I've just finished reading Healthy Intelligent Training by Keith Livingstone and I have a couple of physiological questions about the Lydiard training principles that I hope some of you can help me answer:
1. The book mentions that max VO2 intervals are anaerobic work and that anaerobic work tends to "sand down" the aerobic work and should therefore not be done during the base training period. What does it physiologically mean that anaerobic work sands down aerobic work? Should I, as an 400m/800m runner, avoid doing any max VO2 work during winter in favor of building aerobic capacity other ways, like shorter intervals at lower intensity or marathon pace running? Are there examples of athletes that has done max VO2 work year round and succeeded?
2. The strength training mentioned in the book favors very heavy weights and few repetitions in order to recruit type 2b ft muscle fibers that don't increase muscle volume as much as oxidative muscle fibers like type 1 or type 2a. First of all: What's even the point of trying to obtain a lot of type 2b fibers? I know that they are the most explosive kind of fibers, but aren't they so explosive that they only handle a few repetitions before they're finished? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that mean that (if you have a lot of ft 2b fibers) when you come into the final 100m of a middle distance race and you try to accelerate then you will be able to sprint for about 20m before tying up because the type 2b ft fibers are exhausted and useless? Wouldn't an athlete be better off with strength training that has more focus on light weights and many repetitions to build both strength and endurance (recruit type 2a and type 1 fibers)?
In advance, thanks for all answers
1) Lydiard's idea that any anaerobic training is detrimental to aerobic fitness is somewhat antiquated. Some of Lydiard's old books claimed that as soon as you started doing anything anaerobic, you wouldn't develop anymore aerobically the rest of that training cycle. That's not to say that everyone should be doing VO2 max training all the time in training, but as a 400/800 runner, you would do well to touch on some relaxed middle distance work (including VO2 max from time to time) even during your "base" training. Today, most 400/800 runners do some type of "anaerobic" training year-round, some of it being at VO2 max pace.
2) The idea to use heavy weights and low reps is a recent one (or perhaps a very old one coming full circle). A while back, the logic was that distance runners should lift light weights for many reps. But the problem with that logic is that it builds muscular endurancesomething you already get from running a lot! Medium weights for medium reps is reputed to build muscle, which you also don't want, though a lot of aerobic training will put a pretty big damper on any muscular training. The idea behind heavy lifting is as much increasing muscle recruitment as it is actual muscular strength. I have not actually read Healthy Intelligent Training yet, so I'm surprised Livingstone even mentions weights: Lydiard was completely opposed to them! Of course the fact is that today, every elite distance runner strength. Anyway, to the point, you already train your slow and medium-twitch muscles during your running training, so the point of very heavy weights is to increase your raw power and fast twitch recruitment, which will hopefully transfer over to running. Hill sprints are another way to accomplish this.
POST IT AGAIN WITH NO CHARACTER POBLEMS. i HOPE SO...
Why train to rise the anaerobic level is a good training direction in every moment of the season ?
Why train at moderate pace aerobic mostly for a long period or ad infinitum and miss the interval training usage isnīt a good thing ?
We know (from Dudley's graphs, mine and John Hadd thread 2 kinds of runners. Which are you?) http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?board=1&id=2375989&thread=2375989 )
that as we run faster we get to recruit more powerful (FTa and FTb) fibres that we did not recruit when we were "only" running from easy slow aerobics up to LT pace.
And because we are recruiting them, we will cause them to adapt "more aerobically" than were before (more capillaries, mitochondria, aerobic enzymes, etc). And we know that this kind of FT training recruit tends to lead to a "slight" rise in VO2max because of so doing, what we know that this VO2max rise is not crucial, but got some interest. We can see this from elites who have gone into "peaking" mode. We see quicker race pace, better running economy, some of the ingredients that lead to rich performance.
I repeat. Train at faster paces than the aerobic one, usual faster than the race pace specifics mostly done by intervals, in every phase of the season preparation, it will cause the muscle fibers to adapt more aerobically they were before.
So, therīs a beneficial contribution to higher up the aerobic condition trough aerobic training and meanwhile itīs done, once in a while anaerobic training shall be done in every phase of the periodisation, namely during the introductory phase , the aerobic phase . Reason of efficiency.
