Part Three: Internet Study
Systems of Distance Running (The dates shown are ballpark
Distance Racing - Late 1800s
Before there were any track meets there were professional
races of all types including walking, distance running, and sprinting. The distance runs were generally done over
great distances like for 1000 miles or 24 hours.
Horse Racing Training - USA
This was mixing fast repetitions with slow ones followed by
significant recovery walks as in horse racing.
Athletes included James Lightbody, and Melvin Shepard. This type of training enabled America to
dominate the early Olympics.
Periodization - Finland
1912-1928 The Flying Fins
The introduction of seasons by coach Lauri Pihkala who
coached Paavo Nurmi, Hannes Kolemainen, Ville Ritola, Volmari Iso-Hollo, Taisto
The Interval Method - Germany 1936-1960 also called Gershler
Professor of physical Education Woldemar Gerschler and
Herbert Reindell (or Rein Dell)
Originally it was the speed of the run that was most
important, they wanted the athlete to get the heart rate up to 180 and the next repeat would occur at 120
bpm. Later the speed of the repeat was a
little less and the recoveries shortened.
Some call that the New Interval Method. Traditionally all of this occurs with standing between fast
runs. Athletes included Rudolph Harbig - 400-800 and Emil Zatopek of Czechoslovakia - 5K to the marathon.
Fartlek Method - Sweden
1937 also called Speedplay
This was first developed by Gosta Holmer, and later Gosta
Olander added Quantity to the runs.
There have been many variations added to what the Swedes
originally did, but it's basically alternating a fast run with a slower
run. Many different speeds, distances,
and intervals are employed. The original
athletes associated were Gunder Hagg, and Arne Anderson.
Arthur Lydiard - New Zealand
1950 - 2004
Long runs/fartlek/speed development/hill training. Lydiard coached all over the world but his
most impressive work might have happened in Finland where they had been stuck
on interval training for many decades.
They turned out Lasse Viren, Pekka Vasala, and Olavi Suomalainen. Cerutty, Igloi, Nurmi, and Lydiard are often thought of as
having collaborated on a lot of ideas.
Mihaly Igloi - Hungary 1950-1970
The method Igloi used was mostly based on short runs of
various speed between 50-400 meters with very short jogs between. He never timed his runners and workouts
varied quite a bit from day to day.
Volume was very high and long runs were employed every week. This method produced 49 world records, some
at distances no longer raced. Athletes
included: Lazlo Tabori, Istvan Rozsavogi, Sandor Ilharos of Hungary. Then the 1956 Hungarian Revolution took place
and Igloi left Hungary. It's possible
this might have been the best training method in the world, but it lost
momentum with the war. Other athletes
who employed this method: Bob Schul,
Vladimir Kuts, and Jim Beatty. Paul Geis
used this method in high school.
Australian Approach - Australia 1950s/1960s Stotan Philosophy of Percy Cerutty
Cerutty was probably influenced by several coaches but most
especially Lydiard. He was very famous
for having his athletes run hilly sand dunes. He increased the intensity and
volumes as the athlete could handle it. Athletes included Herb Elliot, Ron Clarke, John Landy, Dave Stephens, Les Perry, and Betty
Oregon System - USA 1960s/1970s Hard/Easy
Bill Bowerman/Bill Dellinger
They are very famous for the 30/40 200 meter run drill. You run 200 meters in 30 seconds/recover with
one in 40 seconds/repeat until you can't do any more. Steve Prefontaine held the record at one point at 18. Other athletes: Alberto Salazar, Rudy Chapa, Steve Bence, Paul Geis, Galen Rupp, Lisa Martin, Joaquim Cruz, Jordan
Peter Coe/Dr. David Martin - 1980s Great Britain
Popularized the Tempo run and advertized Indoor Circuit
Sebastian Coe was supposed to have run only 50 mile weeks
but they did not count his warm ups.
Steve Cram and Steve Ovett advertised higher training volumes.
Jack Daniels Training Formula - 1998 USA
Daniels helped coach Jim Ryun to a silver medal in the 1500
altitude in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic games.
Daniels plan in it's current form is meant to optimize training so that
the athlete does not have to run more or harder than necessary. This plan also has complex formulas to follow
based on your current training level.
Daniels got his periodization plan from Lydiard.
The Kenyan Way - Kenya
Current Coaches Mike Kosgei,
Brother Colm O' Connell, Albert Masai, Danny Kibet, Amos Korir.
Culture and Expectations seem to be behind the domination by
this country. At this point most scientific studies cannot find any physiological
reasons. Running at altitude and long
hills helps but there are other countries that have these things, even parts of
Athletes: Wilson Kiprugut,
Kip Keino, Mike Boit, Henry Rono, William Sigei, Yobes Ondieki, Tegla Loroupe, Edna
Kiplagat, Emily Rotich, and Esther Kiplagat.
No one asks why a local college or high school wins year
after year. Maybe it's the culture and expectations!
Ethiopian Era - Ethiopia
Current Coaches Sentayehu Eshetu,
Melaku Deresse Biratu
Ethiopians more than any other nation are historically known
for their finishing speed. Perhaps it is here that Lydiard's training methods have had
the most modern effect.
Lydiard's New Zealand runners were known to be able to rip
off a 47 second quarter mile according to Paul Geis. New Zealand ran lots of hills in training as
a rule but more importantly they did running drills on hills and often finished
practices with fast strides.
No Ethiopian training session ends
without doing some sprint drills. They
also run an incredible amount of short hills (100 meters) fast! The hills they run are gradual and they run
them with good form.
"Yifter the Shifter" Yifter was able to finish 10,000 meter runs with
a last 52 second 400, Haile Gebrselassie, once finished a 27:10 10K with a 200
in 25.2!, Kenenisa Bekela, Deratu Tulu, Gete Wami, Meserat Defar, Turinesh
Dibaba, Fatuma Roba.
"African runners tend to be much happier and joyful about running. This is a generalization, but they thoroughly enjoy what they do."