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Dan
Chief Pontificator
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Joined: 22 Mar 1999
Posts: 9334
Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no question there are good books and writings out there, but my feeling is there are far more bad ones than good. If you look just at numbers and averages, there's a solid chance coaches are being hurt more than helped as a result...

Quote:
Most of the injuries I have to deal with I have never suffered through.

That may be largely why I differ in opinion. I've personally suffered from most injuries anyone has heard of, and even quite a few that no one knows what to make of, so much of what I recommend is from personal experience. I have rarely known the medical field or related literature to diagnose any running injury correctly or prescribe a useful course of rehab.

For the most part, what I have been told by trainers and physios is some of the worst advice I've ever heard. Straight from a textbook with no real world application... So no, I don't have the luxury of learning from and observing sports doctors, but that's a good thing. Smile

Dan
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Distance_Guru
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Joined: 09 Mar 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leave it to Hammer to restart a dead debate, fine by me, this one could actually be rather productive.

My take on this is that books can be an aide if you get the right one and use your own good judgement along with it. As for trainers, I'd have to say that they do vary greatly in their quaility. The trainer that I had during my college running days was awsome. I had a couple of weird injuires that most trainer never would have figured out, I once bruised the caratilge under my knee cap that caused swelling and pain when I was running. She got it on the first diagnosis and we got it treated right away. Although I will admit that she was probably better than your normal trainer there are good ones out there. The same goes for books, there are good ones and there are less good ones. What I generally do is ask someone that knows more than me about what ever it is I'm trying to learn, which books to use. In other words I think reading is a good thing, but reading the best books is the best way to go.
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Hammer
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Joined: 17 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2002 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan- Well you covered the injury aspect of my post but what about periodization. How does one learn about periodization of workout without reading books on periodization and phisiology??

If a person learns this type of information from someone else, (another coach) are they really coaching or are they just copying someone elses system? And if a person does not fully understand periodization are they really setting up a training plan (that is going to benefit their athlets over a period of time) or are they just filling in workouts that they make up?
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Hammer
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2002 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan- Were you implying in you post that you know more about running injuries (diagnosis, treatment) than Doctors?
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Dan
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2002 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How does one learn about periodization of workout without reading books on periodization and phisiology??

Trial and error, which is what I believe you're left with anyway after reading how other people have done it...

To address what appears to be rather interrelated and not at all mutually exclusive questions...

1) "If a person learns this type of information from someone else, are they really coaching or are they just copying someone elses system?"

Depends on a lot of things, such as if they have truly internalized and believe in the system, if they are pulling their inspiration from more than one system, how good the system is, etc. No different than reading it in a book.

2) "And if a person does not fully understand periodization are they really setting up a training plan or are they just filling in workouts that they make up?"

I would say the latter, which is precisely my point about figuring things out for yourself instead of regurgitating what someone else has said to do.

Quote:
Were you implying in you post that you know more about running injuries (diagnosis, treatment) than Doctors?

Absolute knowledge, absolutely not. Practical knowledge, maybe. Depends on the doctor and who's doing the judging of my knowledge... Smile I know I've helped athletes become healthier than they were told would be possible by doctors, so make of it what you will. I have very little confidence in the medical community on many different levels, and that feeling comes largely from experience, not from prior biases.

Dan
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Hammer
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2002 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan- I really have a problem with coaches that say that they won't read. I understand that a lot of what coaches do is trial and error but if they do not have a basic understanding of phisiology how can they make adjustments??

If a coach learns, only, by talking to other coaches are they really getting the full message? I think that most of the time they are not. They only get the 'cliff notes' version. I am very carefull about whom I take advise from. If they can't show me that they have an understanding of the running system then I really don't pay attention to them. I have seen a lot of SUCCESSFUL coaches who don't no much about running. Yes they have good teams but their runners never seem to improve (begining of season to the end of the season or season to season.)

So if a coach WILL NOT read who do they get their informantion from and is that infomation high in quality?
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Dan
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2002 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why does a coach have to understand physiology in order to make adjustments? Why not intelligence, common sense, or the understanding of the difference between parsley and thyme in Italian cooking??? Unless you can make a convincing argument for how an understanding of physiology is essential to coaching, it simply does not follow that not having it would be a detriment.

Quote:
If a coach learns, only, by talking to other coaches are they really getting the full message?

Conversely, if a coach learns only be studying sources who's main claim to fame is being published, is he getting the wrong message? Correct me if I'm overlooking something, but I don't believe I've said anywhere not to read. What I have said is that I don't find much value in it and I think, on average, coaches hurt themselves more than help by relying on the writings of others. I have also been careful to point out that I'm not talking about anyone specific here, so there's no need to try and "read" between the lines...

However, I do find it highly amusing that you and DG -- by far the most vocal anti-Runner's World folks among this group -- are also the most in favor of reading as much as possible.

Quote:
I have seen a lot of SUCCESSFUL coaches who don't no much about running. Yes they have good teams but their runners never seem to improve (begining of season to the end of the season or season to season.)

Doesn't sound too successful to me...

Dan
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Conway
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2002 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just can't watch any more ... Laughing

Most doctors know little about athletic injuries ... why do you think NBA, NFL, and other major sports athlets fly all over the country (and sometimes the world) to work with that handful of doctors that do !!!!! They don't go to the local HMO doctor ... They don't even go to the local Med Center doctor .... They seek out renowned specialists with a history of treatment and success with various specific injuries ... And getting a second or third opinon often involves mutliple flights between states and/or countries ...

