123

Training. (Read 2669 times)

    There is no such thing as a point, in itself. The determination of a point always requires relating that point to its coordinates on a Cartesian line or a plane. And even then, as Einstein taught us, we are not referring to a reality, but to a tool invented by Descartes and others in a certain historical era for certain purposes--and not others.
    I'm just an English major, so I find myself wholly unequipped to appreciate the nuances here. What I do know, however, that my next marathon is on January 18, 2009. That's 95 days, 20 hours, and 30 minutes from now. It's not going to move, even if Einstein & Descartes rise from the dead and request a postponement. So if I want to run my best race, I'd better plan to peak in 95 days, 20 hours, and 30 minutes.
    How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.
      Now this is hell of a lot bette, and more productive, thread to participate than wasting my time with Dickie boy...! ;o) I personally believe, whether you apply classic Lydiard type cicle or any other program, periodization is VERY important particularly mentally. You shoot for some race(s). You put down your race(s) first and you put a program together leading to that race. And, once it's attained, you need to have a certain break; both physically AND mentally. I usually give my runners 2 to 6 weeks of what I call "Nobby-free" period. Up until then, I want their focus, certain level of committment to complete the program; and you'll need some sort of break mentally. During the season, particularly when races near or during the racing season, I go after them and check in quite frequently. I need to know what they are doing and how they're feeling, etc. That can be quite stressful. (of course, depending on how long it takes; 2 weeks or 6; usually shows how much they like me! ;o)) Coach Nakamura used to say; it doesn't matter how thin the rope gets as long as it's still connected. Once it's broken, it's broken. The same can be said of one's concentration and committment. It's easy to push the athlete, or yourself, but once the concentration is broken, it's very difficult to mend it together again. As a coach, that's something I'd be VERY careful about; and as a runner myself, when I just don't "have it", I'm not afraid to take a day off. Or better yet, sometimes it's probably better to just pack it once in a while. In regards to Speed vs. Endurance; I think it all depends on how you react to it. Some react very well with speed. In such case, there's no point of "sharpening" 6 months prior to THE race. Like I said, it would be very difficult to maintain that focus on speed. You might get sharpened up in 2 weeks and then what would you do the rest of 5.5 months? Now Dr. Canova's approach is quite interesting and reminds me of how Steve Spence trained. Jeff Johnson also told me that, when he experimented backwards Lydiard, he said he had the least injury problem with the girls he was coaching. I think a certain amount of speed training actually strengthen your legs/feet; something people today don't really have in everyday life. Now, it's hard to apply what worked well with Kenyans, however, to us Westerners (would Japanese be included as "Westerners"?) because life-style and upbringing is quite different. A good example is; when those Kenyan youngsters (if their ages are correct...) to colleges like WSU or UTEP, they would hop on the track and perform killer intervals and went out and ran very well. Those aspiring youngsters who tried to immulate them would all go out and get burnt out. As Lydiard always said, those Kenyans usually have done miles and miles of conditioning through their life-style than most of us who gets bussed to school and drive everywhere. I think, in a way, it's interesting when FILA tried to do the same thing, Discovery Kenya, here in the US, Discovery USA and failed miserably. I know there were some issues anyways; but that, to me, was a good example that what worked in Kenay may not necessarily work in the US. This not only goes to life-style and motivation and other mental sides but also training program as well. If I understand it correctly (I'm not 100% sure), had Dr. Rosa or Dr. Canova coached any Westerners? If they have, I'd be curious to know what they did with them...


