Arthur Lydiard - the great mid/distance coach from New Zealand back in the 50-60’s, who went touring the world teaching other nations how to keep up…
Here is a very limited shot
100 miles week off season
No La+ in off season base miles
99.9% of runs to be close to marathon pace (not long slow distance, but long fast miles…)
And the key - 5sec sprints to be done 1 x week
The result - back in the 60’s, on a grass track, a 1:44 800m - zero pacing.
The same guy - out kicked everybody over 800m, virtually undefeated over 800m
A 1:44 on grass - that’s comparable to the run at the last Olympics on the latest synthetic tracks. And how fast is Rudisha!!
I’ve noticed a lot of American coaches like to use the Extensive -> Intensive -> Speed Endurance model.
Bold, your comment about horse trainers is really interesting. I’ve been meaning to try to talk to some horse trainers, as the budget they have for training / recovery can dwarf that spent by even the biggest track programs (Oregon Project). It will be interesting to see what kind of ideas can cross over.
I second the idea that Mills is a great coach because he doesn’t ruin talented athletes. This is also true of Tom Tellez, Charlie, and all the greats. Of course, Charlie had the added experience of developing multiple youth athletes from a developmental stage into national and world class athletes, something that almost no other coach can claim, and makes the study of his work so insightful.
I was told that much of the information and technology regarding horse racing has been looked at by track and field coaches for some time.
Any coach who is working with athletes running fast times is worthy of looking at. You need to look for constant variables from each coach and unless you are able to see their written work or documentation or have the opportunity to work with some of these people over some period of time no one really knows what exactly is going. Otherwise their work becomes speculation as some of you have pointed out already.
Some of these coaches have inherited great talent and some have done a great job of taking these athletes to the next step to get faster. There is talent everywhere and as long as you have a big enough group you will find someone who rises to the top even if they are white, black, beige or what ever ethnic group. Many pro athletes have had serious achievements in track and field but financial opportunities often take people right out of the sport. Who can blame them?
It’s one thing to run fast but its an entirely different thing to repeat that speed and dominance and stay healthy and do this for a long time. And as some have pointed out there is a big difference when you are starting from zero such as Angella Taylor, Desia Williams, Mark McKoy, Ben, his brother versus someone who has run 10:30 and makes his way down to 10 flat.
Charlie was in a long standing argument with a person in his former group regarding this tempo " debate". So much so he refused to take calls ( towards the end) from this person regarding this topic as it simply took too much of his energy to not " loose it". This athlete had done tons of tempo in their career but now was spending a great deal of time second guessing what went well and wrong and why. Kinda ancient history at some point… You can’t revise your own history.
Charlie never did tempo as an athlete. He never knew about it. He did speed work all the time. Charlie was always injured as an athlete as a well. He was accused of being a choke at times when in fact he was injured and found it tough to stay healthy. What he did say and believe is tempo is essential. Tempo lays a foundation for speed. Tempo allows thorough removal of waste products produced from high cns speed work. Tempo vascularizes tissue esp. in the hamstring needed as a foundation for speed. It’s probable that some people , from certain genetic backgrounds have greater capacity for speed development.
I think its natural to look for something magic and some kind of a recipe when we are discussing how to get faster. I think the magic is in the repetition of some sound general and specific principles which might not bring instant results but will prove to show progress if someone is prepared to wait.
Have to insert my Bruce Lee reference here in the title of the thread. I made a post on sprint training in another thread that I believe deserves some further discussion. I believe that too many people are looking for solutions outside of what is important (i.e. arm spiraling bullshit and other similar fixes). Fix what is important, and then build an effective support program around your main training program. This does not mean eliminate the low intensity work - in fact - CFTS emphasizes you to keep the volume of low intensity work high - but it does mean simplify it and treat it for what it is (Chicken Soup as Charlie was fond of calling it). It’s not a holy grail. Sprinting is the key element.
Too much consideration is given to all the shit bundled around the sprint workout and not enough is given to ensuring the quality of runs in the MAIN OBJECTIVE (in this case - SPRINTING). It is a very simple process. Do what you need to do to run faster. Ensure that the key elements are supported to ensure you do run faster in training (i.e. good progressive warm-up, technical considerations, adequate recovery between runs, therapy and rest between workouts). If these issues are not addressed properly, you can do as many other bullshit exercises as much as you want and you will not improve.
Most athletes will improve significantly through the competitive period because they are forced to do a few simply things:
Run fast in competitions (where you are forced to sit down and rest between heats - not taking 6 minutes between 60m races!). It also helps that you are competing against someone next to you (thereby bringing up the intensity and creating an adaptation effect).
Dropping elements from their program to free up energy. Many less helpful weight-room exercises are dropped in the competitive period or the volume is reduced to almost nothing.
They get instant feedback - in the form of a time - to base their effort on. If you are not getting timed in training, you do not really know if you are improving week to week.
Thus, a less than optimal training program can be salvaged through a proper sequencing and volume of competitions. Go through the archives and re-read Charlie’s discussion of Asafa Powell and his lack of races leading into major competitions. His postings were a TEACHABLE MOMENT that many people did not pay attention to.
Those of you that are paying others to prepare your training programs need to ask questions. “Why am I doing what I’m doing?” If you follow people blindly (similar to trusting your investment banker, accountant, Bernard Madoff, etc.), you could get burned in the end. There should be a logic and progression to everything that is prescribed. It is not a process of throwing a pile of crap against the wall and seeing what sticks.
*** LESSON 1 in the CFTS certification program ***
Thank you DMA for sending me the Vancouver 2002 . I am in the process of doing the file conversion and will add this to the store as soon as possible. I am hoping before the middle of September.
Yesterday the CFTS went onto amazon for sale next to Speed Trap and it has been re scanned in a much higher quality suitable for all e book readers.
I will be sending out an email to each person who bought the manual since the new site data transfer post May 2010 and I will send them the new scanned version.
Some of the ideas that my old track coach (ex horse trainer) used to implement
1 - He was big in teaching people to learn to run Under pressure.
Therefore - handicap starts. The guy out front has to remain calm even though he knows faster guys are behind him, and WILL pass him if he fights and loses control
The guy starting behind, the only chance he has in catching the front guys is to remain calm and focus on himself
Typically, beginners suck at this style - but, it’s a teachable thing - and eventually you get very good at. Creates good racers
2 - For sprinters, everything was either Fast, or very slow.
After each sprint - a slow jog (time wise, was comparable to what CF preaches, though it involved a really slow jog and dynamic stretching)
No tempo - just the slow jogs. (when i say slow, you’re talking 3+ minutes per 400m, it’s really more of a shuffle)
3 - he also ran a 10 day taper
3 - For both sprinters and middle distance guys - Strides
These seemed to be absolutely vital, and i forgot about them till just the other day (damn you memory…)
They really bridged the gap between training and racing
Around 150+ mts, he preferred 200m if you could find it (had to be dead straight)
Involves running approx 90-95% speed
The extra effort you save from not running full speed, is now spent in ensuring full knee height the entire way
You tend to find yourself “floating” for a split second between strides (as one is normally not too used to running with such high knee action)
By the time you could do these well, you’re ready to race (so long as the other training beforehand was done…)
Middle distance guys
Again, it’s either Fast or slow
big on 300’s and 400’s done fast (well, as fast as one could)
He liked fast 5km efforts (not just a fast jog, but a fast one like a time trial - we had a local meet, every thurs, where they had a handicap 5km event)
Plenty of slow jogging between efforts
10-20min between reps
Strides were used for peaking
10 day taper