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At its core, training is a balancing act between the different aspects of performance and endurance. We choose to focus on certain types of workouts at the expense of others – speed vs. endurance, quantity vs. quality, and so on.

But in an ideal world, we want to be in a situation where these trade-offs don’t exist and we’re able to build our fitness in a more well-rounded manner without having to sacrifice areas of our fitness.

So is this possible? Well, as with many things, the answer is both yes and no.

No, in that of course it’s never going to be possible to achieve a perfect balance between everything. We only have a finite amount of time and energy and we simply can’t try to train all aspects of our fitness at once. Trade-offs and compromises will always exist, and if we want to really focus on one area of training there is bound to be a bit of neglect of other areas.

But at the same time, yes – it is possible to build a training plan that is well-rounded and minimizes the trade-offs between these key areas.

One of our favourite principles of training is called the “build and maintain” approach; the essence of which is that at any time, one should be aiming to maintain all areas of their current fitness while choosing one or two specific areas to build upon. This can be achieved through various means – one of which is something called a ‘combo’ workout. This means that within a particular workout, we try to target a variety of stresses rather than merely focusing on one particular outcome from a workout.

For instance; one of our favourite workouts is a “Tempo + Hills” combo. This is a great example of stressing multiple systems within one session; we have strength, speed, threshold work and endurance all packaged within one workout. At the same time, it can be pretty fun and mentally stimulating to have this sort of variety in your training.

So give a few combo workouts a try, and feel free to drop us a message if you’re looking for some suggestions!

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