That´s my last posts about this our little disagreement.
I also think that to turn on the debate more positive that´s better to focus in science, physilogy, training, or...eventually the song that the runners they may sing before the run workouts this morte positive than the personal attack.
Thanks for your replies. I agree with Balance, we may disagree, but we may still have a polite and interesting debate. I support this your debate. I like your posts, i like your physiology "new" ideas. I also understand that - if and when - that´s not intersting to keep a debate based in personal offenses or individual peculiarities. If i have to fight - i fight the ideas and concepts, i never fight the man. Simply - excuse me to insist - the way that Phoenix showed in disagreement with your ideas seems to me adequate and polite, despite that he refers you or your pecularities.
In the Phoenix post he didn´t show the "material" prove (as to say) or quotes your statements - where and when - you "misrepresented data and you selectively choose a small portion of the available research", but to do so he would have to copy and past most of your training articles and also your posts, i also may do that - but ther´s no time or interest to do so in this site - that´s enough to mention that you may know our ipinion and that the readres may wake up for a critic reading of your ideas. After all that´s not you that i want to convince or made you aware of your misunterprertation - or that i want your agreement - that´s only enough that you know my opinion and that i´m free to express that - as Phoenix did - as that´s enough that you know that not that i want to convince you of something that i try that you agree with my own opinion. This Forum - as far as i see it - that´s mainly to express different opnions.
Simply a site Forum - this one - aren´t relate with the scientific debate or a court or you will be right that the burden of proof is on the person who makes the statement or claim".
In this forum sometimes we act in triple position. One, we are the reader, second we post with info or with our own ideas and opinions and sometimes we show agreement or disagreement with other post ideas, third we and, at last we are the judge (for ourselves of course) of what it is written here. This Forum model is not compatible with science debate as you try to push this debate - this Forum scientific model doesn´t exist really in science. In my country e say "from Ceaser what´s to Ceaser and from Goid what´s from God".
Just the simple fact that most of the people posts using nicknames (in anonimity)and without using his own e-mail - as you do Mr. Richards, this turns this debate weak and unscientific, or don´t you agree?
I hope that you have understood. First this is not a court or a science debate or a science congress - this is simple a free forum to pass and discuss our own ideas ansd messages about running without the need of the prove.
Finnaly, permit me that i ask you a question. Taked for granteed that the Central Governator is a correct theory, stricktly from the prespective of the Central Governator theory - not muscular benefits - what may be the benefits from running all-out hilly workout from a flat all-out flat workout - if in both cases you work in a all-out intensity?
Very interesting topics being discussed, and good posts by Antonio.
I will not wade into the actual main topics being discussed here(yet), but I did want to make a couple comments about the debate itself.
1) My opinion is that while I don't agree with several ideas/interpretations of Richard's that he has on his web-site(especially the one about the fastest sprinter being able to win ANY race, even long distance ones, if trained), other ideas of his are pretty decent.
2) I think he has been very polite to everyone here, while many others have been very uncivil to him. If you don't agree with him, show him the error of his ways. I see no need to attack him personally.
3) Antonio, you DEFINITELY MISINTERPRETED Richard's initial comments to Phoenix. This is of course excusable, because English is not your first language. Richard wrote:
"Generally I avoid these types of discussion because they generally disintegrate to name calling, personal attacks, and other types of worthless, non-intelligent, no substance exchanges. I will, however, take a chance we can have an intelligent conversation WITHOUT ANY OF THE ABOVE childish nonsense. "
Richards' words of "without any of the above childish nonsense" referred back to HIS OWN WORDS, NOT PHOENIX's. Understand? "Without any of the above childish nonsense" referred to the "name calling, personal attacks, and other types of worthless, non-intelligent, no substance exchanges" that Richard's experience has shown him that "these types of discussions" "GENERALLY disintergrate" into.
