Friday, February 12, 2010

Great Thought on Recovery

Even though I have met Frank Shorter and thought he was a little bit of a egocentric running snob, he is pretty knowledgeable about training and what it takes to be a true champion. I mean, the guy won a gold medal in the Olympic marathon in '72, and would have won the gold in '76 if the guy who beat him wasn't such a doper. So, when I was re-reading Running Tough, a great resource for designing tough training runs by Boulder author Michael Sandrock, and stumbled upon this passage about Shorter, it struck my interest. I had even underlined one section of it, and I want to reproduce it here.

"This was one of Shorter's secrets: running his easy days easy, and his hard days extremely hard. A simple concept, but so hard to implement for some reason. Most of us make the mistake of going medium-hard all the time. In doing so, we then become the medium runners and not the champions we could be. I am reminded of the neutral angels whom Dante, that great Florentine poet, places in the first circle of Hell, because, he writes, they were neither hot nor cold. In other words, medium. In striving to run and race our best, we should sometimes be hot in our training and other times cold. Hot and cold, hard and easy, stress and recovery."
-Michael Sandrock, 2001

I love that idea, hot and cold, hard and easy, stress and rest. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? :)


P.S. If I am a coach of an athlete who makes the Olympics, and they have an event the day after the Opening Ceremonies, I am making them skip it and go to bed early. Maybe I will let them watch it on TV in their room. Because these things last forever! No way am I letting a lifetime of training get messed up by one long night of listening to Jacque Rogge spout his political BS for five hours.

P.P.S. And that poor luge athlete that died?!? That is so sad, his poor family and that poor team from Georgia. Just horrible, horrible. I hope that country wins a medal, that would be awesome.


Zachattack! said...

this is a very good point, but so hard to do! i think the key is to be content with your effort on the hard days, and give your legs the slow enjoyment that it deserves

Zachattack! said...


Brian Seppala said...

Excellent attitude, if you feel you have given it your all on the hard days, don't think about it after the fact. Move on, knowing you did all your all, and focus on the next opportunity to get fast!