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Mental Toughness, Stotan Training, Random Ramlings and Other Madman Musings (Read 192 times)

     

     

    I'm usually never understood but I will still try to answer. Cerutty rejected science. Although he was a believer he thought training was more personal he wanted thinking athletes who were not only great at following instruction but that they would also grasp what needed to be done to improve their event. Remember Percy trained swimmers as well as tennis players and he welcomed anyone to his Portsea camp. So even while being an athletics coach, he believed the intellectual and physical training along with healthy eating good habits that promote a healthy lifestyle would lead to the best athlete.  Percy had creeds and tenets himself and always seem to contradict himself.

     

    You said the training should not have versions and I disagree. Everyone is different and Percy recognized that. We have several modern day Stotan coaches and each has their own version and interpretation of Stotan training. Bill Aris coaches young HS and middle school kids some as young as 6th grade. He also has a post collegiate team and his methods with them is completely different from those of his high school runners. The principles are there but the approaches are different.

     

    Another popular Stotan coach is Mike Spino who won 12 national championships in cross country & track. Unlike Bill Aris he actually studied under Percy Cerutty.  Spino coached almost 40 years after Percy developed Stotanism. He had his own version as well. He would say his is the truest modern form as he was the last coach to be mentored by Cerutty. But I had friends who ran for him so I know his program. He was one of the few coaches who incorporated the Sand dune exhaustion training and built one for his athletes to train on.  Can you be a Stotan without sand dunes? Of course Arias substituted grassy hills, hills, hills… Percy was big on using your terrain immersing yourself in it. I live on a flat island where the shallow sand dunes are protected for rare bird species. So I adapted… adapting is versioning. Adapting allows Stotanism to survive in an era where most can't grasp its relevance.

    I agree by the way with your Percy's intellectual independence of his athletes.  Although he did give a lot of specific guidance, he wanted his athletes to make their own decisions.  The funny part being that as long as those decisions followed his principles of training!  He certainly was way ahead of his time in many ways.

    IAAF Level 5 / USATF Level 3 Coach (Endurance)

    IAAF Level 5 / USATF Level 3 Coach (Sprints & Hurdles) 

    USTFCCCA Strength & Conditioning Certification

    USATF Cross Country Specialist Coaching Certification

    Cyberic


      Maybe a better place to ask this would be the marathon training thread, and if so, you can just tell me. I'm hesitant to post there because of the long introduction "required" and the weekly... Don't know if I'll have that kind of commitment to a thread. Plus, this question/idea is as philosophical as it is physiological, in my opinion.

       

      So do you think an athlete should put more focus on his/her individual strengths or his/her weaknesses? I can see an argument for both sides, but I'm interested in reading opinions, if any are given. I'm talking about average Joe/Jane runners, here.

      Proud run commuter since 2017

      wcrunner2


      I'm out of ideas

        So do you think an athlete should put more focus on his/her individual strengths or his/her weaknesses? I can see an argument for both sides, but I'm interested in reading opinions, if any are given. I'm talking about average Joe/Jane runners, here.

         

        Probably on their weaknesses.  I think in a lot of cases what they consider their weaknesses are actually areas where they are under trained and not weaknesses at all.  Two notable areas are lack of endurance because they aren't putting in the necessary mileage, and lack of speed because they avoid interval workouts.

         

        2020 Races:

             08/29/20 - Endless Summer 6-Hour (do I or don't I run)

             10/03/20 - 3DATF 50K (might defer to May 2021)

             10/24/20 - Piedmont-8 (tentative, waitlist)

         

        DavePNW


           

          So do you think an athlete should put more focus on his/her individual strengths or his/her weaknesses? I can see an argument for both sides, but I'm interested in reading opinions, if any are given. I'm talking about average Joe/Jane runners, here.

           

          Doesn’t it depend on what your goals are?

          Dave

            Maybe a better place to ask this would be the marathon training thread, and if so, you can just tell me. I'm hesitant to post there because of the long introduction "required" and the weekly... Don't know if I'll have that kind of commitment to a thread. Plus, this question/idea is as philosophical as it is physiological, in my opinion.

             

            So do you think an athlete should put more focus on his/her individual strengths or his/her weaknesses? I can see an argument for both sides, but I'm interested in reading opinions, if any are given. I'm talking about average Joe/Jane runners, here.

             

            You definitely want to work on your weaknesses but you should not ignore your strengths in training either.

             

            It does depend on what you are lacking.  If you have good endurance generally speaking but are relatively slow, you still need to develop that muscular and aerobic endurance further to improve.  This is especially true for the Marathon where the only real reason to work on speed would be to help your running economy.  For the bulk of Marathoners interval sessions on the track are the least helpful form of training even if they lack speed.

