What have I started? This thread is 800m training, not 800m physiology! I guess it is all fair game though, and certainly helpful reading.
Why is aerobic power reduced near the end of the race? I would think that would be when it is working in overdrive.
Does the previous use of the anerobic system (first lap) get in the way of the aerobic systems functioning properly?
Is this why Lydiard says that anaerobic work halts aerobic conditioning during the base phase, and that you cannot train hard and race hard at the same time?
I believe Lydiard was referring to lactic acid tolerance work--speed endurance training that was aimed at the ezymatic response. I dont think that it gets you in worse aerobic shape, but it competes for you energy--you just cant keep your regime of mileage/LT threshold work when you are doing this work; you will get EXTREMELY fatigued and your mechanics will break down. It builds a peek that becomes stale very quickly--your endocrine system is prone to "habituate" -- ie it will hypertrophy initially to a stimulus and then over time it will tune it out and stop responding and receed. It is like if you put a loud noise in your ear--at first it is piercing but if you keep it there after a while you cant hear it (not because you are deafened!)Burning out is definately not mental...if an athlete is starting to tail off in performance after a big breakthrough in my experience they are toast and need to rest. Obviously if it was a mistimed peek and they have a championship event that they have to hang onto as a coach you have find a way to be creative and keep stimulating the system, but only with variation.
I went to a USATF middle distance retreat once September with a couple of decent up a comers (only about 7 of us) and Peter Snell was there...he definately described the distance regime (FYI he was doing repeats and tempo runs during his 100 mile weeks but they were in the context of a distance run and not on the track...) but the idea was to get a HUGE general base in. It definately was not all purely aerobic capacity work...very similiar the the systems we are describing here, and consistent with Canova, Gagliano, etc for the Base and Strength phases. Pre-Olympics he did 4-6 weeks of extremely specific sharpening work....he said he was always amazed how fast he could run off the base, and how quickly his legs adapted to the speed training, leading to a very sharp peek in middle distance performance. At the time he was an exercise physiologist in Texas studying the mechanisms of all the things he had done, and he was becoming very certain that everyone post Lydiard over-did the sharpening phase.
He also admitted that he, Elliott, and Walker all had very good natural speed, and didnt need to focus on it quite as much. He thought that the power work that Coe did was the difference between a 1;44 guy and running 1:41.
He also would think of a full training season as only about 18 weeks....10-12 weeks of mileage, 4-5 weeks of speed, couple weeks of competing, then back to the start again---typical for a guy running the down under season and then the european summer season. Walker thought he would just keep compounding his trength training on build up after build up....this was a bit more for the mile but all of them ran damn good 800m for their generation.