Lopes also ran an all-time 5,000m PB in that Oslo 5,000 race, just 3 days before Mamede's 27:13 10,000 WR. Lopes went on to run 27:17 during the same 10,000 race as Mamede's 27:13. In your mind does that mean Lopes was an up-n-down runner too?
About Mamede: his debut as a top-class athlete was as a European Junior 400m runner. Then he broke the Portuguese 800m record, and moved up to break the 1500m record, then the 5,000m and 10,000m records, all the way up to setting a 10-mile WR.
Some other achievements of Fernando Mamede:
— despite he ran during the peak era of Carlos Lopes and other elite Portuguese athletes, Mamede still managed to set a total of 17 Portuguese National Records. At one point he held the Portuguese National Records at all the following distances AT THE SAME TIME:
500m, 600m, 800m, 1500m, Mile, 3,000m, 2 Miles, 5,000m and 10,000m
— he was a two-time Olympian: 1972 - 800, 1500m and 4 x 400m, and 1982 - 10,000m
— he set the 10,000m European Record in a solo run (no pacemakers)
— he won the Portuguese Cross Country National Championships more times than Lopes
— he took 3rd place in Madrid World Cross Country Championships
— he was the first man to run more than 10 x sub-28:00 for the 10,000m
— for two whole seasons he did not lose a 5,000m race in what we refer to as the Golden Gala. This prveshe was a god racer. Simply he was too tense in major games.
Some more curious facts about Fernando Mamede:
— he had the highest VO2max recorded in the world (until that time)
— in training he once ran 3 x 3,000m as a single session, and ran sub-8:00 for each of the three intervals
— he used to run a session of 15-20 x 400m as negative split intervals. The first 200m would be approx 30 secs and the last 200m would be about 26-27 secs. He would run this session with only 50 secs recovery between the 400s.
— contrary to Lopes, Mamede hated LT runs and rarely did them. He used to train twice per day at 6:00-6:30m/m pace ib most of the days.
— despite all of the above, Fernando Mamede beat Carlos Lopes a total of only six times in approximately 100 races in which they both participated. One of these six victories was Mamede's 27:13 10,000m WR. That´s is not true that Lopes did lead that WR until the las lap. Before that Lopes took the lead the pacers were Steve Jones and Mark Nenow up the 7k. But that´s true that mamede smashed Lopes in the last lap.
If you are interested to know more about Portuguese training of that era, as well as more information about Mamede, Lopes or about other training issues, follow the Cabral & Hadd thread "2 kinds of runners: Which are you?" Subject: "More than one approach to running and racing" by clicking on this link.
This is a private thread and is developing into a wide-ranging discussion on various aspects of training. It is suggested you save it as a Favourite, because it drops off the front page quickly since only Cabral & Hadd can "bump" it.
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:
John Hadd — firstname.lastname@example.org~
Antonio Cabral — email@example.com
All time 5000m Portuguese record
16.37,0 Aquilino de Sousa CIF Lisboa 04.05.1913
16.28,6 Albano Martins SCP Lisboa 09.08. 1922
16.20,6 José Maria Marques VJ Lisboa 14.06. 1924
15.37,0 José Marques Graça VJ Lisboa 12.07. 1925
15.29,4 Manuel Dias SCP Lisboa 14.07. 1929
15.25,8 Manuel Dias SCP Porto 26.07. 1930
15.25,0 Afonso Marques SCP Barcelona 27.07. 1946
15.25,0 Joaquim Branco CFB Lisboa 14.07. 1951
15.08,6 Filipe Luis SCP Lisboa 20.06. 1953
14.56,4 Manuel Faria SCP Lisboa 16.05. 1954
14.56,4 Júlio Silva SLB Lisboa 07.08. 1954
14.55,8 Manuel Faria SCP Berna 26.08. 1954
14.45,6 Manuel Faria SCP Lisboa 20.08. 1955
14.33,4 Manuel Faria SCP Barcelona 08.07. 1956
14.25,4 Manuel Faria SCP Lisboa 03.10. 1956
14.18,4 Manuel Faria SCP Barcelona 28.07. 1957
14.15,6 Manuel Oliveira SCP Roma 31.08. 1960
14.07,4 Manuel Oliveira SCP Hamburgo 20.09. 1962
14.00,6 Manuel Oliveira SCP Paris 12.06. 1964
13.51,4 Manuel Oliveira SCP Belgrado 01.09. 1966
13.50,8 Manuel Oliveira SCP Paris 04.07. 1968
13.50,2 Carlos Lopes SCP Madrid 29.06. 1972
13.46,8 Carlos Lopes SCP Lisboa (N) 05.08. 1972
13.42,8 Carlos Lopes SCP Lisboa (N) 28.07. 1973
13.41,4 Carlos Lopes SCP Lisboa (N) 18.08. 1973
13.34,2 Carlos Lopes SCP Lisboa (N) 22.06. 1974
13.34,2 Carlos Lopes SCP Lisboa (N) 19.07. 1975
13.33,8 Carlos Lopes SCP Zurique 20.08. 1975
13.26,8 Carlos Lopes SCP Colónia 21.05. 1976
13.24,0 Carlos Lopes SCP Saint Maur 02.06. 1976
13.21,93 Aniceto Simões CFSC Montreal 28.07.71976
13.17,78 Fernando Mamede SCP Estocolmo 04.07. 1978
13.14,6 Fernando Mamede SCP Lisboa (A) 10.06. 1982
13.07,70 António Leitão SLB Rieti 16.09. 1982
13.02,86 António Pinto MCP Zurique 12.08. 1998
First Carlos Lopes 10000m attempt it was more slower 31:00
First Fernando Mamede 10000m run it was in 1975/76 (24 years old) and he did 29:42.
