11 november 2009

Hadd 1, de ruwe text

Misschien interessant voor de wat meer in trainingsmethoden geinteresseerde lezer. En, om de naam van deze weblog in ere te houden. Ik kon hier gewoon de link naar de Letsrun thread neerzetten, maar dacht dat het beter is om flink blok text over te nemen, het nodigt net iets meer uit tot lezen...

Hadd (die een benadering voor o.a. marathontraining heeft beschreven) en Cabral (die gelinkt is aan de Portugese loopschool waaruit o.a. Carlos Lopes is voortgekomen), discussieren met elkaar en hebben hun discussies openbaar gemaakt.

Later wil ikzelf dit wat indikken en begrijpelijker maken.

Cabral & Hadd
2 kinds of runners. Which are you? 2/27/2008 12:00PM

Subject: "More than one approach to running and racing"

Having first got to know about each other by reading what we have both written on Letsrun, Antonio Cabral and I have been emailing back and forth for several years now. Recently we wondered if our "discussions" should not be more open to the public; certainly we both feel that we have benefited from an alternate viewpoint, and feel that others may also find them of interest.

Since there could be no better outlet for them than Letsrun, we contacted Weldon, proposing the idea of a private thread containing a wide-ranging discussion between Antonio Cabral and myself. The idea of a Private thread is simply so that we can keep the discussion on track - much in the same way a Moderator might do in a debate, rather than having it wander off-topic with too much input "from the floor," so to speak. Also, at this point we are not keen on it descending into a Q&A thread.

Weldon has responded enthusiastically to the idea, and this post is the opener in what Antonio and I both hope is an interesting, thought-provoking thread on a subject we all love with a passion beyond reason.

Having said that it is a Private thread, nothing happens in a vacuum. If you have a question you would like to ask, or a particular aspect of running you would like to see discussed in the thread, just drop an email to Hadd101@yahoo.it

Let me kick off with a question for Antonio Cabral

The title (theme) of a major thread I led (way back in 2003) was, [Hadd's] Approach to Distance Training.

You and I have talked training over the years back and forth, and you've heard me remark that when I read the training of a particular runner, I always view it from my perspective.

By that I mean you can go see three different Medical Doctors and get three different opinions:
You go see a cardiac guy, he sees you purely as a sack of salty liquid with an internal pump...
You go see a surgeon, he ain't listening to you, he's only thinking where he's gonna put the knife in you...
You go see a proctologist... well, you get the idea.

So everybody sees things from their own perspective, three different Doctors all with their own particular viewpoint. Coaches are the same.

So Cabral, let's imagine some young punk comes boppin' up to you one day at the track, "Yo Yo, Mr C. I wants to train, what you got for me?"

I don't see you slapping a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) on him, like I probably would, so is there such a thing as the Cabral Approach?

Antonio Cabral
Before I reply to your question about this hypothetical young punk that comes to the track asking me for advice, let first give a brief revision of my basic training concepts. Let me explain my own way of tackling things, and how I see all the details involved in a training plan.

When it comes to middle and long-distance training, my guide is traditional training methodology rather than training physiology. My knowledge of the history of past and present methods, as well as my many years of personal experience have taught me that these are the key to formulating a training plan. I break the training down into the most basic of training parameters; time and space.

Space (distance): the exterior objective materialistic reality
Time (duration): the inner/abstract/subjective reality

The combination of time and space, i.e. the time it takes you to cover a certain distance (or vice-versa - the space you cover in a certain time), that's the pace (intensity).

Adhering to simplicity, I divide all middle and long distance training into three main categories:
1. Aerobic runs: covering everything from recovery runs to more dynamic paces.
2. Moderate/medium/submaximal runs. The effort that has become known as modern LT training. Whatever the terminology used, these are all intense, but submaximal paces. There has been great debate (perhaps too much) on these paces in recent years.
3. Fast/Maximal Training Runs: Includes all paces from close to maximal all the way up to supra-maximal but always respective to the target event distance. Intermittent training is commonly used at these running intensities.

Let me kick off with a question for John Hadd

Does your training also include other workouts and fast-paced training or do you simply train all runners as you advised Joe on the monster thread ?

