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Why Are Workout And Race Times Different?

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Oct. 31, 2013
There is a lot of science behind improving your run times. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Mitochondria Development

The final aspect to consider when looking at the short- and long-term effect of training is at what rate you realize the benefits of mitochondria development.

Mitochondria have a half-life of one week. Simply speaking, you’re able to gain half of the potential benefits to your mitochondria each week that you train. For example, if you went from no training to running 25 miles over a 7-day stretch, you’ll realize 50 percent of the benefits of that 25-mile week. Run 25 miles the next week at the same intensity and you’ll realize 25 percent of the benefits from week 1. This continues until you reach 100 percent.

This is a simplistic progression, since it assumes you do not increase your mileage or workout intensity over this six-week period. However, it does demonstrate how you benefit from mitochondria development and how it is critical to slowly increase training stimulus and training volume with time.

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Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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