Re: Re: “The Talent Distraction”

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Andrew A.

Given that anymore the publishing industry is about selling the greatest number of copies per the given genre, as if it were ever about anything else, just about any how-to book that is widely available is likely aimed at a largest common denominator.  It is watered down enough to tell the lowest common denominator what it wants to hear.  Pfitz and Daniels (and McMillan and Higdon and Glover and et alia) put together fine programs for people with no background looking to get into the sport, as a gateway for the uninitiated. 

To me, the ultimate goal of any coach (or teacher or master) should be to endow the pupil with the tools to enable one to become one's own coach (or teacher or master).  A studied, structured basis for going out and finding out more about their capabilities on their own.  I often see people asking about workouts they do without ever framing what they expect the workout to accomplish other than running faster than normal and getting tired.  This, to me, indicates that people like this never bothered to find out the basic wherefores and whys of the nuts and bolts of training, they can play music by ear yet cannot read musical notes or write their own songs, they can paint-by-numbers yet could not compose a pleasing painting of their own. 

I recently picked up a copy of Squires and Lehane's Speed With Endurance, and throughout the opening chapters (before getting to all the workouts and training schedules) the authors exhort the reader over and over to resist the temptation to skip to the schedules and workouts and read the chapters that come before that to understand the principles of the training so that they are able to make easy adjustments to the training to make it a custom fit to oneself. 

Incidentally, of any of the names commonly bandied about in terms of distance running training, Squires is about peerless in terms of what he has accomplished with his runners — the American Lydiard, if you will.  Pfitzinger was one of Squires's athletes (as was Bob Sevene), and while he and Daniels and McMillan and the rest may prove to be Squires's equal in coaching, they have not yet.