If I want to use a pamphlet sentence to produce some sound bite I will say aerobic first is stupidity. It means that the training methodology that doesnīt respect the norm of moderate adaptation and uses to train aerobics exclusively, do aerobics straight during a long period, lost in efficiency. The anaerobic training as well as the aerobic might be introduced and progressed in both pathways from easier stimulus first to late tuff stimulus. There are several levels of individual anaerobic training tolerance from easier one, to harder one anaerobic everything depends of multiple variants: pace, distance, number of repetitions, length of recovery, and chronologic frequency.
But I donīt wish to discuss this adaptation at this point, valuable and all as it is. I know that we might use that high train stimulus spread along the season, which means constantly the way you combine aerobic stimulus with anaerobic stimulus.
If you understand this adaptation this way you will understand that every season phase of the periodisation might include anaerobic training and go anaerobic despite the main goal of one period of training is to raise the aerobic system.
To improve the power to create lactate transporters and better get the pyruvate/lactate out of those muscle cells which cannot deal with it internally), you MUST create very high lactate conditions within the cell. You MUST accumulate tons of pyruvate, like the cell is gonna burst with pyruvate/lactate, which will best stimulate your cells to create transporters in order to get rid of it.
A world top class runner needs to produce some 25% more pyruvate than an average class athlete for the same blood lactate, which means that the best runner, the higher ability to top performance the more you need to train at faster paces regularly. That justifies that most of those that did well without intervals, without train at his fast/speedy pace are average runners and not world top class.
Donīt take this my anaerobic kind of prescribe as blindy prescribe. That is the usual critic to those like me that we do. Iīm aware that the anaerobic stimulus depends upon the total charge (how fast and how much), the frequency (how much in each period of reference) and demands recovery and training regeneration what normally can be done by aerobic training of low key right after the anaerobic session.
Donīt ever rich long distance training approach does aerobic training during high anaerobic training periods to restore and regenerate in a correct aerobic-anaerobic balance ? Therefore during introductory periods that the main goal is high up the aerobic condition, the anaerobic training might be done meanwhile you high up the aerobic condition with no decrease of the aerobic system.
The coach comment that do deny the interest of anerobic training, what they want to mean is the kind of training itīs wrong, itīs named sexy training.
Therīs another type of adaptation caused by the quicker running of IIa, It is so powerful, and results in such a rapid increase in performance that it deludes or seduces many coaches, and runners, into thinking that they have found the "motherlode" of training methods and they ignore all else (to their eventual detriment). This is "sexy" training !
However when someone does use something the wrong way, the solution is not, to interdict, but move it the right way.
Let's begin with a neat metaphor. Imagine you has set up a pyramid of champagne glasses. You know the ones that currently is done in parties. What itīs done is simply keep pouring champagne into the TOP glass, and as it fills, the champagne overflows down into the glasses on the next tier down as a kind of champagne cascades. As you fill, it too overflows and the champagne cascades down into the glasses on each tier below. If you do it right, cautious and gentle, no champagne is wasted and all the glasses get filled. Neat trick!
Now, when we run at harder paces in IIa (or all-out, AFAP) we have to recruit our strongest and toughest fibres (FTb). They are the most-FT fibres that we possess, but besides being powerful, that means they are usually extremely poor at developing their own internal mitochondria.
So, as we pour on the power, the rate of pyruvate (by anaerobic glycolysis) through those strong fibres rapidly becomes TOO GREAT for their internal mitochondria to deal with and this is usually true no matter how much aerobic training we give these fibres, they simply do not have a large (genetic) capacity to develop mitochondria. So as we pour on the power, the excess pyruvate is quickly converted to lactate and exported out of the cell into the blood.
Other fibres too on lower tiers (FTa), although they might have more mitochondrial capacity than FTb, are still able to overpower the ability of their internal mitochondria to deal with maximal glycolysis and they too must pump the pyruvate they cannot handle internally out into the blood as lactate. If they do not do this, then the accumulation of pyruvate/lactate inside the cell will lead to glycolysis slowing and then stopping altogether in those fibres. And the loss of such a huge source of power will obviously have an effect on our continued running performance.
