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What Is LSD Training?

Probably shouldn’t need to say this but, LSD training is not working out while on psychedelic drugs. Just want to clear that up before going any further.


Last time I covered what is HIIT (if you haven’t seen it already go check it out).


So I thought I’d look at the other form of cardio which is LSD training.


So What LSD?


LSD stands for long slow distance exercise. This is the stereo typically type of training most people associate with cardio.


As the name suggests, LSD involves relatively long distance training at a slow and steady pace.

Basically, when someone says they’re going for a run, they’re doing LSD training.


How long and how hard should you go?


Well it’s in the name that this is going to be a long sustained exercise that is done at a reasonably low intensity.


LSD involves, running for example, at a steady pace. Essentially, you should be about able to maintain a conversation during exercise.


You would be looking to stay below 70% of maximum heart.



LSD workouts tend to be between 30 minutes and 2 hours.


If you’re a new to training, you should start with 30 minutes at a slow pace. Then as you adapt and become fitter, increase the length of your workout and/or speed.


Why do LSD?


After talking last time about HIIT, why do LSD?


This slower steady state cardio improves your ability to transport oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. It typically uses fat for energy to fuel your training too.


It also makes your body more economic at burning energy so that you can exercise for longer before tiring.


LSD is great for improving basic aerobic fitness and muscular endurance. Basically the goal of this type of training is to do whatever exercise it is you are doing, whether it’s running, cycling, swimming or anything else, for a long period time.


Who should LSD?


LSD is very important part of training for endurance events such as marathons or distance cycling or long distance swimming.


LSD is great for people who are new to working out as it’s much less intense and stressful on the body compared to other forms of exercise.


It’s also much less mentally taxing than the other types of training. As previously mentioned, you should be able have a conversation while doing LSD.


Not that I recommend that as you should be focusing or your breathing, but this is just an example of how it’s less taxing mentally compared to other forms of exercise where having a conversation is near impossible and you’re body is pushing so hard all thoughts go out the window.


It’s also very good socially as it’s a good form of training to do in groups and classes.



How to plan it?


LSD training is great for beginners to build up a case level of fitness.


Another great thing about it is that it can be done almost every day because of its lower intensity.


Doing HIIT everyday would not be good for your body at all. Your body is not designed to handle that level of intensity regularly. Doing this would lead you to over training easily and lead to injury and illness.


The good thing about it being low intensity, is that it means that you can pair it with other training too such as HIIT and weight training.


You can do LSD on your days you’re not doing HIIT or weights. In fact, you can train them on the same day if you are advanced enough.


Just make sure you aren’t doing too much and that you are properly recovered to do each workout.

You can also play about with what exactly you do, which is what I do for my runs.


For example, I would run a 5k route. As it’s LSD I want to do at a decent steady pace and maintain that the whole time.


As I get fitter, I will naturally be able to a bit faster as that intensity wouldn’t be enough to get my heart rate up to where it needs to be.


I can also make it more intense by seeing how fast I can do 5k. This still doesn’t qualify as HIIT and ties it with what I just said. It also lets you know what you can do.


If you really try and set a good time and realise that it’s maybe 2-3 minutes faster than when you’re casually running, it shows you what you are capable of doing and gives you something to aim for to get better.


This style of cardio gets labelled a lot as being boring or repetitive as you go steady doing the same thing over and over again.


This is why it’s good to mix it up as much as possible.


Whether you mix it up between running or cycling. Or mix it up by progressing your distance or seeing how fast you can do a certain distance.


Change routes is also a big thing. 5k isn’t 5k. Some routes can more up hill, down hill, completely flat etc. So depending on your route, you can be significantly faster or slower than your normally time for that sort of distance if you do a route you’re not used to.


It’s also good for your mind. I’d do some of my running on a treadmill because it’s handy being in the gym that I can just jump on before or after a client. Plus with not having the best weather here, it keeps me dry.


But it’s good for your head to get out in the fresh air with the wind in your hair and sun on your skin. Go for a run or cycle and take in what’s going on around you. You’ll probably feel much better for doing it.



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