All time 10000m Portuguese record
35.17,0 Aquilino de Sousa CIF Lisboa 01.05.13
35.95,8 Domingos Jorge VJ Lisboa 30.07.22
33.29,0 António Almeida VJ Lisboa 09.07.25
33.15,0 António Almeida VJ Lisboa 18.07.26
32.23,8 António Almeida VJ Lisboa 02.07.27
32.15,8 João Silva SLB Lisboa 08.07.45
31.38,4 Filipe Luís SCP Lisboa 08.08.53
31.03,0 José Araujo SLB Lisboa 09.05.54
30.59,0 Júlio Silva SLB Berna 25.08.54
30.55,4 Manuel Faria SCP Lisboa 11.08.56
30.45,6 Manuel Faria SCP Lisboa 26.08.56
30.44,4 Manuel Faria SCP Barcelona 23.09.57
30.33,0 Manuel Oliveira SCP Lisboa (A) 25.08.61
30.31,2 Armando Aldegalega SCP Enschede 26.06.65
30.15,6 Manuel Oliveira SCP Marmande 11.07.65
30.05,8 Anacleto Pinto SLB Lisboa (A) 19.07.67
30.03,6 Manuel Oliveira SCP Lisboa 14.07.68
29.57,6 Anacleto Pinto SLB Lisboa 04.08.68
29.28,0 Carlos Lopes SCP Lisboa 08.06.71
28.53,6 Carlos Lopes SCP Munique 31.08.72
28.37,0 Carlos Lopes SCP Lisboa (N) 05.08.73
28.30,6 Carlos Lopes SCP Lisboa (N) 14.06.75
27.45,71 Carlos Lopes SCP Munique 29.05.76
27.45,17 Carlos Lopes SCP Montreal 26.07.76
27.42,65 Carlos Lopes SCP Estocolmo 09.08.76
27.37,88 Fernando Mamede SCP Paris 17.07.80
27.27,7 Fernando Mamede SCP Lisboa (A) 30.05.81 European record
27.24,39 Carlos Lopes SCP Oslo 26.06.82 European record
27.22,95 Fernando Mamede SCP Paris 09.07,82 European record
27.13,81 Fernando Mamede SCP Estocolmo 02.07.84 World record
27.12,47 António Pinto MCP Estocolmo 30.07.99 European record
portuguese 800m record
1.49,7 Fernando Mamede SCP Bruxelas 28.06.70
1.49,0 Fernando Mamede SCP Barcelona 10.06.71
1.48,4 Fernando Mamede SCP Helsínquia 10.08.71
1.48,3 Fernando Mamede SCP Lisboa (N) 05.08.73
1.47,45 Fernando Mamede SCP Roma 02.09.74
portuguese 1500m record
3.46,9 Fernando Mamede SCP Lisboa 08.05.71
3.45,4 Fernando Mamede SCP Lisboa 16.04.72
3.42,8 Fernando Mamede SCP Lisboa 17.06.72
3.39,8 Fernando Mamede SCP Lisboa(N) 25.05.74
3.39,6 Fernando Mamede SCP Colónia 21.05.76
3.39,6 Fernando Mamede SCP Lisboa(N) 03.07.76
3.37,98 Fernando Mamede SCP Montreal 29.07.76
The other Mamede portuguese record in olympic distance is
Portuguese 4X400m relay
3.10,0 Fernando Silva, Alberto Matos, José Carvalho, Fernando Mamede Munique 09.09.72
All time marathon Portuguese record
2.57.35 Francisco Lázaro VCL Lisboa 02.5.10
2.52.08 Francisco Lázaro LS Lisboa 03.6.12
2.37.20 Manuel Dias SLB Lisboa 05.7.36
2.30.38 Manuel Dias SLB Lisboa 28.3.37
2.29.45 José Araújo SLB Braga 25.8.54
2.28.53,4 José Araújo SLB Lisboa 02.10.56
2.28.40,6 José Araújo SLB Lisboa 28.4.57
2.27.09,4 Armando Aldegalega SCP T.Vedras 10.4.66
2.24.23,6 Armando Aldegalega SCP Setúbal 13.4.69
2.20.42,6 Armando Aldegalega SCP Lisboa 04.4.71
2.20.01,2 Armando Aldegalega SCP Helsínquia 05.8.71
2.14.36,8 Anacleto Pinto SLB Faro 14.3.76
2.14.27,2 Delfim Moreira FCP R.Janeiro 01.8.81
2.12.54 Delfim Moreira SLB Frankfurt 23.5.82
2.08.39 Carlos Lopes SCP Roterdão 09.4.83
2.07.12 Carlos Lopes SCP Roterdão 20.4.85 World record
2.06.36 António Pinto MCP Londres 16.4.00 Still European record
Let me get into a point that is often misunderstood. It has been remarked that Lopes could not change pace during races. That is not true.
On 26 June 1982 Carlos Lopes ran a European Record of 27:24.39 in Oslo, beating Fernando Mamede. During that race, Lopes took the lead at 7 km. He broke away by increasing the pace to 57-58secs for both of the next two laps. He then ran the last 1500m in about 3:52 and the last 1,000m in 2:32. Is that not change of pace?
What Lopes did not have was a good final sprint, but that is because he was essentially a slow-twitch runner (ST) and Mamede was a fast-twitch runner (FT). And this is a topic myself and Hadd hope to develop more fully within our thread, because it is fundamental to knowing how best to train, and what events will best suit each individual.
This difference in the physical properties of both Lopes and Mamede basically pre-determined their different training and race strategies.
Lopes knew by trial and error (like all ST’s – see Radcliffe) that he needed to take the lead at some point in the race and run away from the lead pack if he wanted to win. He knew that if he was with anyone at the bell who had a better kick than he did, he was almost certain to lose. We saw this in global finals with Radcliffe who would lead for something like 24 laps and then get passed by three runners in the final sprint (e.g.: Ribeiro, Tulu, Wami).
Mamede, on the other hand, who knew he was fast over 200-400m, simply needed to bide his time within the pack and then try to out-kick the opposition on the final lap. Both of these race tactics had their roots in the physiological differences between both runners. The title of the Cabral & Hadd thread is “Two types of runners…”, and both these world-record holding Portuguese runners offer ideal examples of both types: Lopes (ST) and Mamede (FT). Hadd and I will get into this more deeply in future posts on that thread.
What happens in a race is that Lopes does not have a huge reserve of anaerobic capacity to call upon at the bell. He does not have a sizeable percentage of FT fibres (unlike Mamede) to recruit and use to fire up a faster final minute in a 5,000m or 10,000m race.
In saying that both runners were physiologically different in muscle fibre type, and that this necessitated different race tactics to best suit their individual strengths, it should now be understood that both of these runners (types) also needed different training approaches to maximize their individual abilities. And these training approaches were different despite the fact they both trained under the same coach.
Moniz Pereira’s coaching methodology was strongly based in the intermittent and interval-training style. Later, I will continue the discussion on what his coaching methodology was based upon.
But what I can note right now are some fundamental differences between the training of Lopes and Mamede:
Lopes ran long outdoor tempo runs several times per week: MaxLaSS runs almost daily. He used interval training like cruise “soft” training.
Mamede was the opposite: very easy runs on a daily basis, but then he regularly performed very strong track workouts and most of them as intervals with short recovery.
Lopes would take a longer recovery for the same interval workouts that Mamede did, and he would not be able to run the intervals as fast as Mamede did. This difference is fundamental to the training of both types. ST’s do not need to (and indeed, cannot) run the reps as fast as FT types, plus they need more recovery.
Allow me to clarify one aspect of the training of Carlos Lopes that I have read recently on this board, as well as often heard mentioned in several threads and in Noakes’ book as well as in studies by Billat and other articles.
Those who say that Carlos Lopes did not run tempo runs are wrong. Very wrong.
First we need to decide which Carlos Lopes we are talking about: The young Carlos Lopes junior runner, or the Carlos Lopes from the European Championships of 1971 or from the 1972 Olympics who was lapped in the heats of both events by Lasse Viren?
Or are we talking about the Carlos Lopes after 1975, when he won his first World Cross Country Championship (76 Chepstow WCCC) and was second in the 1976 Olympics, at the finish line just some feet behind the self-same Lasse Viren who had lapped him four years before?
Because if we are to talk about Lopes after 1975, let me assure you he was running very fast on a daily basis and no-one could live with him on those tempo runs.
One of the main aspects that characterized Lopes’ training during his best seasons up to the 2:07:12 World Marathon Best or his 27:17 10,000m run, or the 1984 LA Olympic Marathon win or leading up to his 3 WCCC wins (and 2 seconds) was that fact that he would run 20-40 mins of tempo runs at a paces ranging from 2:55 to 3:05-3:07 per km, several times each week. We might consider these efforts as MaxLaSS and LT pace.
(Note here that Hadd makes a distinction between both paces, Lactate Turnpoint (LTP) pace and Lactate Threshold (LT). “LT corresponds extremely well (and is useful) with training for marathon performance, while the Lactate Turnpoint correlates better with MaxLaSS (Maximum Lactate Steady State) and thus HM and 10k performances.”)
Also on the runs that Lopes considered “easy days” he would often cover 16-17 km or even 18.5 km for a one hour run.
You can believe me on this, because I am Portuguese and the above information has been related in a number of books, interviews and studies, as well as from the mouth of Lopes’ coach and Lopes himself. I trained and followed Lopes by direct observation on a near daily basis for a period of almost 20 years. I was personally present when he (and Mamede) would do their track workouts. I spoke to many runners who would try and go with him on his tempo runs. No Portuguese runner of that period, including Fernando Mamede (13:09 and 27:17 WR) could live with him when he decided to run his 20-30-40 mins tempo runs. Okay, Mamede could, but he chose not to, because he knew he would not be able to handle his planned training for the day after !
