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Renato Canova
TRAINING 9/23/2003 1:00AM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I received more than 80 e-mail from runners of different events (most part from 800m or marathon runners), interested in discussing training methods and their signification. So, if you agree, I wish to open a discussion about TRAINING, not speaking about doping or other things, but about methodology and practical management of training. I don't want to teach anything, simply to share my experiences, informing who is interested about my systems. When you want to say something different, I will read this with great attention, as nobody knows everything, and always is possible to learn from everywhere. I want to explain our scientific approach to training, speaking at first about the mean of training regarding physiology. The first thing, that of course many of you already know, is about ENERGY PRODUCTION.
Renato Canova
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 1:14AM - in reply to Renato Canova Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Muscles, the runner's engine, can be extenden and contracted. The orderly succession of extensions and contractions produces variations of the angles between body segmentes, and allows us to run.
In order to work, muscles need energy, that is possible to consider "very specific fuel" (ATP). Just as some engines run only on petrol, or diesel-oil, our muscles can only use ATP to produce the energy they require.
Our muscles are like ENGINES, in that they turn chemical energy into kinetic energy, producing work.
Muscle not only USE energy, but also PRODUCES energy ; what is more, in the case of the marathon race, nearly all the required ATP is produced during the race itself. This does have some advantages. To cover full marathon, it has been calculated that an athlete burns about 0.7 kg of ATP per kg of bodyweight (so it means that an athlete weighing 70 kg requires about 50 kg of ATP !). If these were to be available before the beginning of the race, his bodyweight would be about 120 kg ! So, muscles need to create ATP during the race ; they can do so because when the ATP is broken down it releases energy and becomes ADP, and a series of chemical reactions allows the muscles to turn the ADP into ATP again, so that the fuel they can use as a source of energy is once more available.
28.40 guy
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 1:14AM - in reply to Renato Canova Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Thanks for your recent posts about all the Kenyans, Italians and others (inc. Lebid) on your previous thread. I read all your posts yesterday with great interest. Continued advice and discussion provided and stimulated by you would be most welcome.

A 28.40 10k guy
Great information!
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 1:23AM - in reply to 28.40 guy Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

28.40 guy wrote:
Thanks for your recent posts about all the Kenyans, Italians and others (inc. Lebid) on your previous thread.

Can you tell me which thread this is please?

To Mr. Canova,
Thanks for the great information. This is what has been missing for awhile.
Renato Canova
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 1:31AM - in reply to 28.40 guy Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
ATP stands for ADENOSINE TRIPHOSPHATE, molecule composed of four elementary molecules, one of ADENOSINE and three of PHOSPHATE : adenosine---P--*--P--*--P
Usually, only the one further away from the adenosine is broken, and releases the energy that can be used by myscles.
The reaction can be represented as follows :
adenosine---P--*--P--*--P = adenosine---P--*--P+P+energy
The new molecule composed of adenosine and TWO phosphates is called ADENOSINE DIPHOSPHATED or ADP.
Muscles store only a very small amount of ATP, sufficient to cover only the first few meters of a marathon race. So, in order to be able to continue their work, muscvles must produce more ATP, and they do so using what is left over from the previous reactions, in other words muscle produces its fuel from ADP and phosphate (P).
This is possible because complex enzyme system present in the muscle (or better, in each muscle fibre) can use the energy contained in other molecules, for the most part carbohydrates and lipids derived from food.
The re-synthesis of ATP prevalently occurs in one of three ways, that are the three ENERGY SYSTEMS. The difference between these energy system lies in the source of energy used to favour the binding of ADP and phosphate so as to create a new ATP molecule. The three systems are :
- THE AEROBIC system
28.40 guy
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 1:33AM - in reply to Great information! Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Yesterday's good thread to which i referred is the one titled:

