|The Study is Legit|
Jay, you have no clue what you are talking about.
The study states that the VO2 max of the athletes was 71.1 +/- 6.0 ml/kg/min, this was measured both PRE and POST trainig intervention and is indicative of the subjects current fitness. A VDot 71.1 on the Daniels chart gives a 3k time of 8:28, which is very very close to 8.5 minutes, and certainly not slower.
As I have detailed below, the researchers have a VERY strong background in competitive athletics and would definitely have access to athletes at this level. I have detailed the backgrounds of a few of the researchers below, including the two named first (generally the primary researchers). Perhaps you should contact any of them yourself if you want to get a feel for the study, an abstract is only an overview after all. The team was based at the Australian Institute of Sport, and most are still there according to http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/sssm/physiology/our_team.
One of the lead researchers in this study is one of the foremost distance running COACHES in the world. Among the athletes Dick Telford (Telford Richard D) has coached are:
Lisa Martin (Ondieki) - Former Marathon World Record Holder (2:24:40 to win 1992 New York Marathon) Silver medallist in the 1988 olympic marathon, Commonwealth Games Marathon Champion 1990 and 1994, and a bunch of big city marathons on the way to 4 Olympic teams and a lifetime PB of 2:23:51 (on an out and back course no less).
Andrew Lloyd - 5000 metres Commonwealth Games champion,
ran 27:57 for 10000, 13:24 for 5000 and 7:45 for 3000.
He has coached A LOT of other very high level athletes as well as working closely with Rob De Castella (marathon world champion) as the head middle and long distance COACH at the Australian Institute of Sport for more than 10 years, and in a role as the national high performance long distance coach for Athletics Australia. He has also played and coached Australian Rules Football (the top professional football code in Australia) and professional cricket (Australia's most popular summer sport) at the highest level as well as becoming the national veterans champion at 800, 1500, and 5000 metres. He continues to coach a squad of runners on the cusp of national representation as well as a few that are currrently national team members.
As far listening to "practitioners" you could do well to listen to this man.
Philo Saunders (Saunders Philo U) is a successful athlete himself, who has PR's ranging from 1:49.90 for 800 and 3:41.22 for the 1500 to a 1:06:11 for the half-marathon. He has a biography on the IAAF website with further details, here is the link http://www.iaaf.org/athletes/biographies/country=AUS/athcode=174629/index.html
Esa Peltola (Peltola Esa M) is also a very successful coach, and has a strong knowledge of power and speed in athletics having coached as the head AIS sprint COACH for many years:
Patrick Johnson - 9.93 for 100 metres, 20.35 for 200, made the 2005 world championship final in the 200.
Kyle Vander-Kuyp - 13.29 for 110 hurdles, olympic finalist
and others were coached by him in the AIS program through his tenure as head sprint coach. Coincindentally, he has a physiotherapy degree and may know a thing or two about injury risk.
It's all very well to complain about researchers and scientists being ignorant to training but when it comes to training elite athletes these guys have all forgotten more than you know.
I stand corrected and yes, I agree that the people above have all forgotten more than I know. Thank you for your well written post.
I stand by my position that if the study in question included a pre and post race/time trial along with the Oxygen utilization data the study would be a turning point in the literature for the simple reason that we could see how much faster the athletes raced. Vo2 numbers are nice but race results would be best. Maybe we'll look back in 10 years and point to the study in question as a turning point, but in the spirit of Dr. Kram's post, it would be nice to see "more powerful" numbers (though I must admit that it doesn't seem important that the RE did not increase at the slower speeds; we don't want more economical runner/joggers, we want more economical runner/racers - I'm sure I'm missing something here so feel free to let me know why the slop across the three speeds is so important in "sport performance" context). Also, IMHO Jack Daniels's book has done more for American distance running in recent years than any other single tool (isn't German Fernadez's coach a devote? I think I read that somewhere); that said, Vo2 numbers are an important metric of fitness, but by no means the only metric of fitness. As an exercise, take Nate Jenkins's current 3K and 5k PRs^ and plug them into Daniel's table, then ask yourself "Will he be happy if he runs that time for a marathon in 2009?"
Two things that relate back to the OP.