Understand?? When Richard wrote "these types of discussions", he meant: discussions where people argure over theories, and try to discredit others' beliefs. Now Richard WAS insinuating that Phoenix might be READY to go in that direction (the direction of name-calling, etc), if Richard answered him, but Richard was NOT saying that the conversation had arrived at that point yet. Get it?? :-)
I know, I know, maybe not an important point, but I think you already know my somewhat overly analytical nature, and I could not let a misunderstanding like that pass without correcting it. You probably owe Richard an apology on that one issue.
Thank you very much. Language have that little nuances that i miss. When i did read - above - for me in that context ABOVE means those who post earlier in this thread, being Phoenix - the first suspicion, and when Richard said he that don´t i ask so what else may be ?
Of course that I also send my apologies to Richard right now. I missed that one languge peculiarity, excuse me.
That´s also curious that you mention "...you already know my somewhat overly analytical nature..." I think that you are right about it, and as you know that´s not easy for me to understand some details that when your mother language that´s the english one you will, then let me profit the oportunity to ask you this: Off the record/in personal e-mails some my frinds they comment and they think to guess who you are. I have my own opinion, but my lack of the english language does´t go so far. Of course that i don´t want tht you reveals me your identity at all, For me that´s enough that you show some respect - that you do. But since i read other posts in other threads (or in this one), and TO ME your posts are so similar to ZUZu´s petals - may be i´m wrong - that in my mind when i think about you (Lance) i think about ZuZu´s posts and when i want to reply for me that´s a mess. Are you able to say if i may consider ZuZu´s posts as your owns? Just yes or no. You see i don´t want to repeat myself and post for 2 individuals what´s i may post for one. For example i want to reply fior ZuZu´s about what he said in this your last post thread. Is him (ZuZu´s) the same individual that did post about the genetics of the altitude runners in another post ? That will be decisive for my reply contain that i want to keep in this thread. Thanks.
I don't care to look at this page nor have I read all of the thread, but what you said is untrue/very misleading. People who can run at higher levels of lactate are not faster b/c of that. They have trained to become faster and thus have higher levels of lactate b/c they can maintain a certain speed for longer which allows them to deal with accumulating more lactate. Cart before the horse.
I think that The Central Governor - in the continuity of the physiology direction that Noakes follows since the first works, that´s an interesting theory. As i said, if that´s true and proved, i guess that will kill all believes that scsientific comunity defines as threshold training or by anaerobic threshold training. I never been a great fan of that in a large definition i wopuld call "anaerobic threshold" training methods - so many are the doubts, the innacuracy and the "black holes" that i think that the theshold theory have. I inicially did imagine that what the portuguese we do - intense continuous runs but in submaximal pace that´s the same than the classic anaerobic threshold runs, but with more knowledge and information i did realise that may be ther´s an involuntary similarity - relate to the anaerobic threshold concept (to turn the curve to the right) and that intense but sub-maximal continuous runs that the portuguese we use often and that you think that´s a must of out training method. Effectively both aren´t aerobic/steady-state runs - and both involves some lactic acid concentration that the training of that runs try to promote a better acid lactic management.
But as long as the "theshold theories" they put an emphasis in that´s a submaximal pace but that´s the ruins that may be into/or close the supposed AnT, instead of the portuguese runs - us without desprise the lactic meter control and pulse control etc, we put an strong emphasis in a the pace that we want to run that runs - that are a percent of the Race Pace from the distance event, and personally i see that more like a "pace plateau", that according your capacity and your shape condition you get into a certain pace intensity (submaximal all the time). That pace plateau that´s - once again - based in the Time (duration) and the Distance, and i still think that ther´s nothing more accurate than a pace, more than an lactic acid concentration.
Athletes may not be lacking any oxygen in the muscles.
AS a coach i think that the danger is always present in a new theory that isn´t tested yet. I remeber when it arrives a new theory, people runs with enthousiasm and then ther´s nothing. I remember not long ago that one man build a very correct high jump method that he uses a deadly jump as in the gimnastic you see. All is done by dynamic calculs, but then they go to the reality and that´s inoperative, That´s what will happen with this theory that says that may not be lack of oxigen in the muscles. Thinking that´s true that willn´t change the training profile. In the limit, what this can make is that we realise that we need to come quickly to the specific training that we used to think (some used to think). What this discover may cause is that we need to pay more attention to all-out training. But please, this is a danger theory that one of the all out. Why do i say that´s dangerous ? Because have soem details that are right. Of course that we need to train in an all-out pace, i agree, but to pass to the need to train all-out to train only/just all-out in the workouts, and due to that omit the nned for extensive/longitudinal training (mileage, aerobic runs etc) this is a non-sense.