"Some more information about kenyan athletes"
Renato Canova
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 1:40AM - in reply to Great information! Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Here oxygen is not involved and no lactic acid is produced ; the process of storing energy by forming ATP, is released by another molecule containing an energy-giving bond, PHOSPHOCREATINE, or PCr.
This system is typical for short efforts, for instance the first part of 100m race or a 60y. race. When we start suddenly from a resting position, our muscles begin by using up the small amount of ATP that is stored as such in the fibres, and then the ATP formed thanks to the PHOSPHOCREATINE, which contains one molecule of CREATINE and one of PHOSPHATE bound by an energy-giving bond.
When this bond is broken down, it releases energy that is used for the re-synthesis of ATP starting from ADP and P.
The system is called ANAEROBIC because oxygen is not involved, and ALACTIC because no lactic acid is produced. The amount of ATP that can be produced with this system (equal to about 4 times the ATP stores) is limited, since only a small amount of PCr is stored in the fibres. This system is not particularly relevant for coaches who deal with long distance runners because the ATP it produces would be sufficient to cover only the very beginning of the race.
Renato Canova
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 1:55AM - in reply to 28.40 guy Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
It is also known as the ANAEROBIC GLYCOLYTIC SYSTEMbecause sugar molecules are broken down (glycolysis) without the use of oxygen. Thev sugar molecules, to be exact GLUCOSE molecules, are not completely broken down only up the production of lactic acid. The muscle does not in fact contain lactic acid molecules but a negatively charged lactate ion (LA-) and a positively charged hydrogen ion (H+) as well the energy required to produce ATP from ADP and P.
Both these ions can be considered waste matter that hinders the muscles, and they can also flow out of the muscle into the blood, even while muscle work is in progress, when it is sufficiently long as in the case of a marathon.
General opinion is that muscle resort to the anaerobic lactic system when the intensity of the effort is such that the ATP requirement per minute is higher than the amount produced by the aerobic system. The anaerobic lactic system is important for 400m, 800m and even more so for 1500m races, but also to a certain extent for marathon races. We shall see further on that it usually does not involve the whole muscle but only part of its fibres.
Renato Canova
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 2:02AM - in reply to Renato Canova Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Also in this system the energy used to produce ATP may be derived from glucose molecules, but in this case they are totally broken down by a complex chain of biochemical reactions involving oxygen, to from carbon dioxide and water. These reactions may occur also starting from fatty acids which are burnt down to carbon dioxide and water.
As in other systems, "energy" is intended as the energy used to produce ATP from ADP and P. In this third system, both the reactions on glucose and those on fatty acids require oxygen. The gas must be taken from the atmosphere and conveyed to the working muscle, more exactly to the mitochondria of the muscle fibres.
In marathon races (as in 10000m races, half marathons, walk races and long distance ski races) the athlete's performance greatly depends on the amount of oxygen per minute that is conveyed to the muscles fibres and on the amount the muscles can effectively use.
Note that a small part of the energy produced by the aerobic system derives from the combination of oxygen with aminoacids, the elementary molecules of proteins.
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 8:20AM - in reply to Renato Canova Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
just curious, where are you copying this information from?
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 9:34AM - in reply to Renato Canova Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Renato Canova,

I think some of us are really interested in periodization.

I know this is your thread, so I will see how it goes, but if you can, please touch upon periodization of seasons and training. For example, can you give more examples of your FUNDAMENTAL PREPARATORY STATE as opposed to your SPECIFIC PREPARATORY STAGE. Are there workouts in the Fundamental Stage, and if so, examples. Thank you.

Also, do you believe that a great marathoner must first run to his potential over 10,000m on the track?
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 9:36AM - in reply to Abuc Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Quickly: how do you go about selecting a goal marathon time to tailor your training program?

Is it based off of best times or off of recent workouts or other tests on or off the track? I believe this is very important for us to understand.
Renato Canova
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 1:18PM - in reply to Abuc Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
At first, I answer to the poster that asked "where did you copy these information". I copied from the book that I wrote for IAAF, "Marathon Training : A scientific Approach", that you can have writing to IAAF (I think that the cost is 8 ?, but I'm not sure). So, I copied from myself.
About periodization, I want to weigh up the difference of phylosophy between the FUNDAMENTAL PERIOD and the SPECIFIC PERIOD.
During the FUNDAMENTAL (or GENERAL) PERIOD, our goal is to improve all our qualities (general resistance, strenght, rapidity, flexibility, elasticity, ecc.). During this period, is very important THE INTERNAL LOAD. So, if for ex. I have in my program to run 10 x 1000m in 3 min rec. 1'30", but because of the cold or some personal problem due to my job o my family, I'm not able running under 3'08" (not because I'm lazy, but because I'm not able in spite of my commitment), I have to continue training with the same level of effort, AS THE PHYSIOLOGICAL RESULT IS THE SAME, because the Interanl Load is the same. You have to remember that TRAINING IS THE ANSWER TO A PROPOSAL, NOT THE PROPOSAL. So, if 3 athletes do the same work, we can be sure that really are 3 different level of training, because THE INTERNAL LOADS ARE DIFFERENT. Internal Load is subjective, depending on many factors.
During the SPECIFIC PERIOD, our goal is to use our consolidated qualities for preparing our performance. In this case, is essential the EXTERNAL LOAD. In other words, if I want running 10000m in 30' and I need running 10 x 1000m in 2'57" with 1'30" of interval, when I'm able running in 3'05" because I'm tired or I have some problem, I have to stop training, postponing the session to another day, BECAUSE THE SPECIFIC WORKOUT IS MATHEMATIC : 10 times 3 min are 30 min, and if you are not able running 3 times 3 min, you are not ready for running in 30'. External Load is objective, beeing the same for everyone.
Now, I can continue my explanation quoting myself.
Renato Canova
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 1:33PM - in reply to Abuc Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The I.P. usually last between 6 and 8 weeks, and follow a period of rest and nervous recovery, commonly known as TRANSATION PERIOD, which should always follow a marathon race. During the I.P. the athlete should first reacquire the capacity to work, and then develop the qualities which were neglected for months, during the preparation for the previous marathon race, and are often below the required level.
There are two main physiological targets in this period :
- Recovery and development of muscle efficiency
- Recovery and development of aerobic endurance

