# Sayeth Jeff (Read 2759 times)

Sounds like Van Aaken, from 30 years ago.
"Run slowly, run daily, drink in moderation, and don't eat like a pig" Dr. Ernst Van Aaken. Sorry ultrasteve.

Grasshopper

If I were to answer, I'd say this is a "listen to your body" / "works with your schedule" type thing. Another important point is that there are so many variables at work that much variation happens on its own. Distance is not the only variable. There is pace, adaptation, extra-curricular stress, terrain, diet, ...
Pretty much what I thought the answer was, but I figured I'd ask since I've got so much less experience than many here. Nice to have the confirmation though. Curiosity had me just wondering where in that list of variables distance (or more acurately variation of distance) fit, in terms of its effect on building a base. Sounds like it's not enough to worry about it.

MM# 4597 / HF #941

Pretty much what I thought the answer was, but I figured I'd ask since I've got so much less experience than many here. Nice to have the confirmation though. Curiosity had me just wondering where in that list of variables distance (or more acurately variation of distance) fit, in terms of its effect on building a base. Sounds like it's not enough to worry about it.
Scientists and coaches and philosophers and runners try to isolate variables analytically. They take an integrated act and they divide it up into parts in order to try to understand it. This is one way that intelligence works. Unfortunately, running has been over-analyzed. It has been broken into a smorgasboard of analytic concepts. These concepts do not have any value on their own. Their value is only determined if they can be intelligently re-integrated into a holistic strategy. So, the problem now is that we are faced with Humpty Dumpty after he has fallen off the wall and been broken into a hundred pieces: the long run, LT, VO2max, neurological component, Central Governor, speed, easy running, tempo, fartlek, repetitions, intervals, distance, doubles, singles, triples, overdistance, specificity, aerobic, anaerobic, steady-state, fast twitch, slow-twitch, experienced runner, beginning runner, marathon training, 5k training, mile training, carb diets, protein, post-run recovery, sleep, RPE, heart rate, etc... The challenge of being intelligent about training is not how to analyze out another concept, but how to put back together intelligently an act that has been broken apart by decades of analysis and little if any synthesis. Intelligence requires both analysis and synthesis. For some reason, analysis has been way over-emphasized and synthesis ignored. Intelligent training demands both. If we cannot put back together what has been analyzed, then our analysis was useless. So do not bite off more analysis than you can chew. MTA: This is not an answer to your question, in case you were wondering.

Grasshopper

MTA: This is not an answer to your question, in case you were wondering.
Sure sounds like one The old scientific method. Ask a question - define the problem. Think about & investigate the problem, determine what you think the answer (or solution) is, then test. Did it work? Is it true? Did it work for the reasons you thought it would? Or were there other factors? Repeat with the newly observed phenomena factored in. Unfortunately many of the experiments in running take time to perform, and sometimes the equipment breaks down like a lab flask shattering from too much heat. We look for ways to eliminate variables, shorten the analysis, and reduce the number of experiments. And ultimately, in the end, along the way, we learn that while there are certain common truths that have been proven to work ("run lots, mostly easy, sometimes hard" comes to mind), there are too many other variables for one of us to perfect his or her performance solely by looking at others and following them. It is true that each of us is an experiment of one, and what works for you ends up as no more than another test for me to try on myself. It may work, it may not. What makes you faster may break me. What makes me able to run for hours upon hours may bore you to tears. But perhaps in the long run (heh), we will discover another truth that works for most, and we can all write a book together and get rich. Right now my experiment is more miles than I've done before. Next time I go to a basebuilding phase, I may experiment with variability and see what happens. Between now and then, I'm hoping for no Bunsen burner fires. And thanks.

MM# 4597 / HF #941

Curiosity had me just wondering where in that list of variables distance (or more acurately variation of distance) fit, in terms of its effect on building a base. Sounds like it's not enough to worry about it.
It's not. You might have heard over the last two weeks on TV at the Millrose and Boston Reebok games in the High School Boys Mile of competitors who 'only started running track in the last year' and now they are capable of a 4:10 mile. Before that they were soccer players and by playing in midfield just happen to run four or five miles every time they play, mostly at jog pace with occasional short sprints. Abdi Bile made a late switch to track from soccer and he is very much in favor of getting a decent volume of aerobic exercise in on your feet and not worrying about what the sport is.

The process is the goal.

Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.

"run" "to" "eat"

i find the sunshine beckons me to open up the gate and dream and dream ~~robbie williams

