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  • #31
    Re: Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

    >You're right. Training more leads to more
    >injuries.

    Don't train.

    Now whose putting words in whose mouth? I detect some sarcasm. I have agreed with you that base it absolutely necessary but the amount and type of base is in question. Would you suggest a miler run 150-160m/wk? It did work for Lingren. Maybe that's the answer.

    Don't put words in
    >my mouth. Aerobic endurance is not the same as
    >"strength."

    Before you get on the track, you
    >need to have the overall body strength in order
    >to deal with the rigors of the track. In years
    >past, runners used to go through a Lydiard plan,
    >with a high mileage build-up followed by weeks of
    >hill training. The hills strengthened the legs in
    >order to withstand the track. We've gotten away
    >from that, unfortunately. Cross strengthens a
    >runner in a similar way.

    A faster way to get "strength" in the legs is to do some heavy squats. Not recommended. Hill running will work on muscular endurance in the legs and aerobic endurance. However, I know what you are saying. And, I agree there is a value in hill training, other plyo training, circuit training and base training. Cross country, if done wisely, can also be a benefit. Unfortunately, it is not frequently done wisely. A short course would help middle distance runners to train for and run cross wisely and within the scope of their track training program.

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    • #32
      Re: Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

      In h.s. Lydiard was my bible. He had plenty of good points and many of his concepts are still very applicable. But a "one size fits all" program doesn't work. Following a recipe doesn't work.

      There are also many methods that are of tremendous value that Lydiard didn't have access to. Plyometrics and circuit training can be extremely benficial to a middle distance runner. And, I believe, should be incorporated into most middle distance runners programs.

      These training practices should not be "in addition to" what Lydiard recommended as this would be too much. However, these methods can be successfully merged with Lydiards plans to create a modern version of his program. Mileage would be less but time spent training may actually be increased. Repetitive motion injuries would be reduced as a result of lower mileage.

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      • #33
        Re: Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

        As Filbert Bayi said in "The Supermilers", "Hills are my weight training." Hills ARE plyometric training.

        Michael Stember decided to do what you suggested. This past winter he decided he needed to do more weights, plyos, drills, etc., and dropped his mileage. He ran like crap. At least when he was at Stanford he ran a little bit of cross.

        This past fall he got beat in the one cross race he did (6K) by runners who are WAY slower than he is. He would've done a lot better in track had he run more mileage in the fall and raced 4-5 cross races.

        What American 8/15 types have benefitted from running less and doing more plyo/circuit training in the off-season?

        If you answer Krummenacker, I'd argue that he ran "poorly" this season because he lost all his strength that he'd built up over the years.

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        • #34
          Re: Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

          I think another point that many are missing or not bringing up is identifying just who would actually be running the 4k. Yes, you would bring more 8/15 kids into the fold, but keep in mind it is still 4k. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's a lot closer, training-wise, to 5k and 10k than it is to the 8/15. It might mesh well with some 800 base training, but the top runners at 4k would still be the best 3k/5k runners. In order to get them prepared for this, you would potentially be doing far more anaerobic work than you would for 10k, increasing the amount of non-base mileage those guys would be putting in. A very conservative coach preparing his team for 10k while also looking ahead to track can get by without straying too far from sheer base, strength, and threshold work and have a successful xc season. With the shorter distance, you would be giving up quite a bit to the teams willing to sacrifice elements of track if you didn't increase the "quality" work.

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          • #35
            Re: Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

            Kevin-

            That is a very good point. You're right 5/10 guys would likely still dominate the 4k however a team only has and needs so many 5/10k guys. So you would likely end up having middle distance guys training hard to compete at 4k. While a m.d. guy could do pretty well on base training for m.d. in a 4k, he would likely end up being trained like a 5k guy.

            A selfish coach could and would still train his middle distance guys to run the 4k instead of training with track in mind. Having more positions to fill he would now be more pressured to have his middle distance guys run and train for cc where as currently they may be sitting on the sidelines (if they're smart).

            Were as the 4k could work for middle distance runners it probably still wouldn't.

            I'm rethinking my position. The system is still broken but the short course may make the problem worse.

            Thanks.