First, my broad point about plyos is that they may be (likely are?) inappropriate for Marathon Student at this point in his training. Just because he's a student of the sport and trying to get better** doesn't mean he should hop into plyos. That said, anyone who reads this thread and watches the videos now knows that I believe in employing many activities that are plyometric in nature; it was fun for me to edit those videos and see how high of a box a 4:20 woman can jump too, but again, I do not believe Marathon Student should necessarily go out and build a box to jump up on. I simply don't think the cost/benefit, i.e. the injury risk vs. gain in RE, is worth it for Marathon Student, yet I very much think that same cost/benefit analysis for a 4:20 woman like Sara squarely points to opening up those neural pathways, even if that means the chance for injury increases.
Second, I had a conversation this week with one of the most passionate*** runners that I know. He makes his living in the sport of running and he's the most well read historian of the sport I've meet (not saying he's THE BEST HISTORIAN OF THE SPORT but he's the best, most knowledgeable I personally know). He has been training for a marathon and he now has a foot injury from doing plyos. He's stuck in the pool most days as the only means of safe, aerobic training. This is a cautious, calculated student of the sport - not someone who would blindly buy into the latest training fad - who loves to run and simply wants to see how fast he can run a marathon; his foot hurts and he can't run after employing plyos as a means to get better.
This is the obvious time to for me to follow Joseph Campbell's advice and go back into the forrest to hone my craft...but my ego is such that I'm going to write my own denouement**** for this thread in the coming days ;-)
***...much more passionate about the sport than I, though he's soft spoken and analytic and would NEVER look into a camera in his office and talk to it; don't confuse passion for running with energy and excitement at best and irrational exuberance at worst. I honestly wish I was more passionate about running, but unfortunately I'm too curious about food and wine and hip-hop, to name a few, to focus all of my energy on training theory. I would be a better coach if I had a singular focus.
****My college track coach taught me that word...by explaining how every episode of Friends had a denouement.
"(though I must admit that it doesn't seem important that the RE did not increase at the slower speeds; we don't want more economical runner/joggers, we want more economical runner/racers"
True, but if there is mechanism by which plyo's improve running economy, I would expect that the mechanism would improve economy at all running speeds. So, when I see a small n, p values not below 0.05, it makes me wonder if the faster speed economy change is real or due to chance.
"I'm sure I'm missing something here so feel free to let me know why the slop across the three speeds is so important in "sport performance" context). "
well, slop is actually slope. just kidding, I am no expert typer.
anyhow, this slope refers to a plot of rate of oxygen consumption vs. running speed. the slope of that line is a quantity called the cost of transport by biologists and is another way that ex phys folks quantify running economy. the units are ml of O2 per kg body mass per kilometer. it is the mathematical inverse of fuel economy. i.e. for us Yanks, that's gallons per mile rather than miles per gallon. obviously a lesser slope = fewer gallons per mile, or better economy. Cost of transport gives a more overall measure of running economy that smoothes out individual data points that have some error.
Perhaps, I should go back and look over all the articles in recent years that link (or don't link) plyos and running economy. Some Finns from the Univ. of Jyvaskula did a few years back. Here is a free link to that article:
One nice feature of that study is that they made sequential measures of RE during the study. But, they studied male 18 min 5k runners, so not elite by any means.
I have researched and published on running economy (RE) since 1983. So, Jack Daniels has a few decades of experience more than me. But, I've been around the block a few times. If I added up all the various things that have been linked to improved running economy over that time, you'd figure we shouldn't be using any oxygen to run by now. Why? One problem is statistical and publication related. If I did 20 studies measuring if Twinkies (American junk food) improved running economy, by chance, I might find that they did have a positive effect on RE in one study at p<0.05 level. That might get me published, but the other 19 expts that didn't find a difference would never be even submitted for publication. Further, it would be unlikely that anybody would be stupid enough to try and replicate the Twinkie study, so it would never be disproven or confirmed.
With plyos, there is no mechanism has been demonstrated, but I can easily imagine that having stronger legs MIGHT improve running economy. Thus, this Aussie study is trying to improve upon and replicate the Finnish studies. At this point, I wouldn't jump on the plyo bandwagon (bad pun for you there, Jay), but it does seem worth exploring more.
Two closing notes about bias in studies/adverts etc.
Many people perform correlations in their minds without thinking about causation. For example if Mark Wetmore suddenly started handing out Twinkies before practice and then CU wins the NCAA XC, people on LetsRun would be wolfing down Twinkies. But, the thing is CU is going to win titles with or without Twinkies because of who can be recruited and because they train hard and smart. Similarly, if a coach takes an athlete with a great performance trajectory over a few years and suddenly inserts backwards running sessions, it will be easy to falsely assume that the backwards running was the key to improvement.