The same goes for the elite in track and field ... Mo Greene, Marion Jones, ElG, Devers... They do the same thing ... Seek out those physicians who KNOW how to deal with their problems ... Heck when Ben Johnson had his hamstring injury prior to the 88 Olympics he left the country to find THE guy who knew how to handle hamstrings !!

What athletes do to their bodies is nothing like what the average person's body goes through ... And most doctors have no clue what theya re looking at with most athletic injuries ...

Same for reading ... I am an avid reader on a variety of topics many not sports related believe it or not ... And one thing is consistent ... Theory is very much different from practical application !!! Theory says I THINK this will happen IF ... Practicall application says "from ACTUAL EXPERIENCE I have OBSERVED the following to occur ... The key to reading (if you are looking to do so with the intent of duplicating what you read) is to try to duplicate that which is proven ... Otherwise you are trully entering the world of trial and error ...

Conway
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coachd
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2002 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have seen a lot of SUCCESSFUL coaches who don't no much about running. Yes they have good teams but their runners never seem to improve (begining of season to the end of the season or season to season
Quote:
Doesn't sound too successful to me...


Success is measured differently by different coaches, schools, athletes. For example a team that has placed say 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd and 5th at nationals the last five years might be considered "extremeley successful"...but what if going into that first year of the cycle this team had recruited six of the top ten athletes in the nation to run for their program? Wouldn't that scream "national champs!" somewhere down the line? Yet...Stanford didn't win with these women. I'm not saying they didn't know what they were doing at Stanford--just making a point about measuring success.

Many big name programs recruit the best kids and they never get any faster--but they come in fast enough to compete at a fairly high level and as long as they stick with a reasonable program, they contine to contribute.

Other programs recruit much less talented athletes, make big strides with them and may never reach the national level...who is being more "succesful"?...An example would be our school record holder at 8k (sub-25:00)---he never broke 10:10 for 2 miles in high school...yet was runner-up in our conference and beat many All-Americans in the process.

Would someone be more successful as coach if they recruited a Foot Locker finalist and 9 flat, 2- miler and turned them into 14:30 All-Americans or the coach who takes a 5-minute miler and develops a 4:20 miler?...The All-American will get the recognition, the coach can say he "coached another All-American"...the 4:20 guy? We'll never hear about him or his coach.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2002 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting scenarios, but I've yet to meet or talk to a person who considers the Stanford women's XC team to be successful... Most consider it the biggest failure in collegiate cross country, actually.

Dan
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coachd
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2002 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree...Stanford has not achieved on the level one might expect, but the average fan, athletic director, media person, etc. would certainly look at 5 top-five finishes in five years and say, "hey, that's a successful team"...have they achieved to the degree a knowlegeable fan, athlete or coach might expect--absolutely not.


Calling them the biggest failure in college cross-country might be pushing it a little, but then you must associate with a lot of anti-Stanford individuals up there in Oregon...I see a lot of material from camps, clinics and the like that extoll the virtues of Stanford, it's program and coaches--so there are certainly people who consider Stanford a successful program. Not that I would include myself among that group.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2002 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you talking about Stanford's men and women, or just the women? There really isn't all that much anti-Stanford sentiment around here. A number of top Oregonians have gone there in recent years... No question the men's team has been successful, not only recruiting talent but also developing it. The development on the women's side has been worse than non-existant -- most of them have gotten worse!

Dan
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coachd
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2002 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[
Quote:
However, I do find it highly amusing that you and DG -- by far the most vocal anti-Runner's World folks among this group -- are also the most in favor of reading as much as possible.


I'm not sure I want to get into this argument, but count me among the anti-RW people on this forum. I once culled article titles for a clinic presentation...I got quite a few laughs reading the titles without identifying the source...there were a few raised eyebrows when I mentioned that they articles all could be found in RW. I cautioned coaches about athletes and parents who read RW and take the advice to heart and wonder why their coach isn't "doing this or that".

RW has some good info...it becomes trouble when it tries to be a training resource--all you have to do is wait a few months and they will contradict themselves in another article. Of course there is nothing wrong with presenting varying points of view---but, an article called "The Greatest Training Breakthrough in 20 Years" should not be followed in two months by "New Training Plan Will Make Others Obsolete"...or some such nonsense.
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coachd
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2002 12:29 pm    Post subject: stanford Reply with quote

Well, it seems Vin Lananna is the coach...er, "director" of both programs. So is he "succesful" or not? I know he has fired (?) let go (?) or otherwise removed a couple of women's coaches in the last five years...is it because they have not implemented his plan or has his women's plan not worked. I really don't know.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2002 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe Lanana has only coached the women for a short time during that period, and from what I've heard, it was more in title than in presence. Straight out of high school, Stanford's top 5 freshmen women each year should, on paper, be capable of a top-3 finish at NCAAs...

The most compelling reason I've heard for the problems that program revolves around fragile personalities and egos. So many elite/competitive female endurance athletes have severe eating and image disorders coming out of high school that when you take the cream of the crop and lump them all together, you've got a mixture combustible enough to make Bob Whitsitt cringe. Wink

As I've said before, I don't see any value in RW as a training resource, but I also don't believe they see themselves as that, either. I think it's pointless to blame them for not being what they don't pretend to be. The headlines they write are no different than anyone else trying to sell a somewhat mainstream magazine.

Dan
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