Why do i know...Well the traning that Richard suggests that´s very similar to what all the protuguese we follow during 2 decades (from the 50s to the late 60´s). We doi have a wrong interpretaion from the interval training, then we used to do 4 times a week hard/all-out workouts, low mileage, once a day and that needs 2 days rest a week, because they can´t stand that all week in. But that´s not also the portuguese, the spasniards all over the world this is the old training system - all-out and some miles warmup. I´m old enough to have seen that and i´m young enough to remember. To say the true, also Carlos Lopes (and many other) in his career debut they did start training similar to what Richard suggests, but were the time that our 1500m recoed in the late 60´s that´s simple 3:52, our 5000m record that´s 13:57 and our marathon record 2:18 when in the world those high milers as Ron Clake did 13:18 or 27:38 or Jerome Drayton did 2:08 in the marathon.
The question here isn´t the good or bad physiology is about training management, if that´s the coach that directs the training plan or if that´s the physiologist or the nutricionist or the agent or the physioterapeut or the public. No that´s the coach. But as Richard is 2 in 1, he is a physiologist but also a coach he mix up the roles and wants that the physilogist directs all training process. Axtulaly ther are a lot of physiologists that want to replece the coach in that coach role. But - to coach -that´s mainly to have a training policy and a training strategy - of course with the help of all the experts (in physilogy, nutricionism, medicine etc)each one in their fields of expertise exclusively. As a coach i don´t want to interfeere in the lab test experiences or in the conclusion of the physilogist. I don´t go to a lab and said, use this rats to do this instead of that. Then as a coach i shalln´t allow that any expertise take the lead of my training - i ask them questions when i need them. But as every years comes out more and more physilogists from the universities and as they haven´t nothing more to do, they want to become coaches. Even in the cases that the same man acts as a coach and as a sports physiologist he may not be subservient to his physiologic concept, the coach role comes first -listen the runner, understands the individual runner needs, that coach/physilogist may not use a training concept that yiou wnaty thaty fits in all as some physiologists they try to.
Would you kindy answer a question for me? You have clearly articulated the physiological model you believe to be true. The questin is why do you believe it to be true? I'm curious as to what evidence/data you have used to decide that particular model is the correct one.
I have read your article "PORTUGUESE ADVANCED TRAINING - Some details including the schedules of Rui Silva, Domingos Castro and Alberto Chaica" that is posted on Marius Bakken's website, so I have a pretty good understanding of your training philosophy as well as the reasoning behind your ideas. From what I gather you like your runners to perform the majority of track work at threshold intensities. I take this to mean that you want them to work with their bodies and not against them. What I mean is that your athletes will be running hard but not struggling in their workouts in any way. The speeds utilized may be above the so called anaerobic threshold speed, but I figure with recovery periods that lactate levels will probably be similar to those found during a 20-30 minute tempo run.
Please don't misinterpret my mentioning the importance of anaerobic threshold training in the previous posts to mean that I favor running at this particular intensity over another. If you remember from my earlier posts on the Double Whammy, I adhere to the idea that there is nothing particularly magical that occurs at the anaerobic threshold (if it even exists). All we really care about is increasing aerobic fitness, so we only desire an intensity that will accomplish this end. I believe training somewhere around the threshold, either a little below it, at it, or just over it will give us the same benefits as running right at it. This is why I don't see a reason to even test for it. A good estimation is all that is needed. Other than tempo runs, most track work will probably be run above the threshold anyway, so what is the point in knowing it anyway. Remember my discussion on aerobic power workouts, and my belief that all aerobic power workouts accomplish the same result (reduced aerobic capacity)? And please don’t misunderstand that me and think that I believe that reducing anaerobic capacity is the only reason to conduct aerobic power workouts. I believe I have already stated the benefits I believe they can provide to the aerobic capacity. It just so happens that aerobic power workouts can be utilized in may ways. As I am sure you know, the thinking that goes into the training can be very complex., but the actual programs can actually be quite simple, due to the fact that one type of workout can provide many different benefits at the same time. For example, long hard runs can provide both an increased capillary density in the muscles, as well as an increase in the number of mitochondria. For this reason we only need to prescribe one training session to obtain the desired benefits, instead of two.
