Old School Training vs. New School Training
It’s the end of July; your summer run training doesn’t have to hit peak volume yet, and that applies to everyone, regardless of what fall race(s) you’re training for. Yes, most of you are running more miles, or at least longer long runs, than you did in the spring, but summer training can still place a bit of priority on ST and XT while the run mileage settles into a nice steady level (this is not a bad thing). Some of you are getting over some minor injuries, some of you are dealing with hectic summer travel schedules (or kids’ schedules), and others are trying new types of training (including running form), any of which won’t necessarily be the case for the fall. With that in mind, remain patient and be mellow.
I address this topic in more detail in another Blog titled “Time”. So, when considering whether you still have enough time to train for your peak fall race, the answer for most of you is “yes." I am contractually forbidden from telling a lie.
On the topic of mileage, a simple Amazon search on run books will show the increasing popularity of the training method dedicated to running faster on less mileage. This isn’t a new strategy; it’s just that it’s taken a while to be embraced by the run community against the grain of the “more mileage means more fitness” mentality that has dominated for so many years. U.S. pro runners learned that more isn’t always better, as our top times plateaued for a loooong time while we tried the more-mileage approach. Meanwhile, the rest of the world kept getting faster. "More mileage means more fitness” is true, but only to a degree, or else we’d all be running 100-mile weeks in order to improve. To tie this back to the first paragraph, put that extra time into ST, XT, PT, massage, and more ST, especially in the summer (it mirrors the winter in that sense).
There’s plenty of time for us to hit key long runs in the fall and increase the total run volume/mileage too at that point. Yes, my goal is to get athletes to do more running (up to a point), but I’m not hell-bent on it as a coach. If you can’t stand on 1 leg for 30 seconds without wobbling, then trust me, more mileage isn’t your #1 priority (insert plug for ST here ____).
“More mileage” is old school, just like “weight lifting”, as the latter has been replaced by “strength training.” "Weight lifting" dominated for years because it was new and took up lots of space in local gyms, so why wouldn’t you do “weight lifting,” right? Now with the popularity of Pilates, TRX and functional training, we have better ST. In sum, don’t be old school, and don’t stress about mileage. I’d rather a runner be more obsessive and neurotic about even pacing during track workouts and/or perfect ST form.
Keep enjoying your summer, the fall isn’t close enough yet, so keep your fall races out of your head and live in the moment.
To use a Caps metaphor, this means it’s still not quite time to Unleash The Fury!
P.S. Next year is the Caps’ year.