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RE: 2 kinds of runners. Which are you?
When someone comes up to me asks me to coach them, my first question (perhaps obviously) is to ask him/her about their running background and to show me some examples of their recent training. At the same time, I like to inquire about their motivation and medium and long-term targets.
I analyse what I am told, and then consider what I think I can do, how best I can train the person before to me to maximise his/her potential.
This is a major challenge for me: to achieve the best possible improvement and optimal progress for each runner.
In the case of our young punk, the first thing I need to teach him is my three basic pace levels:
1 - easy runs
2 - moderate to intense (but still submaximal) LT runs
3 - maximal runs
I will start him for some time with just easy runs (according to my definition). As you discuss above, he needs to be made "ready to train". Then when I see that the time has come, I will introduce into his regular training some intense but submaximal runs - these provoke a high aerobic demand.
Later, when I estimate that he is ready to compete, I will include some 3rd level training intensity - fast runs, with a higher aerobic demand at maximal pace. As you would expect, most of the fast runs will be done in the form of intermittent workouts.
In my next post I will add more comments about basic easy runs - pure aerobic runs - and how I would prescribe them for everyone from a young punk to a top-class runner.
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