Originally Posted by Jay Guindon
So why does everyone continue to recommend steady state training for aerobic endurance when it seems to me that it has been shown that HIT gives the same results? I'm not an exercise scientist so maybe I'm missing something.
Similar results in terms of burning fat and keeping the heart healthy -- sure.
But in terms of endurance performance, there are many valuable things that happen with the body during longer endurance training that cannot be replicated but going shorter and faster.
Some advantages of longer slow running that can't be obtained as well with intervals or tempo runs:
- ventricular hypertrophy
- form improvement (whether it's running, swimming, rowing, whatever)
- neurological improvement (basically what Steven said)
- adaptation and practice regarding nutrition, hydration, etc. Dealing with glycogen depletion and allowing the body to store more glycogen.
- fat oxidation adaptation
- optimal pacing and strategy
Some reasons why hard intervals may not be advised for the purposes of fat burning/general aerobic health:
- more taxing neurologically therefore making recovery more difficult
- easier to strain or tear a muscle when going fast/all-out then when going slow