Pattern. Our kids run two workouts that I consider fairly hard, on Tuesday.
And Saturday. On Thursday they might do a little quality work, but it’s short and not very intense. (Burfoot, 1981b, p.
Suicide Run Exercise
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Researchers have not established why the body is unable to train hard every day, but it is probably due to muscle damage of the same type (but less severe) as that caused by marathon racing (see post 10). Muscles damaged to this lesser degree require about 24 to 48 hours to recover fully, rather than the 6 to 8 weeks needed after a 42-km marathon.
Training is certainly not simply a matter of stoking up with fuel and repeating the previous day’s training. You must learn that if the previous training session was hard, you must allow your body a period of recovery to restock its energy stores and to repair the microdamage caused by the previous day’s heavy training, regardless of what your mind tells you or what you imagine your competitors are doing in training. Hard training when the body is not fully recovered simply compounds damage already done.
You must establish for yourself how frequently you can train hard; your success will, in large measure, depend on whether or not you achieve this balance. When training hard, I have found that three moderately hard sessions a week were optimum, but only for 6 to 8 weeks at a time.