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Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

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  • Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

    Hate to plug something on Letsrun.com, but Steve Scott's full year of training from Sept. '81 to Sept. '82 is posted.
    The toughness of the workouts is pretty amazing. And he wasn't much for tapering before races. Through the summer his mileage remains close to 90 miles a week. (Was this wise?) It was his American Record summer --

  • #2
    Re: Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

    Don't the results speak for themselves?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

      This stuff is excellent. Read Brent's followup observations (see 2/21 post) regarding Scott's relative lack of intervals, his frequent successful racing, range (800m - 10k), and year-round training without the usual variations (i.e. base vs. speed).

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

        >Don't the results speak for themselves?

        Yes, great results -- but isn't there always the question whether someone could have done even better with wiser training? Of course there's no way of knowing. It worked for Scott, might not work for someone else, but who knows if that world record would have come had he not been doing so many miles in the weeks immediately preceding -- even the day before -- his races?

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        • #5
          Re: Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

          The mileage is what allowed him to run so well -- drop offs in training volume are associated with drop offs in mitochondria growth and number. Less mitochondria = less aerobic capacity.

          Additionally, notice that after his first bout of real summer racing in Europe he went back home and put in three weeks of 95-90-85. These three weeks of high, base level volume recharged his aerobic system (that had been battered from many races in close proximity) so that he could go back to Europe and race more. So successful was this that even as tired as he was at the end of the season he still produced a 4:54 2000m (AR at the time).

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

            >Hate to plug something on Letsrun.com, but Steve Scott's full year of training
            >from Sept. '81 to Sept. '82 is posted.
            The toughness of the workouts is pretty
            >amazing. And he wasn't much for tapering before races. Through the summer his
            >mileage remains close to 90 miles a week. (Was this wise?) It was his
            >American Record summer --

            WHAT the hey are you talking about? Did you even read the logs? He certainly DID taper for races, and the "through the Summmer is mileage remains 90 mpw" statement couldn't be more of a distortion. He ran 95, 95 and 85 during the three-week midsummer break, nothing unusual about that, and for the rest of the Summer Scott averaged 51.6 mpw.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

              WHAT the hey are you talking
              >about? Did you even read the logs? He certainly DID taper for races, and the
              >"through the Summmer is mileage remains 90 mpw" statement couldn't be more
              >of a distortion. He ran 95, 95 and 85 during the three-week midsummer break,
              >nothing unusual about that, and for the rest of the Summer Scott averaged 51.6
              >mpw.

              "Remains" isn't appropriate either. "Remains" relative to what? He did 4016 for the year which, if my math is correct, is only about 77 mpw. My guess would be that his log wouldn't be all that different than Sully's. Looks pretty routine to me but then I said the same thing about the one of Meyer's that floats around(and malmo's for that matter).

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              • #8
                Re: Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

                You're right, I distorted the record. Sorry -- I didn't spend enough time on the summer after reading the winter months more carefully. Granted the winter is off-season, Scott no doubt trained through these races, but I counted four times in Jan. and Feb. where he ran 10 to 15 miles the day before a race, a few more the morning of the race, and in which the weekly total was 75 or 80. Maybe that's not a lot in the off-season, for races that were part of training (though one of those weeks was the TAC Indoors). And of course he was winning these races!
                Whether 3 "off" weeks in the middle of the summer should have been spent running an average of 92 miles is good or bad, only Scott could tell for himself. It sounds like a lot to me. The week he came back, he had a nagging injury (not to his legs).
                But you're right that the other weeks were much lower, and his day before races was tapered. Sorry for my error, distortion -- I'll be more careful next time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

                  >You're right, I distorted the record. Sorry -- I didn't spend enough time on
                  >the summer after reading the winter months more carefully. Granted the winter
                  >is off-season, Scott no doubt trained through these races, but I counted four
                  >times in Jan. and Feb. where he ran 10 to 15 miles the day before a race, a few
                  >more the morning of the race, and in which the weekly total was 75 or 80.

                  Now you're catching on. Tapering is about intensity not miles. He tapered for races, especially during THE racing season.

                  >Maybe that's not a lot in the off-season, for races that were part of training
                  >(though one of those weeks was the TAC Indoors). And of course he was winning
                  >these races!
                  Whether 3 "off" weeks in the middle of the summer should have
                  >been spent running an average of 92 miles is good or bad, only Scott could
                  >tell for himself. It sounds like a lot to me.

                  Doesn't surprise me, that's a normal reaction. Anything that the world class does SHOULD "sound" like a lot relative tom your experience.

                  >The week he came back, he had
                  >a nagging injury (not to his legs).
                  But you're right that the other weeks
                  >were much lower, and his day before races was tapered. Sorry for my error,
                  >distortion -- I'll be more careful next time.

                  Don't let it happen again.....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

                    You know, Malmo, I was going to let this go, before reading your last posting, because I definitely was wrong -- I did not read the summer training weeks carefully enough, I had looked at all the 90-mile weeks in the winter showing no tapering before racing, then scanned the summer and those three weeks popped out at 95, 95, and 85 miles -- and my posting was ill-considered and inaccurate -- and I'm sorry about that.