So, to go back to the champagne cascade metaphor, and consider the strongest, most powerful, most FTb fibres as the uppermost / topmost champagne glasses. Like the glasses, those fibres will be the first to accumulate pyruvate as we recruit them because we know they have little or no internal mitochondria.
So, they have to "clear" or overflow the lactate from the cell as soon as possible or they will impede their own ability to maintain glycolysis and (continue to) give us running energy. In effect, they will shoot their own selves in the foot, (or strangle their own selves) if they do not get rid of their accumulating pyruvate fast enough.
So, FTb fibres are the glasses on the top tier, then FTa fibres for the next few tiers down, then ST fibres for the tiers at the bottom (and notice that the pyramid widens as it goes down, signifying that there are generally more FTa and ST fibres than FTb in someone who takes up distance running. If that was NOT so, he/she would not be motivated to try jogging but would head for the gym).
Hold on to the image of the champagne pyramid and the vertical distribution of the glasses/fibres.
FTb > then FTa > then ST (going downwards).
In a conventional (not well aerobically trained) the FT runner, the problem is that there are not enough tiers of glasses in the whole pyramid for the amount of champagne/lactate that is cascading down from the top glasses. In effect, the waiter is pouring far too much champagne into the top glass without realising that there are not enough glasses in the whole pyramid to catch it all.
The end result of this is that ALL the glasses get "filled" to capacity and the excess champagne/lactate overflows and ruins the tablecloth as well as the racing performance of the FT runner.
As you might understand aerobic training is important for the FT runner, but also for the ST runner
Since FT runners do not have large percentage of ST fibres, we often find that when he recruits ONLY his ST fibres, he runs deathly slow or at least very slow. We see this (and hear them on LetsRun.Com)
If they use an HRmonitor, At 65% to 70% HRmax, they claim they suck !
So the HRM goes in the drawer as a mistake - besides, they reassure themselves.
Instead of feeling bad about this, and embarrassed in case he gets seen, the runner should simply recognise exactly the importance of what he is achieving. He is creating more mitochondria in his poorest weakest condition ST fibres, so they can catch more of the Lactate Cascade. In effect, he's adding more tiers to the champagne pyramid. And this may actually be so in "real" life. Of course our runner is not creating more ST fibres, but he will be increasing the percentage of his total muscle mass that is made up of fibres with ST aerobic characteristics (the type I fibers).
And as quickly he has done so in those yet few developed ST fibres he has, he should then be able to also sometimes train a little faster so he can recruit his lightest FTa fibres (and not all FTa fibres will be the same, or have the same power think of the range from ST to FTb as a spectrum, so there can be weak ST fibres and strong(er) ST fibres, and weak FTa and strong(er) FTa).
So while the introduce of anaerobic training might be different for the FT runner and the ST runner.
We can find an ST runner doing great work running all day at easy paces. The ST runner can recruit a large percentage of his muscle fibres at such aerobic pace, this may not be so with more-FT types, who need to work a little faster SOME OF THE TIME so they can recruit their slightly more powerful (yet weakest) FTa fibres. But remember I remarked above, and I don't know if the point was noted, he should always run at the gentlest pace possible as well to recruit those fibres so that they get stimulated to adapt as aerobically as possible (as opposed to adapting to improve their capacity for glycolysis which will happen if he recruits them too aggressively).
The adaptation I am wanting to get to, which I feel is the prime adaptation that we want to provoke, when we combine the aerobic training with the anaerobic kind, is not excessive anaerobic, but steady-progressive anaerobic system by sensible anaerobic training dosage and well balanced aerobic-anaerobic dosage.
Remember that WE MUST USE OUR ANAEROBIC LACTATE (glycolytic) ENERGY SYSTEM AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, but not too much that it slows us down before the finish line.
Let's go back to the champagne pyramid. We need to have lots of glasses in which to catch the champagne before it overflows totally and ruins everything.
In effect, we can now pour MORE champagne than he could before causing a big problem. So, we have already achieved part of what we set out to do in our axiom; we can use more of our anaerobic lactate/glycolytic system than we could before.
Therīs plenty of benefit while do aerobic and anaerobic training combined, done year round, progressive way following the rule of adaptation for both systems.