I read that Mr Noakes insists on evidence, that only from evidence shall we have a reliable source. Is scientific evidence somehow different from empirical? But then I also realise that he draws some wrong conclusions from wrong information.
I do not know from where Mr Noakes got his information about the training of Carlos Lopes. I am left doubting the conclusion he draws from what he claims are facts and evidence. I believe he had some source of information, but it must have been the wrong source, and I would urge him to go back and check the information once more. No scientist can draw correct conclusions if the initial data/evidence is flawed.
If required, I can provide copies of several publications stating that Lopes performed what we call hard tempos on a several times a week basis. I still have regular access to Lopes and see him frequently – indeed I saw him last Saturday. So, if you are interested, you can come to Portugal, and I can arrange for you to hear what I say confirmed from the mouth of Carlos Lopes himself or his coach !
Soon I will write something I consider very curious and interesting about how Lopes and Mamede trained differently in the 3-day period between the Oslo 5,000m run on 28 June 1984, and the Stockholm 10,000m WR set on 2 July 1984 (in which Mamede ran 27:13 new WR and Lopes ran 27:17 PB).
Good stuff, Antonio. And of course you and I have talked about this distinction between types of runners (ST vs FT) for a number of years now. Indeed many readers of this thread (a number of whom I coach by email) will have heard me make this distinction over and over since I first starting corresponding with them way back in 2003 and even earlier.
We are fortunate that these Portuguese WR Holders, Lopes and Mamede, physically encapsulate this distinction, making it easier to discuss them as types. Within seconds of each other at 5,000m and 10,000m, they demonstrate that they achieved these levels of performance by two separate routes. Lopes with his killing-LT runs and Mamede who favoured hard interval sessions.
Of course there might be some reading this who are not old enough to recall these runners in their prime. So perhaps we could try and put this in a more modern context by asking the following question: do you think Ryan Hall and Alan Webb should train the same?
Like their Portuguese counterparts, the capabilities of these two US runners are not so far apart at 5,000m and 10,000m (okay, Hall might need to update his marks at both distances in light of his recent HM and M times). So, should Hall and Webb train the same? Or are they achieving their near-equal performances at 5-10km by different routes?
Let me also note the point Antonio makes about Mamede having the highest VO2max recorded at that time. Lopes’ would have been (significantly) lower. But what we can surmise from this is that Mamede probably had the poorer running economy, (needing more oxygen per running pace) and that Lopes with his lower maximal oxygen uptake could offset this, compensate for this, with a superior running economy (having a lower oxygen requirement for a similar running velocity).
(In a similar vein, Jack Daniels once published a paper on two runners with 3,000m performances within seconds of each other, but with significant differences in running economy, which mirrors the two runners we are discussing).
As you and I have long discussed, Antonio, (and the impetus behind this thread), it is vital for each runner to determine his/her running “type” in order to train optimally. Would Lopes have succeeded so well if encouraged to run intervals like Mamede (very fast reps with short recovery)? Would Mamede have set a 10,000m WR if forced to run regular LT runs like Lopes each week?
Almost definitely not. In both cases.
Moniz Pereira is to be commended for recognising the differences between these two, and adapting the training approaches to suit each of them.
Although I define the two types as ST (slow-twitch) and FT (fast-twitch), things are not so black and white (they never are, are they). We need to see the difference between ST and FT as a wide spectrum, much like the 256 shades of grey that lie between Black and White on a computer screen.
First of all, I need to point out that I am not referring to ST as someone with 100% ST fibres and FT as someone with 100% FT fibres (neither of which might exist in human form). When I refer to “ST”, I generally mean an athlete with roughly 80% ST and 20% FT fibres.
Of course the opposite of this would be an athlete with 80% FT and 20% ST fibres, but anyone with this mix would more likely be attracted to sprint training and not be drawn to distance training. So let me define the “FT” end of the spectrum I refer to as someone who is an 800-1500 type of athlete (or even a 400-800 type). Someone we might generally refer to as a “middle-distance” (M-D) runner.
It is most unlikely that an M-D runner has an 80% FT and 20% ST mix. Much more likely would be 50% FT and 50% ST, or similar. So, for the purposes of this discussion I would define the types of runners at both ends of the ST vs FT spectrum as follows:
“ST” = ~80% ST and 20% FT fibres
“FT” = ~50% ST and 50% FT fibres
The values are not intended to be precise; the biggest distinction between the two types would be in their ability to develop energy from the glycolytic (lactate) energy system. And of course most of us will lie somewhere between both polar opposites.
By providing evidence of two runners with near-equal performances at 5,000m and 10,000m, yet totally different approaches to training, Antonio is reminding us that all roads can lead to (uh...) Lisbon.
There is not just one single way to train to run a given time at any race distance. There can be many. And each possible way of achieving the performance time depends on the kind of runner doing the training. The type of training you do must best suit the kind of runner you are. What works for your buddy Joe, may do so primarily because of the kind of body Joe has. His kind of training might not work so well for you (and here we can compare the differing approaches of Lopes and Mamede).
So, before you go any further, if you are really going to train yourself the best you know how, it would help if you understood what kind of runner you are. The ancient Greeks said this best, “Know Thyself”.
We could do this a number of ways (and a number of you have already written to me asking how you might do this):
1. Muscle biopsy. Go in, cut a bit of muscle out, and analyse it for fibre type content.
What? No takers?
2. Lactate test. Run a 600m all-out TT and determine peak lactate value (take a number of readings till BLa peaks post performance). We might find 8-12mM BLa for ST (depending on recent training; lower end if training for an upcoming marathon) and 18mM (or higher) for FT (depending on event).
Even more simple… (remember, these are only rules of thumb – not hard and fast rules)
3. You line up with other friends of a similar 10k performance level, for some hard 100m reps, you invariably finish last. (If you answer yes, you are likely to be more ST than your friends).
Here Antonio will probably tell us that Lopes would invariably last in the interval session of 400s… and then then finish first in the weekend race.
4. Final kick over the last 200m in a 5k or 10k race. You lose to your rival every single (%^) time, even though your PRs are pretty much identical. (If yes, you are more ST. When you get fed up, go longer, you’ll smoke ‘im at HM and M).
5. You positively dislike interval training with a vengeance and the long Sunday run and long LT-type runs are your favourite sessions of the week. (If yes, there is a good chance you are more an ST-type).
6. Look up your performance points on the IAAF Scoring Tables (available for download from iaaf.org). If your point score rises as the race distance lengthens, chances are you are more-ST.
As can be seen, and should be appreciated, there are no hard-and-fast rules for determining into which category (ST vs FT) each runner might fall. The outliers at both ends of the spectrum are the easiest to classify, but just like in any Bell Curve, most of us will tend to fall in the middle. Over time and by checking how well they respond, or not, to different types of training each runner should get a better idea of where he/she lies on the ST-FT continuum. This knowledge will help them to fine-tune the optimal training for their particular physiology.
Final point: this distinction ST vs FT does not predict who will win in a head-to-head over a particular race distance. It is simply meant to offer you some guidance as to the kind of training that might work optimally for you.
Note: I’m busy with grading papers right now. I’ll get back to discussion of the HR graphs shortly. Lots more to say.
Miruts Yifter was not concerned with performance in terms of time, but simply with winning.
In 1972, despite the fact he was already 27 years old, he was (in running terms) something of a beginner, since he had begun training not long before. His main intention was to win his event in the next Olympics. He did not really care about the seasons in between Olympics. Africans were not as professional as they are now; they ran for their country, and to win the Olympics, and that was the peak of their ambition.
