In the previous chapter, we discussed the significance of individualization in a training plan. In this chapter, we will explore the second principle on my list: the importance of developing a comprehensive fitness foundation.
I have a straightforward perspective when it comes to performance physiology:
Performance is largely the composite of two types of fitness - base fitness + race fitness.
Base fitness refers to the size of the athlete's "engine," while race fitness refers to how well that engine is optimized for a particular event. Athletes can achieve the same level of performance with different combinations of these two types of fitness: for instance, an athlete could have a small, highly tuned engine working at 100% to maximize performance in a race, or they could achieve a similar level of performance with a larger, ‘untuned’ engine.
Figure 4.1: Small engine putting out 100% of its capabilities or massive engine built over time? Your choice.
Expanding on the car metaphor, an athlete's VO2max can be seen as the size of their engine, while their ability to sustain a certain percentage of their VO2max for various race distances represents the fine-tuning of the engine.
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