      Mitch & Pete's Mom

        Thank you all for this thread, I find it interesting. That said, I'm not as advanced as most of you and I wonder if incorporating periodization is something that can scale for everyone or am I better off just working on consistency? Perhaps periodization could help with consistency, as it give you a mental and physical break? I'm currently doing a combo of the Cool Runnings beginner and intermediate 1/2 marathon trainig schedule and incorporating hills, intervals and tempo. My next race is November 16 but there is another race in January that is a possibility. Nobby? Anyone?
        Carlsbad 1/2 marathon 1/26.
          I'm just an English major, so I find myself wholly unequipped to appreciate the nuances here. What I do know, however, that my next marathon is on January 18, 2009. That's 95 days, 20 hours, and 30 minutes from now. It's not going to move, even if Einstein & Descartes rise from the dead and request a postponement. So if I want to run my best race, I'd better plan to peak in 95 days, 20 hours, and 30 minutes.
          Hah. Yes, indeed. I believe you are referring to what, in hippie speak, we call The Moment of Truth.
          In regards to Speed vs. Endurance; I think it all depends on how you react to it. Some react very well with speed. In such case, there's no point of "sharpening" 6 months prior to THE race. Like I said, it would be very difficult to maintain that focus on speed. You might get sharpened up in 2 weeks and then what would you do the rest of 5.5 months? Now Dr. Canova's approach is quite interesting and reminds me of how Steve Spence trained. Jeff Johnson also told me that, when he experimented backwards Lydiard, he said he had the least injury problem with the girls he was coaching.
          Nobby, thanks for chiming in. Your expertise is always much appreciated. I don't think that Canova's approach is best characterized as "backwards Lydiard," though you are more familiar I'm sure with the details of both approaches. Since as Berner knows I'm not a "get hung up in the details" type of guy, I'm more interested in where they agree, and I find a lot of agreement. At the level where they disagree, I think that you are right to suggest that the disagreement has much to do with the type of runner they are used to coaching. Since we are all different, it's helpful to see the different ways the basic stuff can be put together.
          Thank you all for this thread, I find it interesting. That said, I'm not as advanced as most of you and I wonder if incorporating periodization is something that can scale for everyone or am I better off just working on consistency?
          Aimster, I'm going to get philosophical now (big surprise) and say that it's not best to think of periodization as opposed to consistency. the point of periodization is to produce consistency. As Nobby pointed out, but as we all know from experience, the body and the mind work rhythmically, and consistency is a matter of working with and through those rhythms, to take what you can as best you can. So, yes, it's important for beginners to learn to periodize. That said, you can't periodize if you're not running.


          just a simple cat

            And that consistency becomes building upon strengths, from periodization. Good luck in January, Berner! Smile

             

            I  guess as you get more bodacious, you begin to lose more brain cells, because there is a limit to how much magnificence your body can house

              Now THIS is a discussion, isn't it? ;o) I guess I'd try to get a bit philosophical myself and say; I think a fault would lie when we try to generalize things or try to put them in any certain set-number or such. To be honest with you, I'm not too familiar with Canova's approach in detail either. I took a glance at it and it seems like a very interesting and very sound program. He had some great success with (Kenyan) athletes. He seems to be very organized, to say the least. But, frankly, whether you have 5 different levels of effort (I don't know exactly but things like aerobic power and this and that...) vs. 4 or 3... It really doesn't matter, does it? I think, basically, you have certain elements that need to be developed; whether you choose to call them; aerobic, anaerobic and speed (as Lydiard would) or others, it really doesn't matter. I'd even throw "muscle power" just to satisfy one individual (;o)), but the whole point is; you need to develop them ALL one way or the other. In fact, there's some more like coordination or kick or aclimatization and all as well. You need to figure out what need to be developed and what workouts would best develop them, when it should be fitted in to your program and how long would it take FOR YOU to develop it to the maximum. You also have to understand how those other elements interact each other; for example, according to Lydiard, and the real truth I'll leave it to physiologists to figure out, if you do too much "anaerobic" training, repeats and all, you eat up your aerobic development. I know some people argue about this ("Where's the scientific proof?"); but any experienced athlete would know, if you keep on competing, which is basically anaerobic stress, you will hit the wall and your performance would start to go down. You also have to figure out how long you can keep on going before your performance level would deteriorate. So, understand ALL these, where you do what really doesn't matter; as long as you develop all the necessary elements and coordinate them together in the end (you need to coordinate them as well). That's what training is all about; whether you develop your speed first or aerobic capacity first, as far as I'm concerned, doesn't really matter--that's not really a core of things. Lydiard found out, through his experience with himself and tons of athletes he coached, the best pyramid is to start out with aerobic developement, move on to more race specific type of training; then coordinate all those. That sounds logical to me. If you want to develop your (sprinting) speed first, which, to me, doesn't quite sound logical, go ahead and do it. You'd better hope you can maintain that for however long you have until THE race though... With working with some athletes myself, I can tell you that you can develop "pure" speed relatively quickly; so, to me, there's no point of working on it 6 months before THE race. But if you like doing it and if you can maintain it and if it works best (preventing injuries, etc.), why not? I personally don't like Canova's short hill sprinting strategy simply because I think, if you try to do that BEFORE you fully develop your muscle strength (!) and agility, you either increase the chance of injury OR your form would go all over the place because you're not strong enough to hold it. Granted, I do personally like to include lots of hilly terrain running even from the get-go. Would that saffice? I don't know... Dealing with physically not so matured (meaning, they haven't been running around barefoot on dirt terrain for years), I think it's better to start easier. If you start to SPRINT before you're strong enough, invariably your arms would come up and you'd clitch your fists and you tend to land outwards because you're struggling.
              xor


                the Humpty Dumpty of running
                Whatever else may be good in here, I'm happy that this thread offered up THIS. Way better than than the Tao of Pooh or Zen and the Art of (fill in the blank). Edited to add: yes, this made me laugh, but I'm also being serious, not snarky. It's a fun term to describe what's what.

