I joined the excellent Scholars program last week – which you can find here: https://www.scienceofrunning.com/the-scholar-program?v=47e5dceea252 (Steve Magness and Jon Marcus)
Which takes you through a program of study that helps build a base of coaching knowledge.
In terms of broadening my knowledge and allowing me access to a whole world of coaching, this appears invaluable. I’m hoping to use to help develop how to work with the 13 year olds that I’ve been coaching at Paddington Track on Tuesday evenings. The lack of obvious support for coaching junior athletes has helped push me to study (I’ve found 2 good books from the States that I’ve been reading, one called Training Young Distance Runners by Larry Greene and Russ Pate another called The Youth and Teen Running Encyclopedia by Mick Grant & John Molvar) but it was a frustration / concern at first as to how to manage this.
That aside one of the early units was on the background to Bill Bowerman. Jon Marcus was great at taking me through a brief overview of Bowerman. Part of this was outlining Bowerman’s 10 ideas behind training and the suggestion was made to do this yourself, so I have. As a list this should be gone back to, reflected on, changed and adjusted as suits. In terms of helping an athlete / runner understand what is behind what you teach or coach this feels really helpful and supportive, so here is my current starting list (and mine is 11 as I thought of 1 more than is key):
- Posture, form, technique, good mechanics = drills to improve
- Finish a session stronger than you started. Training is to tune up not tire out.
- Every run should have a purpose or intention.
- Finish your session, consider what happened, learn from what happened, adapt and move on to what comes next.
- Always train for speed – whatever the distance. It reinforces good form. Neurologically it challenges you to use as much as possible.
- Easy days – easy, recovery is key, rest, sleep.
- Breathwork – Use it mindfully, suit the way you breathe to the task at hand. Nasal for easy, unless talking. Breath holds to warm up, slow breathing to cool down.
- What you put in you get out – food, time, rest.
- Pace, pace, pace = focus and patience. You won’t finish better by going too fast too soon.
- Enjoy, relax and smile. Running is the gift of freedom.
- The most important person is you – input can help, but how you use it is what makes the difference. You drive the changes that you experience.