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Seb Coe’s Middle Distance Training – Part 1

Seb Coe’s Middle Distance Training – Part 1

Periodisation refers to the arrangement of specific training elements into a unified plan with the aim of producing a single peak race performance at the end of the season. Prior to the 1950s, the planning and sequencing of training sessions were relatively crude; runners adopted common-sense training principles involving a basic cycle featuring hard work (with stress and fatigue), then recovery (with repair and regeneration), then an improvement in performance which leads into another cycle all over again. In the 1950s, New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard pioneered the first major periodised training system which prescribed an intentional separation of the training season (macrocycle) into distinct phases (mesocycles) and outlining the order in which different training sessions are to be performed.

In this article series, we will specifically focus on one such non-linear approach called the Multi-Tier Training System. This was proposed by Dr David Martin (Exercise Physiologist) and Peter Coe (Coach of Seb Coe) in the 1980s as outlined in their famous classic ‘Better Training for Distance Runners’. Here, we will learn how to precisely structure various training assignments into a unified periodised training plan that (in the authors’ opinion) will best support an athlete’s development.

What Runners Should Know About Altitude Training

What Runners Should Know About Altitude Training

Altitude training is a complex topic which has garnered substantial attention in the modern running era. Most athletes are aware of the basic mechanism by which altitude training ought to enhance performance. But the real issue lies in how exactly should we approach this without, in the authors’ words, “disrupting all the other facets of lifestyle that contribute to the well-being of a healthy athlete”.

Here are six frequently asked questions about altitude training:
 
1) Can we quantify the extent to which a certain altitude slows down a marathoner’s performance?

What Do Elite Runner’s Eat Before A Race? (Part 2)

What Do Elite Runner’s Eat Before A Race? (Part 2)

Getting enough food in is crucial, but also involves dancing on a knife edge – too much and you could be weighed down and feeling ill. Research suggests that 1.5-1.8 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight is optimal for aerobic performance. For a 150-pound runner that amounts to 225-270 grams, which is around 1,000 calories. This might sound like a lot to consume before a hard effort – the key is to get it in early. Three to four hours before the race is ideal according to the American College of Sports Medicine, allowing enough time to digest, leaving you hopefully with an empty stomach and replete glycogen stores. Make sure to stay hydrated as well.

What Do Elite Runner’s Eat Before A Race? (Part 1)

What Do Elite Runner’s Eat Before A Race? (Part 1)

The days preceding the big race you’ve been preparing for over several months can trigger anxiety and doubt in any runner. What should I wear come race day? How much should I be running during my taper? What will the weather be like? How much should I warm up? A stream of worries that don’t come into play before a standard training session but are prompted by the pressure put on yourself because of months of preparation.

Another major source of confusion for athletes is what to eat! Here we look at pre-race nutrition and later we will examine the intricacies of feeding yourself during a sustained effort. Pre-race food is something that never fails to spark debate between runners and will most certainly continue to be met with mixed opinions for years to come.

Why Run Easy? Here Are The Benefits Of Easy Running

Why Run Easy? Here Are The Benefits Of Easy Running

alent can take you far, but as many elite runners can tell you, talent is nothing without the commitment to train hard. Most of the best middle to long distance runners in the world frequently log 160km (100 miles) per week that consists of threshold runs, intervals, fartlek, hill work and continuous short, medium and long runs. No pain, no gain, right? Not exactly.A significant percentage of most elite athletes’ training logs consist of easy running; that is running at speeds less than 1 minute per/km (or 1.5mins/mile) slower than their 10km race pace. This effort “aerobic running” is done right around 70% (give or take 5%) of the maximum heart beat count per minute and at this effort, runners should be able to have a conversation.“The most common mistake most runners make is that they think if they’re running easily then they’re not getting much benefit,” says Brian Rosetti, a running coach in New York City and founder of the Run SMART Project. That couldn’t be more off-base because easy (or sexy pace) running comes with a laundry list of benefits.

Altitude Training – Why, When And How To Get High (Part 2)

Altitude Training – Why, When And How To Get High (Part 2)

During a short stay at altitude it will be tempting to cram in as many hard workouts as possible to reap the benefits for which you’ve travelled so far. Many athletes fall into the trap of working too hard, too soon. This can overstress the immune system, interfering with the generation of red blood cells and leaving you flat and low on energy. For the initial days at elevation cut back on mileage and stick to easy runs, it’s important to go easy as the body is already subjected to significant stress. If flying from sea level to a significant enough elevation (generally over 2500m), altitude sickness is a real risk – and, importantly, aerobic fitness isn’t a protective factor. Watch out for developments of nausea, headache, trouble sleeping or significant shortness of breath. To start with, focus on feeling, not pace. Pay heed to your perceived level of exertion. It may feel like you’re struggling to even handle a crawling pace, this is a normal part of the adaptation to altitude. If you finish an easy run feeling like you’ve just run a hard race you should be cutting back. Make sure to keep pace easy and only progress to faster workouts after around a week of adaptation.

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