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

test 1 2 3 4 wrote:
"dead wrong" about JK, huh?? How about this quote from JK then:

That's right, lance-a-lot, dead wrong. Another piece of sage wisdom; give the context of a quote.

Here is JK's response to someone who asked him about this:

"Look, guys, 120 miles per week is NOT an incredible amount of mileage. YOU (and the rest of this country) need to think outside YOUR box if you have the notion that it IS a lot. 150 per week is BORDERING on a lot, but it's not like I'm advocating one hundred and EIGHTY per week as some magic number. Plenty of elite runners do 180, even 200+ per week, so what I'm putting forth as a mileage standard is only moderate by comparison. Even everyday (non-elite) runners can do 120 per week (with a full-time job) with no problem. And (if they do it sensibly) guess what most of them find. They find that they feel stronger, leaner, and more efficient, and their subsequent performances (after filling in the other necessary elements of training) are SUPERIOR to what they achieved without that mileage base. In fact, most people report a distinct difference (performance-wise) after running at 120 per week during base training vis-à-vis running at 100 per week, indicating that 100 per week (which many Americans are ingrained to believe is "a lot") is NOT a sufficient mileage to produce all the requisite metabolic changes in a large percentage of the population.

The bottom line is that the number of people who respond favorably to relaxed high mileage running is FAR greater than the number who show equal improvement from using low mileage, super high intensity training. And FAR more people get injured from doing hard track work too often than from doing less intense high mileage running (as long as they use a sensible progression to arrive at that mileage). In fact, I guaranTEE more careers have been outright ruined by too much intensity than by too much mileage. High mileage will NOT kill your speed, so you can always add your bread-and-butter training recipe on top of a mileage base, and then almost always with superior results.

You're probably thinking, "Yeah, you said 'MOST people run better with a huge base.' What if I'm NOT one of those people? What good does running 120+ miles per week do me then, wise guy?" To that I will say that you will never know if you WILL find that extra performance boost unless you try it. In fact, you won't even know what events you're best suited to! That's why I say that trying the higher mileage, endurance-oriented route (instead of thoughtlessly blowing it off) is the ONLY way that you (yes, YOU) will find out what DOES work best for you and will allow you to reach your true potential as a runner. And it's not like all I'm talking about here is LSD. I said you need to be able to TRAIN at 120+ per week, not JOG that much. Just because most of it needs to be relaxed doesn't mean all of that is slow plodding.

If you do everything right and still can't get past x miles per week without trouble, so be it. I suppose I'll have to admit that you ARE an exception. But you're still going to be at your best if you get as much (training, that is; not all slogging) as you CAN get during your base periods. All the speedwork, all the plyos, all the other work to develop explosiveness can be added ON TOP OF your FITNESS, but without fitness, you're missing the whole point of training."

But his point is clear: there is ONLY one way to running success....HIS way. And he further stresses this point in his arrogant parable found here:

Again, a good example of misinterpretation on your part, but nothing more. And it is apparent you have some grudge against JK, especially considering you term his article a "parable" (a religion, is it, to run high mileage?).

Some more:

"That mileage is NOT high except by the weenie standards you've been programmed to BELIEVE in. In the 1970s, it would have been considered medium - maybe even LOW. You want high for a HSer? Read "Running To The Top Of The Mountain" by Joe Newton and pay attention to the 216 miles in ten days that the York guys are reported to have done during their "camp". Then look at the subsequent weeks of 146+ and 142. They didn't drop below 90 in a week until the week of the state meet. If you think those numbers are trumped up to look impressive in print, think again. Tom Marino (who won Illinois State X-C in 1974 ahead of York's Ron Craker) told me that MOST of the top teams in Illinois were averaging over 100 per week back then. That was pretty much the norm for serious HS runners a lot of places. Rudy Chapa ran up to 130 in HS. Jeff Nelson ran up to 142. Gerry Lindgren ran so much you'd have to express it in scientific notation! All three of those guys set still-standing HS records. Of course, Nelson and Lindgren DID fall off the cliff afterward, but that was just as likely due to INTENSITY as it was due to mileage. In Nelson's case, it couldn't have helped to race the likes of Salazar in workouts as an Oregon Frosh.

I'd put weeks of 120+ miles in the conditioning phase (maybe even over 150), as long as the athlete is mature and experienced. This additional "safe aerobic pressure", combined with the work on strengthening sheer "gristle", tends to enable better quality training to occur at somewhat lower mileage loads (90-110 mpw). It looks like most African track specialists train best at 100-110 mpw, but the mzungu NEEDS injections of additional mileage in order to attain the same aerobic fitness. Whether this is genetic or a result of a lifetime aerobic base (or both) is not known for sure, but African runners can thrive on moderate mileage with a higher intensity than most mzungus can tolerate. "

The whole thing is attempt at a zen-like story of finding the "one true path" up the mountain. If you don't follow the JK path, you are cheating youself, are a lazy short-cutter, or maybe taking drugs. JK is one of the enlightened few of (found his Buddha nature) of distance running, everyone else is chasing a false enlightenment. Tell that to the 100's and 100's of runners who achieved greatness following DIFFERENT paths then the one JK preaches. That is the WHOLE point of this Seb Coe debate, and contrary to you opinion, it is an important one: there are MANY paths to the top of the mountain, just as (to keep with JK's analogy), there are MANY paths to enlightenment.

I leave you with some JK zen-like insights on the ONE true way-

Your attempts at sarcastic wit in truth convey an idiotic arrogance. Better not to try your hand at exaggeration in the first place and hijack the thread into your own self-righteous sermon against an accomplished coach who has forgotten more about running than you will ever know.

(and again, he is NOT just talking about cheaters, he is talking about runners who cheat themselves by not follwing the volume training HE believes in. Unfortunately for him, 1000's of runners have proven him wrong)

I so enjoy the painfully foolish generalizations you make that, as usual, are completely wrong. "1000's" of runners?

Really? Care to name them? Even a few? I can all bu t assure you that from 1500 on up, any Olympic medalist or world record holder has some base of high mileage, even if only extensive aerobic work as a youth.

And if you bother citing Paavo Nurmi or some athlete of yore, I might remind you that today's athletes have shaved nearly two minutes from his best times.

In conclusion, you make no valid point and you make too much of it.

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