But from 1974 to 1991, Ethiopia was led by a communist dictator called Mengistu Haile Mariam, who had taken over power from Haile Selassie. Under the former’s rule, Ethiopia boycotted the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
There followed a civil war that ended with Eritrean independence.
It is somewhat speculative, but I think that Yifter would have defeated Viren and the others in 1976 if he had been allowed to train properly and race in Montreal. Somewhat speculative either but I think that Carlos Lopes would have win the 1980 Moscow marathon if he didn’t accept the Portuguese boycott.
Mengistu did permit Ethiopian athletes to compete in Moscow in 1980, and Yifter smashed them all. Okay, he was assisted by Kedir, but he still had to run his race with his own two feet! In between Olympics, Yifter paid little attention to other race meetings; for him, only the Olympics really counted.
At that time, most Africans did not know how to pace a distance race; often pushing the pace in the straights and slowing down on the curves. Of course, this tactic was often enough to wipe out all the non-African runners and ensure they would have little chance of winning.
What the Africans did not want was another runner leading instead of them. Often by pursuing such a crazy hard-cruise-hard tactic, the Africans were their own worst enemy!
In an interview at that time, Carlos Lopes was once asked, “How will you deal with the Africans when they begin using that fartlek strategy?” Lopes quickly replied, “Oh, they do that? Don’t worry… I can do that too!”
On another current thread, the OP has 5km and HM performances (sub-1:10) and wants to aim for a fall marathon. He asked for some guidelines. I posted this and will repost it here because it is quite pertinent to the recent and ongoing discussion (and I have no idea where that other thread will end up).
For the OP (sleepyRunner), here’s a quick summary of how I’d approach it:
First, I’d check out the performance points of my 5k PR and my new sub-1:10 HM PR and see what they are. I might learn a coupla things and they could serve to guide my marathon build-up. You want to get as much info as you can about the kind of runner you are...
If the points for the 5km are significantly better than for the HM, then I’d be a little concerned, because that could suggest that the downward points trend will continue towards the marathon.
I might see something like this: - 5km 1,000 pts … HM 950 pts …(predicted) M 900 pts
This would suggest to me that my long distance endurance is not as highly trained as my 5km performance, so in the weeks leading up to the marathon, I’d be very careful to improve endurance and fat-burning training every week. Otherwise I might myself cruising for 20 miles in the race and then bonking outta muscle glycogen. You need to work a lot on fuel-economy.
So, I’d be looking at the paces between M-12 (Mpace minus 12 secs per mile) and (more importantly in this situation) M+24 (Mpace + 24 secs per mile). I would do as much of the latter pace in a week that I could (within reason), building up to 10-milers and even 2 x 10km at this pace (it ain’t tough) as a single workout.
Example: Mpace = 6:00m/m, M-12 = 5:48m/m, and M+24 = 6:24m/m
Being me, I would correlate all this with HR so I could be sure my “engine” isn’t working at an effort I just know I cannot maintain for a marathon (ie: going in I’d be confident race pace is going to be no higher than 87-89% HRmax – see Cabral & Hadd thread for more details).
To gain marathon endurance, this (more-FT kind of runner) must expect to lose / give up some speed at 5km. In other words, his 5km performance should worsen as his marathon date approaches. Probably his 10-km will also worsen... What you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabout.
If the points for the HM are better than for the 5km (and this is possible if you are more-ST – see Cabral & Hadd thread for definition), then I would ensure that I kept up the ability to run a near-PR 5km right up until nigh Marathon day.
Once again, I’d work all the paces from M-12 to M+24, but I would also add in some faster 5k-paced work on a semi-regular basis; you give up that 5km ability at your peril if you are an ST-type of runner.
Be careful of Mpace. It can be overrated. Often just a little bit slower than Mpace is better (eg: M+10 to M+24 above). Too, you want to make sure you are training at “effort” and not “pace”.
A marathon in a cool northern climate in April is not the same as a marathon in Honolulu in August. The effort is pretty much the same, but the pace is definitely not. We found this here one time; we trained for a marathon in the Mediterranean heat at HRmarathon and got one running pace, but then raced in a far northern way cooler climate and raced 12 secs/mile faster at the same HR (due simply to change of ambient temp).
The worst thing we could’ve done in training was to train at "M_pace". This would’ve been too hard due to the hot training environment and we would've rapidly overtrained.
Fortunately we trained at "M_effort" and took "Mpace/M_Effort" to be to 88-90% HRmax and were rewarded with a very successful marathon and ignored what the pace was. So, I would suggest monitoring much of your training by HR (especially in warm climate) and not focussing too much on target race pace.
The final pre-Marathon mode (aka Phase IIB) might only last 6-8 weeks (the longer period for the FT-runner who needs to gain a ton of endurance, the shorter period might be enough for the ST-runner who finds his performances improve as the distance lengthens, so it is not as difficult for him/her to switch to M-mode).
Until that time, work on improving your 10k-HM performances (and even 3-5km if you are a strong-ST type).
Okay, let me continue with discussion of HR graphs for different events, because there is a lot of worthwhile information we can gain about our current condition, and use this info for training purposes.
I had remarked earlier to Antonio (perhaps to his surprise) that once the training pace went above (faster than) approx 15km/10mile even HM pace, it becomes more difficult to use the HRM to control the training intensity.
As with the earlier two graphs, we can see that I can give this runner a workout at M_pace (or more precisely: M_effort) by getting her to run in the HRzone of 175-179. Irrespective of the pace at that HR, I am sure that she is doing the workout I want her to do.
(once again, refer to M_graph)
Imagine I chose to do as some would advise, and get her to train at Mpace. I would know by her recent performance in a cool northern climate that she averaged 6:07m/m for the race. However we are now back in Med climate again and the temp is not 8degC and cloudy as on race day, but it is now 25degC and the sun is baking down. Do anyone really think it would be sensible to get her to run 10 miles at “Mpace” (6:07m/m) in the much hotter Med summer weather?
I don’t. I believe that Mpace was Mpace partly because of the environmental conditions on race day. If instead of running in 8degC in N. Europe, she had run a marathon in Napoli in S. Italy in 25degC, then she would most definitely NOT have averaged 6:07m/m. So “Mpace” only works, if current conditions match those that were true when the performance was run.
So, since we are training in 25degC, it would be suicidal to run at a “race pace” that is only applicable/valid to cool N. Europe climes.
Imagine you set a PR in Chicago in October (or NYC in November) and you are now training again in Texas in August, do you still think “Mpace” is a valid pace to train at?
I don’t. So, I don’t set her off for a 10-mile training run at 6:07m/m, but at M_effort: of 175-179 HR, the HR zone she maintained in her last marathon.
In this training run in Napoli, I do not care what the pace is per mile! (Read that sentence again)
If she is training in the correct Marathon_HRzone, then the effort for the training is perfect. We know from experience that under very hot conditions (eg: 25degC or hotter) that the pace at this HRzone can be ~6:19m/m instead of the 6:07m/m we saw in 8degC.
The difference between 6:19m/m and 6:07m/m does not matter (as explained in this example). The difference in running pace at this HR is due almost entirely to the difference in ambient conditions (temp + humidity).
We pay absolutely no attention to the running pace under such adverse conditions. It will be what it will be.
What we do instead is look for improvement over time under similar conditions. So if one month ago we saw 6:19m/m average pace at this HRzone at 25degC, and today we see the athlete running just as comfortably at 6:15m/m at the same HRzone under the same conditions, then (all else being equal) we can feel confident that the athlete’s physical condition has improved and that, if we were to return and race under 8degC conditions, we might confidently expect a better marathon performance than 6:07m/m.