I guess that Alberto Salazar is totally right about that point when he says:
Alberto Salazar: We do speed consistently year round. We never give the body anything that its not accustomed to. I dont believe in systems like the Lydiard system where they times of no speed. The body likes consistency. We always have some of it in the mix. We just use different intensities at different times of the year
The best racing seasons I had we're proceeded by a 3-4 month period of mileage buildup, then 4-6 weeks of speed work followed by a drop in mileage and racing. The early races were developmental but by the 5th to 6th race I was on top of my game.
It was modified Lydiard. I didn't do hill repeats. I incorporated hills into my runs on a regular basis.
But it worked for me in my local class running world.
How can maximal oxygen uptake training? Be anaerobic if by definition it represents the highest level of aerobic work that you can do?
And how can slow twithc and fast oxidative fibers gain more mass than type 2b fibers?
"Should I, as an 400m/800m runner, avoid doing any max VO2 work during winter in favor of building aerobic capacity other ways, like shorter intervals at lower intensity or marathon pace running? Are there examples of athletes that has done max VO2 work year round and succeeded?"
No, do all types of training, but with less emphasis on pure speed, and more emphasis on endurance.
Very few runners race mostly 400 and 800, so there is a lack of good training advice for runners like yourself.
"Please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that mean that (if you have a lot of ft 2b fibers) when you come into the final 100m of a middle distance race and you try to accelerate then you will be able to sprint for about 20m before tying up because the type 2b ft fibers are exhausted and useless?"
"Wouldn't an athlete be better off with strength training that has more focus on light weights and many repetitions to build both strength and endurance (recruit type 2a and type 1 fibers)?"
I don't know.
This is why I continue to come back to letsrun.
if itīs true what you say, that the EARLY LYDIARD base training is straight aerobic training, and this early Lydiard is antiquate and the LATE LYDIARD accepts that "400/800 runner, you would do well to touch on some relaxed middle distance work (including VO2 max from time to time) even during your "base" training, then the only honest attitude it would be that Lydiard postume by the Lydiard representatives whatever, they should say "pardon" for that mistake, because the true is that the early Lydiard did rush, hard comments to those coaches, runners, physiologists and runners that in the past didnīt accept the Lydiard straight aerobic base training.
When you critic with rush mood those that thinks the oposite to what you think, and then later you realize that you were wrong and they were right, then the only fair and honest behaviour is to say "sorry, excuse us, Lydiard was wrong, his training isnīt the perfect training that we early did imagine.
Here we got 2 more questions to solve. In fact if we follow the first post on this thread, the question is about Keith Livingston that follows what you consider the antiquate Lydiard principle. Itīs documented in paper book as well as in video. Now what ? Does keith follows the antique Lydiard aerobic-firstt as procedure or doesnīt ? Might NorthStar consider Keith also antique outdate kind of training ?
The other question to solve itīs that IF ITīs TRUE WHAT YOU SAY that the late Lydiard admits SOME kind of anaerobic training, in your post "....you would do well to touch on some relaxed middle distance work (including VO2 max from time to time) even during your "base" training..." then LYDIARD IS STILL WRONG.
Why ? Because the anaerobic might not just be "including", but might be DONE IN EVERY moment of the season (and thus during the aerobic base phase) BUT DONE REGULAR, SYSTEMATIC, CONSTANT, PERMANENT, included as training norm, and not a sporadic permission. Therefore the late revisited Lydiard is still incorrect in that anaerobic aspect
|Quote from Isabella Baumann|
"I try to cover these levels of intensity: Winter -
basic endurance work with very rare hard
sessions. In April - three to four harder high
lactic acid range sessions, but not too much.
Within a year there may be five or six periods.
It is to boost the athlete's confidence."
Read more on pages 8-9:
The PROCESS of doing max VO2 training is anaerobic. Yes,it represents the highest level of aerobic work you can do, but it also builds up acidosis in your muscles because they can't get enough oxygen. Therefore it's by definition anaerobic.
Fast twitch B fibers rely on creatine phosphate and uses a much simpler energy system than the other fibers. They rely on much more complicated oxidative systems that takes up and creates more volume in the muscles.
At least this is what I understood from the book
I guess i know your husband training very well.
