Exercise physiology is the general study of the physiological effects of exercise and the specific study of the body’s unique responses to training. From a practical standpoint, in the Endurance Physiology section I explain, using both general and running terms, how the body functions physiologically. The goal is for you to gain a more complete understanding of how the body works, the physiological terms most commonly used by athletes along with their meaning, and the physiological underpinnings of modern training theory so that you can use this information to maximize your endurance performance.
As fascinating as discussion of the physiological functions of the body can be training is where the “rubber meets the road”. Luckily, exercise physiologists don’t spend all their time just studying the physiological functions of the body. They have also spent a great deal of time studying training and training methods and there is much that can be learned from this research. While training research may not tell us why something physiologically works or doesn’t work, it can provide us with insight into the actual effects of training on performance. Does base building result in improved performance as compared to a high intensity training program? Does increasing mileage actually result in improved performance as is so commonly preached? These are the types of questions that training research can answer for us.
The goal of the Endurance Training section is to review relevant training research, gain an understanding of the lessons found in that research and, when possible, apply these lessons to program design.