Run-Down Forums Forum Index Run-Down Forums

 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Run-Down Forums Forum Index
Coaches Corner
sprint vs. distance coaching philosophies
Post new topic   Reply to topic

Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Run-Down Forums Forum Index -> Coaches Corner
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Dan
Chief Pontificator
Chief Pontificator


Joined: 22 Mar 1999
Posts: 9334
Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2002 8:16 am    Post subject: sprint vs. distance coaching philosophies Reply with quote

Ok, here's a new topic sure to cause some controversy... Smile

One thing that's bothered me for awhile now, most evident in the distances, is the common belief that you have to constantly be learning new techniques -- be it clinics and presentations, books, whatever -- in order to keep up or improve. If you choose not to, you quickly get labled arrogant and a know-it-all...

The sprints, on the other hand, seem to carry little such expectation. Probably partly due to the recently discussed situation where those who know typically don't tell...

The irony, as I see it, is twofold: 1) the sprints are generally considered a more technical event and would seemingly require more knowledge/learning, and 2) in North America (the only frame of reference I have to comment on coaching philosophies), the sprints are far more successful.

My impression is that a pervasive attitude in the distance ranks is that we don't really know what we're doing, so we need to constantly figure out new methods of doing the same thing and see what everyone else is up to... There seems to be more confidence surrounding the sprints.

Also, I always say that simply learning from those who come before us limits our ability to constantly improve. Combining ideas from different sources is one way to build new methodologies, but I hear too often people speaking of their constantly changing system or following someone else's sytem down to the smallest detail. If you have to change your system constantly, that doesn't say much for your confidence in it... How can the athletes have any confidence? Some tweaking is of course necessary, otherwise the athletes will lose confidence for the opposite reason.

Other people's thoughts?

Dan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Distance_Guru
World Class
World Class


Joined: 09 Mar 2002
Posts: 1280
Location: Nebraska

PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2002 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just made a post on this very topic on another thread.

I think that you are pretty close though not quite right on. One of the reasons that I think distance coaches are more apt to keep reading, going to clinics and then trying to apply what they learn as opposed to sprint coaches is the nature of what is visible vs what is not visible.

Sprints are very technical, but they are also very visible. What I mean by that is that when a sprinter has a problem in a 100m it's usually visible. They are tightening up late, their technique out of the blocks is bad, the athlete has a problem of coming up to fast out of their drive phase. The reasons may not be obvious but to the trained eye they are clear as day.

Distance is much less visible in that if an athlete is having trouble, it is often from a physiological lack in a system. A lactate threshold that isn't high enough, lack of training at maximal aerobic exertion, lack of overall aerobic conditioning, insuffiecent strength training (which can often be seen but not always). Not to mention that getting a distance runner to change their mechanics is often harder than getting a pair of symese twins into a kyak.

This is generally why the sprint coach turns on the video tape of the athletes race while the distance coach runs to a book on training with a copy of the last years training program.
_________________
Time is the fire in which we burn
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dan
Chief Pontificator
Chief Pontificator


Joined: 22 Mar 1999
Posts: 9334
Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2002 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good comments, but I would add that the sprinter also carries many of those physiological problem areas (endurance, technique, muscle imbalances, body position, etc.) that can only be addressed by knowledge of right and wrong and how to get there.

Dan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Distance_Guru
World Class
World Class


Joined: 09 Mar 2002
Posts: 1280
Location: Nebraska

PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2002 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
Good comments, but I would add that the sprinter also carries many of those physiological problem areas (endurance, technique, muscle imbalances, body position, etc.) that can only be addressed by knowledge of right and wrong and how to get there.

Dan


I think that goes without saying.

I also think you were right on about distance coaches changing philosophies all the time. Which is why I have one central philosophy that will never change. Run a lot, run hard and you'll get better. It's flexible, it's direct and best of all it sounds good Wink
_________________
Time is the fire in which we burn
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dan
Chief Pontificator
Chief Pontificator


Joined: 22 Mar 1999
Posts: 9334
Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2002 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Run a lot, run hard and you'll get better.

No arguments there!

Dan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Micah Ward
Olympic Medalist
Olympic Medalist


Joined: 08 May 2000
Posts: 2152
Location: Hot&humid, GA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2002 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The genius of simplicity!

I agree wholeheartedly!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dan
Chief Pontificator
Chief Pontificator


Joined: 22 Mar 1999
Posts: 9334
Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2002 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to see you're in an agreeable mood (gee, that's never the case), but what exactly are you in full agreement with?

Dan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Micah Ward
Olympic Medalist
Olympic Medalist


Joined: 08 May 2000
Posts: 2152
Location: Hot&humid, GA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2002 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that distance running is pretty simple. Run long distances and run them fast and you will be good. Anything else should just be minor details.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Conway
Olympic Medalist
Olympic Medalist


Joined: 25 Aug 2001
Posts: 3570
Location: Northen California

PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2002 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How did I miss so much conversation on THIS topic ?!?!?! This is gonna sound weird but I thinkthe difference between distance coaching and sprint coaching is simple ... In sprinting things travel word of mouth ... In distance coaching they do not ...


In distance coaching everyone wants to be (and no offence here DG) the "GURU" of distance coaching ... The next Dellinger or Bowerman ... In distance circles (as in the sciences) one must be published in order to carry weight .... In sprinting one only has to have been successful and have successful athletes in ordre for their word to carry weight ...

