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Frank Shorter Quote...Inspiring or Depressing? (Read 1985 times)

xor


    "walking the giraffe".

     

    Yes sir.  That is GOLD.

     

      Even if you saw the buildup, what would it tell you? That if you want to reach your potential, you need to run a lot of miles? Or, would it say the key to success is gradual mileage building? Or, would it just show a young runner increasing his volume and capacity as his body developed? Or would it show rapid development as the body matured, then a long plateau once the body reached full maturity? 

       

      I imagine if you saw all of these pictures, you would see a quite amazing array of ways to train, ways to develop.

       

      Some runners are bulldozers--recovery machines. Their talent is that consistent training over time continues to yield effects. 

       

      Some runners are whippets--they are fast, they peak fast, they burn out quickly.

       

      Some runners lack an ability to respond much to training or a lot of natural talent; they will never be very fast.

       

      Frank Shorter found what worked for him--at a certain point in his life. The interesting thing to ask is why he didn't run more, for example. Bill Rodgers ran more, but did less quality. Kenny Moore had huge variation between his easy and long days.

       

      The final thing to think about is perhaps it is easier to run 120 mile weeks when what is at stake is Olympic Gold vs., say, taking 5 minutes off of a marathon time that nobody except you and maybe a couple other people care about. We want to hold elite athletes up as paragons of discipline, but discipline is easy to find when you are getting lots of positive feedback, no?

      As a coach, the last thing I want to say to people is; "Everybody is different..."  Everybody IS different.  But, if you ask some micro-biologist or whatever, I'll bet he or she would tell you that everybody is in fact all the same--when you get down to the molecular level.  So when you get to down to physiological level, everybody is in fact all the same too.  We all talk about "run a lot, mostly slow..."  Why?  Because we ALL need that aerobic foundation.  I have yet to see anybody says; well, actually, I don't need oxygen...  The level of exersion at which we can operate alll depends on how much oxygen we can assimilate, transport and utilize oxygen.  Some people claim no, it's not oxygen but muscles.  Well, all the muscles and power in the world won't do you much good if you can't move those muscles and that depends on how much oxygen you can pump to those working muscles.  That's why those guys from high landers are dominating distance running scene, isn't it?  And that's why EPO works.  So how do you develop your body's ability to assimilate, transport and utilize oxygen?  Isn't that the whole idea of "run a lot, mostly easy"? 

       

      You took Shorter, Rodgers and Moore as an example of "everybody is different".  I would in fact take them as an example of "everybody is the same".  They all ran a lot and they all did long runs.  The means of delivery might be slightly different; but they all did the same thing in essense. 

       

      I know some people, I don't know why, don't like me to talk about Lydiard.  I mean, why do you think we started Lydiard Foundation?  Those people, for some odd reason, don't like us promoting Lydiard at Lydiard Foundation.  I don't know if they expect RunningAHEAD to promote sumo-wrestiling; there's a reason why it's called RUNNINGahead, isn't it?  We call what we do "LYDIARD Foudation" for a reason and there's a good reason why we started Lydiard Foundation.  We happened to believe in Lydiard training as THE way to go about and our mission is to try to teach people who to apply it to their own situation and environment.  I know some people at other running forum criticize us promiting Lydiard and they go as far to say--believe it or not--it's all bogus because Snell ran 100 miles a week and some other guy ran 120 miles a week; "See, they did differently!!"  I mean, believe it or not, there's this (supposedly) well-known Europian coach who claimed Lydiard was no good because he had 2 runners in the Olympic 1500m, Snell and Davies, and Snell won and Davies finished 3rd; therefore, Lydiard is no good.  I mean, what kind of logic is that?  Would that prove "everybody is different"? 

       

      To me, as a coach, to say "everybody is different" is the most convenient way to say; "I have no idea what I'm talking about..."  I believe it IS possible to generalize certain things; if I see some Kenyan runner blasting out from nowhere and start running some incredible races week after week, with pretty good certainty, I can say, and many practical coaches would probably agree with me, that they would disappear in a year or two.  You will see some pattern if you observe carefully and it is because some people go against this physiological fundamentals and there are very few who could work against it.  Is it 100%?  No.  But the pattern is pretty easily identified and I personally feel Lydiard was spot-on on this account.  My opening comment at our Boulder Clinic was that we, Lydiard Foundation, do NOT worship everything Lydiard had said.  He had said things wrong.  But we happen to believe most of what he said and done were correct.  And our mission is to convery that to wider range of the audience in the correct manner.  Has it been 100% success?  No.  I can pin-point one person right here at RA who didn't like our training program.  Have we seen a good rate of success?  I'd say yes.  So far, in fact, we've had some startling success that was actually beyond our expectation as well.  But just as I don't count ONE success as a proof to call this method "perfect", I wouldn't call one "failure" as a proof of this method "failure" either.  Fortunately, however, Lydiard method happened to have lots of success stories attached to it.  You would think we wouldn't need to keep trying to convince people its effectiveness; but it doesn't look that way...

