Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's Not Just About The Speed

In an interview with German Fernandez (post 3:56 mile race), he mentions that his performance was accomplished on base training and no speed work. German took three weeks off in November after an injury at cross country nationals, then proceeded to put in base training up until two days before the race. On the Thursday before the race he ran 6 x 400 meter repeats in 63 high.

This brings up the point that is often ignored by high school coaches and runners. Base training is very important and speed is not a necessary component early in the season. Many runners start heavy speed training in December and January and continue to do so until the end of the season in May or June. By extending your base training you build strength to handle more intense speed sessions later in the year which leads to top performances when they count, during championship races.

As German proved with his 3:56, you can still put in strong performances off of base training. You do not need to be at your best in January. As German states, "I don't have to win, I just want to improve my times." With the way he is training, he will, and when it counts at the end of the track season.

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