Running form is one of the hot button topics in the world of
distance coaches. We debate, often with speed/power coaches, on where they fit
into the program. How important are mechanics for a distance runner? How do we
change them? Should we change them?
These are the questions that wer tackle in this episode. We offer a balanced
view of how much importance to assign on running mechanics work and how to
incorporate it into a training program. Tackling on when to work on mechanics
fresh versus going against the common wisdom and practicing “falling apart
When it comes to making changes, we discuss how it’s about
conceptualizing and overemphasize. Step
one is to get athletes to conceptualize the mechanical changes that you are
after, making sure they understand what they are actually doing versus what you
want them to do. Our running form is so ingrained in us that, even if from the
outside it looks horrible, it feels normal to that athlete. Because of this, we
need to start by having understand what they are actually doing. Often this
involves showing an athlete on film so that they can visually conceptualize, or
taking their shoes off to change the internal feedback.
As always, we take a few tangents along the way and discuss the topic of what
is a scientific approach to training. We often think the scientific approach is
some systematic beautifully written master plan. It often entails isolating systems where we
might work on VO2max one day and Lactate Threshold the next, with very little
intermixing of ‘systems.’ It’s our view that this is a wrong interpretation of
what a scientific approach is. We choose this isolationist approach as coaches
because it’s the easy path. It’s much simpler to assign a isolated workout and
check off that box, then to step back and think about creating a workout that
accomplishes the goals you’ve set for your athlete.
What a scientific approach actually entails is simple:
Observation and finding out what works and what doesn’t. It’s not some fancy,
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Steve and Jon