THE MYTH OF THE WEEKLY  TRAINING CYCLE

THE MYTH OF THE WEEKLY TRAINING CYCLE

The Sunday long run. Track Tuesday.  These are probably things you’ve seen or done countless times as a runner.  It’s a pretty common sight in training plans – certain days of the week are allocated to a specific type of workout, and this cycle is repeated every 7 days. But why? What is it that made us decide that 7 days is the ideal length of time to go through a cycle, and to then repeat this again and again (with slightly changes from week to week of course).  It’s one of those things that many of us have probably never even questioned. The only real answer is convenience; perhaps weekends are the only time when you’re able to fit in a 90min or longer run. Or maybe you enjoy slotting into a group that runs hills every Thursday.  For many, these reasons are perfectly valid and it makes the most sense for their training.   BUT – if you’re really looking to...
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TRAIN, DON’T STRAIN

TRAIN, DON’T STRAIN

TRAIN, DON'T STRAIN I first discovered running’s biggest paradox the year after graduating high school. As a fully committed track runner aspiring to make a name for myself on the national circuit, I’d come to terms with what came with the job – early mornings, tough training and living the training life as per Steve Prefontaine quotes. To say that I worked hard was an understatement. Eventually though, my hard training was not helping me elevate my game; instead, I was simply going through the motions and my form really stagnated. I started doubting whether my training was even hard enough when I compared what I was doing with the documented training logs of the likes of Seb Coe. I concluded that, in order to rise above my performance plateau, I would need to work even harder. I was always taught that running was a metaphor for life – you get out what you put in. At the time I understood this...
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THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING

THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING

THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING Yeah, you read that right. You’ve probably read a hundred pieces on positive thinking and its benefits, particularly in terms of racing and training. And I’m not here to bash that at all. I’m certainly an advocate of positive self-talk, self-belief, visualization and all of the other useful and semi-useful techniques out there. But this piece is taking an alternative school of thought; the way in which we can use our negative thoughts to our advantage (whether it be in running or any other form of performance). There’s an ancient philosophy called Stoicism, and a part of this philosophy is the ability to accept a situation for what it is - and to use this acceptance as a means to control our fear of pain and/or failure. It acknowledges that the world is highly unpredictable and reminds us that we need to be in control of that which we can control – our responses to these events. But how...
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LESSONS FROM A TRIP TO KENYA

LESSONS FROM A TRIP TO KENYA

A few years ago one of our coaches, Jonathan, experienced one of his most memorable journeys yet. Here are a few of his thoughts from the experience and some lessons that he took away from it all: In June of 2015, I was lucky enough to spend two weeks in Iten, Kenya on a running camp where I got to train with, learn from and watch some of the best middle and long-distance athletes in the world. I also got the opportunity to sit down and chat over tea with their coaches. It really was an absolutely incredible experience and I’d recommend it to any passionate runner – regardless of your ability. This post is about the main things I learned/observed about the “Kenyan Way” in my time there. Not all of these things are recommended for your everyday runner; but it’s fascinating to gain a bit of insight into how the best runners in the world live and train – and...
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A Simple Message on Individualisation

A Simple Message on Individualisation

Below is a simple chart illustrating a random statistic with its independent and dependent variables marked respectively on the x and y-axis. The particular statistic is unknown and irrelevant for our purposes. What a simple chart like this (and many others like it) can show, is the need to individualise. It’s typical for data to be grouped and represented by its mean value. This is true within many fields of expertise, including the pharmaceutical industry – drugs are accepted on the basis of the average effects they present during trials. Though it is often practical and easier, you can imagine the possible adverse effects of treating a collection of data as one. For instance, looking at the sample graph above only 4 out of the 30 data plots are positioned on or near to the trend line. If we had to use this trend line to represent a ‘rule’ about of the data, it’s clear that this ‘rule’ would fail to...
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