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Elementary School XC Super Meet

Episode 2- Endurance vs Speed


Posted 9 months ago by Trackie | Source: The Coaching Equation With Brant and John

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 9 months ago

    ncaa topic should be it's own show and no I do not mean NCAA v U-sports but a discussion dedicated 100% to NCAA.
    thanks

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 9 months ago

    does no comments = no listeners?
    C'mon
    we need to help these guys develop week to week, month to month, season to season :)

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  • b-west User since:
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    B-West said 9 months ago

    Thanks for putting this together Brant and John! In the interest of engaging this topic, how would you say speed as a skill is developed for a middle/long distance runner? And would you say philosophically it should match or differ in essence (not density) to how speed is developed for a sprinter?

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  • john User since:
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    john said 9 months ago

    Quoting: B-West
    "Thanks for putting this together Brant and John! In the interest of engaging this topic, how would you say speed as a skill is developed for a middle/long distance runner? And would you say philosophically it should match or differ in essence (not density) to how speed is developed for a sprinter?"


    Hey Bob! Thanks for listening! I guess in general I would say that some distance runners are a little afraid of the speed stuff. So it's about dosing it correctly. Since for many of them it's a weakness, the good thing is you don't need that much to see a big improvement! So just learning the skill might be enough to start. It depends on the athlete, the age, the long term goals, the history of training. A brand new high school kid who has been well brought up to have lots of physical literacy, played other sports, did different events in track is going to have an easier time adding speed work (real speed work not 10x200m) than someone who is a "classic" distance runner, ie skinny and uncoordinated.

    I think the biggest difference is in that sprinters are coming to the sport looking for this kind of thing, while distance runners (even mid-d) are not, so it's something that might take some convincing for them to buy in to.

    I would really downplay it for a distance runner and try to "sneak" it in. So not make a big deal about how we are going to do speed training, but just make it part of the whole program. I still think it is important, I would just de-emphasise it a bit, philosophically, for the imaginary/hypothetical distance runner.

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    Anonymous said 9 months ago

    hmmm what is real speed work then? Cause I love me some 10x200

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  • oldster User since:
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    Oldster said 9 months ago

    I put it to you guys that you have perhaps copped-out on the whole endurance vs. speed thing.

    On average (athlete-for-athlete), endurance is more important than speed in an endurance sport. And if, athlete-for-athlete, you tend to prescribe more easy training volume than the average coach, then you can justifiably be described as a "high volume" coach (recognizing that this is always relative). I, for one, proudly accept the label of "high volume" coach because I, on average, encourage athletes to run more volume than most other coaches (I would guess, and would be surprised to find out that I maybe do not). I did not set out to be a "high volume" coach, but I think I ended up becoming one in practice, because I found that doing more volume than average tended to create the most sustained improvement in runners at all levels. Of course this does not mean I ever have any particular number in mind, but it does mean that, on average, I'm always trying to find ways to get people to run more without getting hurt, and that I will typically take an additional unit of endurance work (easy volume) over an additional unit of work that contributes to higher top-end speed.

    Here's the thing we always have to bear in mind: Distance runners want to be able to kick fast, but kicking is not in any straightforward way "sprinting". You only have to watch distance runners going all out at the end of a race and compare it to real sprinters doing their thing to see the difference. Along with the obvious differences in velocity there are marked differences in form and basic muscle recruitment. When distance runners kick it's obvious that they are fighting fatigue. They torque their upper body and their heel recovery is far less crisp, etc. This is probably mitigated a bit by strength work (but, even then, probably not as much as we might think-- just watch video of distance runners kicking in the era before the invention of "core strength"; they look pretty similar to today's kickers) but it is somewhat inevitable. Kicking in a distance race is a pretty desperate business, and there is always going to be some flailing. There is no speed work "hack" that is going to solve the basic problem of fatigue in distance running. The only thing that can solve the problem of fatigue is superior aerobic fitness. Because real sprint speeds are never attained in distance races (even in the 800, the top speeds are never greater than what a talented 14-15 year old sprinter could attain) endurance is speed in distance running. Show up for the final 400 less tired than your competitors and your kick will be sufficient to win. Sacrifice more than the minimal amount of your finite training time and energy working on sprinting and you will lack the endurance to run your fastest over the entire race distance. You will certainly out-kick some people with your new wheels, but the people you SHOULD be racing against will be 200m up the track when you're starting your big drive.

    But one proviso: In (mainly male) middle distance running today, with its sometimes ridiculous championship tactics, it is probably worth your while to do some work on rapid acceleration while mildly fatigued. It's a specific and trainable ability that will definitely come in handy.

