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dtm
Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 7:14AM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I was reading the recent running times and was looking at the article about Lasse Viren's training and noticed he didn't do any run longer than 15 miles. Wasn't he trained by Lydiard? Lydiard trained runners to do longer mileage. How the hell did he run 5k 10k then 5k 10k marathon without a run longer than 15 miles?
Trials Watcher
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 7:39AM - in reply to dtm Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Well, first of all he ran twice a day almost every day, if you look at sessions per month, he also had as many as 80 sessions, it looks like, in a 30 day period. At least that is what it says, some of those sessions maybe were non running sessions?

One of the things that struck me , was in the weeks featured , there were hardly any "tradional" Interval or Rep sessions. I am sure they are in there somewhere, just not identified often in the weeks reported on in the article.

But ,his volume was clearly over 100+ miles per for extended periods.
Dweez
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 8:16AM - in reply to Trials Watcher Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
What did he do for quality work, if not traditional interval workouts? Hard Fartleks on trails? What about winter work?
Vampire
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 8:21AM - in reply to Dweez Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Dweez wrote:

What did he do for quality work, if not traditional interval workouts? Hard Fartleks on trails? What about winter work?




I thought it was pretty well established that his quality work consisted of syphoning off his blood while training at altitude and then reinfusing it just before the race.
Dweez
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 8:42AM - in reply to Vampire Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Hahaha
OBN
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 9:05AM - in reply to dtm Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You don't have to do really long runs in order to reach top form. That's a myth that a lot of people just can't get out of their head. The main thing is that you put in the mileage.

Guys like Lydiard and Snell claim that when you do a long run your slow twitch muscle fibers glycogen deplete and then your fast twitch fibers take over and become aerobically conditioned. There are several problems with this way of thinking.

1. If a runner's slow twitch muscle fibers actually do deplete, then how in the hell does he (or she) run as fast as he does at the end of a long run? There is no way that his fast twitch muscle fibers will be able to make up for his exhausted slow twitch fibers, and his slow twitch fibers aren't going to be able to burn fat fast enough to make up for the lack of glycogen.
2. A really long run is typically done only once a week, and if glycogen depletion actually did happen(?), it would be experienced for only the last few miles. It is hard to figure how a few miles a week would be a significant enough stimulus for aerobic development.

A much better approach for aerobically conditioning the muscle fibers that are used to run at say for example, 10k pace, IS TO DO INTERVAL TRAINING AT 10K PACE!



dtm wrote:

How the hell did he run 5k 10k then 5k 10k marathon without a run longer than 15 miles?
OBN
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 12:28PM - in reply to dtm Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
What issue is his training in? I just went to Tower, and they had the issue with Bob Kennedy on the cover. Is there a newer issue?
anti-hadd
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 12:31PM - in reply to OBN Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Excellent post.
josh
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 12:40PM - in reply to anti-hadd Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
lets get tinman and malmo in on this one. it could get interesting
fred
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 12:48PM - in reply to dtm Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
A guy I ran with 25 years ago was in the armed forces with
Viren. He had a huge aerobic base from cross country skiing
before the running and blood packing.
genuine draft
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 1/1/2005 1:01AM - in reply to fred Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
lasse was/is a very congenial but private man, though i have not spoken with him in at least 20 years. however, as i said, he was and is a finn- meaning he's a cheat. finns always have been and always will be. maybe too close to russia, i suppose. lasse and pekka both had help in the chemical department. i'm sure i'll get beat up on this board for saying that, but i couldn't care f***ing less. i was there, i was around it, and even shudder to say that i came extremely close to partaking. lasse was at the very tail end of his career when i was in the middle. we were never friends per se, only acquaintances because of the international circuit (though lasse raced very sparingly). it is a misnomer that he was trained by lydiard. lydiard had only gone to finland to plant his ideas as a part of a national program. he was NOT viren's coach. lasse was coached by a kindly gent whose name escapes me- both he and lasse came from the same town called myrskyla. one of lasse's staple workouts was a session of 20x200 with 1 minute recovery. he was extremely pulse conscious. right before he broke the world record for 2 miles (8:14?) he ran the session at a average pulse post interval of around 160- the times of his repeats i also do not remember (alot of water under the bridge from those days!), though they were obviously significantly under 30 seconds. malmo would be a good man to ask regarding viren's training, as he seems to be a real student of the sport- and actually someone of the same era as myself. malmo can verify i'm sure of all the aforementioned. drugs were a real temptation. i just couldn't bring myself to do it. those athletes are now paying for it with their health, while i'm just an old bitchy physician who still is able to grab a track session by the scruff of the neck!
Jesse
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 1:26PM - in reply to OBN Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Your missing oen of the main reasons for a long run. MUSCULAR ENDURANCE! Yes you can get muscular endurance by running 20x400 @ 5k pace. Yes you can get it other ways. But you achieve both muscular endurance and aerobic conditioning by doing long runs. It is a workout that gets maximal results for your time spent running. Lydiard concept wasn't so much that your slow-twitch fibers became glycogen depleted, but by raising the amount of blood pumped through the blood vessals will increased capillarization within the muscles. There have been several studies done on ultra-marathoners. These studies concluded that that if an athlete uses muscle groups continuously for long periods, even at low intensities, they would very quickly develop dormant capillary beds as well as establish new ones. This is the "secret" to muscular endurance. Even boxers do this with a punching bag. Michael Spinks is probably the most famous boxer to do this. He would punch a bag steadily for over an hour without stopping. When Spinks went into the ring, he was still throwing effective punches when his opponents were tiring and not only had trouble throwing punches, they couldn't dodge his.
OBN
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 2:16PM - in reply to Jesse Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
-If you don't use a muscle fiber you won't increase the number of capillary beds that surround it. I've read more than once that Lydiard and Snell believe that you need to do long runs, because doing so will cause muscle fibers used at a slower pace to become glycogen depleted, and then muscle fibers used at faster paces will take over and become conditioned. For the reasons stated in my above post, I don't believe that this is the best approach.