You stated that you like to estimate threshold speed. I believe that this is a good place to start, but it may not be necessarily accurate and may require the athlete adjust their workout speed. I like the way that Khalid Khannouchi conducts his training sessions. If he is just starting his track training and decides to do 10 x 1k, he does not predetermine how fast he is going to run them. He may not know what type of shape he is in at that particular time of the season, and as such, he just goes out and runs the workout at a pace that allows him to complete the workout. This gives him a good idea of where his current fitness is, and gives him something to improve on in the future. The next time he tries to do the same workout he can try to run the 1k's a little faster than the previous workout. This will show progress and will ensure that he is continually giving himself an adequate stimulus for improvement.
Am I correct in believing that this is the way you like your athletes to conduct their track sessions? If I am misunderstanding you please clarify.
You can get a good understanding of my reasoning for my physiological beliefs by reading the works of Dr. A. Mader and Jan Olbrecht. Their work is the basis for the model I presented, as well as for the majority of my beliefs. I really hope I don't plagiarize or misrepresent their work in here. If I do, and they ever read this stuff, I sure hope they correct me. Antoni, Zuzu, and I have been having a discussion on some of Olbrecht's work in another post on this forum called the "Double whammy. It has gotten very long, and I have posted the majority of what I could tell you there. I would prefer not to repeat myself so please go that post if you want to learn more. Of course I don't necessarily believe that you are unfamiliar with Olbrect's work, so if you are already very familiar with it, you would not have to read the posts. Of course If you are familiar with it and would just like to freshen up on the ideas you can.
I have also been heavily influenced by the work of Dr. Joe Vigil, as well as Dr. Peter Snell. I prefer to observe the work of physiologists who both know the art as well as the science or running.
If you want more clarification or information than you can find in the Double Whammy post, you are going to have to ask me again in the future.
By the way, I typed so much information in the other thread that it is very possible that I may have misrepresented what I really meant. If you find any mistakes please correct me. I have already found one. I once used the term pyvurate in stead of pyruvate. A little embarrassing really, since I don't want to sound like an idiot among my peers.
I've glanced at the Double Whammy thread but haven't read it thoroughly. And unfortunately I'm not familiar with the work of Mader or Olbrecht.
What I'm trying to understand is the nature of the data you have used to form your beliefs.
Which category would you say the works of Mader and Olbrecht that have influenced you fall into - a) popular literature (books by Daniles, Pfitzinger, or Noakes would fall into this category), or b) exercise physiology or similar textbook used in a university course, or c) original research (similiar to that which I first referenced when starting this thread)?
I don't believe that Olbrecht's work is very close to any of the physiologists you have mentioned. I am familiar with all of their work though. Dr. Mader and Dr. Olbrecht’s research and conclusions do not mirror the work of any other physiologists that I can think of. At least not American ones. As for data or conclusions gathered by some of Olbrech's work, I currently don't have any on me. I will try to obtain some for you. There is quite a bit out there though. I think I will probably start by providing some of Mader's earlier work since it is the basis for Olbrecht's. They have done a lot of research together however. I am pretty sure you want to know what the correlation’s were in the studies, so I will try to focus on those. I am not sure how soon I can provide it though. I have not been to the University Library in a quite a while. Far too busy for that now. I really do miss those days in school. There was so much information available to me back then. I probably spent too much time reading research articles in stead of doing my other studies.
For the record I don't agree with the model proposed by "Balance" either--several inaccuracies are present.