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  • kinrunner User since:
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    KinRunner said 9 months ago

    Steve, I think the point was more so to move away from the paradigm that some endurance coaches only do slow running and some endurance coaches only do speed. I'm with you and Believe I said it, but you need to develop aerobically to be able to have a kick at the end of the race. You're right and thats the discussion that started the debate online,it doesn't matter what 200m speed you have if you haven't developed the ability to even be at the front to be able to use it.

    Thanks for listening Bob, one thing I think we need to move away from is clumping middle and long distance runners together. Yes their are some who specialize in one but can still be good at the other ie your women's XC team at U of T, I think everyone would agree they love their middle distance ( and the results back it up). They certainly, I would think have the fastest 800m times and likely 400m times of the field but I didn't see any of them lighting up the field in the last 400m and blowing everyone doors off in the run in ( save for Gollish up front). See, speed in a distance race is not the determining factor in success,, it just looks that way when people out kick others to win. But in order to get to the point of being able to outkick someone else you have to be fresher than them. I look at hills as a form of speed training as well, and i'm always baffled when people do hills in XC training.... you're devoting 1/7th of you week to something that may be 1-2% time of your race.... So as you can see with the hills and speed example, would you rather work on something that is 1-2% of the race ( the hill or finish kick) and maximize those and dedicate time, high CNS output, increase ground reaction forces, or work on something that will get you 98% of the way with, less CNS fatigue, decrease rate of injury , and have the likelihood of being the freshest person with 400m to go To me if you just extrapolate the argument of how much speed you need, and have to have to win a race, then by that definition shouldn't Bolt be in the discussion to win every race? He is the fastest human? Sounds a bit crazy right? Because obviously Bolt wouldn't be there because he has ( im guessing) no aerobic ability.

    Great discussion thus far, lets keep it rolling, it's an interesting topic, especially when mixing in with long sprint coaches like Bob!

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  • michaelrochus User since:
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    MichaelRochus said 9 months ago

    Quoting: Oldster
    "I put it to you guys that you have perhaps copped-out on the whole endurance vs. speed thing.

    On average (athlete-for-athlete), endurance is more important than speed in an endurance sport. And if, athlete-for-athlete, you tend to prescribe more easy training volume than the average coach, then you can justifiably be described as a "high volume" coach (recognizing that this is always relative). I, for one, proudly accept the label of "high volume" coach because I, on average, encourage athletes to run more volume than most other coaches (I would guess, and would be surprised to find out that I maybe do not). I did not set out to be a "high volume" coach, but I think I ended up becoming one in practice, because I found that doing more volume than average tended to create the most sustained improvement in runners at all levels. Of course this does not mean I ever have any particular number in mind, but it does mean that, on average, I'm always trying to find ways to get people to run more without getting hurt, and that I will typically take an additional unit of endurance work (easy volume) over an additional unit of work that contributes to higher top-end speed.

    Here's the thing we always have to bear in mind: Distance runners want to be able to kick fast, but kicking is not in any straightforward way "sprinting". You only have to watch distance runners going all out at the end of a race and compare it to real sprinters doing their thing to see the difference. Along with the obvious differences in velocity there are marked differences in form and basic muscle recruitment. When distance runners kick it's obvious that they are fighting fatigue. They torque their upper body and their heel recovery is far less crisp, etc. This is probably mitigated a bit by strength work (but, even then, probably not as much as we might think-- just watch video of distance runners kicking in the era before the invention of "core strength"; they look pretty similar to today's kickers) but it is somewhat inevitable. Kicking in a distance race is a pretty desperate business, and there is always going to be some flailing. There is no speed work "hack" that is going to solve the basic problem of fatigue in distance running. The only thing that can solve the problem of fatigue is superior aerobic fitness. Because real sprint speeds are never attained in distance races (even in the 800, the top speeds are never greater than what a talented 14-15 year old sprinter could attain) endurance is speed in distance running. Show up for the final 400 less tired than your competitors and your kick will be sufficient to win. Sacrifice more than the minimal amount of your finite training time and energy working on sprinting and you will lack the endurance to run your fastest over the entire race distance. You will certainly out-kick some people with your new wheels, but the people you SHOULD be racing against will be 200m up the track when you're starting your big drive.

    But one proviso: In (mainly male) middle distance running today, with its sometimes ridiculous championship tactics, it is probably worth your while to do some work on rapid acceleration while mildly fatigued. It's a specific and trainable ability that will definitely come in handy."


