EDIT: New slide added to show graphics drawn to scale (right below)
Above is a scaled drawing of how the program would actually be balanced.
I haven't written anything in a while mainly because I haven't really felt like I've had anything worth contributing in a while, other than answering the occasional question or two. As ususal, I mainly hope to open up a topic for discussion. If you have an opposing point of view, please feel free to contribute.
For those that don't know me, my background isn't anything spectacular. I ran pretty well in college and spent some years as a high school track and field coach. I was fairly successful in that my athletes always improved leaps and bounds beyond what they did under their previous coaches and, sadly, did worse after I left. I did manage to help a couple win their state championship in a distance event (though I must credit them with a good work ethic and lots of talent).
I'm no exercise physiologist and haven't written any books, but I have read a lot of them and, if there's anything that I think I can offer, hopefully its simply a way of looking at training so it makes a little more sense for you (or, at worse, offer some misconceptions and be called out by someone more knowlegable. That's the beauty of a public forum ; ^ ).
This thread is mainly about understanding how to balance your training. I plan to follow this up with one on periodization, so be on the look out. Hopefully this will help you figure out what kind of changes to make when going from training for a sprint triathlon to training for a half, or a full (though my posts are often in the context of "run only" training.....it's always up to you to figure out how to modify it to suit your needs).
The motivation for this type of post is often the frustration I have when I see people run themselves into the ground run at paces that are often two high to really have the kin dof effects they are hoping for, especially given the amount of effort they are putting into their training. I can't tell you how many times I've met someone who runs 25 miles a week (run only training) and wants to get faster in a 5K by pounding out 400s at a minute per mile faster than there race pace. It's not that its a bad workout, but that the focus is just put in the wrong place.
Anyway, I've prepared some slides. This is kind of my answer to the O'Friel Triangle (which I've never liked). I hope this makes things a little more clear for people.
This last slide, I hope, will also help you understand why a guy who runs a 2:10 marathon trains a little differently than how books recommend that YOU train for a 3:20 marathon. As far as his body is concerned, he is running a shorter race than you are and is running much closer to his lactate threshold than you will be. Hence, he places a little more emphasis on faster training. Likewise, Mark Allen or Chris McCormick will place more emhasis or threshold and track workouts for their sub 3 hour IM runs than you should for your 5 hour run/walk.
As a side note, I'm fairly confident with the 2, 11, and 60 minute mark (as backed by literature). The 3, 4, and 5 hour marks are based on a little bit of conjecture on my part. I can't say for certain that a 5 hour IM runner should do ONLY endurance running, but they certainly should make it a very very large focus of their training.
-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
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