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Karma Police
RE: Solomon suddenly world class and Rupp soloing 3.50 indoor miles - Come on Letsun, ask the questions!

Canada Coach wrote:

1. Increasing your weekly volume with extra non-running cardio training

2. Speed is very important for distance runners. This is something that will be questioned - especially from the (Lydiard / Cardio is the only important thing advocates.

3. Weight training - For years the aerobic first or aerobic only advocates have complained that so many runners are on steroids (which help with hypertrophy) yet can't figure out that strength training might be valuable.

4. Type of weight training - Those distance runners that did weight train did it in such a wimpy and wrong manner (huge reps rather than huge weights) that it was pretty much useless.

5. Dynamic flexibility and plyometrics - ignored by most distance runners

6. The great use of properly place aerobic intervals, fartleks, etc to increase aerobic development.

7. Spending all year (rather than just the last 6 weeks before a meet) to work on speed.

8. Technique - In the past, distance runners felt technique was useless, but Salazar has quickly figured out that is just as important, or maybe more, than it is for sprinters.

9. North American distance runners have only recently used altitude to their advantage.

So rather than yell "PED" everytime someone runs fast, take a close look at what is going on.


Like a few others, I also love this comment.

For many on here, mileage is king. However, chuck two guys doing the same mileage together in a distance race and who will win? The faster one.

Therefore, speed is crucial. The faster you are, the bigger the difference between top speed and your race pace (speed reserve ). And the bigger the speed reserve, the more comfortable you feel at race pace.

If 6 weeks is enough to work on speed, why doesn't Bolt just train for 6 weeks a year? Speed needs strength, technique, flexibility, plyos, all sorts of things. And the more you do them throughout the year, the faster you'll get and the more help you will get come race season.

Running efficiently is also something that needs to be emphasised a lot more. My kid improved when he started distance training as much because he developed an efficient stride as from the improved aerobic fitness. Sure, longer training helped him develop that more efficient stride initially. However, he can now have a break and come back fast, or run fast times off muscle memory, once he slots into that stride.

The "non-running cardio training" comment is another I am interested in. I think swimming's about as good an aerobic activity as you can find, and swimming reduces the strain on the lower body. If you've got injury concerns, or don't want to increase your mileage, or are already at the mileage limit, you can surely get aerobic benefits from a swimming session a week. And doing this once a week, focusing on longer intervals, won't increase upper body bulk.

A holistic training program is the most important thing. All of these aspects are important, and all need to be worked on all year round. And with due respect to the Lydiardists, he didn't advocate all of this.

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