Joe. I guess i use to be a very frontal and direct and sincere and an open mind person. Besides I never felt offended by no one.
But that´s not me that I may classified myself.
That just to justify my comments about Horwill training method.
So, I did that because I did direct access to past Horwill runners that he did coach directly and did advise and they all bring me the same main idea “That´s too much, too fast, in exhaustion, I can´t hold that workouts”. OK, if that´s to get champions and talent runners to the top, as Tim Hutchings or Sebastian Coe as they did, that´s fine, but if that´s to get a training that fits for the runners in a large range scale …I doubt.
Ther´s a defined “frontier” in between “method” and reality, and that´s true also for running methods and concrete running schedules. I used to say that Portuguese training that I try to let you know that´s a “sophistication”, based in some principles and a fix structure that fits perfect in some cases, that don´t fit perfect in some other cases, and that don´t fit at all in some other cases. It would be absurd and a non-sense to try at any coasts to fit 1-2-3 portuguese system in a runner that by his individual physical profile that 1-2-3 doesn´t fit. As it would be wrong to confine 2 workouts by week to a runner that goes splendid with 4 workouts a week.
But the basic principle that remains intact. Most of my experience, tells me that most of the runners they just need 2 workouts a week mainly. Regarding Lopes or a Fernando Mamede, or Rui Silva or Antonio Pinto all most of top portuguese runners with different workouts and with different coaches ther´s a large consensus that 2 a week that´s better than 3 a week, Well in our 1-2-3 training formula…Lopes he start his career by training 3 workouts weekly. He did 13:42 and 28:16 with that workout frequency. At that time (1972-1974) Fernando Mamede he was a 800m-1500m runner that did loose to qualify on 1972 Munich Olympics heats outquick by a Italien runner named Francesco Arese that Renato Canova did coach ! He did 3 workouts a week. Then both they changed for 2 workouts a week. How they did that? Instead of doing short reps in a faster pace and the next day they did very slow aerobic runs, and look for that every next workout that will be faster and faster, they turn on short intervals to a slower pace – closer and closer to Race Pace – faster than race pace, but closer as a “pace support” (as Renato says) to Race Pace. Of course that that means to shorter the intervals also. One another occasion I will come to that subject that of “short reps” Portuguese style, because I see ther´s a misunderstand how this is done. Now, I simply say that we use “modern interval training”, that took their roots and origin in German Friburg research school, that´s in based not in reps or pace reps, but the fundament that´s based in incomplete recover, that we transfer/adjust that incomplete recover base in “active” short intervals, a kind of intermittent reps that Renato mentions. Need to say that spain runners they use that also with a large success, I guess. But I will come later to that my experience.
In the other extreme, aerobic runs slower than Pace Race, instead of jogging I between workouts, Lopes did speed their continuous runs closer and closer to Race Pace, once again that´s also Renato´s idea, that the pace(s) immediately below Race Pace are support paces for Race Pace.
Thus changing from 3 workouts weekly to 2 Mamede did improve from 3:42 to 3:37 and he become a 5000m-10000m specialist up to 27:13 world record a performance that most of non-africans would love to do actually. And Lopes did Big wins, 27:17, 2:07:12 WR.
A lot of times people forgets that overtraining that is dangerous than lack of training. If a runner reports that after a workout he is no able to train faster than 6min mile and besides that slow pace he still feel tired – the reason isn´t in an inadequate workout?
Now, if the runner is able to resist to 3-4-5-6 workouts a week, no big deal.
Eventually in very specific phases or for some individual justified reason you can inflate the number of 2 weekly workouts. In 800m-1500m runners, I would say that´s pertinent to think that the runner needs more workouts than twice a week. I agree with you.
But if that´s the case you need to put more specific training in a somewhere runner – why not use mix-up paces in a single workout?
Using several set distances, in several pace zones, in a negative split concept. Ex: 4X(600+500+400+300+200+100) first 2 set groups for race pace and 2 last ones faster than race pace to maximum pace? Or 4X(5X400) first two sets in Lt pace and 2 last ones in race pace? Or 3Xmile first set group in Lt pace; second mile group in Race pace and third mile group faster than Race pace.
There are many format designs as coaches in the world, but I just want to explain my idea.
Mr. Joe. Don´t take me wrong. If I made a comment about 5 pace system, that´s because the use of paces comes from a different logic principles that Portuguese system. As far as I know (by reading Peter Coe and Martin book) they take advise from Horwill BUT they buiold a system based in scientific studies based in physiologic conclusions, thus max.VO2; aerobic/anaerobic; lactate; etc. We Portuguese we take out empiric conclusion based in our experience mainly.
But don´t take the conclusion that I comment negatively your 5 paces workouts, I don´t know your training details yet – just what I read in Let´sRunCom but what I read i think that´s fantastic. Very good your training stuff indeed.
But for me just the number 5 that´s similar in your 5 pace workouts and Coe system. May be you get some influence from them, I don´t know, but it seems to me that you build a original and very adequate training methodology, that´s now distant than what Coe did.
Besides, ther´s a moment that you feel the need to discriminate the 2 from the 3 portuguese paces – the faster than RP (fluently called speed) and the intense but slow than RP (mainly called Lt) in 2 discrimination pace zones, thus the 5 paces. All that fits mainly with Renato´s ideas –remember 80-85%RP to 90-95% to 105-110% to 115% all that stuff.
But I still keeps on talking about basic Portuguese 3 paces that people understand a simple basic idea but also a very effective and efficient concept I guess. And i´m no more than to take the attention for my own ideas. I guess that all over the world people thinks that we all use that system as un inflexible and infallible system. No we don´t. 1-2-3 that´s just a perspective.