1) Pyruvate is initially a precursor to lactate during glycolysis. The equilibrium between pyruvate and lactate is such that cytosolic lactate concentrations are about 10 times cytosolic pyruvate concentrations. Pyruvate first though.
2) The formation of lactate from lactate which is catalyzed by lactate dehydrogenase consumes a proton rather than donates one. Pyruvic acid has a Pka of 2.49 while lactic acid has Pka of 3.86, therefore pyruvic acid is actually a stronger acid than lactic acid!
3) Richard has correctly noted that lactate formation from pyruvate has an alkalizing effect. However, this does not change human physiology. Lactate is a definative by-product of anaerobic metabolism. High lactate means that production of pyruvate via glycolysis exceeded the rate mitochondria could oxidize pyruvate lactate via the Krebs Cycle. High lactate = high rate of glycolysis = high catecholamines = strong neuroendocrine stress = overtraining if repeated too frequently. It does not matter where the lactate came from or that lactate in and of itself is not harmful--its what it signifies.
4) Richard has posted an abstract about lactate formation not being strictly related to lack of oxygen. This is also correct, but was noted over twenty years ago by J.O. Holloszy. This idea should be clear to anyone who recognizes that the lactate threshold occurs at a paces slower than VO2max pace. Why is lactate formation high before maximum oxygen uptake is reached? This is question I had for many years. The answer is simple with a little biochemistry. ATP is hydrolyzed to ADP during muscle contraction. Also, myokinase performs the following reaction:
2 ADP = 1 ATP + 1 AMP.
Both AMP and ADP are allosteric activators of phosphofructokinase 1 (PFK-1) which is the rate limiting enzyme in glycolysis. ADP and AMP are transported into mitochondria via adenine translocase (ANT) to be reconverted into ATP. Maximum rates of mitochondrial respiration are greater than any normal physiological demand would require. ***However, for the respiration rate of a given mitochondrion to increase, an increase in the "respiratory pressure" from the ADP and AMP charge is required.*** Essentially, to increase the ATP production of a given mitochondrion, a greater ADP/AMP charge must be present. The increase in ADP and AMP strongly activate PFK-1 and therefore glycolyis which produces the acidosis associated with lactate. It is a basic illustration of Le Chatelier's princple with mitochondria classified as a reactant:
AMP/AMP + mitochondria = ATP
If mitochondria is constant and ATP increases then by definition AMP/ADP must increase.
The increase in AMP/ADP increases the rate of glycolyis.
So, we have a situation where oxyen is still being delivered by the cardiovascular system AND processed by mitochondria, yet acidosis with the associated production of lactate occurs.
This does not undermine the cardiovascular model though. People with more mitochondria produce less lactate at VO2max than people with more mitochondria. There is quite a bit of variation in lactate levels at VO2max. Therefore there is a dissociation between muscular stress and cardiac ouput. Surely the brain has protective mechanisms and plays a large role in fatigue, but the cardiovascular cannot be easily dismissed and presently constitutes a large portion of the model which current evidence and research supports.
You may understand this. I don´t subscribe all that i say in my Portuguese Advanced Training. I have a different training approach than typical/classic portuguese training method. Of course that i can´t deny that my observation and investigation and knowledge about that Portuguese training did influences me a lot, and that´s the root of some of my training ideas.
Language is very complex. The physiologists and coaches - as far as the knowledge progresses and when they want to define levels of intensity etc. they use terms that have nothing to do with their origin. In another thread we have discuss the meaning of "tempo" - that as a training concept originally comes from the german language, but actually we use the word tempo with a different meaning as the original.
The same with the word threshold. A couple of years back no one said this word. Recently everybody uses "threshold" with different meanings. Since threshold is so popular one day we will see in the TV an advertise that says “Buy this threshold shampoo”.
I say this because as far as i understand your statement"…From what I gather you like your runners to perform the majority of track work at threshold intensities…."
No i don´t.
