In it, his college coach Eric Houle explains what he thinks is key when one is running 190 mpw - recovery. While people like Dave Bedford and Salazar struggled with mega mileage, he says it's cause they didn't recover enough. So he had Cam run a ton when he was redshirting.
However an excerise phys guy disagrees and says mega mileage is ALWAYS BAD.
. In the early ’70s, high-volume training was in vogue, with former 10-kilometre world record holder Dave Bedford of Britain running up to 240 miles a week. But Bedford set his record at age 23 and never won a major race after that, succumbing to injuries and seeing a sharp decline in performance. Bedford’s imitators likewise flamed out, most famously Alberto Salazar in the ’80s. The world’s top-ranked marathoner when he was 21, the Cuban-American Salazar put in 200-mile weeks with 20- and even 30-mile full-bore runs the day before races, competing through illness, even bronchitis. He was effectively done within three years. With Bedford and Salazar as cautionary tales, most coaches have placed a premium on quality and speed ever since.
Houle, however, had been experimenting with over-distance for his runners for years. By his reckoning, over-distance is productive training for a season or two but destructive in the long term. He also believes the problem wasn’t the stress on the runners’ bodies but rather the lack of recovery—that is, Bedford, Salazar and the other casualties weren’t overtrained so much as under-rested. “I told Cam that between runs, ‘If you see a bench, lie down and sleep on it, and if you see food on the ground, pick it up and eat it,’” he says. “You can’t know if a runner is going to tolerate the workload and you have to be ready to shut it down, permanently if necessary. Cam was able to do it.”
So what say you LetsRun.com? Who is right? Can 190 mpw be benefitial?
As director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University, David Nieman studies athletes who suffer from overtraining syndrome (OTS). “The effects of OTS mimic chronic fatigue syndrome, [it can lead to] a long-term or permanent decline in performance,” says Nieman, who works with dozens of OTS sufferers. “The immune system can be compromised, leaving athletes at risk of infections. There can be long-term issues with cognitive function and memory. There’s no reason for a [college] runner to be running 190 miles a week. It’s not high-risk, high-reward. There’s no reward at all. There’s only risk.”