More great stuff from Magill. A couple things I noted in there.
“A runner who doesn't have much leg speed — who doesn't possess much fast-twitch fiber — won't want to do much speed work. The only way for that runner to prosper is to do more work at around 80 percent VO2 max.”
Not directly related to the topic of the article but this caught my eye for one reason. I've always struggled greatly with speed work and, while it gives me some big bang for my buck, I also quickly burn out when doing it. I've been toying with the idea of doing mostly tempo runs and only throw in a handful of focused speed workouts (long or short intervals) before a big race or series of big races. It appears Schwartz would support this idea for a runner like me. That's good to know.
More directly to the point of the article:
We runners tend to view developing our cardiovascular systems as the key to achieving better fitness. But the truth is that high-octane fuel can't turn a Prius into a Porsche. And no amount of oxygen — or Gatorade or PowerBars or willpower — will produce better running performances until we've built a better running body.
This is something I've been known to say. We focus so much on LT, VO2max, aerobic, anaerobic, whatever other cardiovascular-centric term we want to use that many of us seem to forget the cardiovascular system just delivers oxygen to the muscles. The muscles have to use that oxygen to release the energy they have stored, then have to efficiently use that energy. The greatest cardiovascular system in the world won't make a great runner if the muscles are not trained to run powerfully and efficiently. We can't forget the muscles and it's nice to see such a well written article on the muscles and how to train them for running.