            IAAF Level 5 / USATF Level 3 Coach (Endurance)

            IAAF Level 5 / USATF Level 3 Coach (Sprints & Hurdles) 

            USTFCCCA Strength & Conditioning Certification

            USATF Cross Country Specialist Coaching Certification

            Nimmals


            Stotan Disciple

              Maybe a better place to ask this would be the marathon training thread, and if so, you can just tell me. I'm hesitant to post there because of the long introduction "required" and the weekly... Don't know if I'll have that kind of commitment to a thread. Plus, this question/idea is as philosophical as it is physiological, in my opinion.

               

              So do you think an athlete should put more focus on his/her individual strengths or his/her weaknesses? I can see an argument for both sides, but I'm interested in reading opinions, if any are given. I'm talking about average Joe/Jane runners, here.

               

              CyberEric, I think those are great responses to your question by WCRunner,and Dave PNW. It does really depend on your goal. However it is important to focus o areas of weakness.. But I think Otter1hit it on the head although I'm not sure if he will agree with me 100% as he and I seem to say the same things in different ways or at least they can be interpreted different (because I'm a rambler.)  Incidentally that's my weakness and something I have to focus more on.

               

              My strength is in analyzing data. So the short answer for me is that you focus on your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. Below is an excerpt from a letter I send out to my athlete to describe my training system.

              On a regular basis make some time to chat and go over the training so you fully understand all concepts. 

              I will need feedback as we are going to have to tweak some things. You will need to be strong, dedicate time to strength training,

              I sent pictures for core strength. You should also do light Yoga and stretching to help with flexibility.  

              The way I train we will seek to exploit your strengths and minimize your weaknesses when we tweak.

               

              A lot of times we are either aware or completely unaware of our weakness. In my last training cycle I did some great workouts all targeted at my strengths but I did nothing to minimize my weakness. I do know what some of my weakness are but I was not aware of how I could have minimized it. In fact it wasn't' until JMAC was recapping training on the sub 3 Marathon thread that I realized a huge weakness in my training. And even though he was helping Andres, I realized a personal weakness I wasn't even aware I had ignored in my training. In Additionally a new masters runner I became friends was pouring over my training and after CIM he sent me the same suggestion JMAC was giving to Andres.

               

              One more example, say we have a mutual friend. When I started working with her I looked at her last 5 years of training and I saw what her strengths were. There were some glaring weaknesses which she was aware of but never took the time to address. When I set about to work on minimizing her weaknesses at first she was hesitant but gradually she realized that the things we were doing made sense and the only hesitation was because they were out of her comfort zone. Once we made the changes she realized they were working. We talked about nutrition, recovery, even weight  and future marathon goals and I made suggestions. I wouldn't use term weakness when talking about nutrition and food choices as it can come across insulting but I explained eating properly and smart training would lead to changes. So she became leaner and stronger not by dieting but by making better food choices. So we didn't treat it as a major area of focus, we focus on her strength which was "persistence" ability to handle volume and the areas that detracted from her training (nutrition, lack of speed intervals) we sought to minimize. So I would say our focus was 70/30 on strength and weaknesses.

              Thinking should be done first, before training begins.

              Nimmals


              Stotan Disciple

                Here are my thoughts on some of the ideas discussed:

                 

                - Honesty being number 1 is important. Unfortunately, in today’s world of “kudos”, I think some of that is lost. One bad race or bad week is completely normal. Multiple bad weeks/races require you to really ask whether you are training correctly, or are just stubborn. Every single one of us has fallen into that trap. In the same regard of honesty is integrity. We know about all the course cutters (a contentious topic) but there are plenty of people I’ve seen on Strava run non-certified courses and claim PRs when every single person running the race has a GPS that’s short. Yes, your GPS is not as accurate as course measurement, but claiming a PR on a short course shows that you are not in this for yourself. For me as a golfer, it’s the same thing as not finding your ball in the woods, looking around to see if your partners are paying attention, and then dropping a ball out of your pocket and saying “I found it” Sure, nobody will know, but what’s the point?

                 

                 

                JMAC - Today on my run I ran by a golf course and I chuckled to myself on your comment.  So my workout today was inspired by something you shared with Andres and so I give and Naimoli credit for recognizing that in my own workouts too. A few months ago there was a post that Darkwave shared on honesty and I remember reading it and thinking "just who is she, why is she in my head." She articulated Honesty way better than I ever could have. it captured the essence of why it was most important and why I sought to have them weighted in addition to ranking. I have to find that post and post it here. I think it would address the misunderstanding some people had with me having them both ranked and weighted.

