That’s What She Said: LSD – Long Slow Distance

| March 10, 2017 | 0 Comments

I’ve always enjoyed cardio based training. For the last 20 years I’ve tried to stay active at least a few times a week. When I worked retail or at an office I ran on my lunch hour or used the analog stairmasters conveniently located at the ends of hallways. Recently I joined a gym and found spin and HIIT classes.

But being active doesn’t always mean your efforts are effective. I saw harsh evidence of my improperly trained and somewhat neglected cardio state at the last Midwest Region Shivworks Affiliate (MRSA) meeting I attended. After a few rounds of technical/consensual weapons retention practice I was gassed. The term “junk miles” never had such clarity.

6 weeks ago I noticed a discussion about Long Slow Distance (LSD) training to build a cardio base. I glanced over the program my friends were discussing.  Heart-rate monitors? VO2 MAX? Stroke Volume?

All new territory for me.

I would have dismissed this LSD stuff immediately but the program was written by Larry Lindenman from Point Driven Training. I met Mr. Lindenman at the 2016 RangeMaster Tactical Conference.

Larry has a long career in law enforcement. He is a lifelong student of Jiu-jitsu, and self-defense using knives and firearms. He is also an instructor in these fields, as well as the most handsome of the Shivworks Cartel.

However, Larry’s academic and professional background is in exercise physiology. He worked in the first exercise physiology lab that tested athletes and regular people from 1984-1989. His role was to write exercise prescriptions for those participants. Larry isn’t peddling woo or the latest fad diet. When he writes something, people I trust and respect listen.

This is Larry’s article about Long Slow Distance training: You Need LSD

I’m 8 weeks into the program. I’ve experienced some improvements – mostly in my recovery time. Here are some things that have helped me get to this point:

  • Get a heart-rate monitor.At first I was going to skip this extra expense. All of the cardio machines at my gym have built-in heart-rate monitors on the handholds. I quickly learned that they are inaccurate. I picked one out that I could pair to my gym’s app. In order to pair your heart-rate monitor to an Android device via Bluetooth, you may have to install a special ANT+ plugins service. These apps are free in the Google Play store.
  • Choose your music wisely.I’ve always known that listening to music I feel a connection to can spur me through a challenging work-out. I don’t know why I was surprised that White Zombie and the Foo Fighters are not conducive to maintaining a low and steady heart rate. Shepherd found playlists on Spotify that are based off BPM. I also really like Vacation Haus for its happy yet chill vibe.
  • Do other stuff while you work this program.Larry created the 3 session per week schedule to accommodate other physical activities you practice. I continue to go to jiu jitsu 3 days a week, knock out my 50 push-ups a night challenge, and do some light weights when I can.
  • Figure out how to stay engaged through over an hour of low impact cardio.And by that I mean you’re gonna get bored. Larry recommends you split the longer sessions into different activities. I am still learning what my body feels like at that low target zone so I like to have my monitor app open throughout my session. I’ve discovered that I have the most control on a bike. Luckily for me the bikes at my gym are located on the second tier of the building and overlook the only entrance to the place. If you are curious about human behavior at all you’ll understand why this is so engaging for me.

I am very excited to see how LSD impacts my ability to keep up in the classes I’m taking this season. My hope is that a strong cardio base in combination with the agility I’ve been working on in jiu jitsu will help me deal with the ever-present disparity of strength I usually find myself up against. In the meantime I’ll consider it a win when I can haul the laundry up a couple of flights of stairs without getting winded.

How are you preparing for the upcoming training season?




About the Author:

The She-Shepherd The She-Shepherd is a defensive firearms student, mother and advocate for pushing the boundaries of how we train. She believes that defensive training must balance context, mindset, and skill to be most effective. Her specialty has become testing alternative modes of firearms carry and best practices of less than lethal force options through rigorous force-on-force scenario based training.

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