John O’Malley: The thing that we started doing more recently in the last four or five years that I’ve noticed that has made us better is that we’ve run a new training system. One where everything is present at all times, and it’s just to a different degree. So in June we will be doing sprint work. We will be doing sprint mechanics. We will be doing light loads of even VO2 max. These are very light loads that are just anything that I would say are the high end aerobic work. It’s there. It’s all always present in our training system. It’s just the degree that the volume and the density of it, the frequency that we do it changes as you move on.
I think that once we started doing that, we started getting a lot better. That moved us away from the idea of having a three-month aerobic foundation build. One where you’re basically just running aerobically. That sort of foundation perspective that used to exist was not as effective.
That’s definitely something that once we started doing that we we really started getting a lot better.
Jay Johnson: I would love for you to use the terms base and foundation and – just say what you just said – but try and use those terms so that people understand what you’re talking about is different than what some people might say – “you just need to build base in the summer in June and July and the first couple of weeks of August” or “just build your base so that you can run faster later In cross-country.”
John O’Malley: Yes, that’s a huge mistake in my mind. You know traditionally the way I was taught in high school, and you know the literature I’ve read early on was essentially that you “build an aerobic base, and that’s your foundation.” The early literature from early on stated that your foundation of training is aerobic running which, to a degree, is true. But that’s not all that you should be doing in the three month basic building block training block.
I don’t ever want to get to a point with any kid on my team in which they are doing something that they haven’t done in three months. Therefore, when we talk about doing base or foundation now it’s it’s not just the aerobic work that may be the priority. In fact it is the priority. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not doing every other component of training that’s a part of our training system. We do 60 meter sprints, we do hills. If you were to look at our June program and our July program all of that would be present. You know Charlie Francis (sprint coach) once said you never want to get too far away from your ability to compete. [Read more…]