Different Routes to Distance Training from an Unbiased Perspective


Recently we had a large discussion about distance running and strength training. As Carl mentioned recently it’s important to discuss some of the things we actually have done. A couple winters ago I did a presentation for a Dutch clinic. No, not the country but instead a great clinic where your only payment is that each coach must present on a topic. You know “Going Dutch!” That winter Dutch clinic I chose to discuss different routes to great times for endurance runners. Each athlete comes with strengths and weakness. I will attach the PowerPoint used for the presentation in the discussion. What does a distance athlete need? I believe it can be narrowed down to a short list in the following order: Aerobic Capacity, Work Capacity, Specific Endurance, Setup/Kicking Speed, Surge Coverage, Spinal Integrity, and Biomechanics Efficiency. Most of the athletes highlighted in the PowerPoint have continued on to great or solid college careers. I tried to compare and contrast athletes in similar events with different needs in training. Ultimately, the purpose of me sharing this with you guys is to give some perspective on identifying an athlete’s strengths/weakness before you start training. As Dan Pfaff has discussed training should be prescriptive in nature. Too many coaches try to fit a square peg in a round hole. As a coach I am trying to improve on this aspect of coaching and planning myself. However, first step is evaluation.