Of course that any track workout (or outdoor workout) that depends of what´s the runner talent, what´s workout goal, what´s the distance event that we want to prepare, but mainly the track workouts are above (faster) the threshold zones - race pace or faster. Simply aren´t all-out in exhaustion. They are all out only - if and when - the goal that´s speed training or alactic training. To resume most of the the workouts are based in aerobic power endurance with the use of extensive model (reps) and also with the use of short/active intervals - not as you say with long intervals.
The use of long/quite complete interval recover - are for the speed training or what I call Check Tests - long distances (according the race event distance) in race pace and with long intervals.
If by all that you are meaning "threshold workouts" i accept, but for me threshold runs are the training model to answer to that point 4 of Phoenix …
“…4) Richard has posted an abstract about lactate formation not being strictly related to lack of oxygen. This is also correct, but was noted over twenty years ago by J.O. Holloszy. This idea should be clear to anyone who recognizes that the lactate threshold occurs at a paces slower than VO2max pace. Why is lactate formation high before maximum oxygen uptake is reached? This is question I had for many years…”
For me as a coach, this is a main concern. To train to improve that lactate formation that occurs before that you get maxVO2 pace. And in my opinion that´s not with a all-out training based that we improve this capacity.
I thanks to Phoenix to have the time and generosity to post with physiology accuracy (I guess) what since a long ago I coclude as a coach. This is a precious statement in my opinion
Read Phoenix once again if you please.
“…This does not undermine the cardiovascular model though. People with more mitochondria produce less lactate at VO2max than people with more mitochondria. There is quite a bit of variation in lactate levels at VO2max. Therefore there is a dissociation between muscular stress and cardiac ouput. Surely the brain has protective mechanisms and plays a large role in fatigue, but the cardiovascular cannot be easily dismissed and presently constitutes a large portion of the model which current evidence and research supports. …”
For me the training consequences of the Central Governator and the Richard abstract about lactate formation not being strictly related to lack of oxygen, will be:
1/that the “anaerobic threshold” training is of less importance in whole training context, but not the aerobic condition, or training in sub-maximal paces – but there are those that they use this long ago. Instead of training in the anaerobic threshold pace strictly they use more tempo runs up to “Max.Lass” runs since we use this new terminology too.
2/Another second consequence will be that more specific training as considered will be introduced in the training plan – as long as the recover process is able to manage that high specific volume – doesn´t mean necessarily more workouts a week, means more extensive workouts. Besides this is nothing new also indeed.
But from here to say that this "new models" they will change the training concepts that´s too much for so little, and also to advise an all-out intensity in the workout, i don´t believe in that.
Phoenix will be the first to admit that he has made what is really a typo in his last post (in fact, since we all understand what he MEANT to say, most will probably miss it).
He wrote: "People with more mitochondria produce less lactate at VO2max than people with more mitochondria."
Obviously it should be, "People with more mitochondria produce less lactate at VO2max than people with LESS mitochondria."
You stated that "high lactate means that production of pyruvate via glycolysis exceeded the rate mitochondria could oxidize pyruvate lactate via the Krebs Cycle." This is basically what I said and is the basis for the model I presented." I don't understand why you disagree with it, if you then present the same information. Perhaps you misunderstand me, due to my post being to confusing. I don't think it is though. It is long yes, but I believe I tried to present the information in such a way that even the layman could understand it.
For the record Richard did not specifically state that he disagrees with the model I presented, so I believe it is presumptuous to say he does. Although the information that he has stated on this post might definitely lead you to this conclusion. Parts of my model actually give support to Richards claims that their can be no oxygen debt in the muscles and that lactate actually prevents fatigue. So in a way I would expect this information to be somewhat welcoming to Richard, because it possibly gives some support to Richards Model.
I must apologize for a misstatement I made about pyruvate. After looking at the information available on Pyruvate, I have come to realize that you are correct in your statement that "pyruvate is initially a precursor to lactate during glycolysis." Pyruvate definitely is produced during glycolysis, not Lactate. This does not effect the model I presented very much thankfully. I believe that it is still the case that pyruvate is only converted into lactate because of an inability by the aerobic capacity (VO2max)to utilize it. This must occur, since pyruvate accumulation indirectly slows the activity of glycolysis. So initially lactate formation is a way to try and delay fatigue, even though it will eventually cause it. The initial formation of lactate should be welcomed since it is better to slow down later, than sooner.