Scientists and coaches and philosophers and runners try to isolate variables analytically. They take an integrated act and they divide it up into parts in order to try to understand it. This is one way that intelligence works. Unfortunately, running has been over-analyzed. It has been broken into a smorgasboard of analytic concepts. These concepts do not have any value on their own. Their value is only determined if they can be intelligently re-integrated into a holistic strategy. So, the problem now is that we are faced with Humpty Dumpty after he has fallen off the wall and been broken into a hundred pieces: the long run, LT, VO2max, neurological component, Central Governor, speed, easy running, tempo, fartlek, repetitions, intervals, distance, doubles, singles, triples, overdistance, specificity, aerobic, anaerobic, steady-state, fast twitch, slow-twitch, experienced runner, beginning runner, marathon training, 5k training, mile training, carb diets, protein, post-run recovery, sleep, RPE, heart rate, etc... The challenge of being intelligent about training is not how to analyze out another concept, but how to put back together intelligently an act that has been broken apart by decades of analysis and little if any synthesis. Intelligence requires both analysis and synthesis. For some reason, analysis has been way over-emphasized and synthesis ignored. Intelligent training demands both. If we cannot put back together what has been analyzed, then our analysis was useless. So do not bite off more analysis than you can chew. MTA: This is not an answer to your question, in case you were wondering.
This reminds me of a study about how to "bend" a soccer ball... http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5325/is_200404/ai_n21347222/pg_1?tag=content;col1 "It amazes me that elite soccer players do what they do on a free kick instantaneously and under immense pressure in critical games," Hanna said. "Their brains must be computing some very detailed trajectory calculations in a few seconds purely from instinct and practice. Our computers take a few hours to do the same thing, and although we can now better explain the science of what they do, it's still magical to watch." I'm pretty sure the elite soccer players who can do this well don't do it well because they're experts in aerodynamics...they just put a wicked spin on the ball because they've learned by doing it a gazillion times. (Still it's pretty neat to analyze.)
"Their brains must be computing some very detailed trajectory calculations in a few seconds purely from instinct and practice. Our computers take a few hours to do the same thing, and although we can now better explain the science of what they do, it's still magical to watch." I'm pretty sure the elite soccer players who can do this well don't do it well because they're experts in aerodynamics...they just put a wicked spin on the ball because they've learned by doing it a gazillion times.
Yes. It's frankly dumb to say that "their brains must be computing some very detailed trajectory calculations in a few seconds." We do this all the time because we fetishize complexity. EVERY action in the world CAN be analyzed into millions of component parts. This does not mean that every action SHOULD be so analyzed, or that such analysis is at all helpful.
2000 miles of complex fetishizing.
"Good-looking people have no spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls, but we're smarter." - Lester Bangs
Yes. It's frankly dumb to say that "their brains must be computing some very detailed trajectory calculations in a few seconds." We do this all the time because we fetishize complexity. EVERY action in the world CAN be analyzed into millions of component parts. This does not mean that every action SHOULD be so analyzed, or that such analysis is at all helpful.
Yeah, that's idiotic. Anyone who has heard David Beckham (arguably the greatest free kick taker ever) speak would realize that he is doing no real-time calculation, but playing on instinct supported by many, many hours of practice (experiment rather than theory). MTA: to pick a more familiar analogy to most of us ... when we press the accelerator on a car, who is thinking about how hard we press the pedal translates to what exactly is happening under the hood, and how that power is transmitted to the wheels.

The process is the goal.

Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.

Ten easy miles of skipping, distributing petals is an excellent aerobic workout. You might need a larger basket though and that could negatively impact your form.

The process is the goal.

Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.

Just to continue, what we are interested in pursuing is the development of habits, and understanding is only valuable insofar as it leads to the development of right habits. This is the crux of communication and education. One of my favorite philosophers, William James writes this:
The great thing, then, in all education, is to make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy. It is to fund and capitalize our aquisitions and live at ease upon the interest of the fund. For this we must make automatic and habitual, as early as possible, as many useful actions as we can, and guard against growing in ways that are likely to be disadvantageous to us, as we should guard against the plague. The more of the details of our daily life that we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of the mind will be set free for their own proper work. There is no more miserable being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work, are subjects of express volitional deliberation. Full half the time of such a man goes to the deciding, or regretting, of matters which ought to be so ingrained in him practically not to exist in his consciousness at all.

Grasshopper

Just to continue, what we are interested in pursuing is the development of habits, and understanding is only valuable insofar as it leads to the development of right habits. This is the crux of communication and education. One of my favorite philosophers, William James writes this:
But to pursue and develop these right habits, don't we need to understand at least to some extent what it is we are trying to do, and from our mistakes in doing ti wrong learn how to do it correctly? Beckham didn't go out there and "bend" a kick the first time. He practiced, like Drew said. Thinking about where to put his foot each time, how hard to kick, where to step in relation to the ball, how much give to allow when his foot contacted the ball, etc. The teenage driver out for his first practice with Mom or Dad is thinking exactly how much pressure to put on the gas pedal, and observing to an extent what happens in relation to that force. It is only after testing and trying and practicing and failing over and over that we each begin to develop some skill at these tasks. And it is the same with training. And, relatedly, running - because correct practice makes perfect. Some analysis is needed, so you have a direction to try and feedback to help make course corrections.

MM# 4597 / HF #941

Some analysis is needed, so you have a direction to try and feedback to help make course corrections.
Of course. But don't forget to first pick a 'direction' that seems right to you based on your particular circumstances and commit to it. For some that might be strictly following an LHR plan, others it might be heavy doses of cross-training, others might want to do more speed work and race more, and others may be entirely happy with the simple mantra "run lots, mostly easy, some hard". Trying to go in multiple directions at the same time probably won't get you far. MTA: not that I'm suggesting you are; but there are others around trying to follow ideas from two or three quite different programs simultaneously.

The process is the goal.

Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.