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

              We'll just have to agree to disagree, but one thing I won't budge on is that, even IF 10k cross training is bad for 8/15 runners, adding a short course race to the NCAA meet is a bad idea.

              Heaven knows there's plenty wrong with the NCAA track & field meets (you just have to read GH's column to know what we here at T&FN think), but personally, I think the NCAA Cross Champs is a success.

              Is the qualifying system hurting collegiate cross? Yes.

              Could they change things, such as mandating a shorter loop and adding a big video screen, to improve the spectator-friendly nature of the event? Absolutely.

              But when you have an event that draws thousands of rabid fans who're willing to run around the course, often in freezing cold, just to view a race a half dozen times, you've got something good going. I believe adding a short course race would detract, not add from that.

              Comment


              • #37
                Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

                I don't think you need a 4K NCAA short course championship race, but I do think it would be a great motivator for 800/1500 types, who don't excel at 10K, to have more regular season races available at the shorter distance. I remember when I was a freshman in college, and we had our first X Country meet. There was a 10K and a 4K (approx) race available. I was a 800m runner who was not ready for 10K's, so the shorter distance was perfect. I wish there had been more of those shorter races, because I knew I could be competative. You don't necessarily need to do all of the base work required for the 10K, but you could sure benefit from solid the distance training. Throwing a 800/1500 runner into a 10K just because there are no other options is not beneficial to the athlete or the team. You can always do the training without racing, but having some solid competitions is equally important. Set up more 4K types of races and everyone will benefit.

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                • #38
                  Re: Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

                  >As Filbert Bayi said in "The Supermilers",
                  >"Hills are my weight training." Hills ARE
                  >plyometric training.

                  Yes, hills are plyos (I stated that in my previous message). However, Bayi was wrong, hills are not for strength. But this is physilogy terminology not worth discussing. We agree hills and OTHER plyos are important.

                  Michael Stember decided
                  >to do what you suggested. This past winter he
                  >decided he needed to do more weights, plyos,
                  >drills, etc., and dropped his mileage. He ran
                  >like crap. At least when he was at Stanford he
                  >ran a little bit of cross.

                  This past fall he
                  >got beat in the one cross race he did (6K) by
                  >runners who are WAY slower than he is. He
                  >would've done a lot better in track had he run
                  >more mileage in the fall and raced 4-5 cross
                  >races.

                  I don't know what happened to Stember. He never was much for cross. But, as crappy as he may have run at least he was able to run. No injury that I'm aware of. I don't know the specifics of his training so its hard for me to respond. I could also bring up many others who put in many miles and ran like crap so one athlete having an off season doesn't make the case one way or the other.

                  What American 8/15 types have
                  >benefitted from running less and doing more
                  >plyo/circuit training in the off-season?

                  If
                  >you answer Krummenacker, I'd argue that he ran
                  >"poorly" this season because he lost all his
                  >strength that he'd built up over the years.

                  Well Krum was the only m.d. guy who was worth anything this year. He didn't lose any strength or endurance. The years of training he has put in are still there. His problem may have still been trying to do too much. He was obviously very good indoors and tried to race frequently during the summer. He had some decent races early but he was worn out by the WC's. He most likely should have skipped indoors and not raced quite as much in Europe pre w.c.s.

                  Krum is doing the right things. He just needs to get the timing of his season a bit more on. And in my opinion, move to the 15.

                  We can back seat quarterback runners all day but I'd like to look beyond specific athletes and at the broader problem. However the one m.d. guy we currently have capable of racing at the World level is Krum and his training is nicely designed for 8/15.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

                    >We'll just have to agree to disagree, but one
                    >thing I won't budge on is that, even IF 10k cross
                    >training is bad for 8/15 runners, adding a short
                    >course race to the NCAA meet is a bad
                    >idea.

                    We may now agree. I don't want to sound wishy-washy but Kevin's comments turned me a bit. In theory the short course makes sense. In practice, it may not work for middle distance guys.

                    I proposed the idea of a pilot Oly Dev. program for middle distance guys. Get some scholarship money from a large sponsor (Nike, Adidas etc) and a salary for a very good MIDDLE DISTANCE COACH PROVEN ON A WORLD LEVEL.

                    Take the top 10 US m.d. guys out of h.s. (5 8 guys 5 15 guys) pay their way to college but train them as middle distance runners with LONG TERM development in mind.

