When training for running, it seems like it takes forever to reach that next milestone. In regards to training for long-term improvement, there are two terms you should become familiar with—capacity and utilization. Capacity relates to your aerobic fitness or endurance, with greater capacity resulting in being able to run longer and faster without getting fatigued. Utilization is how you use the fitness and endurance you have and it relates to race preparation. Here’s how these two terms can help you train for long-term improvement.
For endurance, it includes aerobic, strength, and technical elements. Capacity training involves doing steady aerobic runs to improve your performance. Endurance is built through consistent training and if you don’t train consistently, you won’t reach your potential. Over time, your endurance will build and you’ll be able to run longer, have improved recovery time, and run faster.
Utilization training is usually specific to races and it’s useful when you’re trying to increase your mileage or time. This training is most effective after you’ve built a strong endurance. It’s short and intense, which means you’ll see the benefits quickly, but they don’t last as long as in capacity training.