Middle Distance & Distance Running & Speed

Speed First! Yes you must work on speed first and foremost. It must be part of every training cycle. I find it quite amusing when I hear a runner say that I have been working on base work, but I have not started speed work yet. The problem with that approach is that they are not training to run fast, they are training to run far, and they hope that the fast will come. The inevitable result is undue soreness and greater risk of injury because of the abrupt change in the training program when they do start to run fast. Read more

Vern Gambetta

Food for Thought From Martin Bingisser

Martin Bingisser is a Swiss hammer thrower and coach. His blog http://www.hmmrmedia.com/ is on my must read list. I think Martin is one of the bright young minds in track & field. I find his ideas informative, stimulating and challenging. Here he is talking about his coach Anatoly Bondarchuk, a true coaching legend: Read more

Vern Gambetta

Random Thoughts, Ideas and Observations

Coaching is teaching, the key to good teaching is communication and the key to communication is not more talking, it is more listening. Good coaches listen more and talk less. Then they act (not react) on what they hear. Read more

Vern Gambetta


It is so easy in coaching to get caught up in the outcome – The win in the game, a personal best run jump or throw. Sometimes we tend to forget that the outcome is a result of the process and the process takes time. The devil is in the details on the daily preparation and the focus in training. Read more


lonerangerIf it is to be it is up to me we. Success is not about me, it is about we, it is about collaboration, working together with other people to achieve a shared goal. You can’t do it alone. You need a support team. That support team can be as big or as small as you need it to be. For me my support team consists of friends, professional colleagues, mentors, and above all family. The Lone Ranger had Tonto, Holmes had Watson, Butch had Sundance, Jobs had Wozniak, Watson had Crick. Just a few example of famous teams. Make sure your team is not composed of ‘yes men” people who always agree. Dissent is healthy in fact it is productive. Otherwise you have intellectual incest where the same ideas are continually passed around and no progress is made. Successful people have colleagues or affiliations, it very tough to go it alone. Build your team to be the best you can be.

Vern Gambetta


This is from today’s NY Times Opinion Page. Although the article is about Mexico, it could be about the United Sates. This is a powerful statement that needs our attention as a nation. We are turning out generations of dolts who can check boxes on standardized tests and text like crazy on their so-called smart phones, but they are functionally illiterate. Read more

Vern Gambetta

Foundations of Functional Training

The body is a link system; this link system is referred to as the kinetic chain. Functional training is all about linkage – it is all about how all the parts of the chain work together in harmony to produce smooth efficient patterns of movement. Most conventional academic preparation in Exercise and Movement Science focuses on studying individual muscles based on classical anatomy. This is where the confusion begins as to what is functional movement. Read more

Vern Gambetta

Being Skeptical

Sometime being skeptical is good and other times it can be harmful. I find that in today’s world of instant information and marketing hype that turning on the skepticism can be a good way to filter the information. I saw the following not long ago, I think it is a good template. I am not sure of the source so I cannot give credit to the author. (If someone knows please let me know). Read more

Vern Gambetta

Thoughts on Planning a Training Session

The individual training session is the cornerstone of the entire training plan. The individual training session is the point of implementation of the long-term plan. A long-term plan is a succession of linked individual training sessions in pursuit of specific objectives. Read more

Anything There?

I just bought a book (quite expensive I might add) by one of the current guru’s because I am always trying to learn and increase my knowledge base and it was highly recommended by a young coach. It was full of marketing, buzzwords, pseudoscience and general mumbo jumbo. Yet this is one of the current bibles that many young coaches are going to. Read more