(We can corroborate this by checking the athlete’s lactate response over time in this HR zone).
So, training at 175-179 HR will improve this athlete’s LT (as defined above). Indeed she might train even more mileage at 170-174 HR for a greater effect.
To move the athlete’s LTP (again, defined above, and one of these days I’ll get into why I use a double-threshold concept), we can have her train in the HRzone 180-184.
(once again refer to 15k graph).
For the exact same reason just given for training at M_effort instead of M_pace, we would have the athlete train at 15k_effort (180-184 HR) and not at “15k_pace”; the particular pace she achieved in that race. A large part of the pace in the race was due to the ambient conditions on race day. The conditions on a training day two months later may differ and to account for this we make sure the athlete maintains the same effort and not the same pace (which may require greater effort due to adverse conditions).
To get back to where I was, for both of these efforts (LT and LTP) I can use HR to guide the training intensity. This has a number of benefits, among them:
1. I can be sure the athlete is training exactly as I wish her to, irrespective of environmental conditions
2. The athlete does not have to worry about pace, and mile splits, and thus run over known routes to set times
3. The athlete does not have to run on a known route, but can run point-to-point in any direction that suits her (and be picked up by car on arrival) and thus always keep the training fresh and interesting
4. This stops the athlete becoming “competitive” with herself and comparing her times over a known route to previous efforts. Thus we avoid her "racing the training".
However, as I remarked to Antonio, at training intensities above (faster than) 15k pace, it becomes virtually impossible (or at least very difficult) to control, or set, the training intensity by HR, simply because at running paces above LTP, the HR is going to rise continuously over the course of the run. Given that, what possible HRzone can I give the athlete?
Let’s look at this graph:
This is a graph of a 10k road race by the same runner from the first two graphs (as explained earlier, it is simpler to see the effects of different performances on a single individual).
As we can see, the HR rises steadily from the 1 km mark till the 10 km mark. The km/mile splits (and I’ll look these out and post them up) are consistent and steady, as would be expected from an experienced athlete.
Now some of you looking at this graph might think that the HR rise is not so drastic as I am making out, and that surely the HR stays quite steady for a long way. You might even think that some of this info can be used to guide training.
But the horizontal scale of the graph is confusing the issue somewhat. When I created these three graphs (10k, 15k, and M), I used the same format for each; the same 110-200 HR scale and the same horizontal scale. But of course the events are much different in length.
Now let me put the three races on a single graph, and you will better appreciate the difference in the HR response under the three different race conditions.
Consider this graph with all races to scale:
Here the black line is the HR during the Marathon performance; the blue line is the HR during the 15k performance (note the HR peaks in the two difficult hills early in the race), and the red line is the HR during the 10k performance.
The distinctions between the three HR responses are much more dramatic, and no way can one be mistaken for either of the others.
If I was standing trackside as my athlete trained, and was hearing the HR get called out to me as she passed by every 400m, there is no way I could mistake the difference between (eg) a “marathon effort” and a “10k effort”. I don’t even need to know the running paces involved, I can tell by the HR values what level of effort the runner is putting in.
(The Green Line in this graph is this runner’s HR_LT, and the Red Dotted Line [horizontal] is this Runner’s HR_LTP)
More to come…
Let me ask Antonio for some more insights into the training of Lopes and Mamede.
Since we have been discussing Mamede and Lopes, do you have an example week of training for each of them when aiming for a top 5,000m or 10,000m performance? Maybe even two weeks of training, since we cannot fit all the relevant sessions into one week. Can you explain to us some interesting background behind the (unique differences) training of Lopes and Mamede?
Also, when Lopes would move from aiming for 5000m to aiming for an upcoming marathon, what changes would he make to his training and how long would he stay in his pre-marathon training mode?
I will post about the training of Lopes and Mamede, as well as my interpretation of both types of training, but before I do I want to say something more about Mario Moniz Pereira’s training. By doing so, the training of Lopes and Mamede can be contextualised and understood as a direct training result of Moniz Pereira’s method of coaching both athletes. I hope to show that the training of each one was individualised, since they both had different temperaments, as well as different “fibre type” – according to our classification, Lopes was an ST-type runner and Mamede was an FT-type.
I want this to be my final post(s) on the Portuguese middle distance school. I have already said that we (all) must look to the past to see what was done right or wrong, and take from those facts and experience the correct conclusions. However, I would repute any suggestions that reproducing the self-same training today will recreate similar levels of success.
In my opinion, we need to use historical methodology and training techniques purely as a starting point upon which to build the training of today and tomorrow. To this we must always add something of ourselves and our own training experience and ideas. Never should we simply copy the training methods of anyone else, even if they were very good and (in their day) created champions.
This is exactly what Moniz Pereira did with Lopes and Mamede and others. He sat down and analysed, studied and tried to penetrate the deep fundamentals of other training schools and methodologies of the time. Yet he was clever and skillful enough to not follow any one single training method, but out of all of them to create his own unique style, always underpinned by the positive aspects of numerous other methods.
Moniz Pereira did not base too much on the physiology of training – despite having a Master’s degree in that area. Neither did he take into consideration the recent training methods of African runners and the current training methods of the day.
When Moniz Pereira studied the main training methods and the training systems, he tapped into a well of information about middle and long distance training methodology. Among the systems he studied were;
1. The Finnish training method (1912-1939)
2. The Swedish method (1930-1947)
3. The German method with 2 periods (1939-1944 and (1952-1964)
4. The specific case of Zatopek and his own training method (1948-1956)
5. The Hungarian training method and Mihaly Igloy (1948-1956)
6. The Australian method (1954-1968)
7. Cerutty’s training
8. The phenomenon of Ron Clarke and the Glenhutly group
9. Polish training method (1952-1964)
10. Lydiard training method and NZ training success (1960-1968).
11. French training school and the special case of Rene Frassinelli; coach of Michele Jazy (1956-1970).
12. Soviet training (1954-1968).
Moniz Pereira's intention was to understand the overall “umbrella”, the “big picture” behind all those diverse (and successful) training methods. He wanted to understand what each one offered as new and unique and how that contributed to the progression of training science. He soon realised that most training ideology consisted of the same variables – or training elements. These were present in all training methods, and the most common were; continuous runs, intermittent runs, mileage (volume) and intensity (pace or speed), periodisation and competition frequency, basic/generic training along with specificity.
He understood that there existed a kind of dichotomy between certain training aspects. That each different training method saw each training element as two main types of contradictory yet complementary training effects and that all training variants were present in each training method.
I don’t think this is the time or place to go into greater detail, plus it would take a long time to explain the how and why of what Moniz Pereira decided to use as his own training method, labeled the Portuguese training school. However I can discuss some of his crucial training decisions and from these we can understand why Lopes and Mamede trained the way they did.
Mario observed that continuous daily runs are the optimal way to approach the basic aerobic training zone, but when it came to specific and fast-paced training, intermittent and interval-type training is the most effective.
Even if you wish to train in a zone that is considered “aerobic power”, no other training method is superior to interval training. To improve resistance, intermittent training and particular the interval training – when performed correctly – is the most effective of all training methods.
Another important conclusion of Moniz Pereira is that it is possible for a runner to stay in his “best shape” for a long period – he believed up to eight months was possible. Later I will show how Lopes followed Moniz Pereira’s principle with great success, and stayed in top shape for eight months in a single “season” that included wins in Olympics, World Records and over Cross Country. This contrasts with a number of other training methods that believe this is not possible. Think here of those methods that prescribe long build up periods, and are designed so the athlete is in “top shape” for only a few days/weeks each season.