These physiological targets correspond the achievement of technical targets which will have a direct influence on the marathon runner's activity.
The development of the athlete's muscles may be achieved with training means other than running : general and specific conditioning exercises, isometric exercises, exercises with overloads, proprioceptive exercises and, expecially, various types of circuit training. These exercises may be combined together and performed in various ways.
It's also useful to work on running technique, using technical paces and short uphill runs, and to lay the foundations of an improvement of running efficiency by developing mobility and muscle elasticity.
We mentioned earlier that the I.P. is principally aimed at restoring aerobic endurance. From a practical point of view this means increasing the athlete's capacity to work. The training means are simple and don't vary greatly :

- SLOW PACED CONTINUOUS RUNS in a state of breathing balance, with an extensive progression, up to one and half hours

- MEDIUM PACED CONTINUOUS RUNS, with an extensive-intensive progression, i.e. the athlete is required to run progressively longer and faster, up to 45'

- CONTINUOUS PROGRESSIVE RUNS, slow paced at the beginning and then medium paced ; here again the progression is extensive-.intensive ; the duration increases up to one hour.
Renato Canova
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 1:45PM - in reply to Renato Canova Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The F.P. lasts between 8 and 10 weeks, and is the crucial phase of the athlete's preparation. During this period the athlete sustains the maximum work load and begins to work on POWER ENDURANCE.
The number of kilometers increases, while muscle efficiency in distance work in enhanced and the preparation, both mental and physical, for long distances begin. The internal load is carefully monitored with medical check-ups and field tests (if you want). The tendency is to "attack" the organism with a mixture of stimuli.
The training means don't vary greatly ; the important features are steadfastness and continuity of the work loads. The athlete often reaches a state of general fatigue which attenuates muscle vigor, but this condition can be considered normal and should not be mistaken for an inadequate physical condition or for over-training.
The physiological targets are listed below in order of importance :

The achievement of these physiological targets implies the improvement of technical features essential to an athlete's running capacity. The choice of training means, in particular the pace set for the exercises, becomes crucial. In this period, runs at below anaerobic threshold speed are intersected with runs performed at a speed higher than anerobic threshold speed, thus preparing the improvement of SPECIFIC ENDURANCE which is the essence of the preparation for a marathon race.
800 runner
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 3:00PM - in reply to Renato Canova Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Hi Renato, all of your posts have been great and I know people have got lots out of them. I was wondering if when you have time you could write about the periodization for an 800m runner like you have been doing here for the marathon. What would be of great interest would be a few key sessions from each phase and the time and paces you have seen run by your top runners. Thanks again
The Don
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 5:06PM - in reply to 800 runner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
am i the only one on this site who took high school bio or read a running book? If you want more info like this, read the lore of running by Tim Noakes. Its long but worth while.
Truth Guy
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 5:17PM - in reply to The Don Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Hey Renato, just send guys to this website which you did training stuff for.

Thanks anyway.
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 8:31PM - in reply to The Don Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

The Don wrote:

am i the only one on this site who took high school bio or read a running book? If you want more info like this, read the lore of running by Tim Noakes. Its long but worth while.

Dude, you should have taken HS English. Then you'd know to capitalize the first letter in a sentence, and capitilize "I" when writing about your favorite person. Well, we could go on ... but you get the idea.

"The Lore of Running" is a great book.
RE: TRAINING 9/23/2003 10:35PM - in reply to The Don Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The Don - Lore of Running is an excellent read, however it's alwyas nice to hear from coaches/runners who have experience of putting the theory into practice.

Renato - This is all great stuff. Please keep it coming.
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