    Steve, if you haven't already, check out Dr. Gareth Sanford's work. In his study of the WC and OG 800s he states that medalists have been putting down splits from 100-200m in the race in the low 11s (which would've gotten you on the podium in the Ofsaa senior race last year). I 100% agree that aerobic fitness is still your biggest concern, but in the 800, at least on the world level, top speed is definitely a consideration. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316848137_Tactical_Behaviours_in_Men%27s_800m_Olympic_and_World_Championship_Medallists_A_Changing_of_the_Guard

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    Andrew Jones said 9 months ago

    "Additionally, it is noteworthy that less athletes appear to be ‘doubling up’ and performing both 800 and 1500m events, as unique pacing strategies, tactics and associated energetics may now be required to attain medal success in the 800."

    The quote above from the Sanford overview is interesting to me because it conveniently leaves out the point that the 400m/800m double uniquely done by Juantorena is never attempted anymore at really any level (and likely never will). One would, judging by the implications made by Sanford, logically conclude that the "more speed necessary" findings for (winning) championship 800m running would include a mention of this doubling as a boon to success.

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  • john User since:
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    john said 9 months ago

    Quoting: KinRunner
    "you're devoting 1/7th of you week to something that may be 1-2% time of your race.... So as you can see with the hills and speed example, would you rather work on something that is 1-2% of the race ( the hill or finish kick) and maximize those and dedicate time, high CNS output, increase ground reaction forces, or work on something that will get you 98% of the way with, less CNS fatigue, decrease rate of injury , and have the likelihood of being the freshest person with 400m to go To me if you just extrapolate the argument of how much speed you need, and have to have to win a race, then by that definition shouldn't Bolt be in the discussion to win every race? He is the fastest human? Sounds a bit crazy right? Because obviously Bolt wouldn't be there because he has ( im guessing) no aerobic ability.

    Great discussion thus far, lets keep it rolling, it's an interesting topic, especially when mixing in with long sprint coaches like Bob!"


    Well...it's not actually 1/7th of your week if you decide to do hill sprints during a workout. It's probably closer to the 1-2% than the 14% 1/7 represents. And there are other benefits to it than just a specific ability to run fast up the hill. So yeah, for sure I would be running uphills during xc season. Doing that in no way takes away from the aerobic work.

    You're falling into the same trap we tried to get out of: no one is doing ONLY easy running, just like no one is saying do NO aerobic running.

    As to Steve's comments, I agree, too, the more aerobic work you can do, the better ("run more...mostly easy...") but doing faster work does not preclude this.

    Someone above asked why not 10x200. Not to say running 200s at 1500m pace doesn't figure in. It certainly does! But what I mean specifically by speed work would be accelerations up to 60m, short hill sprints, anything 15sec and under. 15sec is actually too long, but depending on how it is built in can be ok for the distance runner. As Steve mentioned, the real specific application here isn't so much sprinting as it is the ability to change gears quickly (ie accelerate). The pace itself is not related to sprinting really. And these are paces most distance runners are not usually used to running.

    I was going to mention this on the pod but I didn't want to get bogged down in numbers. Everyone loves to talk about Mo Farah's finishing speed. So he's a 26:45 guy. So he runs 64sec/lap on average for 10k. He can close in 55 which is about 86% of his average pace time. So that would be like a 30min guy closing in 62. Weiler can check my math, but that doesn't seem that crazy. Both are about equivalent to the runner's 1500m equivalent (depending on what calculator you use).

    So you are probably training that pace (finishing kick 10000m pace=1500m race pace) anyway. The trick is a) being able to do it when you are tired and b) being able to change pace quickly to get to that pace. In my view, the acceleration work trains the brain to be able to send that "go faster!" message more quickly and efficiently to the muscles. The actual speed is already baked in to the training, as you WOULD do 10x200m at 1500m pace or something like that now and then, as it is important to hit lots of paces.

    That's my take on it anyway. Feel free to correct or add to this. What are the 1500m bests and final 150m splits of the best mid-d runners? That's a bit different and there I'd argue the ability to a) change pace and b) sprint are amplified.

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  • john User since:
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    john said 9 months ago

    Quoting: MichaelRochus
    "Steve, if you haven't already, check out Dr. Gareth Sanford's work. In his study of the WC and OG 800s he states that medalists have been putting down splits from 100-200m in the race in the low 11s (which would've gotten you on the podium in the Ofsaa senior race last year). I 100% agree that aerobic fitness is still your biggest concern, but in the 800, at least on the world level, top speed is definitely a consideration. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316848137_Tactical_Behaviours_in_Men%27s_800m_Olympic_and_World_Championship_Medallists_A_Changing_of_the_Guard"


    So as I was typing you posted this, kind of answering my final question. Did he look at 1500m too?