That such a question is asked so often surprises me, Antonio. Don’t get me wrong, you are by no means the first person to ask, because from reading posts on this and other message boards over the years since my old Letsrun threads, I have seen the belief expressed many times that Hadd training is, “slow training”.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Hadd training is extremely intense, so intense that I found that almost all runners who came to begin training with me could not handle the intensity straight outta the box. So, to get them to a stage where they could handle it, years ago I had to go back and invent what we now refer to as Phase I. In a sentence, Phase I gets the runner “ready to train”.

We need to get the runner into a condition where he/she can handle work sessions like the following:
6 x 800m at 104% of 5k pace with everything from equal time recovery (down to) 1:15-1:30 recovery.
5-6 x 1k at 5k pace with 200m jog recovery in 90 secs
3 x 3k at 95-96% of 5k pace with 800m jog recovery
2 x 5k at 93-94% of 5k pace with 800m jog recovery
8k at 92% of 5k pace
16-20k at 88-90% of 5k pace

And we found that without a solid Phase I (outlined in the thread you refer to) they could not manage them. Of course nobody starts at these paces or these rep durations. They work up to them over weeks, months and years. So there are progressions to get every runner to handle longer and longer reps at the paces outlined and assuming you have completed a solid Phase I, you can rapidly benefit from more intense training.

Talking about pace, note that I refer all these efforts back to the runner’s 5k pace. I do this because if I say (eg:) go and run 2 x 5k at Half Marathon pace, then that means different things to different people, and it is most often the case that their HM PR is slower than I would expect it to be, so the pace they would train at is slower than the pace I want them to achieve.

I don’t want people to run 2 x 5k at HM pace, but 2 x 5k at 93-94% of 5k pace (which is usually quicker, until they become well-trained, and then once they do, “HM pace” and “93-94% of 5k pace” become basically the same pace).

So, the short answer to your question is; No, I do not just train runners as outlined in the monster thread. That is just Phase I - training to be able to train.

There is a lot more to Hadd Training than was contained in those old threads. Although I would have to re-read it to check, the thread was begun purely in response to a request/question from another LR reader. At the time, I had been posting some training advice here and these on earlier threads and the direct question came up; Hadd, How do we get to there (being able to run the sessions I was advising) from where we are?

Phase I is just that; a way to get from where you are today, to where you can handle something along the lines of those sessions outlined above. I was happy just to post up Phase I, because I knew that if runners got through it they would be able to benefit from faster training in ways they could not have benefited before Phase I.

At the time I did not think there was much need for me to post up training advice at faster paces, because (as you know) everybody posts up such training advice. I’ve been known to refer to this as “sexy training”, and naturally every runner is keen to get there as quickly as possible, (despite the fact it is often not in their best interest to do so).

Magazines, websites and forums are full of (often unsubstantiated) anecdotal training of elites; Mr So-and-so ran 14x1k with 8.5 seconds recovery! You know the drill…

The knee-jerk implication of such articles is that to perform in races as Mr So-and-so does, you need to go and do (attempt) such training sessions.

Never having mastered the art of the knee-jerk, my reaction is in another direction; I am not so interested in what Mr So-and-so is doing today, I am much more interested in knowing what earlier training he did to get in such a condition that he can today handle such a session. In other words (and getting back to what I wrote above); how do you get there from here?

So, Phase I and the other Phases are the best way I know to do just that.

Tell me more about the Cabral Approach...

Antonio Cabral
Summary of my interpretation of “intermittent” training

Before continuing, let me explain what intermittent training means to me; it is my own interpretation, and explains what I see as the difference in methodology behind each form of intermittent training.
It has become apparent to me from what I have read over the years that I differ from many “experts” when discussing intermittent training. I feel therefore I need to explain some basic definitions so that when I go on to discuss any particular form of intermittent training it will be obvious what I am referring to.

Definition of intermittent training
Intermittent training is a generic “umbrella” concept that covers any type of training that does not have a steady or continuous pace as its main design. It is used in describing fast/intense periods of time/distance interspersed with other periods of time/distance made up of inactivity/complete rest or runs of a slower intensity/active rest.
Such training is sometimes referred to as, “In-Out”. At this point it does not really matter the type of running surface, the training format, the total distance, the number of sets and so on.