                 

                Mishka


                  Hah. Yes, indeed. I believe you are referring to what, in hippie speak, we call The Moment of Truth.
                  I thought you freaks called it the kairos.
                    Thank you all for this thread, I find it interesting. That said, I'm not as advanced as most of you and I wonder if incorporating periodization is something that can scale for everyone or am I better off just working on consistency? Perhaps periodization could help with consistency, as it give you a mental and physical break? I'm currently doing a combo of the Cool Runnings beginner and intermediate 1/2 marathon trainig schedule and incorporating hills, intervals and tempo. My next race is November 16 but there is another race in January that is a possibility. Nobby? Anyone?
                    Aimster: I personally believe fundamentals of training can, and should, be applied to ANYBODY; whether you're a middle distance runner or a marathon runner, whether you're a 4 minute miler or a 4 hour marathon runner; whether you're a elite or a beginner. Perhaps the only thing is; what do you need? I believe, if you're a beginner, you'll still need to develop good running technique; this means some degree of hill training and perhaps drills and/or strides. But, from my personal observation, if you're running a long even rather slowly; meaning, perhaps 5 hour marathon or 2+ hour half marathon, your over-all aerobic development is probably not quite up there to start including intervals or tempo (depending on what form). I personally feel doing "tempo" run of, say, 8 miles at 11-minute pace can tire out too much. I personally believe it would be so much more beneficial to do something shorter and faster; instead of doing 800m repeats, do 120m repeats with plenty of rest in between. To me, if you're doing 800m at, say, 10-minute pace (5 minutes) or so, you're what I call "no-man's land". You're not quite doing them FAST; you're not quite covering enough distance either. It's a tough workout and you'll get very tired, particularly if your aerobic base is still very low. So if you're actually "competing" or trying to improve your previous time, etc., then, yes, SPEED training is necessary. But if you're still very slow; you should probably work more on inproving your fundamental fitness first. That means more gentle miles. As I'm finding out myself right now; as you get fitter, you'll get faster. I'm covering more and more miles and getting faster and faster in my morning run. Just this morning, I went out further than ever before (well, in the last 6 months or so...) simply because I'm getting back in shape. I used to do "only" 20+ minutes for the morning (I do doubles); now I do close to 40 minutes and the distance (my turn-around point) is getting further and further. It doesn't happen overnight or it doesn't happen in a linear progression; but it DOES happen. I think it's very important to work on your technique because that would ensure injury-free running later on; and also it would help you get faster without basically getting fitter. I think, along with technique work, it's very important to start working on muscular endurance/power by doing some sort of hill/step exercises once in a while--once a week or once in every two weeks. This would strengthen your leg muscles generally and enable you to run faster without having to be fitter. Would you need to work on anaerobic capacity development (repeat 400s or 800s)? Well, personally, not quite at this level unless your goal race is something like 5k and you're trying to run fast. Running a half marathon, etc., is more or less endurance task and you'll need to have good aerobic base first and foremost. So you'll need to understand what you need; what you've already developed and what you need to work on. And then determine what type of exercises would best develop those--most effectively and safely. And for beginners, I personally like to have them do one element a week. In most cases, particularly this day and age, they don't seem to run as much anyways. And, without all those recovery jogging, it's very hard to absorb those development effectively. In other words, I personally think program like FIRST is a bunch of crap and I'd be very curious to see any kind of "follow-up" study on those who participated in such program. If you want to improve your performance in 3 weeks, best way to do it is to throw a bunch of intervals or fast running. That's a lot of high school coaches would do. They'll run well for a while; but then they'll all get burnt out or get injured. This is simply because they cram "point workouts" in a week without buffering with lots of easy jogging. That, of course, is from my own personal experience. I'm sure some research might say otherwise simply because they don't have any long-term view on their study. Now that's my personal opinion...
                    Rich_