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  • steveweiler User since:
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    SteveWeiler said 9 months ago

    Quoting: Oldster
    "...And if, athlete-for-athlete, you tend to prescribe more easy training volume than the average coach, then you can justifiably be described as a "high volume" coach (recognizing that this is always relative). I, for one, proudly accept the label of "high volume" coach because I, on average, encourage athletes to run more volume than most other coaches (I would guess, and would be surprised to find out that I maybe do not). I did not set out to be a "high volume" coach, but I think I ended up becoming one in practice, because I found that doing more volume than average tended to create the most sustained improvement in runners at all levels..."


    Brief thought:
    we do a disservice to successful high volume coaches if we lump together
    1) high volume coaches/programs that aggressively increase training volume* and have high injury rates
    2) coaches/programs whose athletes stay relatively healthy and evolve into high volume runners through gradual increases over many years

    Coaches that truly fall into the second category will actually be low to medium volume coaches for some (ex more injury prone) athletes for some, perhaps all, of their careers.

    Good to see some discussion.

    *both easy and quality

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  • michaelrochus User since:
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    MichaelRochus said 9 months ago

    Quoting: john
    "So as I was typing you posted this, kind of answering my final question. Did he look at 1500m too?"


    I can’t remember the details (I saw him give a talk in June...maybe July???). It was my impression he was more focused on the 8 (the 11s split stuck with me, as it seems mind blowing) but I’d be interested to hear similar stats for the 15.

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    Anonymous said 9 months ago

    As a sprinter I was kind of curious why there is such a emphasis on intervals for speed development of distance runners. Even for sprinters there is a point of dimishing returns on the 200-400m reps where the energy expenditure and recovery time from the session starts to outweigh the gains. I would think you could get all the speed and strength gains needed from 4-6 full 30m accels with full recovery and 6-12 total heavy reps in your choice compound lift once a week. You could probably program that into a distance runners week without them even realizing they are doing it. I would think you could devote much more time to aerobic development if you aren't doing sessions that drain an athletes physical resources the most.

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    Bomber said 9 months ago

    A well rounded training program with many variables and the right degree of specificity (related to both event, time of year and the individual) will create optimal results. Know your science...know your sport history (both in and out of this sport) and the rest pretty much takes care of itself...

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    Bomber said 9 months ago

    FYI Gareth looked only at 800m runners..... his results were not radical and really confirmed what many of us (and him as well) already knew empiricially/theorized

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    Anonymous said 9 months ago

    Quoting: Bomber
    "A well rounded training program with many variables and the right degree of specificity (related to both event, time of year and the individual) will create optimal results. Know your science...know your sport history (both in and out of this sport) and the rest pretty much takes care of itself..."


    Good training is good.

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  • oldster User since:
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    Oldster said 9 months ago

    Quoting: MichaelRochus
    "Steve, if you haven't already, check out Dr. Gareth Sanford's work. In his study of the WC and OG 800s he states that medalists have been putting down splits from 100-200m in the race in the low 11s (which would've gotten you on the podium in the Ofsaa senior race last year). I 100% agree that aerobic fitness is still your biggest concern, but in the 800, at least on the world level, top speed is definitely a consideration. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316848137_Tactical_Behaviours_in_Men%27s_800m_Olympic_and_World_Championship_Medallists_A_Changing_of_the_Guard"


    Interesting, Michael. But I would challenge your OFSAA-centricity and reply that the top 14-15 year old boys in the U.S. can run low 11s (and the girls low or sub-12s)*. For fully grown elite adult men and women, these speeds are not that fast (I'd bet that 80-90% of all pro team sports athletes can achieve them). What makes the top 800 runners the specimens that they are is not their top end speed. As Andrew J. says, blazing top end speed has not been a deciding factor over 800 since Juantorena. The 800 is almost never run "tactically", so the person with best 800m ability on the day almost always wins. And actually, as AHutch has pointed out on occasion, it is amazing how often the people with the fastest personal bests tend to end up at or near the front in most distance races, even the ridiculously slow sick-and-kick affairs, suggesting that ability over the entire distance still tends to trump pure sprint speed (unless we think that the guys with the best P.Bs also always happen to be the guys with the best top-end speed-- possible, but highly unlikely).

    *Age 13-14 records, both set in the past 5 years, are 10:73 and 11.59.

    This post was edited by Oldster 9 months ago . 
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    grlpwr said 9 months ago

    midget girls 400/800 gold at ofsaa in 2017 and we all know this will happen again in the MG 4/8 in 2018.
    possibly JG as well.

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    Really Am Skuj said 9 months ago

    Why Endurance vs Speed? Why must they fight each other instead of living together in perfect harmony? Why are we visualizing one at the expense of the other?

