Runbayou: Training philosophy

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Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan - Tom Landry

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Philosophy 101

"Take a primitive organism, any weak, pitiful organism. Say a freshman. Make it lift or jump or run. Let it rest. What happens? A little miracle. It gets a little better. It gets a little stronger or faster or more enduring. That's all training is. Stress. Recover. Improve. You'd think any damn fool could do it, even...
But you don't. You work too hard and rest too little and get hurt." - Bill Bowerman

Look, training for a marathon is hard work. Once you've decided to prepare yourself to run a marathon as fast as your body will allow, you're going to push hard for ~6 months. It would really suck to get 5 months into it and then get injured. But let's face it, training hard is going to increase your risk of injury. But if you don't push yourself hard enough, you won't be happy with your marathon results. So what do you do? How do you get fast faster?

The answer is actually quite theory. First and foremost, follow the most basic law of training.

The most basic law of training
Each and every training stress should be followed by an amount of rest (or recovery) which is appropriate to allow for optimal performance progress. In other words, optimal progress or improvement is the result of balancing optimal training stress with optimal training rest or recovery. For you engineers in the crowd, this can be stated in a formula as:

Optimal Stress + optimal Rest = optimal Progress

So what is optimal for you? Just how hard do you run to create optimal stress? How much rest is optimal between work-bouts and workouts; before and after races? How many miles per week is optimal? And how do you know if you are getting optimal progress? Although these are difficult questions to answer, one thing is certain, optimal is not pushing yourself as hard as you can in every training run you do.

Don't get me wrong. This program is not for wimps. You will push yourself. Trust me!

Knowing when to push hard and when to rest depends on your goal. For example, if your marathon is tomorrow, you should not run a hard 15 miles today. In other words, when you want to achieve your goal should help you answer some of the above questions.

It's your running, your goals, and your training. There are some organized workouts but ultimately, you will need to learn the best training regimen for you. Each phase of the program is designed to emphasize and optimize a specific system you'll need for the next phase. Learn why you're doing a workout and you'll have a training program suited to you and your goals.

Additional details of the Runbayou philosophy can be found at these links.

bulletThe most basic law of training - It is key to the program. Have you memorized it yet?
bulletOptimal stress - Training at the appropriate running paces.
bulletOptimal rest - Rest and recovery: the second variable in optimal training.
bulletOptimal progress - Getting fast faster.
bulletPeriodization - Structured periods of time (phases) that focus on specific physiologic systems; do these in order to decrease your chances of injury and optimize your training.
bulletGoal setting - Goal setting is key to the program. If you don't know where you're going, how will you know when you're there?
bulletWeight training - Proper weight training for endurance and strength...not for body building and not for playing football.

Bibliography - see articles

This is Runbayou Philosophy 101. It is not meant to be an exhaustive review of the physiology of running and/or training...there is a lot more to it. That said, I hope this information stirs your interest to learn more about endurance training.

Important: Training for a marathon is strenuous. You should have a proper medical checkup prior to beginning this program. Please read the Runbayou philosophy prior to doing the workouts.

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Last modified: 07/27/08