                Thinking should be done first, before training begins.

                Cyberic


                  Thanks to all who answered me. If I put it down in a few sentences: Runners should work pretty much at everything, and depending on your goal, some areas obviously give a bigger reward. Weaknesses are usually more areas of neglect than true physiological weaknesses. An external eye will sometimes spot holes in your training or areas to improve that you don't see yourself.

                  Proud run commuter since 2017

                     

                    CyberEric, I think those are great responses to your question by WCRunner,and Dave PNW. It does really depend on your goal. However it is important to focus o areas of weakness.. But I think Otter1hit it on the head although I'm not sure if he will agree with me 100% as he and I seem to say the same things in different ways or at least they can be interpreted different (because I'm a rambler.)  Incidentally that's my weakness and something I have to focus more on.

                     

                    My strength is in analyzing data. So the short answer for me is that you focus on your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. Below is an excerpt from a letter I send out to my athlete to describe my training system.

                    On a regular basis make some time to chat and go over the training so you fully understand all concepts. 

                    I will need feedback as we are going to have to tweak some things. You will need to be strong, dedicate time to strength training,

                    I sent pictures for core strength. You should also do light Yoga and stretching to help with flexibility.  

                    The way I train we will seek to exploit your strengths and minimize your weaknesses when we tweak.

                     

                    A lot of times we are either aware or completely unaware of our weakness. In my last training cycle I did some great workouts all targeted at my strengths but I did nothing to minimize my weakness. I do know what some of my weakness are but I was not aware of how I could have minimized it. In fact it wasn't' until JMAC was recapping training on the sub 3 Marathon thread that I realized a huge weakness in my training. And even though he was helping Andres, I realized a personal weakness I wasn't even aware I had ignored in my training. In Additionally a new masters runner I became friends was pouring over my training and after CIM he sent me the same suggestion JMAC was giving to Andres.

                     

                    One more example, say we have a mutual friend. When I started working with her I looked at her last 5 years of training and I saw what her strengths were. There were some glaring weaknesses which she was aware of but never took the time to address. When I set about to work on minimizing her weaknesses at first she was hesitant but gradually she realized that the things we were doing made sense and the only hesitation was because they were out of her comfort zone. Once we made the changes she realized they were working. We talked about nutrition, recovery, even weight  and future marathon goals and I made suggestions. I wouldn't use term weakness when talking about nutrition and food choices as it can come across insulting but I explained eating properly and smart training would lead to changes. So she became leaner and stronger not by dieting but by making better food choices. So we didn't treat it as a major area of focus, we focus on her strength which was "persistence" ability to handle volume and the areas that detracted from her training (nutrition, lack of speed intervals) we sought to minimize. So I would say our focus was 70/30 on strength and weaknesses.

                     

                    Yes, but the rambling is good and thought provoking!!  Don't change that.  I like it...and I do think we have similar philosophies.  Not entirely the same, but neither wrong if that makes sense.  Recognizing the individualization of training is the key to coaching.

                    IAAF Level 5 / USATF Level 3 Coach (Endurance)

                    IAAF Level 5 / USATF Level 3 Coach (Sprints & Hurdles) 

                    USTFCCCA Strength & Conditioning Certification

                    USATF Cross Country Specialist Coaching Certification

                    Nimmals


                    Stotan Disciple

                       

                      This I a good discussion.

                       

                      I agree with the contention that Cerutty did not believe in a "cookie cutter" type schedule.  I admire this as you do, but I believe I have a slightly different view.

                       

                      Most really good coaches today have a schedule as a plan, assess how their athletes feel and then change it accordingly.  I have the season mapped out for my XC team yet I can't remember a week going to plan at any point during our last season due to many unpredictable variables.  Most of the better coaches would agree not to blindly follow a plan.  Believe or not Daniels and Pfitz also agree to go by feel and not follow schedules to the letter although they provide them in their literature.  But the schedules provide a framework for training.  Lydiard also used to print schedules in his books but only because the publishers pressured him to.  He hated the idea of it.  

                       

                      For my team of 30+ kids in the fall on any given day I have 6-8 training groups at different paces with some athletes being "dropped off" earlier than others in the run.  My top runners return and sometimes add on depending on the day.  So I might have as many as 20 different variations of training on each day depending on the athlete.   

                       

                      Today's elite coaches have a framework to their training but change them according to their athlete's needs.  And, they understand that one schedule does not fit all.