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    B-West said 9 months ago

    Just a quick note, because I haven't had a opportunity to read through everyone's posts thoroughly about my thoughts on speed in general, and speed for endurance athletes. Speed is a result of training coordinated patterns of body movements, volume reinforces what you train. So it's not just a matter of doing speed work, it's about hitting body position consistently, whether under fatigue or not. Bad technique, reinforced with volume won't make anyone faster. Applying that concept to an endurance program, it's as important to an endurance athlete as it is to is a sprinter. Fatigue will hit, and there is no amount of speed or technique that can prevent that, so hit your KPI's in the ratio that are relevant for your race distances. But it's clear to me watching the end of 1500's and 5K's, that the athlete that hit's good positions will always out kick the one that's failing and has lost control. And being able to hit those positions, is a skill that's a trainable. Watch the end of 400, those that can keep their pelvis under control, have a far greater ability to fight off the loss of velocity then those who don't. And just watch Mo Farah wrap up a 5K, and you'll see his mechanics and control is better then most 400 runners.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XCmEqSGpjY

    My feeling on this is, regardless of intensity used, is speed is a skill that can and should be taught. First teach the skill, then reinforce the skill at higher velocities and volumes, then teach it under fatigue.

    Sorry if I've jumped over or around something someone else has posted, these boards fill up faster then I can keep up!

    Bob

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    Andrew Jones said 9 months ago

    Quoting: Really Am Skuj
    "Why Endurance vs Speed? Why must they fight each other instead of living together in perfect harmony? Why are we visualizing one at the expense of the other?"


    Agreed, this is not a "vs." proposition, but and "and" concept.

    Some athletic futurists in the '70s and '80s predicted that the super-runners of the future would likely be sprinter-like in their form and perhaps makeup. When Geb and Kenny appeared on the scene, this vision appeared to be more real. Dieter Baumann marvelled at their "gymnastic" running, what with their bouncy strides and high back-kick.

    But when you look at (at least on the male side) the E. African record (and depth) at 800m, and the E. African #2 all-time (and depth) at the 1500m, one would reason that is it genetics, environment/tradition, and psychology/motivation that are contributing factors...but contributing factors not to speed per se, but the ability to forestall the factors that negate speed. For lack of better terms, this is "endurance" or "speed endurance" (this term really underlines what Darren was saying).

    For me, when the West African nations (historically sprint-strong) start to produce leading 800m runners, then in my mind the (theoretical and practical) balance in mid-d will shift somewhat towards speed.

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    Bomber said 9 months ago

    No Bob you aren't jumping around. In fact I'd say your perspective in highlighting technical aspects to a bunch of cognitive dissonance oriented dist nitwits ;-) is very helpful for the larger debate/discussion

    My only take on anything you've said would be the slight difference between the speed vs volume oriented disciplines and that is:

    "Bad technique, reinforced with volume won't make anyone faster. Applying that concept to an endurance program, it's as important to an endurance athlete as it is to is a sprinter."

    Although I do agree this is the best way to deal with fatigue problems, one can overcome bad technique with pure old fashioned hard work (volumes). It's not that i entirely disagree with you, but there is a bit more 'grey' in the mid-dist arena (where as say you're comment is 100% in the pure speed category it it more like 80-20 in the mid dist category and 70-30 in the longer distance)s.

    And in some areas even something slow like a good solid long run can help deal with fatigue in a muscular sense (form breakdown). A good example is my first rule to deal with technique is simple and natural. Many different types of training using hills (short/CNS, lactic, endurance, etc.....) and let the form get worked less consciously. After that I begin to make conscious alterations, but for me it's more hip placement and firing of the glute med/min that dominants my thinking (from where I've always sat hip placement fixes almost everything naturally from foot, injuries, efficiency, etc....


    Quoting: B-West
    "Just a quick note, because I haven't had a opportunity to read through everyone's posts thoroughly about my thoughts on speed in general, and speed for endurance athletes. Speed is a result of training coordinated patterns of body movements, volume reinforces what you train. So it's not just a matter of doing speed work, it's about hitting body position consistently, whether under fatigue or not. Bad technique, reinforced with volume won't make anyone faster. Applying that concept to an endurance program, it's as important to an endurance athlete as it is to is a sprinter. Fatigue will hit, and there is no amount of speed or technique that can prevent that, so hit your KPI's in the ratio that are relevant for your race distances. But it's clear to me watching the end of 1500's and 5K's, that the athlete that hit's good positions will always out kick the one that's failing and has lost control. And being able to hit those positions, is a skill that's a trainable. Watch the end of 400, those that can keep their pelvis under control, have a far greater ability to fight off the loss of velocity then those who don't. And just watch Mo Farah wrap up a 5K, and you'll see his mechanics and control is better then most 400 runners.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XCmEqSGpjY

    My feeling on this is, regardless of intensity used, is speed is a skill that can and should be taught. First teach the skill, then reinforce the skill at higher velocities and volumes, then teach it under fatigue.