        So where do we find this kind of info? What DID the build up look like?

         

        -Kelly

        Well, I don't mean to turn this into promotion of our on-line training program but...  I thought it's a pretty well-known story, THOUGH NOT QUITE 100% (I'd have to clarify that), many of East African kids run to school and run home.  I don't believe they wear Garmin and check their pace or heart rate; mostly they just run how they feel; if they get tired, they'll slow down; if they feel good, they might push a little.  Many run 10, 15, even 20km a day though it is quite doubtful, as far as I'm concerned, a bunch of 12 or 15 year old Kenyan kids can accurately measure the distance... ;o)  They basically cover a lot of distance on their feet without any pressure of stopwatch or Garmin.  They just run.  There was an excellent book on training a couple of decades ago called "Run With The Best" by Tony Benson (not Roy Benson) and he actually put down how many miles/km you should run by the time you get to, say, 17 or 18 or 19 years old.  THAT, according to him, is the difference between those East Afircan kids and American or Europian kids.  You don't have to have your kids run to school and home; but you CAN encourage them to do lots of easy aerobic running.  So....our on-line training program calls for a lot of easy running in the first half of the program.  We had been asked a question if it is necessary for a 5k runner to attempt to get up to close to or exceed 2-hour of aerobic running.  Well, once again, we used Lydiard model to create this training plan.  If we promote, say, Timmons or Stampfl model, we wouldn't be calling ourselves "Lydiard" Foundation.  It may not be the most popular training program because of that; but WE believe it's the most effective.  Ideally, if you can start out with 2-hour of running, that would be the best.  But if not, we have programs to get you up to 1~2 hours.  Is it 100% perfect?  Absolutely not!!  But is it legit enough and effective enough?  I think so.  We didn't just slap some numbers together; we put some experienced heads together, probably more than any other training programs out there, to come up with this pattern.  Even Eric is helping us out to "webernize" the program!!

          If Frank Shorter ran 12 hours a week, should an amateur/age grouper be running any more total duration than that?

          No.  It's the sum of the effort, not pace/speed, times the duration of the work.  If you calculate and start to chase the distance, in miles or kilometers, that fast elite covers, you will be sure to over-do things.  We are already seeing the adverse effect of this; that many marathon chasers are pounding the pavement on weekend double or triple the duration of those elite runners and the results are getting worse and worse (slower and slower).  There IS such thing as running too much.  And we HAVE already seen the results of that. 

            No.  It's the sum of the effort, not pace/speed, times the duration of the work.  If you calculate and start to chase the distance, in miles or kilometers, that fast elite covers, you will be sure to over-do things.  We are already seeing the adverse effect of this; that many marathon chasers are pounding the pavement on weekend double or triple the duration of those elite runners and the results are getting worse and worse (slower and slower).  

             

            Just out of interest - are there good statistics for this?

             

            These days many people do one-off marathons for the experiece; which didn't happen 30 years ago. The field will comprise many people who have no long term history of running - so it's not surprising that average times across all participants are coming down.

             

            But for the people who run year in year out do we know that they're actually getting slower?

              Just out of interest - are there good statistics for this?

               

              These days many people do one-off marathons for the experiece; which didn't happen 30 years ago. The field will comprise many people who have no long term history of running - so it's not surprising that average times across all participants are coming down.

               

              But for the people who run year in year out do we know that they're actually getting slower?

              Funny you said that.  One of the biggest "I hate that!" comments of Lydiard is; "(simply) shoe pronates or supinates, not you."  Well, surely a lot of running related foot problems are caused by ill-fitted shoes--I'd be the first person to point that out as well.  However, yes, we do have so much more variety of people running, out of shape, fat, heavy, knock-knees, etc.  Problems are more bound to happen, with or without shoes.

