Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Few Thoughts on Training Methods

Go to any running forum and you will see that one of the most common topics discussed deals with training systems. Questions about them, as well as debates as to which one is best, are usually the focus of the discussions. The following is by an unknown author and brings up some points to consider as it relates to the training system you choose.The author begins by cautioning runners not to assume that the training methods that give the quickest or best results for other runners will be the best for you. "Only the good results of a method become public and often a runner succeeds, in spite of, rather than because of the way he trains. Failures of a system and comparisons with other systems aren't easy to see. It appears too that the methods which work best on a short-term basis aren't always the best over the long haul. Tom Osler wrote: 'It is ironic that those techniques which produce the quickest improvement over a period of a few months do not result in the greatest possible improvement when continued for several years. This is because their effects are short-lived and do not necessarily result in significant gain in conditioning of the body'." Osler knows conditioning like few others do. It only takes a read of his Serious Runner's Handbook or The Conditioning of Long Distance Runners to realize this. You need time to build and strengthen a distance runner's body. I believe Lydiard once wrote that it takes seven years of continuous training to reap the optimal benefits of his system. However,the process of getting there is a labor of love for those who live for the run.

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