Training Slow Won’t Make You Faster

The first thing that needs to be stated is that it’s very difficult to get faster than your current speed. If you want to improve your performance then you need to increase the intensity of training. When you train hard, you are able to produce greater amounts of energy and strength which enables you perform better. However, if you don’t increase the intensity, then eventually your body will reach its limit and stop producing these benefits.

Training Slow Won’t Make You Faster: Why I’m Not Getting Faster At Running By Mark Sisson

I’ve been doing this for years now, and I still haven’t gotten any faster. My best time is 2 hours 10 minutes. That’s pretty slow considering I started running 3 years ago!

But why? What happened? Did something happen to me that made me lose my ability to run faster? Is there some secret exercise or diet plan that I have missed out on?

My training was always pretty consistent. I did a few long runs, but they were only about 30 miles each. They weren’t anything crazy like 100 mile weeks or even 50 mile weeks. I ran them mostly because I had to do them every week when I wasn’t working or school and because they kept me fit during the summer months (which is one of the worst times to work out).

I only ran 2 track meets in high school and did pretty well in them. I partook in a few cross country meets during my senior year, but I was never a big runner in high school. I was on the team, but I simply didn’t care enough about running to put myself through the pain of practicing every day.

When I went through basic training in the army I remember how much it sucked. Not just the physical aspect, but also the mental anguish. It wasn’t fun at all. During my first week of basic training our drill sergeant had us run for miles with full combat gear while he screamed in our faces about how much of a sorry group of pussies we all were.

I remember looking to the side of the road and seeing all the past soldiers who had already gone through it and quit. I never wanted that to be me, so I pushed forward. I felt alone, and scared throughout the whole experience, but I knew it would be over one day.

When I finally finished basic training I felt such a relief. It was all over and I survived. My next step in my army career was going to be working in a warehouse for a year before I had to go off to my first assignment (most likely the middle east). That’s when I had an idea.

Instead of sitting in a boring warehouse for a year, why not do something more with my spare time?

So I signed up to be a personal trainer at the army’s gym.

All new enlisted soldiers have to go to the gym to workout for an hour a day, but some start skipping it after their first few weeks of service because they are busy with their jobs. A good PT is needed to keep everyone in shape so this is where I came in. My job was easy. I just had to make sure everyone was running, lifting, or doing cardio for their hour.

Most of the time I just watched to make sure they weren’t hurting themselves and gave some pointers here and there.

The pay wasn’t great, but it allowed me to buy my own groceries instead of eating the army’s horrible food all the time. Most importantly though, it got me into shape. Not just physically either, but it helped my mental health as well.

After I had been doing it for a year I got an idea.

The warehouse that I was supposed to be working at was understaffed, so instead of working there why didn’t I just stay at the gym and work there full time?

My superiors were okay with it as long as I kept up my PT scores, and so I was able to leave the warehouse and work at the gym.

Training Slow Won't Make You Faster - GymFitWorkout

For the next 3 years I worked at the gym. It was a pretty good gig, but I still wanted more. I had taken the written test to be a Philadelphia cop when I was 18 and while I passed it with flying colors, my mom freaked out about the idea of me being a cop. She always said that cops had a short life span and that there were some rumors about police corruption in the city.

While I’m sure that those things were true to an extent back then, it wasn’t going to change my mind.

Sources & references used in this article:

Training native English speakers to identify Japanese vowel length contrast with sentences at varied speaking rates by M Fitzgerald – 2014 – Penguin

Don’t Shoot the Dog: The Art of Teaching and Training by Y Hirata, E Whitehurst, E Cullings – The Journal of the Acoustical …, 2007 – asa.scitation.org

Reversal and nonreversal shifts in kindergarten children. by D Kahneman – 2011 – Macmillan

Swimming fastest by K Pryor – 2019 – books.google.com