Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success

The SAID principle stands for Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands.

It is a key training principle for endurance that states your body will adapt specifically to the type of training you do.

Some key points about the SAID principle:
Your body adapts to the specific demands and stresses placed on it during training. The adaptation is very specific to the type of training.
To improve endurance, you need to do endurance training that stresses the aerobic energy system. To improve strength, you need to stress the muscles with resistance/strength training.
The training needs to be progressive, gradually increasing volume, intensity and frequency over time to see continued adaptation and improvement.
There needs to be enough recovery between training sessions for the adaptation to take place.
Variety and periodization of training is important to promote continued adaptation. Always doing the same training will lead to a plateau.

The SAID principle highlights the need for specificity in training.

Endurance athletes need to focus their training on taxing the aerobic system.

This means doing a variety of different training sessions that specifically target different outcomes.

Just doing generic exercise won’t necessarily improve endurance. It certainly won’t yield the results you are truly capable of.

The training stimulus needs to match the specific demands of the sport/event.

That’s why the SAID principle is so foundational – it underpins the need to tailor training properly for the athletic goals and events being targeted.

Here is a 4-session running plan that provides different stimuli for endurance athletes:

Long Slow Distance (LSD) Run: A long run at an easy, conversational pace. This builds aerobic endurance and teaches the body to burn fat as fuel. Aim for 60-90 mins.

Tempo Run: Run at lactate threshold pace, which is slightly faster than marathon pace. This improves speed and efficiency at higher intensities. Aim for 20-40 mins.

Interval Training: Short, fast intervals (e.g. 800m-1200m) with rest periods in between. This builds speed and anaerobic capacity. Aim for 6-10 x 800m with 2 min rest.

Hill Repeats: Short, fast hill repeats targeting max effort. Builds leg strength and power. Aim for 6-10 x 30 sec uphill sprints with jog back recovery.

The long run provides an endurance base, while the faster sessions develop speed and efficiency. The intervals add anaerobic and leg power.

Combining these different stimuli allows runners to become stronger and faster overall.

Rest and recovery around the hard sessions is also key.

About Liza Smith

Liza: The Endurance Expert – Unlock Your Peak Athletic Potential!

Dedicated to endurance, particularly in extreme events like Ironman, OCR and Ultras, Liza stands out not just as a coach but as an emblem of determination and tenacity.

With a reputation for moulding winners and transforming raw potential into prowess, Liza is the top pick for those aspiring to reign supreme in their sport.

Liza’s coaching philosophy centres on the power of the mind. Her five pillars – Control the Controllable, Find the Positive, Focus on You, 100% Effort, and Extreme Ownership – guide athletes to both mental and physical excellence.

Whether you're just starting out or vying for the gold, Liza ensures your hard work delivers results. Train with Liza and unleash the ultimate athlete within you.