Too many runners/racers stay in their comfort zone close to home racing the same people season after season with little to no improvement or simply because they are certain of making the podium either overall or in their age group..
Drop the gloves and put the hammer down~
No I am not referring to disregarding some essential piece of apparel during a Northeast winter. Perhaps the late great Zatopek said it best ~ “Why should I practice running slow? I already know how to run slow. I want to learn to run fast.” Those that know me and my coaching style well know two things about my philosophy as both athlete and coach. 1) The ability to learn to ‘ control the race car ‘ …. in other words the skill of learning to run to a pace, a cadence, a rhythm. Pacing is essential in races from 100 meters to the marathon. Yes, I said 100 meters. The 100 meters can be lost without pacing when you understand that it is the athlete that decelerates the least that wins this majestic sprint.Reason? Human Beings can only maximally accelerate for up to six seconds. 2) I believe in developing speed through speed work all year around. Reason? I believe that multi tier training develops the muskuloskeletal system in a much more even fashion, never allowing for overdevelopment of one energy system or group of muscles producing a swifter more well balanced athlete with LESS risk of injury. How do I know? Because of the experiment of one that I have been on myself for some eighteen years and more many more years prior to that as a multi sport athlete, inclusive of rugby, soccer, gymnastics,swimming and intense strength training, coupled with cross training activities such as jump rope and rowing, and in more recent times, surfing. I believe that the athlete that comes to running from multi sport has a distinct advantage for similar reasons to the aforementioned multi tier training….. In the process of producing power and speed through progressive development; there needs to be times when the delicate balance of pacing takes a back seat and that such time occurs in the Critical Zone training either within a particular training cycle and/or during a specific workout….. times when you are to the wall, heart pounding, lungs expanding and constricting, eyes almost rolled back in the head, arms pumping in rhythm, hips churning like cogs of a wheel to produce the piston like whip action of the lower body with focus being on lower back and legs performing in such a manner as to deliver a concise assassin viper like footstrike that spins off the ground like a storm moving across the ocean…this is the point of near and post exhaustion where you are in agony and eccstacy all in one. You cannot wait for the pain to stop yet at the same time your senses are turned on to the max by your own ability to propel yourself across the planet in the most powerful yet efficient manner possible in the image of a Gazelle or Cheetah (depending upon the length of the interval or acceleration)………. This is the point where you reach a higher state of consciousness, your confidence and self esteem raised to never previously attained levels and the point where you are completely in touch with yourself and this beautiful planet that you are traversing !~ Sometimes, there is a time and a place, where you have to ride this ‘ E Ticket ‘ ~ it is all about you and you frankly don’t care if anyone else is along for the ride !~ There are times where you simply must take the gloves off and put the hammer down !~