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Antonio Cabral
RE: Mr. Renato Canova: Could You Please Answer a Question About Effective Ways to Improve the Lactate Threshold?

Yes, Armstrong . The fifth ” Tour de France” 2005 edition win but with the help of another portuguese knight - Jose Azevedo, from US Postal.

About your questions, you are correct mainly. But as I see that you study the Rui Silva lesson very deep, you deserve to clean all your doubts.

But pay attention. Don´t misunderstand Rui training plan. Main training focus that´s aerobics and that needs extensive training, that needs volume, that needs cardio-vascular training, that needs enzymatic efforts, to delay efforts. What I want to say is that in the particular case of Rui Silva he is just a 1500m specialist, and it seems that he gets a adequate balance in between intensity (workouts) and volume (easy aerobic runs). We are not apologists of “minimalist” milers, the direction for the 1500m SPECIFICS are EXTENSIVITY (this means more miles/distance closer to Race Pace intensities) and INTENSITY (means more speed pace faster than event pace) but also in ALL cases BASIC WORK and VOLUME MILES (this means aerobic steady state paces, recover, regenerative runs) . That means that according the seasons and periods the training needs to run in MILEAGE direction as well as in INTENSITY DIRECTION. But Rui don´t need to train too much or nothing in STRENGHT direction. That´s not strength or plyos that will made him a winner a champion.
Look, if I take Paul Tergat to coach him, or Gebremariam, or eventually Lagat or El Guerrouj, I will analyse the need for weight – so thin they are – no muscular forms. But if I take Baldini or Rui, or Webb or American Meb I think that they are distance runners but they are thin, but you see their muscles design in their bodys. Eventaully they don´t need too much weights, or no weights at all.

“,,, Rui runs 40 minutes at approximately 4:00 per kilo pace (about 6:25 per mile.....WOW, quite easy and relaxed for such a fast runner!) in both the AM and PM. That would be about 10k(or 6.2 miles) of running each session, or 12.5 for the day…”

Someone who said “36min or 42min that´s wrong”. That´s just a curiosity with no really implication at all but that´s PRECISELY 40min. – no more no less ! That´s a daily routine !

I don´t think that 6:25 by mile that´s so slow as you say. I also said 3:40/kilo – that´s 5:53 by mile. You may think that he start in 4:20/kilo (6:58/mile) and that he do a negative split aerobic session to 6:25 and ending in 5:50/5:53. As I say that he is alwys concern to do 40min, I also say that he isn´t too much concern to follow a accurate pace. Eventually he goes faster or slowly than what I say – what I want to explain to you is that he goes steady, by time duration, not by mileage covered or pace intensity.

Besides you may think that´s not so easy like that if you think that eventually in that morning he did a hard specific workout session like 4X1500m in 3:45-3:48.

”…So......if we do what you said and "...the end of the that week we sum the miles and we see the weekly total volume".....we get what on the average for Rui for build-up period? 6 days x12.5 miles + 1 day(Sun) of 7.75 = 82.75 (or approx 80-85) per week. Would that be accurate?...”

Yes. And the same scheme during the later periods - ALL periods at all - he also keeps on going with 40min (AM)+40min (PM) or specific workout (AM)+40min (PM). Don´t think that routine changes. Never changes, ther´s no ups and downs in peak pr taper volume, no concern about reducing the mileage. So you ask? So, why you say that Rui do less miles in competitive periods? And I would ask: mainly because specific workouts are more intense and consequently less extensive, so less mileage close to competitions, but that don´t change dramatically. Also more competitions. Eventually a few days before a competition I do a rest day or just 30min runs once a day. So that´s clear why mileage that´s reduced close to competitive period. That´s not a strategic decision to put mileage down – that´s a consequence of Rui´s weekly schedule.

“…Usually Rui takes no days off?...”

Yes. From times to times but not previous planned.

“…Does he have periods like that where he does no "workouts" but just runs the 40 min runs at around 4:00 per kilo twice each day (pure aerobic phase)? Please let me know if I understand correctly….”

No. Since from the season start or each complete cycle (one for the indoors the second one for outdoors) he start with some specifics in the first week. Not very intense, but he do no time to waist in what´s specifics concern. We Portuguese we don´t believe in that old Lydiard conception that´s to stay a long period without hard efforts and then in later 1-2 months to train anaerobically. We consider that dramatic taper a “miracle” or a “fantasy”, since we don´t know how the shape condition can improve with a long period with pure aerobic efforts. We say “If you want to run fast you need to train hard”. Ok, earlier phases you start not too much intense, and later before the race you can easy down the process, but mainly you need to train hard with regenerative runs. After 10 days without exercising your body and muscles in a certain training zone level (speed, specific speed endurance, Race Pace, lactate management and so) you are loosing something…a few of your twitches/fibers that rules that pace that are dying.
Also remember. The faster you train – the more you need recover/regenerative runs.

That´s inadequate to the present reality and actual and modern competitive time tables to spend too much time or a long period training just pure aerobics. Just for beginners. Besides as far as I know Lydiard he did put their Kiwi runner´s to compete in road and cross runs during that build up period. The body that´s a marvellous but a strange machine. He learns slowly how to work intensively relate to that he forgets all he did learn very quickly.

”… how long does the above periods last for Rui ("pure aerobic no workouts phase" & "workouts added to aerobic mix" phase) as far as weeks per year?...”

I say above that in Rui Schedule that doesn´t exists – a pure aerobic phase with no workouts.

Finnaly one more idea. The Rui Silva training that´s a medium-long term programme. For several years and that start a few years ago. The basic idea is that Rui IN A LINE OF CONTINUITY will improve by adding something MORE to his training, season after season.
This means that that season that will start a few weeks on that Rui will do 45min/45min or 50min/50min every day.

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