               

              No, I have no idea of such "statistics" and you are abosolutely correct to point that out.  However, from my personal experience, this is the thing.  I'm sure many of RAers here can ellaborate here; when I try to get back in shape, I'd start plodding, say, for an hour or whatever...  Maybe as I get fitter and stronger, I'd run it a bit faster, try to go a little longer....until I finally get strong enough to think maybe I'll try 2-hour run.  I have this fairly hilly 2-hour loop by my place.  When I'm ready to try this, that means I'm good enough of shape to even try that.  And when I can go around it comfortably, then I KNOW I'm getting back in good shape.  Once I get to that point, not long before I'd realize that I'd be doing around this loop in less than 2-hours and it's time to add a small loop at the end to bring it back up to 2-hour range.  Most of us here, I think, that when we can get up to about 2-hours, we get stronger and stronger...

               

              Quite a few people have come to me, especially after Lorraine's article in Running Times, and ask for help.  They say that they can never run fast; that they are very slow.  Interstingly, it's almost a taboo to talk about "getting faster" or training fast, most people seem to want to get faster.  It was 10~15 years ago when "EVERYBODY is a winner" or "NO NEED FOR SPEED" stuff got popular.  Of course naturally people got slower because it's being accepted, you see?  I think the trend is that that's not good enough.  They do actually want to get faster.  I guess taboo means you secretly want it??? ;o)

               

              At any rate, a mind-buggling thing to me is that most of these "slow" people run A LOT!!  To them, 2-hour run means ONLY 8 or 10 miles and, they know that that's not enough for a marathon training so they try to run 16 or 18 or 20 miles and that could take 4 or 5 hours!!  That's EASILY double of most elite runs in terms of duration in time.  If running 2 hours makes you strong and, in effect, faster, why these guys stay slow?  Or....maybe they stay slow BECAUSE they run so too much???  Surely, they can measure the level of broken down muscle cells in the body today.  It would be very interesting to see how many of all those thousands of people toeing the major city marathons today, how many of them have elevated level of those waste products in the system compared ot, say, 20~30 years ago.  I'll bet a lot higher percentage of people today have very much higher level of broken down tissues in their system by the time they reach the starting line.  I actually happen to believe this is the main contributing factors for people's marathon times getting slower and slower.  Here's another observation though.  Many of people I have coached ended up running much better or faster than their counterparts who run a lot more in training.  And what does that tell ya?

                I think I can agree with all of this [see long Nobby quote below], and I do not necessarily want to say that "everyone is different" in some vague and banal way. That would be just as false as saying "everyone is the same" in some vague and banal way.

                 

                I really like what you say in your post above about running Too Much.  I can use myself as an example. The internet was a revelation to me because I got on sites like letsrun (and this one) and saw what others were doing--elites and normal runners--and it literally blew my mind. I saw that I could be working harder, smarter, better. Doing things differently.

                 

                But I also believe that I over-reacted a bit to the prevailing internet wisdom, which was that running volume is the key to success. 100 mile weeks. Or at least I misunderstood what that meant. I read it as a shortcut, which is a sort of strange way to put it because you wouldn't normally think of running 100mpw as a shortcut. It sounds like something that takes a lot of discipline and hard work. 

                 

                It was a shortcut, though, because what I proceeded to do was throw most of what I had learned in 12-15 years of running out of my mind and just try to get to where I could run 100mpw, mostly in easy mileage, because that was the sum of internet wisdom (or at least how I read it.)

                 

                I had some success doing this, but one fact haunted me--the simple fact that I ran quite a bit faster on 60mpw in college. Not just that, but this training FELT different than it did when I was making progress as a young runner. I FELT tired a lot. I felt slow. I did not feel sharp. I did not want to race frequently. It took me a while (maybe too long because I am a stubborn person and also because I wanted to see the experiment through) to come to the realization that this was a shortcut. That maybe it would take me 5 years of time to get to where I could run 100mpw and feel sharp doing it. That even though I ran in college and was a "good" runner, did not mean that I could just do the 100mpw thing. Even though the key to running fast is aerobic fitness, that the method to BECOMING aerobically fit meant paying more attention to DEVELOPMENT than to volume.

                 

                I am sure this is stuff that you already know, Nobby, and I am certainly not accusing you or Lydiard of misleading people. We are very good at misleading ourselves, and don't need much help!

                 

                (Last comment for Nobby: I know you are quick to give Lydiard credit, but I think you are a coach in your own right, and maybe have learned some things that Lydiard himself did not know!)