I know before he did train with you, then the next training model, low mileage and some fast interval training and also the final part of the easy runs with tempo runs/tempolauf (very important i guess for one runner like Dieter that is fast fiber) and the late phase of his career that he tried the 10000m with more mileage, more long intervals on track with shot lenght recovery than before, and also good outdoor tempolauf and finnaly i know that the daily easy runs were really easy indeed.
As you might know You and Dieter you were been in Lisbon where i live and coach and it happens that i watch you and him in several occasions when you did stay here the days before competition as whe Dieter did the 10000m European Challenge. It happens that you and him you did some easy runs in the same Lisbon stadium precisely that i go everyday to coach my local runners - EUL - Estadio Unuiversitario de Lisboa, that one near the hotel where you did stay. Do you remember ?
You and Dieter you did run very easy in that days before the competitions. I said to my runners. Look at him, he was the only one european to run sub 13:00 buthe does daily runs slowrr than you before the competitions. Some of tehj are just 15:00 5000m but they are anxious and they think they need to train like kenyans they use to do - always fast on daily runs. I tried to use Dieter runs as an example. I say "If Dieter includes easy daioly runs to his training schedule and did sub 13:00 a few times and was olympic gold, then you also can be champiom while doing easy runs on the easy daily sessions.
Besides i like very much german training methodology that in my opinion that is your undenied major influence withj modern version of course.
Dieter actually he is good as an actor, not as good as a runner, but very good actor player !
And thanks for this briliant answer! I'll probably have to make some slight adjustments to my training program.
You see. I got more than 40 years of coach experience and i did coach more than 400 runners during that long period, runners that as you might imagine are from different run talent and i did coach them to different distance events. Consequently i did coach them with the use of different
methodology approach namely the use of aerobic first in some cases.
However with my experience i got the prove from trail and error that most if not all of them did their best run seasons and pbs when they did use aerobic and anaerobic training consistently year round.
Then the experimental field of real training agrees with the rich methodology with the training theory, confirms that the physiology I trust itīs right.
During my long coach journey I did study and deal with physiology but I did lean one thing. I did learn therīs only one physiology science, but the physiology itīs like a big large umbrella that covers several persons. Therīs only one physiology science, but from the same source therīs are several physiologies, the Lydiard acidosis physiology, Martin and physiology, Jack Daniels physiology, NortherStart physiology. Livingsston physiology, Isabella Baumann physiology, and so and so.
I got the conclusion that itīs very easy to use the physiology resource as fundament of it doesnīt matter what kind of different methodology training approach you agree.
Some of you, you were not born yet the day I start coach runners, I got more season of coach that you got of age. Consequently you can just know things from read books and what you know are theories that you couldnīt prove at the experimental level.
VO2max is mostly aerobic 80-85%. Yes the anaerobic contribution does contribute to acidosis, but you have to learn to control it by learning to run fast without getting out of breath just like to top 400/800 runners do. It is not due to lack of oxygen, this is a popular myth. Fast twich B fibers use creatine and glycoclysis and glycogenolysis and a very amounto of aerobic respiration. Yes these muscles are bigger, but that is the opposite of what you wrote before.
It's interesting that Livingstone says what he says about VO2 max work. Livingstone's book also has a section on John Walker's training. Part of John Walker's base training in the book includes 5 x 1000 at 3k-5k pace with 2 minutes rest.
Here is Renato talking about the uniqueness of the 400-800 type and part of his training for Leonard Kosencha, 4th ranked 800 guy in the world last year:
(scroll about halfway down the page to Renato's post that starts with "We have two different engines..." and check out his comments on Job Kinyor and Leonard Kosencha)
Thanks guys! Can't believe how many intelligent resourceful persons there are here.
No, I said that FT b fibers only use creatine phosphate and therefore require a smaller and simpler energy system to function. The other fibers (ST and FT a) require complex oxygen systems like capillaries and an array of glycolytic and aerobic organelles and a lot of fluids like sarcoplasm or cytoplasm to function. Therefore recruiting ST and FT a fibers increase muscle volume more than recruiting FT b fibers.