    Sorry if I've jumped over or around something someone else has posted, these boards fill up faster then I can keep up!

    Bob"

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    Bomber said 9 months ago

    Good training is simple...... (but you have to know the cognitive consistencies of the science and patterns of past successes/failures)

    Time to re-visit:

    Malmo's Manifesto

    "Ever hear me tell anyone how much to run? NOPE. Ever hear me tell anyone about my 12-step contrived training schedules? NOPE. What do I tell you guys? It goes like this, baby:


    1) Run twice a day, as many days as you can. Hopefully five, six or seven days a week.
    2) Run more. How much? I dunno. You figure it out, but find out for yourself.
    3) Run it faster.
    4) Love running and LOVE racing.
    5) Stay focused.
    6) Set goals and don't be afraid to fail.
    7) Listen to your body and don't be afraid to rest.
    8) Compete WITH your comrades in sweat - never AGAINST them.
    9) Smile a lot.

    "There you have it - Malmo's Manifesto. I told you it would be less than four pages."



    Quoting: Anonymous
    "Good training is good."

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    FITZ said 9 months ago

    Great discussion following the title audio!
    I am a child of the running boom of the 70's and volume was the norm. I too did 80-100 mile weeks in high-school. I do not need to coach that way today. I coach mostly Youth and Juniors so layering on volume is done with the thought of leaving room for more down the road. My concept of volume in training is a variety of activities in a said workout. Tonight's session has (i)easy running (ii)mobility and drills (iii) 6x20m or fast turnover (iv) stair-hops (v) 2000m of interval work (vi) strength endurance drill 9-12 x 30m. Saturday we were on the country roads of Waterloo County for threshold runs of 6-10km depending on age.
    So back to the conversation...SPEED vs VOLUME
    It is winter and we do lots of activities preparing to run faster race specific work in the spring/summer. I see speed as the SKILL of our sporting event. As such all our skill work is done at the start of the workout in a non-fatigued environment. I do not possess a crystal ball and have no idea where the athletes I coach highest level of achievement will be but without the required speed skills they have no chance of achieving at the highest level. Getting to a point in a race prior to the finishing kick to me is more a question of economy. I had a 3k guy a few years ago drop his 3k pb by 30 sec from Mar 9 to Apr 20...certainly was not due to his big jump in volume but the intense focus on skill during our March Break training Camp.
    Jaimie's ability to drop a 14 sec 100m down the back stretch of a 1500m ncaa final going from last to 1st while her peers were running 15-16 sec was a function of years of similar speed change and preparation including running 4x100m, 4x400m ofsaa golds the year she set the interscholastic record.
    We as coaches are always challenged to add more elements to the athletes training over time to equip them with the tools required to enjoy long-term success in the sport. More is not always better. However more variety...more recovery...more patience is my ongoing challenge
    I look forward to further discussion on such an important issue

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  • powerboy User since:
    Dec 11th, 2014
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    powerboy said 9 months ago

    Good comments all. I am of the extended-speed school of thought. And of course, endurance is still the backbone of every event above 800m. So you build base ( and that can be a lifetime goal) and then you take the speed you have, and train to extend it. So if you are a high school boy aiming at 4:00 for 1500, you don't break 4 by focussing on 27 sec 200s, or 5k tempo runs ( although there is place for both in a program) You focus on getting more and more used to holding 64 pace at 400-1000m range.
    I do agree with Bob W that one can work on the technical components of speed, but the improvements are less dramatic than in an athlete who has gone from average fitness to superior fitness.

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    john said 9 months ago

    Quoting: Really Am Skuj
    "Why Endurance vs Speed? Why must they fight each other instead of living together in perfect harmony? Why are we visualizing one at the expense of the other?"



    The title was deliberately provocative.

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    john said 9 months ago

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "As a sprinter I was kind of curious why there is such a emphasis on intervals for speed development of distance runners. Even for sprinters there is a point of dimishing returns on the 200-400m reps where the energy expenditure and recovery time from the session starts to outweigh the gains. I would think you could get all the speed and strength gains needed from 4-6 full 30m accels with full recovery and 6-12 total heavy reps in your choice compound lift once a week. You could probably program that into a distance runners week without them even realizing they are doing it. I would think you could devote much more time to aerobic development if you aren't doing sessions that drain an athletes physical resources the most."