Perhaps as Dan alluded to the fact that there has been so much success in sprinting and so little in distance running may have something to do with that ... The fact that there has been little success "implying" that there is some great difficulty there in coaching and therefore one must be "more accomplished" in order to be "heard" or "believed" .... But in the sprint world you just point to your successes (or generally everyone else points to them) to rise to the top ... When you've coached Tommie Smith, Lee Evans and John Carlos (Bud Winter); or Carl Lewis, Leroy Burrell, Mike Marsh and Joe Deloach (Tom Tellez); Gail Devers, FloJo, Jackie Joyner Kerssee (Bobbie Kersee); Steve Lewis, Danny Everett, Jon Drummond, Ato Boldon, Mo Greene (John Smith) YOU DON'T HAVE TO WRITE A BOOK !!!!! People listen ... They beg ... They invite you places ... Offer you money ... When you're still waiting to produce a sub 3:50 miler you have to write about your theories ... What you think will work and why .... How you imagine you'll get someone there ... The sprint coaches tell you HOW they did it ... Verbally ... To those they trust ... Can't give too much away or you end of like Ato Boldon - eatin the dust of the one you helped !!!!!!

And these guys go into great detail with their athletes and what they do .... But they aren't going to tell you .... See if you are a distance coach and you share your ideas and at some point THEY WORK you get to claim the credit !!!!!! When you have living examples you don't have to do that !!!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Paul
Olympic Medalist
Olympic Medalist


Joined: 28 Apr 2002
Posts: 1610
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2002 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts on this are more in line with Dan's 5th paragraph (I'm having trouble with the quotes stuff Embarassed ). North America has dominated the sprints since 1984 and before (not counting 1980 boycott) and the hurdles, also. So it is just assumed that we know what we are doing. In the middle distances and distances, we are having trouble mounting serious challenges to our top ten lists let alone our national records. The world has passed us by. We are roaming around in the desert, pitching our tent on the latest distance fad.

Hmmm, after rereading the posts again, I think all I did was regurgitate what Dan, DG, Micah, and Conway just said!! Surprised Confused Maybe I should just delete this post. Embarassed

On second thought its possible that nobody in the sprints is doing anything different than what Francis outlined 15 years ago. In that senario, to reveal your training methods would be to say you are not the coaching phenom you purport to be, but just a person applying methods 2 decades old. To second what DG was saying, also, sprinters seem to need their coaches around much more than distance runners, who can be coached on a long distance basis (phone wise).

Paul
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dan
Chief Pontificator
Chief Pontificator


Joined: 22 Mar 1999
Posts: 9334
Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2002 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I know Loren Seagrave (former LSU coach and has worked with a number of top post-collegiates) has worked with Francis' system at least a bit and differs in approach. I have also heard members of John Smith's camp speak of how Francis and Seagrave's methods are outdated. Whether that means they truly differ in approach or if they're simply trying to separate themselves from the B.J. drug spectre is a valid question, though. Who me, cynical? Wink

Conway's comments are interesting. I wonder if a related piece to the puzzle is the fact that most major college programs look to the sprint coach to head the program, so distance coaches feel a further need to make a name for themselves?

Dan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Distance_Guru
World Class
World Class


Joined: 09 Mar 2002
Posts: 1280
Location: Nebraska

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2002 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conway wrote:

See if you are a distance coach and you share your ideas and at some point THEY WORK you get to claim the credit !!!!!! When you have living examples you don't have to do that !!!!!


I would have to disagree with you. Most if not all of the best distance books are written by coaches that already have had a lot of success. Training for Distance Runners, and later Better Training for Distance Runners was written by Peter Coe after Seb was one of the best distance runners in the world. The Daniels Formula was written after Bob Kennedy had broken 13 mintues. Road to the Top was written after Vigil had coached 19 national champion teams and 87 individual national champs and 400 All-Americans. High Performance Track and Field Training was written by Bowerman late in his coaching career. Coaching Cross Country Successfully was written by Joe Newton after York High School was the most successful program in the country.

I haven't read a distance running book that I considered good, that was written by someon that wasn't already coaching some of the best runners out there.
_________________
Time is the fire in which we burn
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dan
Chief Pontificator
Chief Pontificator


Joined: 22 Mar 1999
Posts: 9334
Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2002 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Daniels Formula was written after Bob Kennedy had broken 13 mintues.

I've always wondered what Jack Daniels had to do with Kennedy, other than putting him on the cover of his book (which I haven't read). Wasn't all of Bob's training under the coaching tutelage of Sam Bell and Kim McDonald?

Dan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Distance_Guru
World Class
World Class


Joined: 09 Mar 2002
Posts: 1280
Location: Nebraska

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2002 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I understand, Kennedy switched to Daniels about a year or so before he broke 13. Although his training prior to that was done under Bell.
_________________
Time is the fire in which we burn
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Conway
Olympic Medalist
Olympic Medalist


Joined: 25 Aug 2001
Posts: 3570
Location: Northen California

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2002 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we need to take a look at and define what is meant by success ...

Having great high school cross country and track teams only counts if you have individuals that are at or near the world class level (at least on the Junior level) ...

Same for great college cross country and track teams ... Non-high quality performers beating up on other non-high quality performers doesn't fit the definition of success for me ... Reason being is I am looking at success compared to those outside of our borders that we have ot compete against - the rest of the world ... and maybe that is my own quirk ... But I think knowledge should move down the lader not up it ...

Now I will take Peter Coe as an exception - having coached his son who in my opinion is one of the best ever in the 1500 (I have reservations about the 800) ... But i have difficulty with Daniels as Kennedy has acknowledged that he went to Europe to work with the Africans and THAT is how he ran sub 13:00 !!! And while this may be heresey, I am ont impressed by Bowerman either as he really came on the heals of Dellingers (collegiate level) success and his one true star (Pre) basically did his own thing ...

And if you are talking about authors that have coached the best runners out there then you can't be talking about American authors as as we have already discussed there hasn't been a major American contender in the distances for at least a couple of decades ....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Run-Down Forums Forum Index -> Coaches Corner All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
Page 1 of 7

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group