than your goal 5K pace for a full mile, you’ve probably developed enough speed to comfortably race your goal pace. The focus in your training should then be turned to improving your aerobic capacity and lactate threshold, which will help you develop the physiological fitness to race faster and maintain a top end speed for longer.
speed is rarely the limiting factor in how fast you can race, even for a distance as “short” as the 5K
Therefore, when you’re examining your training and identifying your strengths and weaknesses, the most obvious areas of improvement are going to come from improving your aerobic endurance and lactate threshold. If you can already run far faster than your goal race pace, the problem isn’t your speed.
Aerobic capacity and lactate threshold, what running coaches refer to as “strength” work, are the backbone of your ability to sustain a fast pace for a long period of time. In short, the higher your aerobic capacity, the longer you can run near your maximum speed.
Therefore, if you’re a runner who is trying to improve your finishing speed or you tend to fade during the last mile, your training time would be better spent improving your aerobic capacity, not necessarily your absolute speed. Tempo runs and cruise intervals are going to address your late race “speed” weaknesses better than a steady diet of 400 meter repeats.

What role does speed play?
Certainly, speed is a component of a well balanced training plan and it’s important to include speed workouts to improve your running efficiency and V02max. If you completely neglect speed altogether, or any energy system for that matter, your performance will suffer.
Perhaps the biggest role speed plays is that it helps improve your running


Rowing Circuit workout “try 1 circuit 3x week1” “4 circuits 3x week 4”

Cardio and weights Program

Boat House GYM 4 circuitsImage


Skipping 150


Bent over row 25 10-20kgs


Box Jumps 15


Side Plank 15 each side


Ergo 250m spilt 1.48-2.05


Press ups 15


Standing Sculling 20 2x4kg


Anchored ab folds 20


Squat thrusts to standing 20


Bench Pull 15 20kgs


Watt Bike or any other bike 1000m rpm 90+ pwr 36-44


Standing cable Rotator cuff 10 eachside


Deadlifts 20 20-30kgs



Downward dog,Hamsrings,Hipflexor,calf,quads,lats



What we can learn from the sporting arena 

Commitment & Assessment

Make sure you commit your goals to paper. No athlete or business person can consistently achieve success without a continuous cycle of
 assessment re evaluation. This process allows the athlete to stay on track and can act as a journey to success.

Measurable goals

You will achieve more if you set yourself smaller steps towards measurable goals. If your goal is too large you may get overwhelmed by the size of it. Breaking it down into doable chunks is easier on the mind. Every athlete has firmly established and measurable long-term goals with shorter-term goals to provide  stepping-stones to success.




Most athletes have a team of people that facilitate success.  Understand your own strengths and weaknesses and get help if necessary to work towards a shared vision or goal.




Many athletes thrive in stressful situations (they also feel the same nerves and anxiety as the rest of us!) and do not panic when plans go wrong. They look at solutions and focus on controllable factors that they can influence. Adaptability and resilience are key for any success in sport. The failures are often the place where the most important lessons are learned, but only if you are willing to learn from them.


Peaks & valleys


In a journey towards success there is bound to be peaks and valleys of success and failure. A great athlete will not be too upset by short-term failure but equally will not be over excited by short-term success. Balance, creates less distraction and a higher likelihood of staying on track.






Every athlete understands that the journey to excellence is not an overnight one. The ability to set a progression path and stay on it, not just through one season but for multiple seasons is not easy.  To move from average to great takes time, many performers in business and life have often looked back and quoted, ‘it takes 10 years to be great at anything’.




If the above rings true, it is close to impossible to excel in sport or business without passion. This is a passion for the goal, the journey and the whole thing. If the passion is not there, the performance will never shine or at least not shine for long.


Good luck


If you need any help, advice or would like to book a personal training session please contact me on –








A recurrent New Year’s Resolution is ‘lose weight and get fit’- you have to start somewhere so January is as good a time as any.  People who keep their resolutions tend to be those that break each goal down into smaller steps. They take time to reward their success, make their goals known to family and friends and keep a diary.  Don’t try and over complicate things with fad diets and special weight loss concoctions. KEEP IT SIMPLE – its all common sense.




There was some great research recently showing that most gains can be achieved for the sendentary based office worker by implementing just a few simple changes in their working habits and environment. This will help to keep the average calorie burn to 1 per  minute or more.


