Thursday, March 13, 2008

Do you need an aerobic base?

Vern Gambetta has a really good couple of posts up today on the need (or not) for an aerobic base for sprinters:

Building an Aerobic Base
For some strange reason the myth that you must build an aerobic base for sprinting still lives. All over the country now as high school track practice is starting sprint coaches are working hard to get their sprinters ready. I have had several emails in the past ten days asking me about the need to build an aerobic base for sprinters. It is not necessary to build an aerobic base, you need to build a work capacity base, not an aerobic base. Taking a group of sprinters and running then for 30 or 40 minutes continuously will have no positive effect on their development. In fact everything about that is negative: 1) The kids get turned off, they are in the sprints because they are faster and explosive – fast, explosive people do not tolerate running slow 2) Irrefutable empirical and scientific evidence tells us that continuous slow aerobic work significantly compromises explosiveness. Very simply said, you are what you train to be – if you train slow, you will be slow! To get fast you must train fast. Start by teaching good running and acceleration mechanics. Get them functionally strong, do something fast every day.

Also see his next post More on “Aerobic Base”


Charles R. said...

Great articles, and absolutely true. Training slow will make you slow. I've seen it happen in world class athletes.

So much training is based on tradition, not science, and not even experience.

Anonymous said...

"You are what you train to be". So true. More athletes need speed training....not jogging lessons.