I've also read Lydiards comments about how running puts pressure on capillary beds and causes them to increase. I doubt that he knows in detail what "actually" causes capillary beds to increase. I don't know in detail either. Even the experts are still trying to figure it out. There are a lot of factors.

Here's one of the main reasons for which new capillary beds develop. 1) Exercise causes the oxygen level to go down in a muscle fiber, and this hypoxia activates a chemical called hypoxia inducible factor I (HIF-1). 2) HIF-1 activates vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). 3) VEGF moves out of an exercising muscle fiber and attracts endothelial cells that exist within existing capillary beds. 4) These endothelial cells release enzymes which eat through the blood vesel walls that surround them. 5) The endothelial cells then migrate to where the VEGF, reproduce and form new capillary beds.

A workout of 6 x 1 mile @ 10k pace is liable to cause hypoxia to occur in all of the muscle fibers that are used while running at 10k pace. Resultantly the above process will happen. 3 x 1 mile would probably be less effective because the above process will happen for a shorter amount of time.

A long easy run might effect capillary levels around some of the muscle fibers that are used during 10k pace but not all of them, because not all of them are exercised during an easy run.

Blood pressure is probably more of a factor when it comes to keeping existing capillary beds active.

I'm trying to still figure the above out. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be enough running specific information. For example, what is the minimal amout of volume needed so that enough VEGF will be released to cause new capillaries to develop? It may be that a minimal number of endothilial cells need to migrate out of an existing capillary bed, before the migrated cells can work together to form a new capillary branch.

Here are some posts which talk about capillary growth (angiogenesis). http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=angiogenesis&ei=UTF-8&fr=fp-tab-web-t&cop=mss&tab=







Jesse wrote:

Your missing oen of the main reasons for a long run. MUSCULAR ENDURANCE! Yes you can get muscular endurance by running 20x400 @ 5k pace. Yes you can get it other ways. But you achieve both muscular endurance and aerobic conditioning by doing long runs. It is a workout that gets maximal results for your time spent running. Lydiard concept wasn't so much that your slow-twitch fibers became glycogen depleted, but by raising the amount of blood pumped through the blood vessals will increased capillarization within the muscles. There have been several studies done on ultra-marathoners. These studies concluded that that if an athlete uses muscle groups continuously for long periods, even at low intensities, they would very quickly develop dormant capillary beds as well as establish new ones. This is the "secret" to muscular endurance. Even boxers do this with a punching bag. Michael Spinks is probably the most famous boxer to do this. He would punch a bag steadily for over an hour without stopping. When Spinks went into the ring, he was still throwing effective punches when his opponents were tiring and not only had trouble throwing punches, they couldn't dodge his.
OBN
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 2:17PM - in reply to anti-hadd Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Thank you.


anti-hadd wrote:

Excellent post.
Another Doc
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 2:42PM - in reply to genuine draft Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

genuine draft wrote:

while i'm just an old bitchy physician who still is able to grab a track session by the scruff of the neck!