For the record the muscles can not use lactate as fuel, only Pyruvate. This does not mean that lactate will not form prior to achieving VO2max. Because aerobic metabolism tends to react slowly to initial increases in pace, it will not initially be able to process all of the pyruvate that is produced. This will mean that some of the pyruvate produced during glycolysis will be converted into lactate. Lactate levels should come down a bit after a minute or so if the pace or intensity is maintained. Of course even though the aerobic capacity may be able to theoretically handle all of the pyruvate, in practice this is usually not the case. While the aerobic capacity tries to utilize all of the pyruvate, invariably some of it is always converted to lactate.
Thank you for correcting me Phoenix.
Thanks for the catch.
From what I have read of your post, and correct me if I am wrong, but you subscribe to a training scheme very similar to the one I presented in the "Double whammy" post. It seems you basically subscribe to developing aerobic power at race goal pace. I now understand your interest in that particular thread. Thanks for your information. It is nice to hear that others are also having success with this type of training.
“Laboratory testing is too limited in scope to observe (let alone control) the many variables which affect running performance. When an effective method of improving a certain aspect of fitness is discovered, it is the tendency of scientists (or others without extensive real-world running experience) to overemphasize that method, even proclaiming it a newfangled "secret" for success.”
I certainly don’t disagree that laboratory testing is not perfect. And your observation about people basically jumping on the bandwagon and over-emphasizing some new discovery is right on the money. It seems to me, though, that what we get from research is the larger pieces of the puzzle, but not the fine, nuanced details that result in shaving those final few seconds off performance – seconds which may mean the difference between winning and being an also ran.
What really caught my attention though was the paragraph you wrote following the one above.
“None of these individual sessions are as complex as the fancy nomenclature sounds (nor are they magic bullets). The real complexity is determining at what points in a season (and how often) to enter into this zone in training, and to blend work in this zone with other sessions to produce the best race performances at the pinnacle of the career. This can never be accomplished through theory or via laboratory testing; it can only be established through personal running experience and by observation and analysis of the evolution of the sport. Personal experience enables you to "get it" - to "hear the music." Observation and analysis of decades of training evolution involving thousands of runners from the mid-packers to the super-elites allows you to identify which of those principles that worked for you are also universal principles, which ones apply to athletes with certain identifiable innate characteristics, and which ones have been utilized with success by "outliers."”
You noted that laboratory testing is not capable of observing or controlling all the variables that combine to determine running performance and then suggest that we analyze and observe the training for untold thousands of runners over decades of time to discover universal principles. If a laboratory, which contains specialized equipment used by trained scientists whose entire research purpose is to observe, analyze, and test, is incapable of identifying the universal principles then how difficult is it for lay runners, runners with no specialized equipment or training in analysis, design, test, statistical measurement, etc. to try and observe, analyze and test decades of data from thousands and thousands of runners of widely varying performances and genetic talents? The logic doesn’t work for me.
I suggest it is too difficult a task for anyone to accurately analyze decades of data from thousands of runners for several reasons – one, the data is not available. We don’t have complete training data on thousands for runners over decades of time. For example, look at how little we know about the actual training of the relatively small number of elite runners in the world. I would have to dig through my stuff to find the reference, but I recall when researchers led by Billat actually analyzed the training log of elite Kenyan distance runners and found that the fastest male runners ran very few tempo runs, the fastest women ran no tempo runs, and the slower runners ran a considerable number of tempo runs. Compare this to the importance that is placed by modern training methods on the tempo run. Or, when researchers examined the training habits of elite South African distance runners (which was a very distinguished group that included a world half marathon record holder, a Berlin marathon winner, and a New York marathon winner) and discovered that though these athletes were actively competitive they were running just 50-60 miles per week. Compare this to the common belief that elites run high mileage and that high mileage is necessary to compete at the elite level, especially at the longer events.