Scientific studies tend to be short term and hard to motivate subjects/athletes for pre- and post real-world performance tests. Coaching inherently involves no experimental controls and races have many variables. Neither is perfect.
|a college runner|
Just a quick question for you. In the Vaughn video he mentions doing the 12/12 exercise on recovery days, consisting of 12 pushups and 12 sit-up like exercises. What exactly is the other exercise? Just a regular sit-up?
Thanks for sharing all of this!
Jay, lots and lots of great stuff on this thread about coaching, schools, recruiting, your experiences, etc. Thanks for sharing
Curious to get your view as a former Colorado HS native and coach and runner for CU regarding recruiting and running options for the different colleges in Colorado. You referred to this a bit in the Q and A with TCA HS Coach Alan Versaw in terms of differences, etc. between DI, DII, DIII, etc.
Obviously the state of Colorado is strong in the tradition of distance running, particularly college cross country. For the number of schools in the state (versus say CA, TX, IL or the East Coast), the quality is very high. Obviously CU's history speaks for itself and there have been good runners from CSU, Air Force and UNC at times, but how about your opinion on the DII schools. Obviously Colorado College is a DIII school, also solid, but is private with mostly out of state kids, same with the AF Academy for different reasons.
At the DII level the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference has always been a power nationally with more national championship teams then the rest of the country combined.
This past fall they set an NCAA record by qualifying five men's teams (Adams St, Western St, Co School of Mines, Metro St and UCCS) for the NCAA II Championships from the conference who are from the same state and same region. That had never been before at any level. They had almost 25% of the runners in the entire men's field at nationals out of the 24 teams and 16 individuals qualified.
This past fall on the women's side the RMAC had women from three different Colorado schools finish 1st (Shannon Payne-UCCS), 2nd (Lavenna Mullenbach - Adams St), and 3rd (Alexa Skarda - Mesa State) at the CU Rocky Mountain Shootout and also the individual male winner (Aaron Braun- Adams State). One of those (Payne - UCCS) was 3rd and nationals and 16th at USATF 8k Champs/Trials in February (actually finished in front of the 4th and 5th place finishers from the 2008 US Women's Marathon Trials - both of which also train in Colorado).
What do you think the reason is for the success of these schools? Granted they are all different in terms of academics, facilities, etc., but all are at altitude. It seems to be a common theme that on a national level people never really give altitude schools their due until the NCAA Championships roll around and they always produce results, not to mention a lot of post-college runners holding their own as well who came from these schools.
Your thoughts, opinions?
Does altitude + attitude = success?
If you have time, you need to check out the following interviews at this fantastic site - http://www.athleticscoaching.ca/
Relative to this thread, I would recommend the Vince Anderson interviews. Vince Anderson is a great teacher as well as great coach. I've listened to Part I several times and I take something new from each listening. So much of what he says can be directly applied to distance running, such as this thought:
"Athletes tend to equate the quality of their run with their footwear...which is another insane notion we try to debunk here." Arguably the best "quality day" at CU occurs on Sunday morning, when some athletes have been known to wear feet tanks "The Durham" as they hammer their long run. But I also think this sprint coach's approach to writing training - the idea that constraints force you to become creative in writing training in the same way an architect is forced toward creative problem solving with the constraints of a given "project" - has direct application to all distance coaches. Examples:
- Bart Sessa's HS boys set an indoor 4x800m relay national record while training in the hallways of their Long Island high school...
- Trevor Dunbar run's a 3,200m time trial in preparation for the 2008 Footlocker on a crappy track in the snow...
My point is that this thread has become really boring to most LetsRunners, yet to those who liked this post I thought I you would appreciate this site...it seemed sort of selfish that I derive so much joy from listening to these MP3's and I thought I should share them.
To download the MP3 go to the site below and scroll down Coach Anderson's photo:
Also, the Coach Cook interviews are great, especially when he talks about the simple fact that his training sessions take a long time and that's why many coaches don't do all of the ancillary/General Strength/Plyos.
Also, I share these links because the two Americans that ran well today ('09 Boston Marathon; Hall and K. Goucher) engage in activities other than running...maybe it makes a difference, maybe it's a waste of time, but either way, there are some LetsRunners out there who are omnivores when it comes to training theory and the link above will give these folks plenty of training ideas to devour in the coming months.
