Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Herb Elliott on Training
What else can one say about Herb Elliott? He was a phenomenal athlete and gentleman who won the gold medal in the 1500 meters at the 1960 Olympics in record time. If you are one of the few runners who have never watched that race,you have to go to YouTube and check it out. Also,in a previous entry I reprinted an article by Sir Roger Bannister which gave his account of Herb's Olympic win. I believe it was in this same article that I provided the stats showing how his Olympic record has been bettered by less than a handful of Olympians since the start of the modern day Olympics until the 2000 Games. Elliott knows training,and why shouldn't he? His coach was Percy Cerutty as I'm sure all of you out there know. However, he has his own thoughts and opinions regarding running and training. He had this to say on that subject: "Running is a natural movement we can practice effectively enough without resorting to complicated theories that will only help to introduce tension. The reason I am skeptical about the benefits of interval training is because it appears to be so unnatural. The runner should be able to judge himself how much training his body needs and,if he's honest with himself,he'll learn to differentiate between genuine tiredness and laziness. Unfortunately,city dwellers have lost the capacity of knowing instinctively when the body requires exercise.They should revert to naturalism,not follow rigid training schedules that militate against simplicity. Nature provides us with many signs that we are training too hard or not hard enough. If our calves and ankles are constantly sore we know that our body is finding it difficult to adjust itself to the training.On the other hand,if we never raised a sweat or hurt ourselves we're only kidding ourselves that we're training." The beauty of the above is that Elliott's career proved that to race well you didn't have to train in the regimented,potentially soul killing way that every other track runner had trained before him and has since.Cerutty believed that his athletes should eventually be able to make their own training schedules.Ideally,isn't that the way it should be?