                 

                As a coach, the last thing I want to say to people is; "Everybody is different..."  Everybody IS different.  But, if you ask some micro-biologist or whatever, I'll bet he or she would tell you that everybody is in fact all the same--when you get down to the molecular level.  So when you get to down to physiological level, everybody is in fact all the same too.  We all talk about "run a lot, mostly slow..."  Why?  Because we ALL need that aerobic foundation.  I have yet to see anybody says; well, actually, I don't need oxygen...  The level of exersion at which we can operate alll depends on how much oxygen we can assimilate, transport and utilize oxygen.  Some people claim no, it's not oxygen but muscles.  Well, all the muscles and power in the world won't do you much good if you can't move those muscles and that depends on how much oxygen you can pump to those working muscles.  That's why those guys from high landers are dominating distance running scene, isn't it?  And that's why EPO works.  So how do you develop your body's ability to assimilate, transport and utilize oxygen?  Isn't that the whole idea of "run a lot, mostly easy"? 

                 

                You took Shorter, Rodgers and Moore as an example of "everybody is different".  I would in fact take them as an example of "everybody is the same".  They all ran a lot and they all did long runs.  The means of delivery might be slightly different; but they all did the same thing in essense. 

                 

                I know some people, I don't know why, don't like me to talk about Lydiard.  I mean, why do you think we started Lydiard Foundation?  Those people, for some odd reason, don't like us promoting Lydiard at Lydiard Foundation.  I don't know if they expect RunningAHEAD to promote sumo-wrestiling; there's a reason why it's called RUNNINGahead, isn't it?  We call what we do "LYDIARD Foudation" for a reason and there's a good reason why we started Lydiard Foundation.  We happened to believe in Lydiard training as THE way to go about and our mission is to try to teach people who to apply it to their own situation and environment.  I know some people at other running forum criticize us promiting Lydiard and they go as far to say--believe it or not--it's all bogus because Snell ran 100 miles a week and some other guy ran 120 miles a week; "See, they did differently!!"  I mean, believe it or not, there's this (supposedly) well-known Europian coach who claimed Lydiard was no good because he had 2 runners in the Olympic 1500m, Snell and Davies, and Snell won and Davies finished 3rd; therefore, Lydiard is no good.  I mean, what kind of logic is that?  Would that prove "everybody is different"? 

                 

                To me, as a coach, to say "everybody is different" is the most convenient way to say; "I have no idea what I'm talking about..."  I believe it IS possible to generalize certain things; if I see some Kenyan runner blasting out from nowhere and start running some incredible races week after week, with pretty good certainty, I can say, and many practical coaches would probably agree with me, that they would disappear in a year or two.  You will see some pattern if you observe carefully and it is because some people go against this physiological fundamentals and there are very few who could work against it.  Is it 100%?  No.  But the pattern is pretty easily identified and I personally feel Lydiard was spot-on on this account.  My opening comment at our Boulder Clinic was that we, Lydiard Foundation, do NOT worship everything Lydiard had said.  He had said things wrong.  But we happen to believe most of what he said and done were correct.  And our mission is to convery that to wider range of the audience in the correct manner.  Has it been 100% success?  No.  I can pin-point one person right here at RA who didn't like our training program.  Have we seen a good rate of success?  I'd say yes.  So far, in fact, we've had some startling success that was actually beyond our expectation as well.  But just as I don't count ONE success as a proof to call this method "perfect", I wouldn't call one "failure" as a proof of this method "failure" either.  Fortunately, however, Lydiard method happened to have lots of success stories attached to it.  You would think we wouldn't need to keep trying to convince people its effectiveness; but it doesn't look that way...

                  Training and racing data shows that pace during workouts rather than volume is a better indicator of race performance. It may sound somewhat redundant to say that fast training predicts equally fast racing, but its redundancy is evidence of the truth in the statement. It's common for elites and slower runners to share the same volumes in training, but it's not common for them to share the same paces.

                   

                  It's interesting then that there is such a big focus on mileage these days. I agree with Jeff that if you went through high school doing less than 60 miles per week and have since read Letsrun.com or studied the east Africans that you'll likely be sold on putting in the miles before getting the speed. Frank Shorter advocated both. His volume and speed both are necessary to the simplicity of his statements and too often one or the other gets ignored or sacrifices its focus to increasing some other part of training.

                   

                  In order to run 20 miles at a 5:00 pace, you will need to both be able to run 20 miles and run a 5:00 mile. High schoolers do a good job of working towards the 5 minute mile. College students do a good job of mastering both with some ease. Adults have a tendency to build for 20 milers more so than working towards a 5 minute mile. So it's not much of a surprise to run your best times when you're trying to improve your running from both ends of the spectrum.

                   

                  How to accomplish this is difficult. Balancing volume and intensity does not come easily. I think the importance of Frank's statement is not that you need to run high volume or fast speed, but that you need to do both on a regular basis. The elites master both.