Also, NPR (non post related): Lee Emanuel was awesome this weekend at Mt. Sac - http://www.flotrack.org/videos/coverage/view_video/234894-2009-puma-mt-sac-relays/170749-lee-emanuel-new-mexico - had not had the pleasure to watch him in person until this weekend, but was blown away.
Definitely one of the best (probably THE best) thread I've seen on here in a very long time!! Thanks Jay and please, keep it coming...the learning continues.
If you want actual research go to www.pubmed.com and type: strength training distance runners.
The question isn't can it be effective, the question is do you have the time for it to be effective.
For a marathoner only running 50 miles a week due to lack of motivation then that person just needs to train more. For the marathoner not putting in the volume and intensity of training he needs to do because of injury THAT person NEEDS strength training. For the marathoner putting in the volume and intensity AND has the time to do it THAT person also NEEDS strength training.
Provided it does not interfere with your athletic skill practice, be it running, basketball, baseball, football, etc, strength training will provide many many benefits. The problem with the majority of athletes isn't a lack of strength training it is a lack of skill practice. For basketball, baseball, football, etc that is typically just time on the field practicing your sport. For distance runners that is simply time on the road or on the track running hard.
Sometimes the simpliest answer is the most correct one.
I can attest to the utility of adding appropriate strength training to any running program. I also think your last sentence gets my vote for Quote of the Day: sometimes the simplest answer IS the most correct one.
I'm currently rehabbing a hamstring strain that occurred during a race about 6 wks ago--I was running a half marathon at marathon pace for the purpose of getting in a solid tempo effort and practice having folks around me while running at a solid effort. To make a long story short, during the 8th mile my hamstring pulled hard and actually felt like I was going to fall down (I lost all stability/mobility in one moment!). I limped through another mile and half and decided to stop and at that moment focus on rehab so I could be better. Having had SEVERAL hamstring strains (and achilles, hip, and calf problems), the first question that came to mind was "why in the hell does this keep happening?" The second question (a very smart one in retrospect) was "when did I begin having these dang soft tissue problems". The answer was so simple it was stupid: After running in college (and being under a coach that swore by strength training--2-3x a week at most for us distance runners) I dropped ALL strength/gym training and jacked up my mileage from mid-70's to low-100's. This was after having 3 solid years of injury-free running and PRing from the 800 to the 10k, feeling lean and NEVER getting hurt. Now I don't think it was the increase in mileage that initially caused the soft tissue problems, I think it was the combination of increasing mileage by 30 miles a week in a matter of 4 wks and decreasing (ceasing) all supplemental resistance training which was, in retrospect, the one thing that help me maintain STRONG, FLEXIBLE, and well-conditioned NEUROMUSCULAR soft tissues (hamstrings, calves, etc). Within 4 months, after neglecting the range of motion/strengthening work outside of running, I developed WEAK, TIGHT, HARDENED (scar tissue) muscles that were very prone to injury. I pulled my hamstring during a tempo run that fall and have had a strain every year since.
Since the strain 6 wks ago, I finally learned from my past mistakes and have been in the gym diligently for the first time in 8 years. The last time I strained my hamstring, I was out for 14 MONTHS and felt like my running career was officially over. I was a mental wreck and was probably clinically depressed. However, after 6 wks of focusing on doing the APPROPRIATE and CONSISTENT work in the gym and doing the right stuff at home (stretching, ADDITIONAL core work, compression, elevation, stick, massage, ice) I'm running every other day 40 minutes on the treadmill (taking it slow, controlled, and careful). I'm also seeing a chiropractor regularly, getting my hips readjusted, ultrasound, and e-stim to help speed the healing/treat any imbalances that has occurred after running high mileage for years with tight, short muscles that were constantly pulling my hips, joints, tendons, and back all over the place (that actually caused the past achilles/calf problems as well). My step has a lot more "pop" to it, I'm running lighter, straighter (very little wasted movements), and feel a lot more economical. As I get healthier and resume training (hopefully for a solid fall 10k on the roads), I've decided to use my extra time to not put in more miles but to stay in the gym working on general strength exercises to supplement my 60-70 mpw. I know running 100+ miles work...I'm living proof. But I'd rather run 60-70 and stay healthy and race rather than continue this cycle of train 4 months, rehab 14 months from the recurrent soft tissue problems. Wish me luck and I apologize for the long post.