Let me make one initial distinction between types of intermittent training.
On the one hand we have predetermined intermittent training in which one, some or all of the elements are fixed: could be the pace, or the number of sets, the total distance, and so on.
Interval training (and please read later what I mean by that term, because it is not what many others mean when they use the term) is a perfect example of a predetermined workout.

On the other hand there is “spontaneous”, not-predetermined intermittent training. This might be considered more “chaotic” (in the sense of Chaos Theory, rather than simply meaning disorganised).
Fartlek in the “natural style” might be a perfect example. But a natural fartlek, where no set pace is determined, no number of sets, nor distances run, nor set duration of distance/time run before changing from one pace to the other. Basically you run “by feeling”, rather than to any calculated design template.

Fractional/Repetition training
Actually the word fractional and the word repetitions or fractional/repetition workout it means different things to different coaches and runners. For me fractional it simply means the notion of “division” or of “fraction” and repetition it simply means “to repeat”.
Fractional training it comes from one primary concept of intermittent training is that it is a workout formed by cutting or dividing a race distance into a number of smaller parts (e.g.: 5-10 x 1,000m for a target 10k event). Each set distance is then run while you try to maintain a running velocity close to the race pace. The aim is to “repeat” the same distance over and over again at near race pace with a suitable recovery interval in between.
Organising the workout this way has proven to be an effective method of allowing running at race pace.
Early on, before the introduction of the interval training concept, the recovery was simply a pause long enough to allow a number of repetitions to be run at the same (near race) pace.
Therefore, when we discuss repetition workouts, the prime focus should be on the running pace, the recovery interval is of secondary importance. The recovery interval is solely to allow the runner to have a near-complete recovery between repetitions. To allow the runner to manage to run (a number of times) at close to race pace, the number of reps is always determined by dividing the target event.
Naturally, longer distance reps are utilised when the target is a long distance event; (e.g.: 6-10 x 1000m or 3-5 x 2000m for a target 10k race). While in middle distance events the repetitions tend to be shorter (e.g.: 7-10 x 500m or 4-5 x 1000m for 5k run and 4 x 400m or 2 x 800m for the Mile).
With the development of the repetition method, and the development of intermittent concepts in various formats and for different purposes such as those based on physiological concepts, or experience, or trial-and-error, the original concept behind repetition training has been changed.
Actually the repetition workout concept is more flexible. There is no longer a need to cover the total event distance in reps; longer reps can be done by time rather than distance, and repetition training has become merged into a generic “interval” training commonly used by long distance runners. But in my opinion the major change in the repetition workouts is that is used a pace that is different or faster than the race pace, it is more a “best” pace for the total repetition units. E.g.: a 3:45 1500m runner instead of do 5 x 500m 1:15 race pace does 5X500m quite all flat out faster than 1:15 race pace and delay the rest periods to allow a complete recovery.
Interval training is a distinct type of intermittent training

Interval training is another category of intermittent training; a major one. The name "interval training" does not derive just from the fact that the workout permits recovery "intervals" between the periods of fast running.
The name comes from the fact that original designers, Gerschler and Reindell, used an interval of time that allowed only incomplete recovery.
They believed that an accurate and incomplete recovery interval stresses the runner more and more with each additional running period. Each running effort becomes more and more difficult as the workout continues.

They discovered that when training with an incomplete recovery interval, then the recovery became just as important as the running interval itself, if not more important! Here lies the essence of interval training.
The interval training method allows for short and equal recovery periods, but always aiming for incomplete recovery, and preferring an active recovery so as to ensure that complete recovery cannot occur.
Here we can see that interval training differs from repetition training in the format of recovery. Interval training mandates incomplete recovery, while repetition training does not. Interval training requires precise, accurate recovery interval periods, while repetition training does not.

Another interesting component from the early days of interval training as expounded by Gerschler and Reindell was that the average pace of the running interval was originally estimated from given percentages of the athlete's best effort for the interval distance. e.g.: If your workout is formed of 400m intervals, then the pace is based on some percentage of your 400m PB.

