Specificity To be effective training must be specific to the demands of the

Specificity to be effective training must be specific

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Specificity To be effective, training must be specific to the demands of the event. Thus, in order to be a successful distance runner, an athlete must prepare by doing distance workouts.
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287 C H A P T E R 1 2 Training Distance Runners Also, if an athlete is going to double in a meet, it is important to train specifically for this occurrence. Included in the law of specificity is teaching distance runners the proper start and finish techniques for races. Proper lane usage is also a specific skill needed to be a successful distance runner. Law of Accumulation While not one of the universal principles of training, the law of accumluation is an important concept to teach a distance runner. The quality and quantity of workouts help improve the aerobic capacity of a distance runner. Each and every run, race and workout add to this law of accumulation. With each and every season of running, the distance runner expands his or her ability to train. Thus, days and seasons run- ning add up. This is why most cross country coaches would like their team members to participate in track and field and most distance coaches in track and field strongly encourage their athletes to participate in cross country. Other sports can also help with the law of accumulation, but cross country and track and field best help to adapt to the law of specificity when it comes to distance running. Gender Considerations This is also not one of the universal principles of training, but both training age and gender should be considered when preparing workouts. Training age (years an athlete has specifically been training to be a distance runner) rather than chronological age should be the primary concern in determining training loads. Sometimes coaches for- get that mature looking freshmen or sophomores may have never trained as a distance runner before. Even though those new athletes may have the speed to keep up with the veteran runners, the volume might do them in over the next several weeks. Young female runners are often capable of keeping up with the veterans in races and sometimes workouts. Once again, it is important to consider the training age of the female athlete when determining her volume. It is far better to undertrain young athletes. This usually ensures a longer, more productive career. Most athletes can see a 2 to 5% improvement in performance each year. Probably the greatest improvement for both male and female athletes will come during the second year of competition.
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288 C H A P T E R 1 2 Training Distance Runners Basics to Teach for Racing Success A. Race warm-up Race warm-up should be similar to the warm-up for a pace or interval day. The core temperature of the body needs to be increased and athlete should be ready to race when he or she gets to the starting line.
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