Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bobby McGee Running Plans on Training Peaks at last
Marketing is not nearly a big enough issue for me in the work that I do. I am always so enamored & absorbed in the world of performance & keeping up with all the research & how to apply that so as to ensure peak performance for my clients that there is precious little time left to pursue the more business oriented aspects of what I do.Bobby McGee

When it comes to run training I am often amazed when I meet athletes & coaches with whom I do not have a working relationship, how illogical & non-specific their approach is to run training can be. When I 1st started coaching some 20 years ago I was always looking for the perfect training plan & many athletes & inexperienced coaches still feel that way, (I meet them every week!). After about 7 years of coach education, on top of my formal training in exercise science, & coaching experience in the field, I realized that I had developed a rough philosophy of training that “answered” most of the questions I had in those early years. Of course I now have more questions than ever – that’s what happens when you learn more & more about less & less I guess! Just today, when receiving an email from one of the world’s greatest triathlon coaches in my estimation, he stated that he wishes he knew of some definitive way in which to learn the “art” of coaching – he was a numbers guy & pure scientist & is now fully in the camp of: science to evaluate, support & inform & art to apply & execute as performance.

Anyway, the approach I used that produced an Olympic champion, some world records, a number of world championships & podiums & world number 1 rankings is now obtainable in sets of training plans that are available on Training Peaks: Currently they include 3 of each plan for 5, 10km & the half marathon. These plans are sorted according to the time available to the runner to train. Unique to these plans is that each plan also has a run/walk alternative; something that I have been pushing for some years now as the answer to the high injury rate of runners & the frustrating performance plateaus that so many athletes seem to struggle with.

Check them out & see if they meet any of your run training needs.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

12. Triathletes listen up – your swim & bike could be hurting your run.

This is the last of the 12 part blog that has been going on over the last few months - or more than a few actually! If you have any requests for me to revisit issues, or embelish certain concepts, let me know. Thanks for the comments on the last blog by the way! As with my Runner's World column, I'll try to mix the run & sport psych. stuff up as I go along...

• Fatigue from S&B (swim & bike) leave less margin for pacing errors on the run

• Triathletes are generally heavier than runners

• Triathletes have less time to develop the run

• S&B muscle function (concentric) is opposite to the run (eccentric)

• S&B are supported activities, no need to combat gravity on every stroke like running steps

• In triathlon the swim & bike are partial effort activities, while the run is a maximum effort

More specifically:


• Bigger upper body musculature needed to swim lowers VO2max, raises center of mass

• Are set up ipsilaterally – i.e. the left hip and shoulder work together instead of opposite as running requires

• They have well developed engines but lower bone density – i.e. a weak chassis for running

• They have a “hard work” mindset which when applied to running may lead to break down


• Poor hip flexor mobility may make them quad dominant runners (poor extension, high launch angle), with rearward leaning shins at impact & slower stride rates

• The muscles on the outside of the thigh (vastus lateralis) may tend to be too large – may cause patellar tracking problems, IT Band Syndrome and add speed-limiting weight to the lever

• The upper calf muscles (gastrocnemius) may tend to become too large adding weight to the leg down low; a bad thing if you want to be able to swing that lever through quickly!

• Cyclists may tend to become hunched over and their connective tissue resets in this pattern. This impacts their posture and ability to maintain a tall and “stacked” posture when they run. They bend at the waist/hips & run as if their behind is stuck in a bucket

With the above in mind, develop training that counteracts these & do not allow the other sports to “blanket” the run conditioning especially as it pertains to the run neuro-muscular skill component. This can happens especially when riding the bike too much when injured on the run – use other alternatives.

© Bobby McGee – Bobby McGee Endurance Sports