A wise man once told me…

A wise man once told me, “if you want to get the most out of your running, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just do the basics, and do them perfectly”. When reflecting on the comment I thought at the time it certainly had merit. However, the more I thought about it, the more and more it just made sense.

When observing and hearing about running groups and the sessions they complete, it is hard not to develop an interest in the different ways athletes are prepared for their chosen event.

Some coaches advocate for increased mileage, some do very little, some do many technical sessions and some do next to none. However, on race day it is not uncommon to see athletes from different groups performing close to the same times, prompting the question does one method or session type take precedent over another?

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To answer this question I tend to say that training has to suit the individual. It is common to see athletes present injured after completing certain sessions simply because “another athlete/group does/there is no other way”.

As this is purely an opinion piece I feel that designing sessions all boils down to the fact that training sessions need to be designed to suit the individual, their chosen event and whether the fundamentals and essentials have been met, for example:

– Does a 100-400m runner have enough strength in hamstrings to prevent strain?

– Does the distance runner have enough strength endurance to allow for a certain training volume?

– Does the athlete train to meet the metabolic and physiological demands of the exercise?

I feel that the more we consider the fundamentals and ensure they are present in our runners the more success runners will have.

– Get the fundamentals right and don’t worry what “everyone else” may be doing
– Don’t be afraid to say no if your athlete isn’t ready to progress
– Utilise available and creditable resources to help identify potential flaws in your athlete
– Never be afraid to say “I’m not sure, but I will find out” 


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