MLF "Lost touch with speed"

In the interview, MLF talks of how hard he has trained and how he is much stronger than before, but has lost touch with speed.

I think that sounds like his coach Tony Lester bases the training program on “hard work” and “fitness”. The program is probably very lactate-tolerance based with very little pure speed work. I think this shows with the high injury rate of his most successful athlete - 400m man Tim Benjamin, and also Abi Oyepitan olympic 200m finalist in 2004.

From the interview Tony posted at it sounds like he does take this approach. It has been a few months but off the top of my head for a 100m runner his test session is something like two 60m with 90 seconds rest between them. if they are similar in time then he knows they are ready. Hard work may be required in low intensity conditioning sessions but i don’t like to hear it in the same sentance as SPEED.

That sounds exactly like my coach :frowning:

That’s also EXACTLY like my coaches.

Its a real shame, as Mark is so talented. He did run a seasons best in the 100m final, but to be around 0.2 slower than his pb must be very frustrating.

Does anybody else agree MLF is looking too big around his hips and thighs? He just does not look athletic at all.

Hmm, I agree but only that its a bodyfat problem. I also think that his technique has suffered. The muscle mass is not the issue, its the bodyfat. You have to wonder why its so… considering that he does alot of lactate tolerance work. I also attribute his dip in form to his introduction to weights 3 seasons ago. Up until then he did not do any weights. I think its an issue with recovery from the weights sessions. They do:


No chance of recovery from consecutive high intensity days.

I’ve noticed this too and heared it from other people too that the first (two) year that you start seriously with weights your sprint or in the case of the other guy, his high jump level wont go up and stagnates (he performed just like MLF worse). I guess this has to do with the body adapting to the new training load. For people who start doing weights, the weights go on top of the running program wich gives them less rest. It’s only after a few years the body fully adapts to this loads of training.

The best shape I’ve seen him in physically and mentally was in 2000- 2002/3. He was lean, wasn’t tight in the shoulders and had tremendous leg speed. He could start as well…(6.5x over 60m) That coupled with his awesome top end speed meant he was a force to be reckoned with. The big turning point for him was CWG Manchester 2002. The hamstring pull he suffered in the final has played a massive part in the demise of Mark.

The frustration of years of having been told that he was going to be the next best thing along with some poor coaching decisions has added to this talented sprinter’s fall from grace.

He should have joined John Smith when he was offered the chance…

J speak 2 u soon

Lots of athletes suffer hamstring injuries and recover. Look elsewhere for the explanation.

i still think mlf should quit track.

Unbelievable to hear MLF has “lost touch with speed” particularly since his coach is highly regarded (in Britain anyway!).

How can Tony Lester be so far off the mark? It’s like telling a soccer manager telling his players that they won’t be doing any ball work until two weeks or so before the Cup final.

There was another insight into Lester’s training when Michael Johnson told Marlon Devonish he thought he lacked speed endurance at the European Championships. Devonish replied that he worked hard on that because he joined in on some of the 400m sessions during the year :o

Truly baffled as to how Lester can be in the position he is if that’s really the way he operates…

Dave Collins has a lot to answer for in recruiting good coaching talent.

when i think of the british sprinters i automatically think of training programmes from years ago and the mentality also.MLF should leave the uk and go to the best coach he can afford.if you want to be the best join the best

While I don’t know what Lester does I hear for 400m he does more speed work than another well respected 400m coach. I think we have to be careful here perhaps MD simply doesn’t understand what he is doing and Tony is infact doing some SE work?

And with that in mind watch the news in the next couple of weeks as I am hearing rumours about others in Tony Lesters squad.

Yeah the word is Tim Benjamin is moving to LA to be coached by John Smith.

An interesting point is that this time last year MLF’s ex-coach Steve Platt was receiving a lot of criticism because of MLF’s lack of progression. Why aren’t the same questions being asked of Lester??

Fact: MLF’s season best of 10.16 this year is his slowest since 1999.

Because it takes some time to adjust to a new coaches regime of course! :wink: Plus UKA helped him move and it would be bad PR if they then said, “hey wait a minute he isn’t getting better over there either…”

As for breaking the other news well I’m going to wait and see but that is what was being discussed at the Euros.

Yeah that’s always a good spin…“adjusting to a new regime” :smiley:

A great coach in a short sprint/hurdle event can have an athlete running at pb levels within 4 months as long as they are not coming off a long term injury problem/break in my opinion.

Sometimes the athletes themselves have to be ruthless in the standards and expectations they have for the coaches also.

Maybe instead of UK athletes leaving to train in the US, UKA should pay for the coaches to visit the US (and Canadian) coaches who know what they’re talking about.

If this fails they could then pay for them to go and coach penguins in the south pole - permanently.

It’s getting very depressing here watching our athletes working so hard and noone realising that this uneducated ‘work’ is what’s doing the damage.

Question - How long before up and coming Harry goes the same way as MLF?

You prob can handle a program like that in terms of load if you do weights, track rest, weights track rest but why all in a row then two days off after you’re trashed? There’s no provision for tempo at all. MLF appears fat… hmmmm