Second, even if the data were complete and available, trying to sift through reams of data found in decades of training logs for thousands of runners to try and elicit universal training principles would require training in research science in order to ensure that you had accurately identified cause and not just correlation.
I suggest then that neither method is complete in and of itself. The laboratory has significantly fewer limitations than does anecdotal observation but is not complete by itself. Anecdotal observation is of extremely limited use but combined with data from the lab can confirm what the lab is saying. And the lab can help us whittle a thousand different anecdotal observations down to the few which actually apply to the many.
In summary lab testing is not a panacea, but I believe it has much to teach us and when lab data conflicts with anecdotal observation that we need to pause and carefully consider the data in relation to the extreme limitations of anecdotal observation.
Just my .02 cents.
That´s right. As a coach i get quite similar conclusions to what you mention in the "Double whammy" - your analysis of the Olbrecht´s concepts. But i never did read Olbrecht books. But to say the truth i get more stuff from Mader and the German physiologists. That´s not edit in popular articles or magazines, but i think that´s the best. I repeat once again, this is simply a coach perspective. The physiology discussion that´s not my business. They never get a final conclusion. To build and decide a for training plan that´s a act of challenge and options, choices, decision, side-by-side with the runner, and sometimes "some ignorance" that´s a beneath.
As an european born and with european running culture - despite i take information all over the world - and as i´m not a physiologist expert I think that the german sport physiology and also Denmark that´s the best - rigorous, accurate, scientific expertise. But more important for me - they work side by side with real training and coaches as you say that Olbrecht also do.
And i don´t see the same arrogance than in other physiologists. I guess ther´s too much arrogance among some physiologists. I think that we all need to learn from each other.
You're welcome Antonio! English is not only my first (and only.....well I know a little bit of Spanish, pero muy muy poco) language, but English literature is a subject I majored in in college ( I also had a 2nd major, and am currently in school for something entirely different). Therefore, English language "nuances", as you put it, are something that I am comfortable dealing with. But trust me, as a typically foreign language challenged American, I am very impressed with your ability to converse so well in a foreign toungue.
As far as your questions go:
No, I am not Zuzu, though I also see some similarities between our writing styles (so I guess I could see why you might think that). But I did not even know what "Zuzu's petals" referred to until moments ago ( I "googled" it). In case you did not know either, and are curious, here is the meaning I found:
It refers to the movie "A Wonderful Life"(which I have seen, but never 100% non-stop) in which the main characater's daughter is named Zuzu. The site I found went on to say that the phrase "Zuzu's petals" is...
"inspired by the image of a despairing George Bailey attempting to fix young Zu Zu's schoolroom flower, the name suggests to us the possibility of experience gained without the loss of innocence, the fisher king spared from his wound."
So we both (maybe) learned something today, and now maybe you know more about this poster named Zuzu!
(and since we are playing the guessing game, I would venture that Zuzu is a coach or phsyiologist or both. I am neither actually. Zuzu reminds me of JK, wejo's coach. JK is very literary and a pretty good writer. But we already guessed that Hadd was JK, and most people tell us we are wrong about that, so maybe we are wrong again! The guessing game on LetsRun is NOT EASY!)
(oh yes, a little bit about me, since you asked: I was quite a good younger runner, I have a couple relatives who were at/near international class, and now am in my 30's. I still run fairly seriously, but have had lots of injuries so am not too competitive anymore/at this point in time. Really, I am just a big fan of the sport, and often use whatever intellect I may have to consider running-related issues and comment on them in my free time)
Why to you refer to me as Tinman. I am not Tinman. I will not take offence because I am sure it was just an accident.
If you are familiar with the work of Mader, the German physiologist, than you are familiar with Olbrecht since Olbrecht studied under Mader in Colonge. They have done a lot of research together, and a lot of their work has to do with giving support for Mader's anaerobic threshold model, which is the basis for all of Olbrecht's work. This is not Mader's original model though. His work has progressed through the years, and his initial model is no longer applicable. Olbrecht has basically continued Mader's work.