                    No pressure to perform. No pressure to score points. Just gradual development with only the individual's long-term progress in mind.

                    A four year program would cost about $2-3 million.

                    Nike is doing something similiar with A.W. but one individual doesn't prove much. Ten would be an interesting study.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

                      "We'll just have to agree to disagree, but one thing I won't budge on is that, even IF 10k cross training is bad for 8/15 runners, adding a short course race to the NCAA meet is a bad idea."

                      Fair enough - I'm not going to die on the hill fighting for it - just thought it was worth discussing. From a coaching perspective, it would be nice. Miler-types are usually very good athletes, and therefore can compete well at CC (Holman, Sullivan, Falcon, Hacker, etc.). The problem I have is that if you go to a major school (we know which ones), you have got to run your guts out for the team in cross even if you are a miler, and they do it every time because they CAN. The question becomes at what price. I contend from a coaching perspective it would be beneficial to have them run (and train for) 4-6k races. I believe it would be beneficial to the coaches and certain (many) athletes.

                      At any rate, I'll throw the idea in the circular file and say this in parting - if we always think only of what is best for the sport from the FANS perspective and not what is best for the athletes, we are missing a large piece of the puzzle. Better options for athletes and coaches leads to better athletic performances, and better performances leads to more fans (hopefully).

                      With that, I surrender, and turn to my ice cold Sam Adams Octoberfest Brew (what ever happened to food guy, anyway?).

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                      • #41
                        Re: Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

                        I agree with hjsteve & the others above: leave collegiate X-C alone--one race is just fine.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

                          I would hope that no one is suggesting that schools like Arkansas and Michigan sacrifice track performance for cross country. Simply running a few 8k/10k races isn't going to destroy you or even negatively affect you.

                          Many interviews I've seen with John McDonnell explicitly state that the hogs basically do easy aerobic and lactate work during cross country season up until absolutely necessary. Their track success certainly indicates this. True, maybe some Ark runners haven't run that well after college, but I think that's because they've left an incredible team-based environment for the lonely world of professional running.

                          Michigan guys have, if anything, always raced better come track season than in cross. Sullivan was a stud in cross, but any 3:51 type guy would be able to do what he did -- look at Lagat.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

                            I'm rethinking my position. The system is
                            >still broken but the short course may make the
                            >problem worse.

                            Thanks. >

                            You still haven't provided any basis for your conclusion of a blanket indictment of XC for milers.

                            jd

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

                              Dutra-

                              Please read my posts again. I never had a "blanket indictment of xc for milers". My concern has always been overtraining and overracing. Again, I believe middle distance runners who are concerned about running at their best in May/June don't need to be running long miles in the summer and racing 10k in the fall.

                              The summer fall training time could be much better spent. A couple low key cc meets won't do damage but training to compete seriously in them may.

                              I don't want to go over and over the same things I've typed in earlier posts. But the more miles you run, the more races you race, the more seasons you compete the more likely you are to get injured. Its common sense.

                              To be at their best on the track - low key miles, with plyos, circuit very limited speed work in the summer and fall (maybe a couple low key fun races). Increase base gradually as you move through winter - keeping plyos (including some hill training) circuits and limited speed and be ready for the integration of more intensive training interval/speed training in early spring.

                              This is what I mean by focus on what is really important to the athlete. If xc is really important great - run. But many high potential milers are obligated to run to retain good favor with coaches and keep scholarships. However, if running fast in track is important the program should be designed around the goal of doing so. Long summer/fall miles including racing 10k don't fit the formula - IMO. I know this differs from what you think.

                              Is the conventional way including fall xc producing results?

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: Short Course NCAA Cross Country?

                                >I would hope that no one is suggesting that
                                >schools like Arkansas and Michigan sacrifice
                                >track performance for cross country. Simply
                                >running a few 8k/10k races isn't going to destroy
                                >you or even negatively affect you.

                                I think the early spring of 2002 at Michigan shows a bit a a sacrifice. Brannen and Webb both injured. How could running 80+/week high intensity during the summer when the focus is spring track not create a potential for injury.

                                This creates a huge sacrifice. The potential for injury by running xc is huge.

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