Since the aim was to be in top shape for a long time, as well as competing very frequently, Moniz Pereira found it vital to include some specific training during all phases of each season’s periodisation. Therefore he used interval training and repetition track workouts, but always sparingly and under certain considerations and constraints – never flat-out all the way, all the time.
Another important aspect to consider – and this is vital to understand the training of Lopes and Mamede (which I will post later) – is that Moniz Pereira did not trust altitude training, and its (supposed) benefits. This point is relevant to understanding why Lopes and Mamede trained as they did – with frequent intermittent and interval-type training and, in the case of Lopes, fast continuous runs that he sometimes performed 17.5k , or 18k or even 19k within a 60-minute run. He did this because he is an ST-type, but also because he trained at sea-level. Neither Lopes nor Mamede, nor Antonio Pinto (13:02, 27:08, 59:47 and 2:06:36) ever trained at altitude.
Recently I read something on the net that made me think about the different classifications and training profiles we are discussing – the FT and the ST.
I thought it curious how Derek Graham says he trained (see below).
Don´t you think we may consider him a typical ST runner despite his best PB seems to be a close match between the mile and the HM performances?
Derek Graham (born 1941) is a former Northern Irish distance athlete. The first Northern Irish man to break 4minutes for the mile, he was ranked number 1 in U.K. and Ireland over 2 miles/3000m, 3 miles/5000m and cross country at various periods in the 1960's.
He was selected for 9 consecutive International cross country races (later to be recognised as the World Cross country, finishing 2nd in 1966 in Rabat, Morocco. He also attended the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, 1966 European Championships and the 1966 and 1970 Commonwealth Games. He was the Irish record holder for various distances through this time.
At the 1970 Commonwealth Games, Graham picked up a virus, which later developed into Myalgic Encephalomyelities (M.E.), which ultimately ended his athletics career
(From this interview:)
He was ranked number 1 in U.K. and Ireland over 2 miles/3000m, 3 miles/5000m and cross country at various periods in the 1960's.
1 mile- 3.59.2 (eclipsed the 4-minute barrier on 3 occasions)- N.I. RECORD
3000m 8.03- IRISH RECORD
2 mile- 8.33.8-U.K/IRISH RECORD
3 mile- 13.15.6 recorded in the same race that Ron Clarke broke the World record and I was the first British runner. IRISH RECORD
5000m - 13.41.4- IRISH RECORD
6 mile- 28.40.6-N.I. RECORD
10,000m - 29.00.06- N.I. RECORD
Half marathon- 1hr 3 mins 53 IRISH RECORD
15 mile road 1hr 13 mins 45 IRISH RECORD
I liked to get out about 6 days a week and never trained twice a day. Ten and five milers were a stable part of my training with many strides throughout the duration of the runs. This gave me the stamina and at the same time it worked at speed and speed endurance. My runs were always tempo, never slow paced. When training we would be out for a long run and then I would suggest doing a stride to a specific lamppost. When we were almost there I would then say ok continue to the next one? Things like that happened often. We played around and had fun at the same time. On occasions I would go out for a run myself and then meet up with the boys at the club for another run later on. I was self-coached and did pretty much what my club team mates did. There was nothing scientific or startling to my training as I couldn't even tell you about any specific training sessions that stick out in my memory! Many times when I went to compete at the White City I would hear the mutterings from the likes of Hill, Stewart and so on of how many miles they had trained each week. Sometimes they would say 100, other times 160, I would suddenly question my being there. After all I had probably only done about 60 odd mile each week, 70 at the very, very most. When I was doing the indoor races in the winter I would occasionally nip into Ormeau Park and do 150m sprints in the dark with a 30 sec recovery, this would be repeated about 30 times.
From what you’ve posted, Antonio, Derek Graham sounds like “classic ST” to me.
If we run his PB’s through the IAAF Scoring Tables, we get:
1 mile - 1084 points
3k - 1038
2 mile - 1075
3 mile (not available)
5,000 - 1063
10,000 - 1041
HM - 1097
15 mile - (not available)
That the HM is (slightly) the highest performance is a strong sign that this runner is definitely more-ST.
It is notable that the 1-mile time is the second best performance, but I think a lot of that might be down to the “sub-4 mile” thing that was going around in those days (1960s). Also, there would be some prestige in him being the first Irish athlete (or one of the first) to manage this feat, so I think that would have encouraged him to focus on that event, even though he may not have been ideally (physiologically) suited to it.
Looking at his training, we see the classic ST symptoms; lots of tempos / steady runs and just strides as “speedwork”.
Just as an aside, every so often threads show up here on LRC about runners who do really well with just distance and tempo work, all claiming that their performances suffer as soon as they add in tons of intervals. Those who post on those threads seem unaware that this is because they are ST runners and that overdoing intervals instead of mileage and tempos does not suit ST runners at all (here look at Lopes as the classic example with his killing-LT/LTP runs and intervals used sparingly with longer recoveries than [say] Mamede). HRE comes to mind as someone who posts on such threads, relating how he runs well on steady work but that race performances “go south” with the addition of intervals.
Of course this all makes sense; physiologist Gary Dudley posted in 1982 the effects of different work intensities on mitochondrial growth in different muscle fibres.
(The paper is still protected and you need to pay something like $8-15 to view it online ... I will find time to redraw one of the graphs and ask Weldon to host it to make the following point).
Dudley was using rats so we cannot draw exact comparisons with humans, but he showed that different running intensities (as a percent of VO2max) promoted different mitochondrial growth rates in different muscle fibres types (ST Red, FT Red and FT White was the nomenclature he used, I believe, to differentiate between fibre types).
A rise in running intensity from 50% VO2max saw a rise in mitochondrial volume in ST-R fibres (the fibres recruited at that intensity). Mitochondrial volume peaked in ST-R fibres at ~85% VO2max and then plateaued as the pace increased to 100% VO2max and above.
Mitochondrial growth in FT-R fibres began at about the point growth in ST-R fibres peaked (~85% VO2max) and increased (in FT-R fibres) as running intensity increased. This obviously mirrored a greater recruitment of FT-R fibres instead of ST-R fibres as the running pace increased.
As the pace approached and passed 100% VO2max, growth in mainly FT-R and FT-W increased in proportion. Mitochondrial growth in ST-R fibres did not rise once the pace passed 85% VO2max. (This is much easier to understand in graph form – I’ll make one and post it up).
So, since 85% VO2max is roughly M-pace in good runners, then it demonstrates that (assuming they are strong-ST types) such runners can optimally train their ST fibres (which make up ~80% of their total muscle fibres) by training up to around M-pace or a little faster (say M-15: Mpace minus 15 secs per mile or 5:45m/m if Mpace is 6:00 m/m).
Of course we also know that ST runners must not ONLY do this type of running, or they will tend to become LSD runners, and unable to race well over shorter distances. The Anaerobic Capacity (AnC), their ability to generate lactate, in an ST runner is naturally weak, so they need regular (but sparing) injections of faster running that generates some lactate. This could be anything from strides (tons of 150s in the example of D. Graham here) or even up to 400s with longish recovery (to give their AnC time to recover before the next rep).
Note that these strides do not need to be that quick. Graham remarks that he would run 30 x 150m “sprints” with 30-secs recovery. I think it’s obvious that anything done 30 times is not a “sprint”, especially when combined with only 30-secs recovery. So these might be anything between 800-1500m pace. Just fast enough to generate some lactate and force the body to learn to clear it in the 30-secs recovery. By training this way, Graham would be improving his LTP / MaxLaSS. That coupled to his longer steady runs would make him competitive at all distances up to at least HM (and possibly longer if he altered his training focus for 6-8 weeks leading up to a marathon).
In an earlier post I had said I would let you know how Carlos Lopes trained in the three days between 28 June ’82 (when he ran his 5,000m PB) and 2 July ’82 (when he would run his 10,000m PB).