                    But I've done a little studying of athletes' training schedules, as I'm sure you have, so reviewing and comparing Scott's schedules is not outside my experience. I'm not a world-class runner or coach (perhaps you are) so no, I don't have direct experience. I would still say Scott was prone to overtraining.

                    This is not a judgment that anyone other than Scott can really make, and it's not fair for me or anyone else to criticize his schedule. Anyone who's read Scott's "The Miler" and followed his career would understand that he loved to train hard and believed strongly that it worked for him. ("I derived my speed from strength," Scott writes.) But I don't think I'm the only observer who might question running 95, 95, and 85 miles in heat and humidity (with some quality sessions as well) in the middle of an important summer racing season, and coming at the end of a very hard year of training and racing. And while we don't know how fast those runs were, he writes of his training earlier in 1982 that other runners hated training with him because "I ran too hard: I'd go and routinely belt out 10 miles in 55 minutes." So your claim that tapering is about intensity, not distance (a debatable statement), may not apply to Scott anyway.

                    Scott came back to Europe injured (we don't really know why), and runs an AR 2000. But in his book "The Miler" Scott admits that by the end of the summer, "I was starting to run out of gas." He's raced a great deal in the last few months, and he's trained hard, just as he always has. And he recognizes that the season was going to come down to "the race that would count the most" in Zurich. He finishes 3rd, after lapsing into "feelings of doom . . . I kept waiting to die." "The repercussions of my poor showing were startling" (in terms of final year ranking by T&F News, he finishes 2nd -- and criticizes T&F's panel). Was his poor showing because of overtraining, overracing (something he really couldn't control, because he was making a living), an unexplained injury, a momentary mental/emotional lapse?

                    Earlier, Scott writes about mid-April of '82, "I continued my all-out running with Len [his coach] in Arizona and competed without tapering off before races." And he wins -- so it's working for him. He says of that Spring, "Because of all the travel and nonstop training, I was tired." But he's doing well, he's elated. He has a terrific summer season, sets a mile AR, but misses the WR, which he regards as a huge missed opportunity ("The world record would have changed my life."). Again, to be sure, I'm not suggesting that had he trained differently he would have set the WR, I'm not qualified to say that (though it's interesting that in the 16 days before the AR/missed WR he manages four 10-mile runs, a 15-miler, and three hard races).

                    Scott himself implies that his Olympics defeat in '84 might have come about because of overtraining (see the chapter entitled "Running Into the Abyss,") as well as a flawed race strategy). He admits his penchant for overtraining results in an injury in 1987.

                    So yes, Malmo, I will not let a poor post happen again. But I do challenge your ideas on tapering, and in general on whether Scott's training may have been too much at certain times.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

                      That mid-summer resurge in mileage is what kept Steve going. He needed to recharge his aerobic system after breaking it down with repeated racing. Less training volume = less mitochondira/myglobin in the muscle fibres = weakened aerobic capacity. Scott has said one of the problems of the modern American miler is that they cut their volume June and never bring it back up.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

                        Scott's training through the spring of '82 included numerous 10-mile runs (presumably what was aerobic for Scott). He leaves for Europe, and in 3 of the 4 weeks he spends there before returning for his 95-95-85 mile weeks, he manages at least one 10-mile run a week (his first week there, it's two 10 milers and a 15 miler; only his last week doesn't appear to have a long run). It doesn't seem to me that he neglected his aerobic capacity, though it certainly doesn't match his work in the winter or for those 3 mid-summer weeks.
                        It's interesting that you think running an average of close to 60 miles a week for four weeks, including hard racing as well as a variety of other workouts, "breaks down" aerobic capacity (by which I assume you mean diminishes), or decreases mitochondria. I'd be curious about a study that shows that hard training (both intensity and volume) decreases mitochondria.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

                          I'd be curious about a study that
                          >shows that hard training (both intensity and volume) decreases mitochondria.
                          >

                          I'll have to find it. I don't know that there is a dispute that intensity (above LT) destroys aerobic enzymes. The volume/mitochondiral relation I'll find.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

                            Miler monkey, there will be a long line of EP geeks who'll come to the rescue to show that mileage and mitochondrial density is proportional.

                            When I was a young grasshopper, I was lucky enough to be in Nijmegen NED, hometown of Jos Hermans, and ran with, listened, and took notes from Jos and Dick Quax - two of the top 10k runners in the world at the time. These two took advantage of the midsummer break to put in 20 mile days for two or three weeks. Grasshopper listen to Master - not other way around.

                            Miler monkey, now time for work.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Steve Scott Training, 1981-82

                              >But I don't think I'm the only observer who might question running 95, 95, and
                              >85 miles in heat and humidity (with some quality sessions as well) in the
                              >middle of an important summer racing season, and coming at the end of a very
                              >hard year of training and racing.

                              I wouldn't be surprised at all that you are not alone with your so-called observations. The world is full of people who just don't "get it" and never will. The bell-curve guarantees it.

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