Listening to the first Vince Anderson interview and thought I should share this: at the 33:00 mark the question of "What role does maximal strength play in the role of your sprinters and hurdlers?" The answer is fantastic, but what I took from it today dovetails with Alan's "Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one."
Coach Anerson discusses the technically correct power clean and how that exercises relates to a proper block start, which confirmed something for me - it's hard to teach athletes to do that lift correctly because they can't pull long enough. That said, when you see an athlete doing an over-back with a shot you see that triple extension (ankle/knee/hip) and most athletes can learn it in two 10-15 min training sessions. I would struggle to teach a power clean in two 10-15 sec training sessions, but that may just be an example of my limitations as a teacher.
Anyway, I read Alan's post - I know I speak for others when I say Thank You for your contributions - and while Alan and I won't/don't always agree, I wanted to share a "real world" scenario regarding this type of work; I can assign an over-head back shot put throw (with or without a hop) to an athlete and they'll get a nice little neural stimulus, yet we didn't spend much time teaching them an activity.*
To see an example of this activity go to the link below; 5:00 mark (I shared this early in the thread too)
Finally, in the spirit of full disclosure: I love going into the weight room with athletes - to me it's just a fun part of coaching. But right now I don't have the time for practice that I had as a college coach; I don't have time to drive to Boulder, oversee the track workout, wait for the cool down and then oversee the lift...and that's not even the ideal situation, to lift after the workout** compared to doing the workout, waiting 5-6 hours, then lifting. But again, listening to this interview is great because Coach Anderson goes on to say in the last 10 minutes of that same interview that there are certain training modalities that he's likes and knows are useful, yet he himself does not employ for similar reasons.
...sorry for the length, but thought I'd share this...also, we have Grandma day care today and I had time to write.
*There is also a running specific strength here as you use your glut/hamstring/hip flexors in a dynamic, ballistic way...you're using the entire posterior chain as well as "the core" - great example of a whole body movement, yet it's intense...almost as intense as running in the 1.0-1.5 seconds that you're accelerating the shot.
**Actually, I tend to think that for distance runners there may be a protective element to lifting after hard workouts, especially speed development workouts as I don't think most distance runners can recruit a ton of fibers in the room when fatigued and if you focus on form and posture then you're reinforcing those concepts/skills in a state of fatigue...which sounds like a good thing to me. But again, just a guess and if I'm wrong on this one then I'm 100% wrong, not just a little wrong.
Thanks Jay, nice videos....there is just something magnificent about seeing a girl, much less a runner, squat with the big plates. I'm impressed!.....now you've got me thinking...
If the inability to sprint at the end of a race is related to the inability to recruit higher threshold fibers then maybe heavy lifting IMMEDIATELY after a hard workout would be beneficial.
During the course of an interval workout you are basically fatiguing the intermediate fibers. Usually to try and engage the higher threshold fibers at the end of a workout we do sprints. The problem is that the speed of movement just isn't there are the end of a workout, our CNS is fatigued. What if we then hop on over to the weight room and attempt a few heavy squats and/or barbell thrusters? The speed of movement is quite a bit slower than the repetitive nature of the sprint, but the force and power applied is greater thus we are activating higher threshold fibers. Remember, there are two ways to activate high threshold fibers either through a very fast muscle contraction (sprinting) or through a very strong muscle contraction (heavy weight lifting).
The Olympic Lifts are basically a marriage between a very fast muscle contraction and a very strong muscle contraction. The problem with the lifts is that they are very technically demanding. Most runners simply will not have the time or energy to be able to learn a good Olympic Lift. In fact most trainees in general will have trouble with the OLs. I think the OL's are overrated for the most part. Any lift in which you increase the speed of the lift and involves the fabled "triple extension" is comparable to the OL's. So I offer some runner friendly suggestions on modified Olympic Lifts:
1. Barbell or Dumbbell Thruster: Basically a Push Press from a low squat.
2. High Pull: Basically an upright row from a low squat. A variation is a Sumo Deadlift into a High Pull.
4. Static Lunge Press: Stand holding a single dumbell in your right hand in front of you by your shoulder as if you are going to press it upward. Get into a lunge position by extending your right leg forward and your left leg backward. Lunge down keeping your right heel on the ground. As you come back up extend that right arm upward to raise the dumbbell overhead. Return to the starting position.
5. Static Lunge Press w/Opposite hip extension: Same as above but now as you raise the dumbbell upward you also flex the opposite hip and raise the knee upward. This will also engage the right calf so that you that fabled tripled extension.