                       

                       

                      Otter1,

                      Thank you for this, what you have articulated here is something that should be a sticky on every forum. It's why when people ask me to recommend a book, I often say read what ever but follow  "Run Faster"  by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald. Their book starts off with why every runner needs to be their own coach just like Cerutty's unltimate goal was with his athletes.

                       

                      Hudson opens with the fact that everyone is different in their running experience.  Whether it be how long they've been running, speed, history of injuries, strengths. Even individual traits, such as speed vs endurance. Consider facts on how long it takes some to recover vs others. For that reason one should train responsively (i.e by feel). I always explain plans as an ingredient shopping list to a goal but the methods should be individualized to taste.   I bet you no one will get that most of all Cals. Hudson say plans if used should be based on the individual response. Meaning training plans should be penciled in (so they can change) not etched in ink and followed regardless of training response. So changes to plans should naturally occur similar to the away your 6 training groups have 20 variations among 30 kids.  That's a form of flexibility in training or planning  (Coming back to my tenets) and why I weight them).

                       

                      Flexibility is very important and is second only to Honesty. Honesty dictates our understanding of training responsively, as our bodies react to stimuli differently. I will be short here as they are calling our responses dissertations.  That's because a lot of athletes don't think they want to be fed everything or dictated to.  Hence everyone has an online coach/plan but only 1 in 10 are improving.

                      Thinking should be done first, before training begins.

                      Half Crazy K 2.0


                        As someone who did a sport up until high school that is very well known for its abusuve practices, these principles make me really uneasy. Sure, this all sounds great, but the 4 tenets are all things that can be used against athletes by bad coaches.

                         

                        I'd love to see a citation for the "only 1 in 10 are improving".  Is that based on everyone running races? Repeat performance in the same race (ie compare Boston 2018 to 2019). IIs it based on averages, such as average maarathon time is getting slower?

                         

                        Unless someone actually reads, or skims, through Hudson's book, his plans can be blindly followed with no understanding of the principals behind them, just like any other book.

                        Nimmals


                        Stotan Disciple

                          I'd love to see a citation for the "only 1 in 10 are improving".  Is that based on everyone running races? Repeat performance in the same race (ie compare Boston 2018 to 2019). IIs it based on averages, such as average marathon time is getting slower?

                           

                           

                          1 in 10 is a generalization from my experience. But if you have insta friends and you tally their successes especially at the half and full you might get an even lower number. I make a lot of generalizations based on notes I keep. I have lots of regular people I track annually. And initially there are lots of improvements especially to newer runners but then as they hire coaches and become more focused in their  training some succeed most do not.

                           

                          I had an older friend who hired a very famous coach she was running really well then she took a step back wards in simple races.

                          I talked to her about the workouts and one change I notice was her new coach increased her mileage and she didn't handle volume as well, She was told to strength train but the increased mileage made it difficult  for her to hit the mileage and strength train. Before hiring a coach she'd hit the gym,  take orange theory classes ran a few miles a week, but was more successful in 5k - 10k and half marathons because she trained responsively.

                           

                          With this new coach she ended up being often hurt. On her own she was more successful than with her famous coach. That coach is a good coach he is a really good coach in my opinion, if you're an elite. She however was not an elite. She had been training responsively and succeeding when she was dictated to she failed because the coach was not responsive to her feels.

                           

                          People plateau early in their training, future success has to be very well thought out in regards to their training.  It will always involve trial and error and lots of adaptation to succeed.

                           

                          Or I might just be fake news and falsehoods as that gets more traction than the truth.

                          Thinking should be done first, before training begins.

                          M_M_C


                            I hear treadmill running without music or TV builds mental toughness

                            3K: 8:29.12 (2017)     5K: 14:56.59 (2016)     8K: 25:27 (2016)     15K: 54:46.2 (2019)     FM: 2:58:48 (2019)

                            Nimmals


                            Stotan Disciple

                              I hear treadmill running without music or TV builds mental toughness

                               

                              So does shitting yourself on an out and back and running home through your hood.

                              Looking and smelling the part. You should try it.

                               

                              I would rather lose a sock but then again I have never lacked mental toughness.

                              Thinking should be done first, before training begins.

                              M_M_C


                                Haha if that's what it takes to be mentally tough count me out!

                                 

                                 

                                So does shitting yourself on an out and back and running home through your hood.

                                Looking and smelling the part. You should try it.

                                 

                                I would rather lose a sock but then again I have never lacked mental toughness.

                                3K: 8:29.12 (2017)     5K: 14:56.59 (2016)     8K: 25:27 (2016)     15K: 54:46.2 (2019)     FM: 2:58:48 (2019)

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