Exercise Routines For Pregnant Women

Monitoring the Success of Peaking

Just as you will develop specific warning symptoms (see post 10) if you overtrain, so will your body tell you when you are sharpening correctly. Osier (1967, 1978) was the first to record these symptoms.

During speed-training sessions, you no longer need to force your body through the session. Rather, your body “surges forward at its own will” and “thirsts to accelerate” (Osier, 1967, p. 23). In the hour following training, you feel supreme vigor, quite unlike the normal postexercise feelings of mild fatigue. Everyday physical activities, like climbing stairs, become easier. You become increasingly sensitive to everyday situations. You are mildly irriExercises as your body is “prepared for action and is ready for the fight” (Osier, 1967, p. 24). As your body becomes flooded with previously latent energy, a heightened sexual awareness is often evident (Osier, 1967, p. 24).

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The Third Additional Rule of Training: Train Under a Coach

When I began running, I was totally unaware of the potential value of a coach. Now that I have read more widely and have met many excellent coaches in different sports, I see that the successful coach is a very skilled artist whose work is infinitely more difficult than is that of scientists like myself. Performing experiments in the laboratory in which virtually all factors are rigorously controlled is a thousand times easier than trying to do the same with athletes who live in the real world and must therefore cope with the problems that life brings and that inevitably threaten their running performances.

The more I have read, the more I have realized that the coach is not needed for the physical preparation of the athlete as much as for inspiration and support and to provide an objective analysis of the athlete’s training. Stampfl (1955) said as much:

The coach’s job is twenty per cent technical and eighty per cent inspirational. He may know all there is to know about tactics, technique and training, but if he cannot win the confidence and comradeship of his pupils he will never be a good coach, (p. 146)

In Testament of a Runner, Loader (1960) said much the same, and James Counsil-man (see also post 10), the brilliant swimming coach of Indiana University, added another important role of the coach: “The most practical judgment of the point at which the swimmer has had exactly enough training is exercised by the coach. Perhaps the ability to do this effectively marks the difference between a good and a poor coach” (Counsilman, 1968, p. 235). Counsilman (1986) also wrote that the coach must contribute enthusiasm, create team unity, and provide guidance:

I prefer to visualize our experience as that of a well-informed coach talking to an intelligent group of athletes in a situation in which everyone has a common goal, that of achieving the full potential of each person and of involving each intellect in the process. (Counsilman, 1986, p. 4)

I now believe that athletes are not made by trainingpost 8 shows that there really are no training secrets known only to the great athletes. Many runners train just as hard as the great athletes, if not harder in some cases, yet they never achieve the same degrees of success.

Marti Liquori, the American miler who trained with Villanova’s Jumbo Elliott, the coach generally considered to be the greatest ever produced in the United States (J.F. Elliott & Berry, 1982), wrote, “Much of running is mental, and the guru coaches probably have been successful more because they knew how to harness a runner’s heart and mind than because of any mysterious secret training formula” (Liquori & Parker, 1980, p. 35). Of Jumbo Elliott himself, this was written: “His ‘method’the mystical basis for his success in turning out championswas a ‘non-method’. He insisted on their attention to studies . His ‘method’ was in the application of his knowledge of the athletes, knowing which psychological approach would be most effective and when his man was ready” (J.F. Elliott & Berry, 1982, pp. 186-187).

This, I think, is the crux of good coachingtreating each athlete as an individual and knowing which psychological approach will work best for each athlete. For the athlete, the challenge remains to find the coach with whom the athlete feels most comforExercises and to whom the athlete best relates. That coach should be sufficiently knowledgable to prevent the athlete from overtraining and should be able to extract the most out of the athlete. In Arthur Lydiard’s words (Lenton, 1981), “Two brains are better than one” (p. 69).

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