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Old 10-01-2007, 02:47 PM   #9
Patrick Donnelly
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Originally Posted by -Ross Hunt View Post
1) You need to join the track team. Smart training programs are good, but nothing beats competition, and you can only get that on the team.
I guess I'll take a look into Spring track then... I'd like to at least give myself the winter to see what training works and how far I can progress with it. I do realize the importance of competition... But that only comes into play in the event itself, not in the training.

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2) You need to realize that there is a huge difference between taking your time from 6:00 to 5:00 and taking it from 5:00 to 4:45; taking it from 4:45 to 4:30 is harder still.
Trust me, that is a huge relief for me. How so? Because I know that a 4:11.5, though it is ridiculous, is at least possible when compared to the 100x more difficult 4:00.

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You will definitely need more specific running training for the latter improvements.
But how much? The benefits I see from more running are form improvement and psychological improvements (ie. teach yourself not to wuss out). My form is pretty solid, and I am working on it with short runs when I am fresh, which is conducive to good form. The psychological improvements are, well, only psychological. Intervals can develop power and endurance to a point, but can't Oly lifts and conditioning do that to a higher extent? I see that training as giving one the potential to run fast, then the actual interval training as realizing that training and practicing to get full use out of it.

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3) You do not need to gain bodyweight, or at least definitely not more than 5-10 pounds. 175 is already plenty heavy for a 1600 meter man.
I've been looking at some track star photos, and shorter distances have significantly more mass than marathon runners, but still not much. It looks like I'll have to rethink any weight gain.

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4) Don't ignore speed training. Running 200-400m really made my mile faster.
I wouldn't intend to.

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5) I think metcon training is really valuable, but I think that one of the best things about is the ability to tax your CV system without trashing your legs. This means that mixed-modality metcon (circuits of ~10 minutes of rounds for time, even doing pretty low reps--e.g., 5xback squat, 5x KB snatch per side, 5x chin-up) may be more helpful to you on your strength days than tabatas, which will mess with your legs.
I wouldn't dare think about doing Tabata squats each time! I could name a good dozen exercises to rotate between, each of which would improve lactate threshold and anaerobic ability. Today I tried Tabata GHD sit-ups, as a test, though by the end, I think the majority of my fatigue was from the blood rush to my head and not the exercise... That may not be a good one.

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6) Your goals are awesome and your ideas to use strength and shorter metcon and running to train for them are, I think, smart. But you have to be prepared to accept your coach's authority. Even if what he says seems wrong--or even if it IS wrong--actually BEING in the sport and going to meets is going to do more for your mile time than the best training on your own.
Like I mentioned above, I'll get to that in the Spring when I can show Coach how well I can do at that point.

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You might try to dig up some stuff of Alan Webb's training program. A couple years ago, he was the first guy to break 4:00 in high school in a long time, and I think he was known for having a slightly higher bodyweight than usual and doing shorter training than most milers.

Feel free to ask any questions about this.
The public library has a copy of the book Sub 4:00: Alan Webb and the Quest for the Fastest Mile. I'll try to make a trip there this evening.


Re: James Evans
Kettlebells for a marathon? I would think he's "experimenting" with more than just kettlebells...
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