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

Excuse me. Another long thread for you (LOL) because I take you in consideration.

Someone said that scientists they tend to complicate all subjects and that the fact they create names for diseases or designations or medicine names with big words and long letters they say that shows how they tend to get out of basic standards. When I have a doubt – no matter what doubt – I simply stop and I don´t go ahead. The problem of science use is that the take for granted most of what they need to doubt and investigate and judge for themselves and not trust in the other. Of course that are serious scientists.
But in my analysis and judgements – call that basic – i´m proud of that – often I can´t judge fore what the science tells me. It makes me wonder why people judges quite instantaneously with the same data than I have, when seriously I can´t judge.

But more than arguments lets analyse 2 concrete situations and how can I judge something in the eyes of science.

Let me send to you 2 examples. Recently I ask you a question about East Africans and what´s your opinion about the influence of genetics in running talent. You did a good post. But other people disagrees with you. How can I judge with a scientific mind ? or By the scientific method ? can I trust in you and dispraise all the rest. I don´t doubt that you are serious, but I also don´t doubt of all the rest. How can I judge ? Can I have a my own definitive conclusion. No I don´t. I simply use a mind “archive” or “mind data” of what you said and later on when this same discussion comes around I will face all arguments.

Now, don´t forget that my previous ask is about lactic acid meters. I start by doubt about Frank as he is so category about the meters use. As you know now, I have different data than Frank and than the Norway studies about that. By the data that I read – that Frank posts a little part – I don´t doubt of that the Norway investigations that´s serious, as I don´t doubt about the Portuguese. Simply they get different conclusions. Also the Portuguese one compare several maters from several companies, but the conclusion is that the level of accuracy that´s very weak to be considered accurate.

Now, tell me I as a coach, I stop there. I don´t go ahead. As i´m not a man that dedicate his life to science study – or even if if I work as an investigation I will be investigate something different and I got no time to stop my work and spend my time doing my own research about that meter – how can I judge I honesty and with a scientific approach? I can´t, or I will be unscientific. But that is a fact that in most of the cases even among scientific community there are several different opinions about the same subject, yes they do, and that they fight with complex arguments that only the experts they understand the ultimate perplexities – they do.

But what very curious, is that those who claim from science, they go ahead, passing superficial judges in all hard scientific subjects all the time.

Other relevant issue for my training analysis is that I don´t want to judge in all maters – i´m not able, no one is. I simply need to judge and decide what concerns to my life with some concrete utility, with frequent use or with a problem/question that I face as a coach. So, before to start to try to judge anything, I ask myself – this is useful for me? If that´s useful I try to read, collect some data. Some information and decide in my consciousness. If don´t - leave it away.

Relate that with training and coaching. I myself have an accurate system to measure all efforts, very accurate indeed. A chrono and measured distances. The time he runs and in what pace. This characterize every kind of running effort. Paces, or percents of paces tht´s enough for me, and i´m happy with that system. I did my best running improvements and the best improvements in the runners I coach in this method – Time and Space. My runners they run intense paces but slower than race pace – what you can threshold paces or by determined percents of estimate race pace or by their own feeling – as most Portuguese we do – by face feeling. Of course that when the Heart rate monitors that comes to the market – that´s accurate in the heart beats by minute – that´s find – but despite the proliferate use of the Portuguese best coaches and including those who have physiologist experts working and helping them they didn’t consider no sensible improvement in the training efficacy of top class runners by the use of that HRM. To say sincerely no improvement at all. Of course that some of my runners they use HRM – but that data that´s not determinant for that I build their training schedules and I don´t see no major improvement in those who use that and those who don´t.
The same with the meters use. I did coach a 13:22 1988 olympic runner named Fernando Couto. Of course that he never knew his VO2, at that time ther´s no individual meters thus he never trained advised by lactic acid concentration but he did what he did. Some of my runners they use the meters. They have no different results or a major improvement that they would with no meter data at all.
We train in paces considered threshold, but with no major concern with anaerobic threshold as a determined acid lactic concentration – but free style. But those who do that in Portugal and that they use that often they aren´t best than al the rest.
So, add to that facts my doubts about scientific accuracy of the meters and I doubt a lot of the interest of use of the meter systematically, and that acid lactic concentration can be determinant for any training plan.
Alberto Chaiça did 4th in marathon 2003 World Champs and 8th in the 2004 Olymoips and that’s a runner I follow very close despite the head coach that´s not me but Americo Brito. He simply uses a HRM more for curiosity than to influence his training programme.
Past Portuguese major runners, they were best than actual runners. They never used no meter data concerning his training analysis. The only occasions is when it comes someone science man or investigator and ask to take that. If you think about Lopes, Mamede, Pinto, Guerra, Domingos, Fernanda Ribeiro, Rosa Mota, Regalo, Antonio Leitão, Carla Sacramento - all the best – they rarely use or never used the meter but they were the best, not those that uses that frequently.
Now what you expect from my conclusion according my experience and knowledge? That meter that´s interesting or quite relevant for a training analysis ? This is not a matter of science that I no able to judge, or that the science may judge for me - this is in the field of training technique I shall judge because I consider myself an expert in that area.
Now, you understand better my perplexity when someone says that based most of his training system in anaerobic threshold paces or like Frank that comes to this thread and says that …”Lactate measurements may increase the athletes sensitivity of their exercise intensity, and may assist some of them to hit their target intensity during training. But of course, the coach need to have good knowledge about the use of the meters. Not many coaches or athletes have enough knowledge about it, at least in Norway.”

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