Quick story. My 3 1/2 year old daughter is a curious soul and asks a lot of questions. After a barrage of questions last evening I asked her why she asks so many questions (thinking I would short circuit her mind for a moment). Without hesitation she responded, “I’m a question asker.”
For many high school coaches the state meet is either over or will soon be over and I think this is an important time to ask questions, becoming a question askers.
Why do we run mileage? Do we run enough? Do we run too much? How does training age impact how much an athlete runs in our program?
How do we assign long run volumes? Is the long run slow…and if so would we be better off with a shorter, faster run?
What do we do for ancillary training and why do we do it? Is there a better alternative? Are we doing things in the proper order (i.e. have we done fundamental work before moving on to more advanced work)?
What is the role of tempo runs and fartlek runs in our program? If they’re not there, why not? If they’re there, are they the right length and the right intensity? How do we know if the length and intensity is right? How does training age impact what we assign?
Because we’re about to race 5,000m in cross country, do we need to do race pace work in the summer? If not, why not? If so, how much and how often?
Do we do hill training? If so, why do we do it? If not, do we need to add it?
I look forward to your comments and I hope this post will start a dialogue on intelligent summer training.
And if you have time to start a book, I’m reading Imagine: How Creativity Works. It’s a great read so far. It’s scientifically based, but told in a very readable form. And as a coffee drinker it’s helped me understand when Java is useful and when it may be a hinderance. Thanks to this post from Vern Gambetta as he turned me on to the book (and no, I don’t read two books in a weekend like he does…very impressive).