The Importance of Aerobic Running
In one of my earlier posts I discussed the difference between aerobic and anaerobic training and the effect each can have on your performance. While I made some general claims about the importance of running aerobically, I think it is useful to more thoroughly explain why knowing the difference between aerobic and anaerobic running is so important.
This chart signifies the percentage of aerobic or anaerobic contribution it takes to compete at certain distances. While this chart exemplifies distances that are rather short for the average person reading this post, the implications are nonetheless profound.
In the 3000 meters, an event shorter than 2 miles, the body requires 86% of its energy contribution to come from the aerobic system if you are a male and 93% if you are a female.
Click to make the chart larger
Take a look at that again. For an event shorter than 2 miles, 93% of your running is aerobic!
For the 5k, this number shoots to 90% for males and 95% for females. In the marathon and half marathon, the aerobic contribution is close to 99% for both men and women.
With this staggering number now so blatantly obvious, the importance of understanding aerobic running from anaerobic running can be fully appreciated.
Need a simple way to know if you’re running aerobically?
While you’re running, you should be able to hold a short conversation. It doesn’t need to be Shakespeare, more like a brief chat with a friend. If you’re by yourself, try telling yourself what you plan to eat for supper and with whom. If you can’t get the words out without gasping for air, you’re running too fast.
Looking for a more detailed plan of action? You can use heart rate training to closely monitor your effort or use these running breathing tips to get you on track. Of course, if you have any questions, please leave a comment and we would be glad to help.