    Yeah this is my thinking on it as well. It's not like doing this kind of thing takes away from the endurance training. It's part of the mix. We were discussing it because it was suggested by Brant on twitter that endurance is the primary and speed secondary, and there was some push back on that.

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    john said 9 months ago

    Quoting: Bomber
    ""


    Thanks Mark, your reply to Bob was similar to what I was going to say.

    In general (in books, on blogs, in training videos) what gets emphasised are the workouts, because they are the most fun and the most hard. But the majority of distance running (and middle-distance running) training is time on your feet work. If you can put that time in you are most of the way there. So it's good to get into these details as long as you've got the basics down.

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    john said 9 months ago

    Quoting: Bomber
    ""


    Love Malmo but mine is shorter. ;)

    "Run more, mostly easy, rest up."

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    john said 9 months ago

    Quoting: FITZ
    "Great discussion following the title audio!
    We as coaches are always challenged to add more elements to the athletes training over time to equip them with the tools required to enjoy long-term success in the sport. More is not always better. However more variety...more recovery...more patience is my ongoing challenge
    I look forward to further discussion on such an important issue"


    Thanks for listening Fitz. I think you raise a good point here about adding elements. I think more is better, but you have to be in the right place to add them. High school is a good time to add a lot of the skill things because the volume is lower, relatively, and they are in a place to be still learning. If they don't get that skill stuff, it's harder to add in a university runner or adult runner, even if their engine is massive.

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    john said 9 months ago

    Quoting: powerboy
    "I do agree with Bob W that one can work on the technical components of speed, but the improvements are less dramatic than in an athlete who has gone from average fitness to superior fitness."


    I like this way of putting it! Fitness trumps most.

    Thanks for contributing to this discussion. It is really cool that so many good people listened to our pod (I assume you did!) and thought enough of it to continue the discussion.

    I'm off for Christmas now so I probably won't check in much, but I just wanted to reply to the folks who had commented and say thanks! The discussion continues! :)

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    Bomber said 9 months ago

    Here's what many don't realize...... lydiard practiced 'polarized' training years before the Ex Phys gurus got hold of it as term. I've said this before on here, but there was a huge emphasis on 'speed' and larger volumes before they went into their hill phases (along with what we'd term harder aerobic/tempo style training).

    There was even a 'speed' hill phases for some before the more legendary longer bounding hill sessions began.

    And until you've run the 'Waitaks' (which is essentially a 20mile natural fartlek run up and down a mountain side) then it's difficult to understand what they did (and why they were so good) .

    Now the rest of Lydiard's training can be pretty archaic and has definitely been fine tuned over time to event specificity, but honestly the basic principles haven't changed that dramatically (for most). Like I said know your sport history..... when u do you can see the variations of stimulus and the consistencies in training methods that have achieved the greatest and highest percentage of successes.

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    Really Am Skuj said 9 months ago

    I think Multipace Training is key. There is a vast spectrum between easy running and "sprinting". Visiting all of those paces at the right times and durations is key, imho.

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    Anonymous said 9 months ago

    Quoting: john
    "Love Malmo but mine is shorter. ;)

    "Run more, mostly easy, rest up.""


    My advice might be closer to "mostly tempo".

    I must add that "run more" is not always the answer. "Run better." :)

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    teejay said 8 months ago

    Also didn't have the chance to read through these posts thoroughly, but enough to get a gist, so I apologize if I also repeat anything. I come from the speed/power end of things and every now and then work with the distance runners on running form. Working with youth athletes, I emphasize to them the importance of being efficient and at the end of a race, they are in fact sprinting and if they are able to do so more efficiently than their competition, then they have the advantage. We go simple technique as moving arms efficiently (avoiding body line crossing), slight forward lean, dorsi-flexion and striking under their hips being able to produce more force etc.. All small fixes that will help with efficiency.

    Running economy is an area that I notice is lacking with young distance runners. It doesn't need to be extremely complicated, but teaching proper running form and emphasizing on teaching proper drills, goes a long way with young athletes. Emphasizing on the proper bio-mechanics will not only help with efficiency and speed, but will in long help with injury prevention. Chronic injuries that are often found in distance runners can often times be due to improper running mechanics, overusing and neglecting certain areas. Also, if the athlete is able to be more efficient bio-mechanically for 6km (not wasting energy by producing force properly), more energy at the end of the race, thus hopefully able to go faster at the end, similar to what Steve had mentioned (being more aerobically fit). Energy can definitely be wasted by inefficiency.