                  HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                    ...

                     

                    In order to run 20 miles at a 5:00 pace, you will need to both be able to run 20 miles and run a 5:00 mile. High schoolers do a good job of working towards the 5 minute mile. College students do a good job of mastering both with some ease. Adults have a tendency to build for 20 milers more so than working towards a 5 minute mile. So it's not much of a surprise to run your best times when you're trying to improve your running from both ends of the spectrum.

                     

                    How to accomplish this is difficult. Balancing volume and intensity does not come easily. I think the importance of Frank's statement is not that you need to run high volume or fast speed, but that you need to do both on a regular basis. The elites master both.

                     

                    No. That's like saying a great marathoner like Grete Waitz could have run a decent 3000 time, or even a shorter race. Inconceivable.

                    It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                    DoppleBock


                      I learned this the hard way trying to do Daniles elite gold plan - RUnning 5-4-3-2-1 mile @ T with 5-4-3-2 minutes of rest between sets.  I was running 6:00 T-Pace so it was 30-24-18-12-6 minutes of T-Pcaed running for a total of 90 minutes - An elite would be running 70 minutes - It broke me down fast.

                       

                      Plus my 100-130 miles a week is equivelent to an elite covering 135-175 MPW ... time spent running.

                       

                       

                      No.  It's the sum of the effort, not pace/speed, times the duration of the work.  If you calculate and start to chase the distance, in miles or kilometers, that fast elite covers, you will be sure to over-do things.  We are already seeing the adverse effect of this; that many marathon chasers are pounding the pavement on weekend double or triple the duration of those elite runners and the results are getting worse and worse (slower and slower).  There IS such thing as running too much.  And we HAVE already seen the results of that. 

                      http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                      2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                       

                        I learned this the hard way trying to do Daniles elite gold plan - Running 5-4-3-2-1 mile @ T with 5-4-3-2 minutes of rest between sets.  I was running 6:00 T-Pace so it was 30-24-18-12-6 minutes of T-Pcaed running for a total of 90 minutes - An elite would be running 70 minutes - It broke me down fast.

                         

                        Plus my 100-130 miles a week is equivelent to an elite covering 135-175 MPW ... time spent running.

                        DB:

                         

                        Interesting you mention that.  I feel more "recreational runners" waste their potential trying to follow workouts such as those.  I even had this talk with Bart Yasso about his famous "Yasso800" workout; I mean, how long would a 6-hour marathon runner spend his/her time on track doing 10X800 at 12-minute mile pace?  It drains more than anything else--and that's exactly how I feel about all those long run madness as well.

                         

                        Years ago, I was doing that 1km up-tempo run the day before my race.  It's a Japanese thing and it really works.  Now I do it a few days before the race and it works just as fine but, at any rate, I was slowing down rapidly and it would take me about 3:30 or so to do 1km.  I always felt a little drained so one time, it dawned on me; I used to do 1km in about 2:50 at 90% effort.  Maybe it's too long.  So I cut back and shoot for 2:30.  It was not even a half a mile (I don't think I was capable of 5-minute pace for 400m!!).  Boom!!  I set the season's best.

                         

                        Far too many runners chase distance and I strongly believe it's all wrong.  That goes to hard tempo-ish workouts; and that goes to # of long runs to prepare for the marathon as well.  I'm not too familiar with ultra world but not even ultra runners do as many 4-hour runs as some of the slower marathon people today, would they?


                        Just a dude.

                          Yeah... this is something I look at too...  If elites are doing 100 miles at 6 minute pace, that's 10 hours a week.

                           

                          If I do 100 miles at 9:00 pace that would be 15 hours.

                           

                          So instead I am shooting for 60ish miles a week, and I am doing the equivalent time of the 100 mile elites... As I get faster, I'll move up to 70 or 80 or whatever makes sense...

                           

                          I even worked up a simple little excel chart that has each day of a 100 mile week at 6 min mile pace, and what the equivalent would be for 7, 8, and 9 minute pace... 

                           

                          I mentally struggle with the idea of going for a run for 60 minutes. It seems longer and I am constantly checking my watch. It's easier for me mentally to run 7 miles and have the time end up being real close to 60 minutes... /shrug...

                           

                          -Kelly

                          Getting back in shape... Just need it to be a skinnier shape... 

                            I struggle with the time based running too, as most of my runs are on same route most days.  Some days are faster than others and struggle to add on the 3-5 minutes to complete the time.  Just a  mental thing, but  running for time may allow us to go easy on those recovery days.  I know I have to run that 60 minutes no matter how far or how fast.

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