Tips from Coach Rod – LA Roadrunners, the philosophy behind our program and how it works

The 2010-2011 LA Roadrunners training will take more of a ‘global’ path in the way we will prepare our runners to complete the marathon and all within realistic finish times and goals. 

Our program is based on the sound and proven training concepts that were developed by the Great New Zealand running Coach Arthur Lydiard.  Arthur developed the program during the 1950′s, and it has proven to be successful for over 60 years. Principles not ‘formulas’ are the KEYS to successful training. So sit yourself down, and spend 5 minutes reading how and why we’re going to make the next 26 weeks the best training you ever had, and perhaps the most enjoyable as well!

Good training and bad training look exactly the same on paper, by that I mean, ‘STAND ALONE WORKOUTS’ mean very little to me as they relate to the training philosophy we embrace at LA Roadrunners.  TRAINING therefore is not a series of numbers that can be universally applied, but rather the art of combining measure, timing and sequence to the individual.  Herein lies the key to this, The LA Marathon “Pace Leaders” are the key in delivering the principles and providing the encouragement and the right pace for each of the Run, Run/Walk and Walk groups.  Through our pace groups they will also “Coach” with consideration to age, gender, ability, fitness and guide each runner through the 26 weeks of training.

Our training schedule is divided into three phases which are outlined below:

Phase 1:  Aerobic Development

The first phase of the LA Roadrunners training is “endurance/aerobic” development.  Think of aerobic running as your “home or foundation base”, the place where you feel most comfortable, and also somewhere you come back to when things are not going well, through stress, emotional, or physical exhaustion.  As the miles build up in volume and distance, we increase the capacity of both the heart and the lungs for effort, we build the circulatory network to the muscles through increased blood flow, increase the number of “mitochondria” in the muscle cells (these are the cellular ‘power plants’, they generate most of the supply of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate is chemical compound that breaks down to release the energy responsible for muscle contraction. It is the only useable form of energy in the body.) we also develop other beneficial pathways for gathering and converting oxygen to energy.

Aerobic training is considered the TRAINING for all other training.  There is no argument, the greatest gain for our runners is made during the Aerobic phase of the Training Schedule.  While easy running is always the safest place to start, it is often the situation that the cardiovascular system develops very quickly while the muscular-skeletal system tends to take longer.

Never progress faster than your slowest part will allow. (You are as strong as your weakest part)

Phase 2:  Feeling Based Training.

We must return to FEELING BASED TRAINING. That is, tune into YOUR inner coach!

One of the many benefits of this aerobic or build up phase, that the slower and then gradually longer ‘slower’ runs will allow the runners to safely build a ‘rapport’ with their body.  This is greatly underrated aspect of training, probably because ‘feeling based’ training systems or programs have generally been dismissed (as a part of most training programs).

When I was training I didn’t have heart rate monitors or any type of device to measure ‘stress’ or ‘over training’, I had to develop an ‘instinct’ of effort or just ‘guess’ where I was until I kind of got the ‘hang’ of it.

Once runners develop ‘instinct’ they will be better at understanding when to ‘back off’,  ‘relax’, ‘pick it up’ and once they begin to trust that ‘instinct’ the more confidence they have in themselves.

Please know, however, that I am a big supporter of every runner, getting or having a heart rate monitor.  If each runner is better able to understand their “training heart rate zone” as it relates to training it will greatly assist us in knowing that we, the athlete, is in the correct training group and training within their ability!

Phase 3:  Balance Training with Recovery

The Key to Training is to apply appropriate training and recovery so that the runner gains steady continuous improvement.  WE IMPROVE NOT WHILE WE ARE TRAINING, BUT WHILE WE ARE RESTING!  More often than not BAD training is a mismatch of ‘overtraining’ and training workload with minimal recovery, e.g. either the training is too hard or the recovery is inadequate, or both. (Rarely is it the result of ‘under training’)  The Roadrunners schedule has, at every 4th week, a cut back week. This is essential for the runners to get sufficient recovery before moving into the next 4 weeks of training. 

If all runners do their weekly runs, stay as best they can with the schedule, and are confident that they are in the right training Pace Group (not because their best friend is there, or they feel that by training harder on the Saturday in a faster group will make up for the lack of training mid week), they will reach their Goal and their Time in the Marathon.

Have a great week!


SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2015