Repetition versus Interval Training
Many runners and coaches from any number of sports use the terms repetition and interval training indiscriminately and interchangeably, and usually with a different interpretation than the original one.
The question here is not whether the name of the training methodology is important, or whether the standard model should be changed, but our goal must always be to understand the exact goal behind the training.
Different training methods will stimulate the runner in different ways, and it is normal for training methods to evolve or be adjusted to different needs and contexts, such as tweaking for individualisation and personalisation purposes to suit the needs of each individual.
But if the training no longer provokes the adaptations conceived by the original concept, then it is no longer the same training, irrespective of the name used. It may appear to be related by name, but it is no longer the same training.

Interval training is different and distinct from repetition training. In repetition training, the pace is estimated from the target event. In interval training the pace is a percent of your PB for the interval distance (i.e. a percent of your 400m PB when running intervals of 8x400 indistinctly what is your goal distance event).
This original distinction between the two main intermittent training - interval and repetition methods - goes back to the two separate original concepts on which they are based.
In repetition training, the pace of each rep is calculated from the pace of the target event with a near-complete recovery (e.g. a 15:00/5k runner runs reps of 3:00 per km if done at 100% race pace, or 3:09 if done at 95% race pace, recovery is near-complete).
In interval training, the pace is calculated from a percent of the athlete's PB for the interval distance (e.g. a runner with a 400m PB of 55 secs would run 8-12x400 in 66 secs if running reps at 80% effort - multiply 55 x 1.2 = 66).
Interval Training Decoded

Rest duration between sets; the special case of the incomplete recovery effect.

1/Intermittent training with complete recovery (eg: fractional training or repetition training). Since recovery is complete between reps, the impact of each single rep is as if that rep was done on its own. If we have 3 sets (s1, s2, s3), then the cumulative effect of these sets as a single workout will be linear due to the complete recovery. The total impact of the workout will be (s1+s2+s3). Of course this theory is not as simple as it sounds. Despite taking every effort to make each recovery complete, there has to be an impact on the next repetition due to the effect of the previous rep. Otherwise the length of the recovery interval would have to be exceptional and the length of the whole session could take an infinite amount of time. Too, if recovery was genuinely complete, then the runner could run an infinite amount of reps without tiring, and we all know that is not what happens. The special case of repetition training done “flat-out” for a number of units, requires a long recovery, but we know it is not possible to have a genuinely “complete” recovery.

2/Intermittent training with incomplete recovery (eg: interval training). Due to the impact of the preceding rep(s) and the incomplete recovery, the impact of each succeeding rep is higher than in a straight linear formation. The effort of each set will be compound due to the aggregated effect of the previous ones. If we have 3 sets (s1, s2, s3), then the total effect will be higher than a simple linear addition of s1+s2+s3. Due to the incomplete recovery, the impact is not linear but logarithmic.

The impact of each successive set will include the additional burden of that set having been completed subsequent to an earlier set (or sets). So the impact of s2 will include a “percentage” carry-over burden from s1. The rep s2 is no longer simply a repeat of s1. In other words, s1+s2 is really s1+(s2+percent of s1). Since s3 is also not done in isolation, but is performed after s1+s2, then the effect on the runner of s3 is not as it would be if s3 were performed as a standalone, but in the form of the cumulative effect when s3 is performed after the preceding sets. In such a situation, s3 really means (s3+percent of s1+percent of s2).

The main goal of interval training theory is the use of an incomplete recovery so that each set places a higher and higher cumulative onus/stimulus on the runner. This cannot be achieved in a system that uses complete recovery.

In intermittent training with complete recovery (as in fractional or repetition workouts), the only requirement is that the recovery is long enough to allow the next rep to be run at the required intensity (ie: race pace, or vVO2 pace, or whatever).

In direct contrast, in intermittent training with incomplete recovery (eg: interval training), there is the compounding effect of multiple sets that will place greater onus/stimulus on the runner than a linear aggregation.

Each set will increase the effect/stress of the subsequent one precisely due to incomplete recovery.

