- May 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm #12488
What does this tell me?
First, strides are good. These people were doing 4 sets of 5×10 second strides three times a week. One who had been doing nothing but easy running will see rapid improvement of race times, especially 5K and 1500 meter times, when first beginning strides. Even if reducing volume. The control group was doing no strides and, in fact, nothing fast at all. No change from a training rut they had previously been in. You're not going to see improvements under those circumstances.
Second, when one is stuck in a training rut, almost anything to shake it up is good. These people were apparently doing nothing other than 18 miles a week of easy running. Anything that changes the routine, especially if it adds some speed work, will lead to solid improvements over the shorter distances in the short term.
Third, look out! Here it comes. Vast proclamations about how we're all overtraining and all we really need to set PRs is a 3 day a week running program consisting of nothing but strides. People are already pushing this kind of trash. Now, they have “science” to back it up.
What am I taking from this study? Not much I didn't already know. The first and second points are the key takeaway points. I already make heavy use of strides for my own training as well as the training of those I coach. Most experienced competitive runners I know do. I already believe in 4-8 weeks of sharpening (the study was conveniently 7 weeks long) before a goal race, as do most experienced competitive runners I know.
I just see this study proving the obvious: strides are good and changing your training stimulus (one of the central points of a 4-8 week sharpening phase) is good. Of course, the spin that is going to be put on this will likely be a little different.
- May 7, 2012 at 9:41 pm #32420
Long, slow running makes long, slow runners? News to me! 8)
- May 8, 2012 at 1:16 am #32421
Short, slow running makes short, slow runners.
- May 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm #32422
I think we all know the reason they push this “crap” and will spin it to favor the three days of training idea is purely based on money. It is popular and therefore what those who want to make a quick buck are selling. They are also willing to take some “science” that is not very sound (not too mention would be laughed at by a real scientific community) and purport that it is proof of their theory.
Sometimes you cannot apply the thought of Mies Van der Rohe that less is more – sometimes less is not more.
- May 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm #32423
Ed, I don't think the science is necessarily unsound. It clearly shows the benefit of strides and the benefit of a short-term peaking plan. What is not sound is interpreting this to mean that this 30-20-10 method of training 3 times a week is somehow superior to a more comprehensive training plan or insinuating that one might benefit from doing this indefinitely.
- May 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm #32424
Short, slow running makes short, slow runners.
2.6 mi/day is long compared with 10″ repeats. 8)
- May 9, 2012 at 2:16 am #32425
Even longer compared with 0″ repeats. 😉
- May 9, 2012 at 2:25 am #32426
- May 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm #32427
Yes, I saw that blog post and was going to link to it here. I think Magness is saying roughly the same thing as I'm at least attempting to.
- May 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm #32428
Right, and doing simply 18 mpw for training sans the repeats would be the same as leaving out any speed or sharpening. The researchers failed to satisfy the question, “is it repeatable?” In other words, would the group doing 9 mpw with the 10″ repeats have followed an improvement curve over the long term? Burfoot's conjecture implies that they would, I am less certain.
- May 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm #32429
Precisely. This is a traditional periodized plan at a low volume level, plain and simple. Some amount of time building aerobic base with all slow running, followed by a lot of speed to sharpen. As Magness pointed out, the Finns figured this out nearly 100 years ago and, at a much lower level, this is precisely what Lydiard prescribed.
I think this would be repeatable. If someone did the same study 6 months later, the results would be repeated. The question I have to ask Burfoot is why he thinks it's extendable. Just because people improve for 7 weeks, does that mean they will improve for 14 weeks? 28 weeks? This is the problem I have had with academic studies of training for years. Academic studies are designed nicely to fit in the academic calendar. This means they usually last about 6-10 weeks. These studies, not surprisingly, find that speed is good and base work is not nearly as good. The problem? They don't extend the studies long enough to know what actually works in the real world, where we have to think of months-long or, better, years-long progression.
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