1) Why Anaerobic work: In addition to the points of Cabral and by reference Salazar, i would also suggest there's a list of bio-mechanical adaptations from anaerobic training that benifits distance running. Since anaerobic training involves changes in turnover, stride length, foot contact time etc this should all help with bio-mech/psych issues such muscle/tendon strength and elasticity, nerve conduction, joint mobility and mental comfort/familiarity with higher speed. Cabral's point is not to get too "sexy", don't do too much, i think Lydiard played it perhaps a little too safe. I don't know what the minimum anaerobic work is to reap benifits, maybe just strides 2xweek in the off season? Would Cabral/Salazar have an answer? Steve Magness also gives details on how much is too much, i never fully grasped his explanation, but something to do with the fact that sprinters actually have/want a low lactate threshold, distance runners a high threshold and that too much anaerobic work shifts the bias to the former.
2) Heavy weight/low reps - probably very similar stimulation to intense plymetrics, both are very good at stimulating FTb fibers. You can't jump onto a 3ft box slowly, though i guess you can slowly push out of a heavy squat. Anyways I think both types of exercise help with the power necessary for an explosive stride. The best runners whether sprinter or long distance, all have the shortest foot contact time and very compact strides (this is different then stride length, K Bekele is a perfect example, he appears not to move his legs much but has a very long stride length). This is because they have superior power/weight ratio and this can be enhanced though heavy weights/low reps. Guess which athletes have some of the highest vertical jump? Not basketball or v-ball, but powerlifters, some well over 40 inches! Doesn't mean you'll run fast of course, but it should help.
People that says that the problem of anaerobic training, os acidosis they donīt know what they re talk about. They never tested the level of acidity of the runner hat does anaerobic training and how much and how long that acidity doesnīt enable training continuity during the aerobic build-up phase.
itīs like Northern Star and some others. They talk about the danger of training acidosis but simply because they read that in some book, from the mouth of some coach or from some physiology paper fo dubious interest.
But the real experience, the real knowledge of what is the implication of acidosis in one training workout session they donīt know nothing at all.
If i ask them whatīs the level of acidosis of for example a 2mile or 3000m tempo done at best pace they just donīt know.
Imagine that during the base/build aerobic season you run one hour easy run and after that you go to the track or simply outdoor and you run 1x3000m (2mile). knowing that the VO2max. pace is close to the 3000m run for one experienced runner with same talent, then what some say here itīs anaerobic, whatīs the level of acidosis that runner gets and DO YOU THINK THAT 3000m DOESNīT ABLE HIM TO REGULAR TRAINING CONTINUITY THE VERY NEXT DAY OR THE VERY REST OF THE WEEK ?
And what about the same 3000m at the same 3000m VO2max pace but done in 10 sets of intervals (10X300m) with some recovery. Do you think that he gets a high tax/level of acidosis that doesnīt enable him to run normally the very next day one or 2 (doubles) aerobic runs the very next day ?
Donīt you realize that some runners do two times 800m heats in 2 followed days with no problem.
Only one runner with no training experience or with abnormal weird training or total mias of run talent and run ability isnīt able to include for instance 10x300m at his 3k pace with short recovery after 60min run and after doing some 40min easy in the by-diary training, and get so tired (so much acidosis) that itīs impossible to continue to follow his scheduled training the very next day.
And doing this he gets training efficiency relate to his aerobic condition progress and therīs not the danger to peak to soon, and canīt be upset or worry about the improbable fact that he might be out of shape or overtraining or tired or out of peak some months later when the competition season arrives.
So why they continue to say the same nonsense on and on that the anaerobic promotes adverse acidosis or that anaerobic training "kills" the aerobic if done to soon, or that that anaerobic training all year round doesnīt promote right peak in the right moment ?
if what they say is right, then the Salazar training would just not result in success, but what we see itīs the opposite. What about Mo Farah, what bout Gallen Rupp ? Out of success because intervals year round ?
Therīs no straight answer to that question. The question of chronologic frequency itīindividual. Thatīs for this kind of individual questions that the coach is suposed to exist. If donīt, otherwise, it would be just enough that we all would follow the same training program.
But of course, as i say above, the anaerobic stimulus, also depends of whatīs the workout design, how much, how long, how much recovery etc.