I've never got a very satisfactory answer about how
training duration and intensity were determined in
It seems that a lot of things that we are doing
are by trial and error, copying what other people
are doing, the fact that we have ten fingers (and
can easily count to multiples of five), the fact
that running track is 400m long and 100m is
marked very clearly, swimming pool is 50m
I never got an explanation why we are doing a
2hr long run as opposed to 1hr39min or why
we do 5x8' intervals as oppose to 9 x 4'27"
and why one might be better than the other.
And so on. Sure, there have been empirical
studies where they may or my have not shown
that one approach produced better result
(on average for a particular group of people)
and people that latch onto that result (until it
is (dis)proved by another study).
But there's little or no explanation or guidance
about how duration, intensity, number of repetitions
are chosen other than by trial and error.
Some athletes (most notably African runners) go
mostly by feel and decide duration, intensity and
frequency by how their body feels. This seems less
arbitrary than western approach (with rigid durations,
distances and number of reps), but not everybody
has the ability feel the body. Plus "feeling" can often
be deceiving. I often had good races when I was feeling
slow and tired before the race and vice versa.
NIRS gives an opportunity to change this. However,
what's still lacking is better guidelines or ideas for
how to use it effectively.
Do you stay in fully oxygenated zone until you start
seeing "fatigue" (whatever that means) and then you
finish your training? Or do you have some predetermined
time/distance in mind and you stop then (even though
NIRS is indicating you haven't hit your limiter yet)?
Do you do intervals until you can't push/recover SmO2
These are rhetorical questions as coaches and athletes
probably need to figure it out for themselves (since now
every athlete will respond differently to training stimuli).
However, there is very little practical information beyond
"figure it out", "your coach should figure it out", "use NIRS
to monitor what you are doing", "stimulate X and Y", etc.
Grossly simplifying, this almost amounts to every user/athlete
reinventing the wheel.
I was involved in a paradigm shift in another field and there
was ignorance at first ("interesting idea, but so what?") then
resistance ("too slow", "not practical", "that's not how we
are used to doing it", "nobody else is doing this",
"too complicated", etc.). After several years of tutorials,
practical examples, and *demonstrating* that with the new
approach you can do things easier and faster, people were
finally convinced and embraced the new approach which
is now ubiquitous.
There's really no question in this post just thinking outloud.