                      I think, basically, you have certain elements that need to be developed; whether you choose to call them; aerobic, anaerobic and speed (as Lydiard would) or others, it really doesn't matter. I'd even throw "muscle power" just to satisfy one individual (;o)), but the whole point is; you need to develop them ALL one way or the other. In fact, there's some more like coordination or kick or aclimatization and all as well. You need to figure out what need to be developed and what workouts would best develop them, when it should be fitted in to your program and how long would it take FOR YOU to develop it to the maximum.
                      I agree with this completely. Running peformance is determined by a variety of factors. Not all of them are equal - some exert more influence on performance, some less - but all contribute. Unless all components are trained as well as they can be trained, performance will suffer. My personal bias is that running workouts of different lengths and intensity stress different parts of the body differently, meaning the adaptation of the entire body from any one one type of workout is incomplete. That's why you can't just run tempo runs and achieve optimal performance, or just run easy and achieve optimal performance, etc. One type of workout only causes major adaptations in one of the components of fitness/performance. Only by conducting a variety of workouts will you cause major adaptations in all the components of fitness/performance and achieve what your body is capable of achieving. Of course, the challenge is how to best incorporate various workouts into a complete program so as to optimally train all the components. From my perspective, it doesn't seem completely logical to ignore one or more of those components for an extended period of time. All the components of performance need to be trained in order to adapt and improve. I can't think of a single bodily system/component involved in performance that truly reaches its maximum possible adaptation in just 6 weeks. Gains come easy the first 6 weeks of training, but maximal adaptation takes several years. For that reason, I suggest all components should be trained regularly and consistently within the body's ability to recover.
                      Rich World's Fastest Slow Runner
                      JimR


                        I personally believe it would be so much more beneficial to do something shorter and faster; instead of doing 800m repeats, do 120m repeats with plenty of rest in between. To me, if you're doing 800m at, say, 10-minute pace (5 minutes) or so, you're what I call "no-man's land". You're not quite doing them FAST; you're not quite covering enough distance either. It's a tough workout and you'll get very tired, particularly if your aerobic base is still very low.
                        I think in terms of one workout supporting another. I was against short interval lengths for stuff like 5k and up in the past but started to look at them more in terms of how they might help another workout, i.e. short intervals helping longer intervals. I feel my 5k time is very much influenced by my tempo runs. My tempos depend on two things, the ability to get good leg speed/turnover, and the ability to hold it. So I do longer runs and progression style runs with the intention of honing my ability to hold pace, and longer intervals for speed. 200's may not directly help the tempos but they can help the 800 to mile repeats which do support the tempo. I have no idea how sound all that is but it is the way I tend to think of training. Last year when I was regularly attending a gym, one of our national class masters 800 guys up here was working out at the same time training for Italy (Riccione, '07). I'd mentioned to him about me doing 200 repeats for speed and he indicated he's only done 200's once and never again because he doesn't like them. Now I'm not sure if he does anything shorter but I did think that was interesting that an 800m specialist would avoid a 200 meter workout.
                        Mishka


                          I'm not sure if he does anything shorter but I did think that was interesting that an 800m specialist would avoid a 200 meter workout.
                          That is extremely surprising. You can get a lot of work at 800m race pace by doing 200s. Running at race pace for the 800m is essential to (among other things) teach the body to hold form when it is going fast. 800m races are won by runners that, in the final stretch, slow down the least and hold form the best.
                          JimR


                            That is extremely surprising. You can get a lot of work at 800m race pace by doing 200s. Running at race pace for the 800m is essential to (among other things) teach the body to hold form when it is going fast. 800m races are won by runners that, in the final stretch, slow down the least and hold form the best.
                            During his gym workouts, he would do ~20 minutes on the mill, fairly up-paced, do his weight work, then do another ~20 minutes on the mill, again up-paced. I know he did long runs and I know he preferred trails for outdoor running. Didn't get much more detail than that.


                            Mitch & Pete's Mom

                              Aimster: what do you need?
                              Thank you Nobby. I believe this is something that I have been overlooking. I know it sounds insane, but I've been following a canned training program and just trying to listen to my body when it says, "no more" or "HTFU." I see the problem with that now. I think it is time to put more effort into my training plans. Okay, I have a follow up questions. In looking at a "what you need" training plan, if I look only at my last race performance, I'm not sure that I would cover "what I need" to get faster. I ran a very conservative 1/2 last August due to weather conditions. What emphasis or what percentage of your "what do you need" training plan is based on last race performance and what percentage is based on your training log? Thanks again!
                              Carlsbad 1/2 marathon 1/26.
                                Thanks for posting this. Unless I'm in the right frame of mind, I can't handle wading through Letsrun crap to get to the good stuff, and the discussion here is a great addition to it. I wish I had something to add, but I'm still just learning. Honestly, this post is just to catapult the thread to the top, because I think it deserves to be there more than that Power Running thread that keeps finding its way up.
                                123