How Much is Too Much?


The coach from the Woodlands in Houston, Texas presented at the MITCA Clinic. I was able to attend his first talk which was quite entertaining and informative. He has a very successful program in terms of state championships as well having his athletes go onto compete in college. What did bother me was his emphasis on getting his athlete to 100 miles a week. I just do not think that is necessary at that age. That is too much, too soon. It reminds me of the old saying: how do you keep them down on the farm after they have seen Paree? Where do they go from there? How do they progress? I would rather see a broader foundation of work capacity and athleticism. I know the young Kenyans run a lot of miles, but we must also consider their overall lifestyle. Their success has a lot to do with upward mobility. Our kids today generally do not come from as good a movement base as they did in the past. I post this not to be critical, but to get people to think that there are other approaches. 100 miles a week in not a magic solution, I have coached high school athletes who certainly were capable of running 100 mile weeks, but I not sure if they would have been faster. In the mid Seventies there were a large number of athletes who were running 100 plus miles a week, to my knowledge only one or two eventually achieved world class status. In the 1975 California High School State meet my athlete ran 8:56 Two mile for fifth place. He ran 50 to 55 miles a week. The top four ranged from 95 to 120 miles a week. Maybe had he reached that milage level he would have run much faster, but I really do not think so. Remember volume is not a biomotor quality. That being said I also understand there are many roads to Rome, chose the one that works for your athletes.

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Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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