Performance -- Training the Body
Our photo this week features "The Lads" -- in order... Mat, Denny, John, Brandon, Jeff. As their alter-egos... The Intern, The Lizard, Salsa, Rico Suave, Dr. J.
Alan's written an excellent piece for this week's Alternative Perspectives. At the top of the AP-Blog, I wrote a disclaimer that you shouldn't assume that the articles represent my views. However, this piece represents the views of my new company, exactly.
The challenge to Alan... to you... to me... is to apply that protocol. The acquisition of knowledge is far easier than the application.
Early in my coaching career, I was much more prone to adjusting my views under pressure from my athletes. As I've gained experience, I've tried to model myself (more and more) along the Hellemans-Model, as I observe it...
...accept that athletes have the right to follow their own plans
...offer clear, direct advice when asked for an opinion
...minimize energy spent on athletes that ask for your opinion then ignore it
Q -- Where does running performance come from?
A -- An enjoyment of consistent, long term, appropriate mileage.
Mileage -- walking, running, jogging, hiking, mountaineering, backpacking, cycling, waiting tables, standing -- it's all good. What counts? Everything that involves your legs counts.
Appropriate -- Alan and I are going to review Daniels' Running Formula in the weeks to come. The #1 point that I take out of that book is... If you want to train faster then prove it by racing faster.
It is far more important "to train" than to train "fast". Athletes that chase power/pace nearly always underperform on race day. I've seen that around me for my entire athletic career. Guys that can totally kick my butt in training end up miles behind me on race day.
One more quote that I like (from Dr. J) -- Prove that you can operate below your limits before seeking to outperform them.
Appropriate could mean anything from 5 to 150 miles per week. There are no fixed rules -- you'll have to figure it out for yourself. With my own experience -- it took me years to get to the point where I could tolerate a 'normal' running week that you might read in a magazine. I spent 1993-1998 'training' in a very general sense.
Long term -- from a standing start, it is going to take 10-15 years to see what's possible. If you are looking for the 10-15 week program for excellence, you are fooling yourself.
For those of you familiar with Daniels' v-dot tables. My v-dots by year...
mid-90s -- 33
1997 -- 45
1998 -- 47
1999 -- 50
2000 -- 51
2001 -- 54
2002 -- 57
2003 -- 60
2004 -- 62
2005 -- 60
2006 -- 60
2007 -- 65
There's a lot of training _and_ a lot more than training that moves an athlete from a v-dot of 33 to 65. In 1997, I was "fast" within my training circle. There are many definitions of fast -- as athletes find when they move to Boulder, Christchurch or other centers of athletic excellence.
Consistent -- As a triathlete, I currently run about 225x per annum. That level of volume was impossible for me when I started. I started by walking, hiking and lifting weights. I didn't jump-start my athletic career by signing up for an Ironman.
Enjoyment -- 225 runs per annum across, say, eight years... 1,800 runs. If you're going to invest that level of time then you'd better be enjoying yourself. Athletes that see their sport as "work" rarely succeed on the deepest levels.
Here's a summary of the toughest week of running that I'll do this summer. It was the program for last week and broke many of the "rules" that I apply as a coach.
Elite Tri -- Specific Prep -- Run Program
Monday -- off running; swim/gym
Tuesday -- swim/bike (four hours) and run two hours off the bike holding 7:30 per mile pace
Wednesday -- high altitude, hilly run of 15 miles with Tim (6 miles in 50 minutes then 9 miles in 50 minutes); swim/bike with evening five miler slower than 8 min per mile
Thursday -- morning five-miler slower than 8 min per mile; ride four hours easy with depressed heart rate (I wonder why?)
Friday -- off running; swim only
Saturday -- little under six hours worth of tough swim/bike with mixed tempo run off the bike (8 miles)
Sunday -- swim an easy 2400 meters (to wake up legs) then 23 miler with Tim and evening four-miler
= 76 miles at ~7:36 per mile
I've had 3:15 (off the bike) marathoners tell me that they are unable to run slower than seven-minute miles.
I've also had Clas shake his head at how I run sub-2:50 by spending much of my time cruising around at eight-minute pace.
It's the pace changes that make life interesting in gWorld. :-)
Coming Soon -- Training the Mind & True Limiters