The decision to determine what precisely is an incomplete recovery duration is taken from the workout design and must;

a/ be short enough to promote an incomplete recovery from the first set to the last
b/ be long enough that the runner doesn’t get into a state of deep exhaustion yet still is able to complete the session without reaching a state where he is not able to hold the target average pace, or needs to reduce the number of sets or even cut the session short entirely.

This is not to imply that the average workout pace cannot be accurate or pre-determined, it is not the prime interest. The pace is of interest only in that it contributes to the level of stimulus intensity.

Irrespective of the enormous variations in design that an intermittent session can have (number of reps, rep distance, pace intensity, etc), the most vital element in interval training is that the recovery interval must be incomplete; whether short, passive/standstill or active/run or jog.

In contrast, in intermittent training of the fractional/repetition type, including that of the modern vVO2max workout, the interval recovery may be active or passive, but needs to be long enough to permit the main goal of this workout; the pursuit of the defined target pace. This is usually related to the target pace for the target distance, or in more recent times, aimed at improving the physiological parameter, vVO2max.

In interval training (with incomplete recovery), a crucial element is that as each succeeding rep is run, it includes some percentage (or fraction) of the effort stimulus of the previous one(s) so that the effort, the strain on the runner, becomes accumulative.

Due to the accumulative effect, brought about purely by incomplete recovery, at some point during the session the athlete reaches an effort state that is more than the sum of the reps he/she has completed. The accumulated burden of the previous reps means the effort of each successive rep is more than that due to the distance run, or the pace achieved; the effort is greater than that normally required for the pace used in the workout.

For example; when a runner runs 10x500m interval training (with incomplete recovery), by the end of the workout the runner should have covered 5km in an average pace faster than current 5k PB. Despite incomplete recovery, the runner should manage a faster-than-5k PB pace average for the session. Along with the stresses of the higher intensity (greater than 5k race pace), a session done in this way may benefit other physiological areas like aerobic power in a way that could not be achieved if the session had been run as a continuous 5k, or run as an intermittent session with near-complete recovery breaks
You know what, Antonio, we don’t need to just talk about running in this thread; we don’t do that when we email back and forth, so why change things? Anyhow, here’s a coupla money-makin’ deals I just learned in the last few days.

Before flyin’ to Texas, we had to overnight in Germany and caught a Hotel Courtesy Bus from the airport out to the hotel in the woods somewhere.

I figured I’d log on and catch up on some emails. To log on from the Hotel Reception was €1 (1 euro) for 2 minutes. What is that, nearly a buck a minute? Whoa!

Anyway, I log onto Yahoo and at that cost I’m typin’ up a storm replyin’ to a buddy from Down Under. I’m openin’ up with my salutary response du jour (“Yo bro, how’s it hangin’?...) when I glance up at the screen and I see what I’ve written; “Zo bro,” and I think, Holy Marolli, I’m only here 30 minutes an’ I’m typin’ with a German accent already!

I look down at the keyboard an’ I realize they don’t have a QWERTY keyboard. They have a QWERTZ keyboard! They done swapped the letters “Y” and “Z” on the keyboard! What is that all about?

I woulda asked at Reception, but there was a countdown timer thingy in the top right corner of the screen, an’ it was goin’ like a Seiko on steroids, so I kept the head down, huntin’ an’ peckin’ on the keyboard wondering what other letters they mighta changed. I just managed to hit Send as the clocked ticked 2 mins and I got chucked offline.

I’m sittin’ there thinkin’; over $1.50 for 2 mins… if I had me and internet café with a coupla dozen of these machines crankin’ for 8 hours a day (I did the math), I could make me some serious mazooma!

But that ain’t all. Next mornin’ I’m checkin’ out of the Hotel and the Receptionist is tottin’ up the bill; “Room… Breakfast… Courtesy Bus…”

I said, “Whoa right there, Sweetie! The Courtesy Bus is free, no?”
She gives me one of those smiles that says I’ve been punk’d and explains, “Ze Courtesy Bus from the Airport to the Hotel is free. Ze Courtesy Bus from the Hotel back the Airport, you need to pay!”

I was stunned but I just had to let out a low appreciative whistle.

