There is a project called “This I Believe” – http://thisibelieve.org/ – that is based off of the same series done by Edward R. Murrow. Here is my list as it applies to training. It is not a comprehensive list, but it’s close.
The following are the first three items on my list of nine. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing all nine in the newsletter, which you can sign up for here or in the box at the end of this post. Enjoy.
I believe if an athlete wants to run faster, they need to run. The Law of Specificity for a runner means that you have to spend a significant amount of time running to get better at running. Now, the ratio of running to non-running work may (and probably should) change throughout the life of a given athlete. Early in a career, when the athlete doesn’t have a very good aerobic foundation, more running needs to occur. When the athlete is in their late thirties and beyond, a bit more general strength (potentially weight room work) and a bit less running is probably the best recipe for success. But the bottom line is that if you want to improve as a runner then you have to run.
I believe that the long run is the key workout for developing the aerobic metabolism (though many would argue that threshold training is better). Because of this belief, I also believe a runners should do a weekly long run, except for the few weeks during the year when they are resting for a big race. Show me a runner who keeps a solid weekly long run in their training and I’ll show you a runner who makes incremental improvements in their fitness. The long run is difficult, not sexy, and the long run often means that you need to rest (and possibly nap) later in the day.
I believe runners need to do non-running activities to stay healthy. There are obvious benefits to General Strength and Mobility (GSM) – you develop stronger muscles to handle the pounding of running, and you develop greater range of motion. Another aspect if that your hormonal profile is better after GSM work – you keep your levels of testosterone and human growth hormone high. Some non-running activities should be done before the run, such as the Lunge Matrix (LM), while others can be done after the run, such as Active Isolated Flexibility (AIF). The key concept here is that if you just run you increase the risk of an overuse injury. If you do non-running work as part of your overall running training you decrease the risk of injury and you can run injury-free week after week.
I believe that consistency in training leads to personal records most of the time…