Posts

GAINcast Episode 95: Endurance Planning (with John Larralde)

Over the past month we’ve run a series on endurance training, first discussing concepts and methods and then outlining the basics of athletic development for endurance athletes. On this week’s podcast we bring the conversation full circle to discuss how to bring it all together with coach John Larralde. Larralde shares examples of how he has used different methods with different athletes from different athletes can produce top results. Read more

GAINcast Episode 94: Conference Highlights

Both Vern and I have been on the road a lot over the past two months, attending conferences across Europe and the US. On this week’s episode we discuss the new connections we’ve made, some key lessons learned from many of the keynote speakers, and more. Read more

November in review: adaptation explained

After focusing on getting back to the basics in October, we turned our attention to a new site theme in November: adaptation. In one sense, adaptation is the most basic element of training; everything we do is aimed at trying to get the body to adapt. But the body is complex, which makes our job difficult. Throughout the month we put together a variety of resources to help understand that complexity. An overview is below. Read more

Plan less, prepare more

One of the paradoxes of planning is that, on the one hand, we need to be flexible in our approach so that we can adapt to the complexity of reality. On the other hand, however, human nature makes us less flexible the more time we spend planning. If you follow this logic it means that we should spend less time planning if we want to be plan better. When I was talking about this topic with John Kiely at September’s Scottish Athletics Coaching Conference we agreed that this certainly isn’t the message we want to send to young coaches. But there is nevertheless something to that idea. And if you look at some of the research from behavioral economics there are a few strategies we can adopt that might help us solve this conundrum. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 130: Personalizing the Plan (with Jeremy Fischer)

The real art of planning doesn’t come in creating the plan, it comes in knowing when and how to change it. On this week’s episode we are joined by Jeremy Fischer, Director and Head Coach of the USATF Residence Program. He’s coached World and Olympic champions in the jumping events and explains his approach to planning, plus several cases studies of how he’s had to personalize the plan. Read more

What can the Glasgow effect teach us about stress and adaptation?

This summer ALTIS coach Stuart McMillan wrote “I don’t read coaching books anymore – but all books I read are about coaching.” This is an interesting concept, and it illustrates the importance of knowledge outside of your narrow sphere of expertise. Put simply, once you’ve read a few coaching books, you’ve essentially read them all – there are very few new ideas out there in the coaching world. The same can be said for scientific research; once you have a good base of knowledge in a specific area, there are actually very few groundbreaking papers in that particular niche that drive the field forwards. Read more

One great workout

How many of you walk into the gym, out to the field or onto pool deck with today’s workout as an end unto itself, looking for that one great workout that will make a difference? Think again – today’s workout must fit in the context of the whole training plan. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 129: Triphasic Training (with Cal Dietz)

Over the last five years, University of Minnesota coach Cal Dietz has reinvigorated interest in training methods such as eccentric and isometric lifting and the French contrast through his Triphasic Training Manual. On this week’s podcast, Dietz joins us to discuss the method, how it can be individualized, and his recently released edition for throwers. Read more

Peaking and periodization: are we doing things wrong?

If you watched the recent World Championships it was hard not to notice the performance levels were down. The competition was exciting, but the winning marks were nothing to write home about. Take the shot put, for example. After a year of amazing performances and talk of the world record, only two of 32 athletes threw a season’s best. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 127: Bottom-up Periodization (with Mike Tuchscherer)

The world of powerlifting can be a very formulaic world. The world is easily organized into blocks and percentages in a top-down fashion. But what if your athlete doesn’t fit into the block? Coach Mike Tuchscherer has set world record holders and coached numerous champions himself. He has set out to create a bottom-up approach to periodization that allows for better individualization. On this episode of the podcast he joins us to talk about how he has tried to tackle this problem and incorporated the ideas of Anatoli Bondarchuk into powerlifting. Read more