I had a look out the main door and we’re in the middle of some forest deal like outta some Grimm’s Fairy Tale, an’ I swear I heard some wolves or somethin’ in the middle of the night. I know I got a flight in a little over an hour… but part of me just really had to appreciate what a crafty sweet deal they had goin’!

Right there I’m thinkin’, that’s why Ma Hadd’s little boy ain’t no millionaire! First with the internet, now with the courtesy bus… here’s how a guy makes serious coin!

I admit I am far too simple for such deals ever to occur to me. The day I was born I musta skipped my dose of devious.

So, I did what any normal red-blooded male woulda done in the circumstances; I reached for some plastic!

Something like 12 hours later I landed in the “Land of the Free…” and I hafta tell you, my first thought was, I wonder if that includes the Courtesy Bus back to the airport?

Hang tough, Antonio! I’m gonna catch up on some sleep and then I’ll read what you’ve written so far.

I’m keen to see what you would say when you meet that young punk for the first time, Antonio. What you would get him to do on day one.

I often get an HRM on them and tell them to warm up with the others in the group for 6 laps or so and just call out the HR every lap as they pass by where I’m standing trackside.

That first day, on the warm-up, I wouldn’t tell a newbie to keep to any HR range. I just tell ‘em to jog at easy pace along with the others.

Sometimes (for fun), I’ll tell some of the others who’ve been with me for a while to call out their HRs too. So I might hear numbers like this as the group jogs by; 133... 135... 126... and then a kinda shocked tone of voice calling out, "... 173 !?!"

I know without even looking who that high HR belongs to.

I say, shocked, because it might be the first time in his life that runner has ever worn an HRM. I always tell newcomers not to get worried when they realize how high their HR is compared to the others. In fact, I tell them that if their HR is high on day one, they should look on it as a good thing, because it means there is a ton of improvement they can make once we get some Phase I into them.

If they require a HR of 173 just to jog dead easy on day one – I tell them – just think how good they are going to be when I train them to be able to jog at the same pace needing a HR of only 140.

Think about it like this; if a HR of 173 is 7:30 m/m, then a HR of 200 (and that’ll generally be a young kid at race pace) cannot be a whole lot faster.

So, I explain to him/her that if I can make 7:30 pace require a HR of "only" 140 (instead of 173), and he/she can STILL go out and race at 200 bpm, think of the difference between 140 and 200 compared to the difference between 173 and 200.

And think how much faster the running pace at 200 bpm is gonna be when his heart is just tickin’ over at 7:30 m/m.

So today, 173 HR might be 7:30 mins/mile. In time, I might make that self-same HR into 6:00 m/m or better... which will mean, with a knock-on effect, that the race pace at 200 bpm also got a whole lot faster!

Like I said, I'm interested to see what you'd say to this kid on day one, Antonio, but take your time. There's no rush. It makes good sense to define the terminology at the outset. Especially since you're translating from a Portuguese language system of training into a more Western-English version. Good idea to make sure we're all singing the same song.

Antonio Cabral
You will need to wait a bit longer for my answer to your question about the young punk who wants some training. First I want to continue explaining some of my basic training concepts.

In the past there has been too much misunderstanding about the different use of training terminology; I want to be sure you understand what I mean when I use some technical expressions.

Training. Time and Space Matters

I see every training program as an organised schedule of different stimulae, the main goal of which is to get the runner into optimal shape for the target event.

Each individual stimulus is made up of a precise management of time and space – the running pace. Each training stimulus can be considered from that viewpoint.

1/ Specific training; directly linked to the target event.
2/ General training; not directly linked to the target event, but important nonetheless.

Some more basic concepts can be linked to the target race pace. To create a specific stimulus linked to target race pace, there are 3 fundamental paces;

1/ To run faster than race pace for a shorter period/ distance than race distance.
2/ To run at race pace.
3/ To run slower than race pace, for a longer period/ distance than race distance.

Three other “artificial” concepts can also be abstracted from the target event;

1/ Speed: To run a short distance in a maximal effort, quite close to individual maximum effort.
2/ Resistance: To run at an intensity very close to that of race pace, or at a pace very close to race pace.
3/ Endurance or Persistence: To run longer than race distance at a pace that is clearly slower and less intense than race pace.

