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  • Questions for you coaches out there....

    I have a few SERIOUS questions. I am hoping that it does not turn out to be a discussion about whose mom has a bigger butt or something unrelated.

    Background: I am a member of an elite running crew. I have been to the Oly Trials and several US Champs. I joined a running team that provides me with a coach. The program itself is awesome but the coach is......well I'll let you judge.

    My questions are as follows.
    1. Can you effectively train an elite runner without a clue as to their target heart rate, their LT, VO2 max?? Can you just go by feel?

    2. Can you train ALL distance runners on the same schedule?? Example. Can a half miler train on the same schedule as a marathoner? Could they have hard workouts on the same days and all of that. And can they be asked to do group runs together (800-Marathon)and still be effective?

    Thanks, I am just mulling over ideas and would like some feedback.

  • #2
    Re: Questions for you coaches out there....

    I would have to say that the differences phyiologically between the two atheltes would be so different that there bodies would be effected so much differently there is no way they could be on the same training schedule. 800 meter runner volume and marathon volume dramaticaly different.

    As for VO2 max, LT etc., I think you could do it on feel, but you (as the coach) had better know that athlete pretty well to know how they recover, and how that athletes body reacts to certain types of training loads.

    It would be hard for me to believe that an 800m and a marathoner have anything in common from a training standpoint.

    Just my thought.....CoachK

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    • #3
      Re: Questions for you coaches out there....

      >Can you effectively train an elite runner without
      >a clue as to their target heart rate, their LT,
      >VO2 max?? Can you just go by feel?>>

      I'm no coach, but allow me to suggest that there are no words in Swahili or Amharic for "target heart rate, LT, VO2 max." Looking for technical answers to basic physiological parameters is a particularly American affliction.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Questions for you coaches out there....

        "Looking for technical answers to basic physiological parameters is a particularly American affliction."

        Ignore the technical aspects at your own risk. There are a necessary input to a total program. America's problem is an overreliance on the technical aspects and not enough emphasis on the down and dirty work. We always seem to be looking for the easy answer instead of the obvious one.

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        • #5
          Re: Questions for you coaches out there....

          I agree with Coach K. - Programs must be individualized but the technical physiological aspects aren't neccessarily required.

          Athletes must learn to be in tune with their own bodies and a coach must listen very closely to the athlete's concerns regarding a particular program. On the flip side, for an athlete to be successful they MUST have confidence in their coach and the program.

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          • #6
            Re: Questions for you coaches out there....

            >1.
            >Can you effectively train an elite runner without
            >a clue as to their target heart rate, their LT,
            >VO2 max?? Can you just go by feel?

            Yes, I believe this can be done and it was done for years. That said, the science has a place in training and is a good tool, but too many US athletes place their test results on a pedestal and have no idea what their body is telling them w/o a printout from some machine. That is why they lose.

            2. Can you
            >train ALL distance runners on the same schedule??
            >Example. Can a half miler train on the same
            >schedule as a marathoner? Could they have hard
            >workouts on the same days and all of that. And
            >can they be asked to do group runs together
            >(800-Marathon)and still be effective?

            Absolutely not! You can have the same basic plan and train people together in groups, but if you don't individualize the programs for each athlete you will not see the results that you should. Having some of the info from Q#1 helps to do this, but without my respone to that Q, you'll be lost.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Questions for you coaches out there....

              Your coach may be a moron. I dont know. If 800m runners get trained on the same schedule that's not a good sign. Hell, your
              club could be in some sort of cosmic vortex where the same workouts DO work for every runner, but that's pretty unlikely.


              LT, VO2max, "running econonomy" etc, are now rather outdated ideas in physiology, left overs from an era that placed O2 delivery as the be all and end all of performance. Of course this stuff is the cornerstone of USATF coachies education... In reality VO2max is a miserable predictor of your running performance, and LT has so many definitions in physiology it becomes more or less a meaningless variable more relevant to ultra running. Maximal lactate steady state or fixed lactate values (ex 4mmol)? The idea of steady state ANYTHING is just another misnomer. There isnt anything steady about running to exhaustion. Most of Daniel's stuff is a solid 20 years behind. Heart monitor based training is likewise passe. Even Roy Benson is getting away from that and he's made a mint selling crappy Heart Rate info that isnt worth the paper it is written on--the very best way to make sure you never catch the Kenyans is to wear a heart monitor. truth is higher performance heart rates and peak lactate values correlate with faster races, not slower.

              RPE can be very useful. Of course I doubt your coach knows anything specific about RPE either but you should know there is something to it for sure, and maybe it will work for you. The best way to assess your coach and your training program is to look at your progress.
              If you have anymore questions with this, let me know.

              drew
              [email protected]

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Questions for you coaches out there....

                In the old days maybe the training would have been similar becasue the runners trained for more range. This is the age of specialization - the competition is too tough. The 800 is considered two 400m sprints; the marathon's times are coming down admirably but the marathon is still a long way from a sprint.

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