  1. Take any opportunity to move around, like moving the photocopier to another part of the office which means you have to walk further.
  2. Use a small cup of water which needs re-filling often.
  3. Take the stairs instead of the lift
  4. Taking a phone call standing up rather than sitting down
  5. Instead of a sitting meeting what about a chatting and walking meeting




Keep a diary – put exercise in at a fixed time just as if you were booking any other appointment and enter your weekly improvement. To kick start your fitness regime you need to increase your metabolic rate, approximately 30 minutes of exercise, walking, cycling or running at least three days a week. You also need a bit of resistance training, an exercise class or circuit training can offer this, again at least three times a week  These can all be fitted in around your work schedule but my most successful clients exercise in the morning.




You don’t have to sign up for expensive gym membership – you’ve got all the equipment you need in your own home, office or the local park – you can even use full water bottles for weights or simple tricep dips off the back of the office chair. See photo opposite.




Not you but your food!  Instead of white rice, plain pasta and white bread switch to brown rice, wholewheat pasta and wholegrain breads. They are more nutritious, more vitamin rich and generally have much more goodness in them, as well as keeping you fuller for longer. When eating out at corporate lunches always try and eat the healthier option, not only is it better for you but you feel less sluggish in the afternoons so you are therefore, more productive. 




All the research shows that people who train and/or diet with a friend or colleague have a much better chance of achieving their goal.  If you can’t find a friend you can always hire a personal trainer. At the end of the day, its all down to self-discipline and there’s only one person that can help with that!!




Think back to the last time you looked and felt good – and were the shape you would

like to be now. Keep remembering and stay focused on the goal. Ask yourself time and time again – How much do I want it?


Good luck kick starting 2014 and the new you.





Dips off the office chair


Clasping your hands at the front of your seat, press through your arms to lift your bodyweight off the seat, with shoulders back gently bend at the elbow at 90degrees lower yourself towards the ground and press into the seat using your arms to drive yourself back up to the start position. Aim for 20 repetitions.

Get Fit this Christmas !

Get Fit this Christmas !


The festive season is upon us. The cupboards, fridge and freezer have all been stocked
and you have been invited to all those corporate lunches! With just a little bit of self-discipline it is perfectly possible to enjoy a Happy Christmas and enter the New Year feeling fit, not fat. You don’t need to forgo all treats as you can limit the damage by selecting foods more carefully. There are always healthy alternatives to any meal or nibbles so if you choose the less calorific option you will avoid piling on excess pounds which you then have a hard job removing in the New Year.


One of the biggest barriers to exercise is a lack of time so having a long Christmas
break is a great opportunity to begin or maintain some physical activity. It reduces the chances of putting on weight, helps energise you and also reduces stress which sometimes accompanies long vacations. Its also a good time to get the whole family participating as well so use the holiday period to get the welly-boots out and go for a walk or something else more adventurous. You could buy outdoor gifts for everyone
that then need to be road-tested. Walking after lunch aids digestion a lot more than nodding off in an armchair!


When the whole season is an excuse for celebration those alcohol units can really mount up. The biggest reason people gain weight over the festive period is from the consumption of alcohol. Many people seem to think fluid doesn’t count!!
Unfortunately, alcohol is very high in calories and high in sugar – in fact almost as many as pure fat!
Calories from alcohol are ‘empty calories’ – they have no nutritional value but by changing what you drink you can go a good way to reducing the impact of the festive bulge! Try and keep track of how much you are drinking and intersperse alcoholic drinks with soft ones together with plenty of water.
Drink spritzers if you like wine or pints of shandy if you are a lager drinker. You will get a large drink but one that contains less alcohol. Opt for half pints if you prefer higher strength lager or try lower strength beer.
A recent survey revealed that the average wine drinker consumes 2,000 extra calories each month. Over the course of a year, that’s the equivalent of eating 184 bags of crisps or 38 roast beef dinners.
With a pint of bitter the same as a medium slice of pizza, and a standard size ‘ready to drink’ bottle (‘alcopop’) the same as 100g of cookies, the calories from alcohol soon add up……
Have a great fun Christmas but take it easy on the alcohol!
Simple Exercise to get your Shoulder fix!
This has to be the best exercise for getting you out of that nasty standing stooped position or slumping in front of the TV.

Lie on your front, arms relaxed by your side, forehead on the floor. This will automatically put your shoulders in a bad position. From here gently shrug your shoulders towards your ears, then roll them right back towards the sky to get in the
ideal position. Next float the arms off the floor and give your self the thumbs up, literally, by turning your thumbs towards the sky. To complete this exercise take a large inhale of breath, lift your chest and peel the breast bone off the floor. Hold this for 5 seconds, exhale and peel back down to the start position, repeat this 10 times for a straighter you.

To book a personal training session or for more information contact Toby on tg@tobygarbett.com http://www.tobygarbett.com