Training and How to Apply Science to Coaching – Science of Running

Interview with Tony Holler – Science of Running


Over the past week, I had the privilege to speak at two different clinics/conferences that both presented unique challenges.  I told everyone I would put my powerpoints online, and I hope that you guys who read the blog can get something good out of them too.

The first clinic I had a chance to speak at was GAIN.  It was a truly unique experience and something different from almost all of the other clinics I had presented at/gone to.  It was a collection of about 40 people genuinely interested in improving their craft of athletic performance.  What made it unique is that you had experts from a wide variety of disciplines who, perhaps more importantly, were willing to ask questions and challenge belief systems.  So you had people who worked with the national ski team, football (American and “real” football), physical therapist, successful swim coaches, athletic trainers, and physical educators all come together to share ideas.

It really brought a fresh perspective to the table and it challenged me to look at things in a slightly different way.  Some of the highlights for me was listening to former Illinois track coach Gary Winkler talk about sprint mechanics (and how there was no pawback action…) and Oregon football and track strength coach Jimmy Radcliffe.  I could go on about what I picked up, but perhaps that should be another blog post.

Above all, from giving my presentation and sitting in on others, I think the big thing I picked up on is that coaching and principles of coaching/training cross borders.  There are concepts that swimming is using that are way ahead of track, and vice versa.  Only when you actually sit down and here there development plans do you really  see the inadequacies or strengths of your own sport.

The other clinic I was at was the Texas High School Cross Country coaches association.  It was a completely different experience, but still equally rewarding.  It made me realize that there are a lot of great inquisitive coaches out there that are doing an incredible job working with 100+ runners and still designing great programs for each one.  It makes me realize how it’s not so bad to have to handle coaching 35+ runners, without having to teach during the day.  Additionally, it really made me see how to get back to the basics.  How do we develop our young runners to set them up for the next level.

Anyways, below you will find two presentation.  One is on the evolution of training and training design.  It’s dense and basically includes everything I look at when developing a training program.  I start out with going through a brief overview of the history of training to demonstrate how we got to this point.  (And I have loved some responses I’ve gotten to this part where coaches have said “Wow…so Paavo training people train nothing like Paavo Nurmi….or…original Lydiard is nothing like what people who say they do lydiard do now.”

The second presentation is on Applying Science to Coaching.  It’s on how do we use research and translate it into training.

I hope you enjoy.  And let me know if you have any questions.


The Natural Selection of Endurance Training

Application of Science to Coaching:


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