Lopes took part in the Oslo Meeting on 28 June, along with Fernando Mamede. Mamede won the 5,000m in a new PB of 13:12.83. Lopes finished third in that event in a lifetime PB of 13:16.38.
Three days later, on 2 July, they both flew to Stockholm and competed in the 10,000m there. The results were:
1 Fernando Mamede(Por)......27:13.81 WR
2 Carlos Lopes (Por)........27:17.48
3 Mark Nenow (USA)..........27:40.00
I have a friend called Joao Campos who is an Olympian as well as one-time 3,000m World Indoor Champion. He also participated in that 5,000m race in Oslo and ran 13:19.10. He then followed Lopes and Mamede to Stockholm. He told me that in the days leading up to the 10,000m he trained with Lopes. He says that he never ran a 30-min run so fast in his whole life, and swears that Lopes was running at
sub-29:00 10k pace that day!
Meanwhile, Mamede did nothing but easy runs in the three days between the Oslo 5,000m and the Stockholm 10,000m WR.
This story makes sense if we bear in mind that Lopes and Mamede had different temperaments, as well as being different “fibre types” (according to our classification, Lopes was an ST-type runner and Mamede was an FT-type).
One thing I would like us to do with your example data from Lopes and Mamede is derive some general, and practical, training advice for FT vs ST. After all, we are encouraging people to learn what type of athlete they are ... it makes sense that we then show them alternate (but just as successful) ways of training to suit their “type”.
For example; Mamede did not like to do hard tempo runs like Lopes, but he was able to run lots of 400m intervals and have exactly the same effect on his LTP that Lopes had on HIS LTP / MaxLaSS when he did tempo runs.
Mamede did this because he kept the recovery very short (something we do here too). AND (very important) he made the recovery active (100m jog in ~40 secs). This session would not have worked so well in raising his LTP if he had had a passive recovery (standstill for 40 secs), doing so would have given his anaerobic ability time to recover and so the next rep (and all subsequent reps) would have been run with too high anaerobic content and not stressed his aerobic capacity/lactate clearance as he wanted (and which he needed to raise his LTP).
So what Mamede was doing was exposing his body to some little lactate with 400m at ~10k pace and then letting his body learn how to clear it in the 40 secs jog of 100m. So; exposure / clearance, exposure / clearance ... and very soon Mamede’s blood lactate at 10k pace would get lower (as his clearance ability improved) and he would feel more comfortable at that pace.
Lopes, being ST (a type generally not that keen on intervals), was better when he ran at a slower pace (as I have just explained with the Dudley reference and as will become more clear when I post up the graph drawn from his 1982 paper). Because he had so many ST fibres, Lopes did not have to train so fast as Mamede to be able to recruit a large percentage of muscle mass. So, for him, he could go just a little bit slower than 10k pace ... maybe only 2-3 secs/lap slower but he could do a hard tempo run of 20-30 mins at that pace, or he could go longer at Mpace ... and such sessions would have the same effect in him (raising LTP), that 20 x 400m with 100m jog recovery had in Mamede.
So, your data is showing that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Let's see if we can tighten it up; what details can you give us on how Mamede and Lopes employed intermittent training to achieve (respectively) WR levels in 10k and marathon?
(Just to note I still have 2 graphs to post up: one on the Dudley research, and another on MaxLaSS which ties back nicely to stuff I have already discussed. So, more to come ...)
In your last post you touched upon a very important aspect of training; the one that teaches us that different workouts or different formats of training can nevertheless contain similar training effects and provoke similar adaptations. Therefore the choice of which type of training to choose depends on the specific training target of the individual.
If you don’t mind, I will continue this line of thought. Each individual is unique. We have different types of runners. In an attempt to synthesise and discriminate between them, you mention different “types” categorising each by percentage of types of muscle fibres. Therefore to have a single unique training method that fits everyone is impossible. The target event (egg: either 800m 5k or marathon) is going to determine to a large extent in which direction the training must go; but so also does the type of runner.
What does this mean? It means that blind training advice that is based simply upon a particular training method, or upon knowledge of physiology — but advice that pays no attention to the actual runner who is going to do the training — is never going to be optimal.
A second conclusion is that “training formats” or “training workout standards” must also be individual.
You know that long ago I studied intermittent training in all its components and variants. I concluded that no-one can claim a priori that such-and-such training is superior to another.
As you demonstrate, the different workouts of Lopes and Mamede were aimed at the same target in each individual of improving their aerobic condition and improved lactate management. Each was equally effective at achieving their aim, yet the paths were different; one achieved it with continuous running, the other one with interval training.
The so-called “best aerobic pace” — the kind of training that is so important for Phase I of every training periodisation, and even continued into Phase 2
(pre-competitive or competitive phase) — can be done equally well with continuous running as well as interval training.
Some “guidelines” do apply though if you wish to achieve this by interval training; the recovery must be kept quite short AND/OR active, this enables the runner to have some exposure to lactate (during the interval set) and then “learn” to clear the lactate (during the short and/or active interval recovery), and so on.
Done this way, the average pace of each interval set tends to be slower (and thus more aerobic), than with a more typical interval training workout (the kind requiring a longer and more-passive recovery between intervals).
In the example of Mamede, I can provide concrete figures.
If the coach Mario Moniz Pereira intends that Mamede runs an LTP interval workout he might do a track workout as 10-15 x 400m in 64-67 secs with 100m jog recovery in ~40 secs.
Or he might run 15-20 x 200m in 30-32 secs with 100m jog recovery in ~35 secs. Or he might run 20-25 x 150m with 50m jog recovery in ~30 secs.
As you point out, some types of runner (egg: FT type) may benefit tremendously from this interval training workout format as aerobic conditioning, or even aerobic power, as well as improving lactate management. Although this workout format does not possess the same continuity as typical LT or LTP “tempo” workouts it has a similar effect, but also due to the short, active intermittent pauses for “recovery” it promotes some other training elements that the typical 20-40 minute LT or LTP runs do not.
This “aerobic” short/active recovery interval training format is run at a faster pace than the typical “tempo” lactate threshold continuous run, yet as well as stressing the self-same aerobic condition and lactate management of the “tempo” running, this interval format also promotes a higher cardio-vascular and respiratory stimulus, as well as requiring a greater biomechanical demand.
But the strong point is that if you are weaker aerobically
— as FT runners tend to be — you may benefit from the shorter repeat period(s) and consequent frequent interval recovery of this interval form of lactate management workout. We know from physiology that successful 10k racing is strongly dependent on each runner being good aerobic and enzymatic and having a strong lactate turnpoint (LTP). Yet Mamede and Lopes (who ran within seconds of each other over 10k) are showing us that there are two ways of achieving this training adaptation; Lopes with his LTP continuous runs, and Mamede with his interval-type workouts with short/active recovery. Both different types of training had almost identical effects on the two different runners; that of raising their LTP to such a level that Mamede could set a 10k WR and Lopes finish only a few seconds behind him.
In my opinion, and under certain conditions, the FT runner (as well as the ST) would benefit with the use of an interval recovery during LT or LTP workouts; almost in the form of fartlek (or in the form of IN-OUT running — fast/intense, then easy/slow, and so on).
More than once, Lopes himself had to walk, or slow to a jog, during his own 20-40 mins LTP/tempo runs because he would get “too anaerobic”. He knew that with a short break, or a brief reduction in pace like jogging for a few minutes, he would be able to clear some lactate and would then be able to continue with the hard pace and finish his tempo run.
Let me provide another example of how Mamede used interval training.
