Monday, July 21, 2014

Training With Cerutty, The Marathon, pt.2

We learned in part one that Cerutty viewed the marathon as being an event in which only the serious, well conditioned athlete should compete. He also believed that training on hard surfaces were a detriment to a runner. The obvious problem with this type of surface was the stress it causes on the body which increases one's susceptibility to being injured. There was another reason and that was: "athletes who train most continuously on hard surfaces are noted for short(er) strides and mincing gaits. So the marathon man, meaning the road runner, must watch that his musculature does not respond by shortening his stride as a result of running on these hard surfaces, thus causing the development of a restricted gait that almost completely inhibits the possibility of being a free mover, with commensurate high speeds."
As previously noted in part one,  Cerutty was a believer in being able to run the marathon distance in training. Once you could do that he taught that marathoners should do a lot of their training at their projected per mile marathon pace. Consider--"He will get his body used to his hoped for marathon speed by running 3 or 5 miles at this pace then easing down between the efforts sufficiently to recover. If he can manage two or three repetitive efforts he will have had a very good workout."
Cerutty also thought that marathoners had to be careful that they didn't develop into 'plodders' as a result of doing miles upon miles in workouts. He advocated the practice of surging distances up to a mile throughout the course of their long runs. He acknowledged that doing so required time but it was an essential component of training because--"As we train so we race. And we shall race as we have trained." (a great quote).
Cerutty also urged athletes to run, "not necessarily any great distance, even five miles, and learn to race faster over the last quarter mile." The rationale for this practice was to develop a 'conditioned response'. Developing this conditioned response "makes fast finishing efforts normal and automatic."
As he wrote--"How futile to have run 26 miles and then be beaten because one was unable by an effort of will to increase pace."
In closing Cerutty said---"Marathon running must now be considered as we once considered 10 and 15 mile events: a distance event, but one in which speed is a very definite factor. It is all a matter of concepts: stepped up training and added power(strength)."
Well said!

1 comment:

  1. The picture above is the Percy Cerutty Oval in Australia.