___________

from another old physician who still slogs (but was never fast enough to run with Viren):

Viren's training is reasonably outlined in the chapter of Running with the Legends. I believe he ran his 200s in 27-29. He did seem very pulse conscious, and the chapter suggests he did a lot of fartlek, moreso than conventional intervals. Regarding Lydiard -- the Lydiard lore (anecdotes and folktales about Lydiard really should be bundled together like the Icelandic sagas . . . "The Lydiard Sagas". . .) is that Lydiard lectured to the coaches in Finland, somewhere in the late 60's, and basically ripped into them for being lazy and not doing enough miles; his influence is said to be their overall increased mileage (Viren 100-140+) and also some hill training (Vasala did some -- Lydiard likes to say he did a lot).

One thing about Viren, whether he had pharmaceutical help or not, he had just about the smoothest stride I've ever seen -- especially for a relatively tall runner. On film, he almost looks like he's walking during the bulk of a 10k. I'm almost the same size as Viren, I've tried to reproduce it, and it's maddening.
wag
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 2:45PM - in reply to Jesse Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
So you workout to raise the amount of blood pumped through the blood vessals to increase capillarization within the muscles.

Won't running at a strong pace cause blood to pump through the blood vessals as well, or is there something special about low intensity running which impacts this? Yes I know you obviously can't run at 10km pace for a continuous 2 hours, but with intervals you can certainly extend the amount of work you can do at this pace a great deal in a single workout.
sukkeli
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 2:56PM - in reply to dtm Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Lasse Viren was coached by Rolf Haikkola. Haikkola was the one who suggested to Finnish sports authorities that they should invite Lydiard to Finland to advice coaches and athletes.

Viren trained 2 times a day mostly, although he did try 3 a days at one point of time. I assume the 80 session weeks referred to this time.

Many of the faster sessions were fartleks. During base building Viren peaked at 150+ miles per week.

I'm not sure if the notion about "racing sparingly" is correct. He did year round racing. For example, he used Sao Silvestre to check how base building is going. In Finland he also ran many road races. Not all 5 & 10km races against his main competition.

Viren was not a doper. Those of you who think otherwise, maybe you have proof? I didn't think so. He had winner attitude. His times were not so incredible that nobody could have beaten him. For example, in the 10km Olympic final (can't remember which one) he covered 50m less ground than the one who placed second -- and finished with 8m lead! Viren ran on lane one mostly and left the fartlek business during races to others. His race strategies worked in the Olympics. Some of his competitors did very obvious strategic mistakes.
Neuropsychiatrist
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 3:07PM - in reply to genuine draft Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
"finns always have been and always will be. maybe too close to russia, i suppose"

What?....the FInns fought a war with the Soviet Union in the Forties and ran circles around the "Red Army." They wisely signed a epace pact knowing that the shear size of the USSR would eventualy wear the Finns Down. MEt a nice Finnish Man in London at a pub though in 1997...he was plowed off his mind....it was also three in the afternoon
born to be a bum
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 3:34PM - in reply to Neuropsychiatrist Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
After I retired from athletics I went to live in central Finland. I actually saw Lasse in a shop one day.

The Finnish summers are ideal for running, so many miles of forest trails, finish the run with a cool dip in a lake of your choice. But winters, forget it. Running was possible but xc skiing would be a much better choice. I think the training for xc skiing would make a tough runner even tougher. In fact xc skiers are the only sportsman/women I look up to, except the cheaters of course.

I didn't come across any decent Finnish runners in the 5 years I lived there. Probably still none. Surprising because Finns are sport mad, the country grinds to a halt for the winter and summer olympics, especially javelin, ski jumping and any ice hockey match, the big one being against the old enemy - Sweden.

I remember the Finnish team pulling out of a triangular match with UK and USSR when UK announced drug testing would take place at the meet. Highly suspicious behaviour!

Drinking hard and fast is the Finnish national pastime, starts lunchtime Friday, ends Sunday pm in time to sober up for work Monday. Unless of course professional drinkers are involved, then no limits!
Hodgie-san
RE: Lasse Viren's training? 7/21/2004 3:54PM - in reply to dtm Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
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