Is it better quantity training or quality training? Are more important intervals or tempo runs? Is it better a long or a technical session? And how important are stretching and strength sessions?
The answer is that none of these is, by far, the most important training.
But before we get to the answer of all the questions, let’s take a very small step back. In fact, I found the question about which wourkout is most important in a forum (or in a post, I can’t remember) and I started browsing through the answers.
As you can easily imagine, there were those who advocated technical and quality training and — on the opposite side — there were those who explained how building endurance is essential with quantity and slowness. In short, the usual two opposing factions, and both, in some ways, are right.
Until I found an answer that was brilliant and enlightening in its simplicity:
The most important wourkout is the one that you have to do tomorrow!
And it’s simple but enlightening because building fitness, preparing for a competition, is always composed of many, many workouts – what I call “bricks” – and you must always remember that no single workout, taken individually, can make a difference. The preparation process is the sum of all the training; it is a path.
The most common mistake
Often and often, when we face a run, we focus on the here and now (the Latin hic et nunc), without much concern for the effects that run may have in the overall picture of our preparation. And the same happens with its consequence, which is the “today I feel good, so I’ll push more” approach.
There is nothing wrong with being a little punk sometimes. In fact, I am an advocate of some anarchy in amateur sports.
The problem comes when, because of the excitement of the moment, we compromise “tomorrow’s” workout and, consequently, our path. And it can happen for many reasons: because of excessive fatigue because we pushed too hard, because of training under the wrong conditions, or even worse, because of a minor injury.
The important thing is not to always maintain an strong discipline that passes over everything, even the need for fun. What matters most is to remember that you can train again tomorrow. And then again. And then again.
And you can only do it if you create the right conditions. Because the most important training is what you have to do tomorrow but you start building it from today.