Imagine Mamede starts with 10 x 400m in 64-67 secs with 100m jog recovery in 40-45 secs. After running them, and taking a short break, he might continue the workout with a second set of 5-7 x 400m, but this time at 57-60 secs per 400m with 40-50 or even 60 secs recovery. Or he might follow the first part of the workout with 7-8 x 200m in
26-28 secs with 40-60 secs recovery.
The major difference between the first and second parts of the workout is (apart from the difference in pacing), that the recovery in the second part of the workout is <60 secs stand and walk. No longer does he jog 100m as recovery as he did in the first part.
And so, in a single workout, Mamede would cover two important training pace target, while using an intermittent training format in both occasions.
Once again I want to point out that, as with the example of Fernando Mamede, the original interval training design of Gerscheler and Reindell had several goals. In this Mamede workout we see 2 main goals. One (the slow pace version with active/short incomplete recovery) promotes mainly the aerobic condition. The second (faster version with longer and more passive and quite complete recovery) had the goal of promoting mainly aerobic power and strength endurance.
Mainly through ignorance, some other well-known training methods tend to misunderstand the real goal(s) of interval training, and for them, the interval training they understand is the wrong version (fast and flat out all the way).
Believing that this is what interval training means, they then dismiss it as inadequate. Of course it is inadequate if done wrongly; if they do not correctly understand how it is done, what is its target, and what are the effects.
Of course it can be that some achieved great things while criticising and denying the value of interval training. Each of us is free to choose our training method.
As a coach we may choose to use it or don’t use it; that’s okay, but at least make sure you fully understand its value before you dismiss it out of hand.
What I see is that some who criticise it simply do not understand the essence of interval training. For me, even though they may have many medals and have created many champions and many winners, they are nonetheless ignorant winners. Yes, such a thing exists; ignorant winners. The day such people no longer have access to genetically
highly-talented runners is the day they will only be able to produce losers.
Fernando Mamede training insights - PART 1
Fernando Mamede was born on 1st October 1951. As a runner he weighed 57 kilos and stood 1.80 metres tall.
During his long career Mamede set 27 Portuguese National Records, from 500m and 4x400m relay, all the way up to 10,000m and 10-mile (Road) as well as setting a new 10,000m European Record on three separate occasions. He also set a 10,000m World Record which stood from 1984 to 1989.
Let´s consider some facts from Mamede training including training details of his 1980-81 season as well as performances/achievements up to 1981; along the way I will make my own comments about the information.
Fernando Mamede started to train and compete while still very young compared to most Portuguese distance runners of that period, and at first concentrated mainly on 400m and 800m.
As a junior he managed 48.2 in 1971 at 19 years of age. Mario Moniz Pereira, his lifelong coach, believed that he would always remain a middle distance runner, but as time passed Mamede showed tremendous resistance and very strong endurance capabilities as well as a number of the physiological parameters and positive training suggesting a strong capacity for long(er) distances.
His quite steady progress over long events made Mario Moniz Pereira come to believe that, in time, Mamede could move progressively to longer events as his best events.
It took 17 years from the first year of regular training till the day in 1984 when Mamede broke the 10,000m world record. This shows not only steady progress as well as Mamede’s personal desire to have a lengthy running career but it points out another characteristic of Mario Moniz Pereira – that of improvement through perseverance and steady training with the continuity of training being matched by steady improvement in performance.
In 1971, when Mamede set his 48.2 PB for 400m, this performance labelled him as a “fast type” runner (were he to move up) compared to others then competing over 5,000m and 10,000m. Mario Moniz Pereira – Mamede’s coach - always stated that speed and not aerobic resistance was the most important quality a distance runner should possess.
Although we have known for some time that a powerful aerobic capacity is among most important requirements to perform well in distance events (since those events are mostly aerobic and enzymatic in nature), we also know that aerobic capacity and lactate management are also physiological qualities that can be improved to a large extent by training.
Nonetheless, speed is the most important “talent” a long [track] distance runner must possess. Aerobic capacity can be improved by diligent training but speed is to a large extent limited by your innate talent.
I would think this is obvious. As an example; if a runner cannot run 100m faster than 13.5 sec then it is simply impossible for him to run 800m in 1:48 (8 x 13.5 = 1:48/800m). By the same logic, if you cannot run 14:10 for 5,000m you will not manage 28:20 in the 10,000m.
As should be understood therefore, the faster that you are over 400m or over a short distance event, the easier it should be to perform faster over long(er) distances. (Echoing this sentiment, how many times do we read on LRC that Wariner should move up to 800m?).
So this logic holds true as long as the runner possesses the physical and physiological characteristics that will allow him to train correctly and permit him to improve his aerobic indices in a training approach aimed at long distance.
This was the logical premise that lay quietly and patiently in the mind of Mamede’s coach; to move the athlete progressively to longer distance events as his career unfolded.
Before I go any more deeply into the training of Mamede, let’s look at some data and his performance progression from 1971 up to 1981.
Although the season of 1980-81 was not the end of his career or even the highlight/peak of his career (he did not run his 10,000m WR until 1984) I will detail some of Mamede’s training workouts conducted during season 1980-81.
I believe it is far more interesting and worthwhile to analyse how someone trained during the period(s) before he achieved his peak performances and PBs because then we can understand what he had to do to get to the top and not just see the training he did to stay at the top (which might be something else entirely).
During the 1980-81 season that I will analyse in some detail Mamede achieved 3rd place in the World Cross Country Championships as well as running 27:27.7 (a new European record). Despite both of these successes (which many runners would be happy to have as peak career successes) this was only one good season among many for Mamede. We may consider this season we are about to discuss as one more upward step toward his all-time best performance – the 27:17 10,000m World Record in 1984.
Track & World Ranking for 5,000m
Fernando Mamede (Por) 1981 – 7th
Fernando Mamede (Por) 1982 – 5th
Fernando Mamede (Por) 1983 – 1th
Fernando Mamede (Por) 1984 – 2nd
Track & World Ranking for 10,000m
Fernando Mamede (Por) 1981 – 7th
Fernando Mamede (Por) 1982 – 1st
Fernando Mamede (Por) 1983 – 5th
Fernando Mamede (Por) 1984 – 2nd
Fernando Mamede (Por) 1985 – 5th
Mamede’s progression up to 1981
For the purposes of our discussion we can divide the 14 years of Mamede’s general career into four periods based on the distances in which he competed or moved up in distance. The years of 1970, ‘71 and ‘74 are being considered transitory seasons – in which he competed in four distances - that’s why it’s repeated in two periods.
1st period – focus on 400m and 800m
1968 - 51.2 - 1:57.2
1969 - 50.7 - 1:53.8
1970 - 48.4 - 1:49.7
1971 - 48.2 - 1:48.4
2nd period – focus on 800m and 1500m
1970 - 1:49.7 - 3:51.8
1971 - 1:48.8 - 3:46.9
1972 - 1:48.5 - 3:42.8
1973 - 1:48.3 - 3:43.7
1974 - 1:47.5 - 3:39.8
3rd period – focus on 1500m and 5,000m
1974 - 3:39.5 - 13:55.2
1975 - 3:48.1 - 14:19.8
1976 - 3:37.9 - 13:49.4
4th period – focus on 5,000m and 10,000m
1977 - 13:38.7 - 29:10.6 (10,000m debut in 29:47.0)
1978 - 13:17.8 - 28:39.6
1979 - 13:26.0 - 28:16.4
1980 - 13:20.0 - 27:37.9
1981 - 13:19.2 - 27:27.7 (new European Record)
1982 - 13:14.6 - 27:22.99 (new European Record)
1983 - 13:08.54 - 27:26.72
1984 - 13:12.83 - 27:13.81 (new World Record)
(to be continued in Fernando Mamede training insights - PART 2)