    To hop in on some of the other posts, I encourage distance runners to incorporate some speed work, "sprint training", technique, however you want to spin it. As mentioned above, I agree that hills are great, I call them speed work in disguise (getting that lean, encourage better form, get them off their heels). As I mentioned above, working on mechanical drills can go a long way and you don't have to worry about losing the mileage that many seem to be worrying about. They can be incorporated into warm ups, post-workouts etc. As anything becoming autonomous, it is the repetitions over time that will make the concrete difference. So if mechanical drills are done 3x per week for 52 weeks for 5-10mins... you do the math. I would definitely say that distance running requires the mileage, as well as the efficiency/speed.

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    Anonymous said 8 months ago

    Quoting: Troll Takahashi
    "I think training to become faster and more efficient and holding good form over intervals from 600 - 1600m is far more beneficial for a distance athlete to become faster, as well as building the aerobic base, then sprinting at a young age. Most young athletes are already playing other sports where they are often concentrating on explosive movements, quick stop and go, turning, balance and coordination, etc. Fine tuning your sprints can become much easier as you get older and start to focus on your training more. But as a young athlete Grades 6-8 I have always believed it is highly important to build the engine by focusing mostly on longer distance intervals of 600 to the mile.

    Here's an example I'd like someone with experience to review.
    My fastest intervals I could run :11 high's for 100's, :24-:25s 200's no problem as a 17 year old, :39second 300's and :56sec for 400's, all while being a multisport athlete. I loved hills and still do to this day. I believe when in good shape I excelled at them and could recover quite quickly. I was much better suited to XC courses as I was the distance track events. Personally I didn't really like track because I never really ran anything that I considered respectable for my age.
    I could run a 10k or 20k no problem as well, day in and day out, and even these days with barely any consistency in training I can get out there any day of the week and run 10k quite easily. Maybe I couldn't run those disciplines that fast, but I'd like to say that by the time I stopped running competitively I had ran 16:03 for 3miles on the grass and dirt, and was probably around :33min 10k shape on a flat road.
    Where I had trouble was from 800m - 5000m, and I'm still to this day trying to figure out why? Why was I gassed after 300m of an 800m? Why was I getting tired after holding a 2:36-2:40 through the 1000m mark of a 1500m, where I wasn't able to hold another 1:18 -1:20 in the final 500m? Someone want to explain what I was doing incorrectly, or was it simply a matter of wanting to go faster at the wrong time in my development? Was it simply a matter of running mileage too fast (3:45-4:00 per km), that I was burnt out come races and didn't even notice? I was in 4:15-4:25 shape for 1500m when I stopped running competitively for a club 11 years ago, which isn't very good, but in reality I wanted to be like the kids running 3:50-3:58. The same thing would happen in a 3000m. Good for the first 1000m (2:55) of the race, then I'd start to fall apart and run through 2k in (6:25) (3:30) and then I'd get a bit faster that final km running (3:20) because I could finish fast, but the race was already over when I decided with 300m left to start moving faster.

    So was it that my physiology at that given time wasn't made to run faster times, was it that having asthma as a child leading into my teens limited my bodies ability to utilize oxygen as well as some of the better athletes, or was it that I simply sucked because I wasn't doing the right work, at the right time? Because I believe I had the psychology to be an athlete that could have ran 8:45 or 3:55 but I just simply could never pull it together because my body wasn't strong enough and was just not capable of handling it. Why was it so difficult to hold 2:55 per km for 3km, or why was it so difficult to hold a 1:18-1:20 for 3 500's in a row in a 1500m? I can't say I didn't have the speed because I definitley did, and anyone who knows me, knows I could run quite fast in the opening or closing of a race, and anyone who knows me, knows I could run for like 90minutes back then without getting tired, so where was I going wrong? Or was it that genetics plays a big part in this sport, and without the right biomechanics and body composition, it's just impossible to be that good?"


    You need to work all the systems. Easy running (with a good long run), steady state runs, tempo runs, VO2 max intervals (800s-1600s often around 5k pace), repetition intervals once the athlete is ready for them (200s-500s often around 1500 pace), and maybe a few short 7-8s sprints here and there (to maintain the Creatine Phosphate system that you mentioned athletes often work growing up by playing team sports).

    What you need is an experienced coach who knows how to draw a program with the correct balance of all these running systems - based on the point in the season, the distance the athlete is training for, the physical age of the athlete, and the individual nature of an athlete (how much volume/intensity they can take while still responding and not getting injured/burnt out, etc.).

    If you don't know all this, I'd recommend getting some coaching training from an experienced coach before taking on a bunch of distance runners yourself.

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