6. Explosive RDL in Calf Raise: Be cautious with this one. Perform and RDL then explode upward as you then perform a calf raise. To help this further put your toes on a small plate to really give that calf a nice prestretch.
#5 would be the best "running specific" of the 6, but all 6 have merit.
Good stuff guys. Question:
Which is better? Doing dynamic (adding a twist at the end of the lunge) walking lunges WITHOUT weights for 30 lunges on each leg OR doing walking lunges WITH 20-25lb. weights for 10 lunges on each leg? What do these exercises specifically work on?
Thanks in advance.
Alan- You've come across an idea I've mulled around in my head for a while...
If you look at some of the studies looking at EMG during a race type effort or other max effort exercise, you'll see a somewhat steady/declining EMG until the very end kick part when muscle recruitment increases again.
I think that being able to kick is partly dependent on being able to recruit additional motor units under heavily fatigued conditions. I've kind of come up with the idea that "forcing" recruitment of additional fibers under fatigued conditions might improve the athletes ability to kick. The template I generally follow is doing some exercise that should increase fiber recruitment after a heavily fatiguing interval set. Generally, I've added in hill sprints, some plyos/bounding, hills, and other similar exercises afterwords.
I asked Canova about this a long time ago and he agreed, giving me a template, which I've modified a bit, on which to improve the kick. I think you'll find that a lot of Canova's circuits are aimed at the idea of forcing fiber recruitment.
I've used it with HS kids for the past 2-3yrs and it seems to work. If your interested, I outlined it here:
And finally, a couple years ago I was doing a workout on a treadmill and for the sake of experimentation went straight from the treadmill to doing a set of lifting on the bench, then straight back on the treadmill for a cool down. My arms burned like never before while cooling down, it was a crazy feeling. So, after that I got the idea to do my workout on the treadmill, hop off, and do a set of squats. It was tough, but it kind of felt like it would aid in fatigue resistance, i.e. forcing fiber recruitment in the legs.
So, I think your idea on lifting after workouts might have some merit.
If you've done neither....then regular walking lunges with no weight....if you've done those....then do weighted.
First master the technique, then add weight.
Muscles worked: quads, glutes, hamstrings
*Focus more on hamstrings with a long stride
*Focus more on quad with a shorter stride (more up and down instead of out)
*Add calf work by staying on pointed toes the entire way.
*Increase core/stability/hip flexor engagement by adding a high step/hip extension when you lunge.
*Focus on power by doing split jumps; ie: jumping lunges
Preface: It would be better for all of us to start a new thread that focuses squarely on ancillary/general strength work, but it's just a suggestion and i'll leave that task to someone else.
Obvious: Many, many fast performances at Stanford this weekend (05.02.09)
Not Obvious: Which athletes do non-running activities as part of their training and to what extent? Basically, of all the minutes per week spent workout out, how what percentage is running*? In a small number of cases this would be tough, such as quantify J. Cruz type training - are the circuits running or are they non-running? But with the major performances at the 2009 Payton Jordan meet there won't be many of those.
I don't know the answer, but I'd love to know the answer.
Example: Two Centros run the 1,500m, two big PRs and two coaches...what do they do? And does Chris Derrick do the same thing as Lauren? In the men's 1,500m we can find videos on Flotrack of Lukezic doing non-running work, but I don't think there is video on what New Mexico athletes do.
The reason is suggest this is that as I look at the people who ran really well I keep thinking "They run a lot and they run hard." Willard talks about how tired she is and how hard she's working; while we know Mammoth athletes do ancillary workouts in the week, they also likely run a lot.
That's it. Maybe it's a lame idea but it sure would be informative and it would help frame this thread, putting the role of non-running activities in context of an overall training program as my concern with this thread is that running - lots of it and lots of it hard/fast/intense - gets lost.
Runningart2004 What makes West Africans and their descendants great sprinters likely makes them strong.
Likewise, one of the reasons why the slave trade focused on West Africa was because these Africans were much stronger.
Alan More likely it was a matter of geography, not body type. Slavery had been done away with in Christendom by around 1000 AD. It was re-introduced in the 15th century when the Portuguese started sugar plantations on islands off the West coast of Africa. There was an existing slave trade in the region, run by Muslims, which the Portuguese used to supply labor for the plantations. From there, slavery spread throughout the West including America, until it was once again stamped out in the 19th century.
What two things wouldn't you do together that you mentioned when discussing GS?