Two other ideas are also connected to the time and space concept;

1/ Intensive: It means to run faster, and consequently the need to train over short distances or in short time durations and come close to your fastest paces.
2/ Extensive: It means to run longer than race duration / distance, which means running slower than race pace so as to last the whole distance or duration of the session.

Among all these “artificial concepts of discrimination” there is a specific training pace we also need to define that is called “strength endurance”. This is a pace with an intensity that is in direct connection and similar to the target event.

It is a compromise of speed, resistance and endurance (each already defined above) in an intensity that is very close to race pace.

All this is basic stuff, but it can be made complex when someone discovers the “wheel” of training; intermittent running.

Therefore "Time and Space Matters" – the way I view training methodology – that’s basically a way to manage all training stimulae in agreement with a specific target event. If you want to reduce it to the minimal, or the essence of training, it can be seen as the proper management of “pace intensities” for the target event.

All running training – like most physical activities – benefits from synthesising all previous training experience and all previous training methods into a training methodology that works for you. Each successful training method has its own collective foundation based on universal logic, i.e. science, or any other method of knowledge acquisition, such as past experience or trial and error.


Hi John, the question I asked earlier about your training is not only mine, it is one I have read often on this and other boards. I guess we all realise that Joe’s Phase I was nothing but your own way of getting a runner “ready to train”.

But reading your answer to that question I can see that in later Phases you use what I term, “intermittent runs” or “intermittent workouts” in the examples you give of the specific training you use.

Let me paste them again here:

6 x 800m at 104% of 5k pace with everything from equal time recovery (down to) 1:15-1:30 recovery.
5-6 x 1k at 5k pace with 200m jog recovery in 90 secs
3 x 3k at 95-96% of 5k pace with 800m jog recovery
2 x 5k at 93-94% of 5k pace with 800m jog recovery
8k at 92% of 5k pace
16-20k at 88-90% of 5k pace

I can see that this time the workouts you recommend are related to race pace; 5km race pace in the examples above. This time I don’t see any HR recommendations like you had given in Joe’s thread.

It seems that when you prescribe faster intensity training you use time and distance as the method of defining the intermittent workouts; this is unlike your Phase I thread in which – apart from the 2400m tests – you used the HRM to determine/set the pace of training sessions.

My first question therefore is; do you believe that for fast intermittent workouts – which is what the above sessions really are – it is better to work off of a set pace rather than a set HR?

I also note that you prefer to use 5k PR pace or a percentage of 5k PR pace to set the workouts, rather than to estimate HM pace. I find that curious, coming from a coach like yourself who has a background in sports science.

My second question is; can I assume that you – like me – prefer time and pace intensity or percentages thereof when you set a training target for really intense workouts, rather than some intensity based on physiology?

Good questions here, Antonio. Lemme cut them into little pieces and take them one by one...
I can see that in later Phases you use what I term, “intermittent runs” or “intermittent workouts” ...
Just as a kind of rhetorical reply, I would think it is impossible to train for 800m-10k (and even longer) without some kind of intermittent training going on, no?

I would think it's a given that you need to hit race pace (and faster) at some point in your prep, and do so for a significant amount of time/distance. I would think the optimal (and perhaps only) way to do that would be to do it in the form of "interval" or "repetition" training. How can a guy run a total of (say) 1600m at 800m race pace without breaking the session down into chunks?

So I wouldn't think you were surprised to see such training. HR training cannot guide everything you do... and I'll explain why in a later post because I don't have enough time to sit and type a long reply at the moment.

So I'll slice and dice your last post and get back to you in "intermittent" replies!

Lees hier verder

3 opmerkingen:

loopgek zei

pfffff, samenvatting !! :-)

Paul Oude Vrielink zei

misschien is dit toch wat veel...

maar het past wel in mijn 'Shock and Awe' strategie.

Frans Pasmans zei

Ik geloof heilig in dit trainingsprincipe en bij mij werkt het uitstekend. Het is alleen belangrijk goed naar je lichaam te luisteren en te weten welke pijntjes serieus te nemen en welke niet. Gr. Frans

P.S. de DS racers bevallen goed.