Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ron Daws On Improving Your Training

Ron Daws was a remarkable runner,writer and person. For those who haven't read my entry from this past January 9th, I would encourage you to do so. Ron knew training, and as I said before, his times prior to running the Olympic trials gave no indication that he would eventually race in the 1968 Olympic marathon. His book,The Self-Made Olympian, is a must have for any distance runner who aspires to run well.It is vastly superior to any other bio/training book written in the last 30 years.Ron had this to say about those who desired to race well: "When runners understand what kinds of physiological and psychological changes they should be trying to induce, they will be able to organize and balance their methods. This will enable each runner to get the most of their efforts according to his goals and talents." You may recognize that the above is similar to statements made previously by Arthur Lydiard and Percy Cerutty. The beauty of his book, The Self-Made Olympian, was that you read how Ron took total control and responsibility for every aspect of his training and race preparation,from customizing his shoes to preparing for potentially different types of weather.This took time and effort but for Ron it was a labour of love combined with a focused determination.
Ron offers the following as Five Ways To Improve Training"
"1. Use wasted time for training. Thirty minutes regained a day for training is 30 miles a week...It can make the difference between finishing in the middle of the pack or front." When I read this it makes me think of the benefits of fitting in an easy morning jog several days a week,even if it's only 20 minutes.
"2. Innovate to sidestep setbacks." Ron then gives an example that if you can't get to the hills for resistance work then improvise by doing stairs,running into the wind or in sand,water or snow.
"3.Persist through setbacks and mistakes." Try not to make the same mistake twice, be aware and attuned to what you are doing.Persistence is the key.Most people give up,don't be one of those people.
"4.Stick to your schedule. After you have blocked out your training,stay with it unless something is wrong." Daws also advises us not to go prematurely into another phase of training. Things I've noted relating to what he says are guys who race when they are still in the training phase,or my favorite, at the 16 mile mark of your weekly easy 20 miler, Joe Stud decides to run the last 4 miles at 5:30 and then actually brags about doing so when he meets up with you later, apparently not realizing that he's sabotaged the whole purpose of the run.
"5.Don't be intimidated by the odds. To hell with the odds. Caution never did big things. Go for the big ones at some point in your life."
Distance running really needs a guy like Ron Daws around today.

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