TheETG Master Of Sport
In training and exercise hard work pays off
but smart work pays off at a much higher rate of return
TheETG Training Packets
Mission: Expand the area of what is possible for human performance in distance running. One of TheETG methods of achieving that is to proliferate applied science based information by way of –free– packets containing plain language info for “the average joe” seeking to move themselves or others forward.
TheETG training program —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGMasterOfSport.pdf
TheETG food & supplements —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGmeganutrientsMasterOfSport.pdf
TheETG human psychology —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGpsychology.pdf
TheETG recovery, restoration, adaptation —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGRecoverRestoreAdaptMasterOfSport.pdf
TheETG background science info —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGsportscibackgroundMasterOfSport.pdf
TheETG coach development —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGcoachingMasterOfSport.pdf
TheETG warm-up —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGwarmup.pdf
TheETG range of motion —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGromsMasterOfSport.pdf
TheETG optimal running form —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGrunningformMasterOfSport.pdf
ETG info: genetics vs training —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGgeneticMasterOfSport.pdf
ETG info: physiological overtraining —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGOvertrainMasterOfSport.pdf
ETG info: drugs & drug testing, sham & scam —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGstopdrug.pdf
TheETG running injury repair —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGrunnerinjuryrepairMasterOfSport.pdf
TheETG back, neck, & frozen shoulder repair —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGbackshoulderrepair.pdf
TheETG knee meniscus, ACL, & rotator cuff repair —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGkneeshoulderrepair.pdf
TheETG Track & Field Promotions Project —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGTrackPromotionmasterofsport.pdf
TheETG “This Is Track & Field” document —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGThisIsTrack&Fieldmasterofsport.pdf
To be a good track coach, be a good physiologist
American distance events coaches…..lets stop trying to see how many of us can do things in –the– most traditional manner possible.
Your so-called “success” is a relative term if you only have to out perform a crowd of coaches all married to the same set in stone, out-dated dogma.
The “information age” is the time for American distance events coaches to start seeking to be the most aggressive in their profession in areas of research and development [R & D], to be the ones that seek to innovate the best, and to be the ones that seek to out-do everyone else in training program design. Coaches need to approach coaching quite a bit less like medical doctors with monopoly power and a guaranteed customer base, and far more like a business that has to compete in order to survive. Lets start being less aggressive at how much we have our athletes race and more aggressive at how –well– we have our athletes train.
Running involves the use of human cells. The manner in which those cells function impacts one’s running ability. The number one issue in elite sport is that at some point most athletes experience improvement becoming uncontrollable, unstable, and uncertain. Training in a manner consistent with human cellular function makes improvement more controllable, more stable, and more certain.
To be a good track coach one must -first- be a good physiologist.
To be a good medical doctor one must -first- be a good physiologist..
To be a good physiologist one must -first- be willing to…………
— put data ahead of dogma, follow the data -not- the crowd
— put science ahead of indoctrinated tradition
— put logic and reason ahead of faulty assumptions
— put mechanisms ahead of correlations and “risk factors”
— put critical thinking and clinical reasoning ahead of a memorized set of “if–then” statements
— read and apply large amounts of published research
— accept outcomes as the judge and jury of your work
The norm may not be normal
People in our sport have seen the norm of where performance levels are during their “era” and from that….judged where limitations are set in stone. It may be important to consider that this norm may not be normal. Human Performance in sport, in medicine, in health & wellness…..far more common than the setting of “unrealistic” goals or the creation of “false hope” is the creating of truly unrealistic limitations. Each advance in human performance has confronted so-called “facts” that have clearly -not- been in evidence, dataless beliefs, mindless mindsets, the constant setting and re-setting of limitations that keep turning out to -not- exist.
Back in the day……No man can break the 4 minute mile “barrier”, its physiologically impossible.
— Under the 4 minute so-called “barrier”, May 6, 1954…..mile Roger Bannister 3:59.4
— Under the 4 minute so-called “barrier”, July 19, 1997…..2 mile averaging 3:59.3 per mile, Daniel Komen 7:58.6
— Moving toward the 4 minute so-called “barrier”, July 17, 2015…..women’s 1500m Genzebe Dibaba 3:50.07 about 4:06 mile pace
— Moving toward the 4 minute so-called “barrier”, May 31, 2004…..5000m [3.1 miles] averaging 4:04 per mile Kenenisa Bekele 12:37
— Moving toward the 4 minute so-called “barrier”, August 26, 2005……10,000m [6.2 miles] averaging 4:14 per mile Kenenisa Bekele 26:17
— Moving toward the 4 minute so-called “barrier”, September 28, 2014……marathon [26.2 miles] averaging 4:41 per mile Dennis Kimetto 2:02:57
News flash,”Breaking News”, we’re –not– getting slower. We’re -not- operating on less information about the human body as we enter this “information age”. As we continue to acquire and apply more information, we continue to expand the area of what is possible.
“…what people are seeking is not the answers to problems, but the reassurance that no answers are possible. A friend of mine once said that today’s attitude, paraphrasing the Bible, is:’Forgive me, Father, for I know not what I’m doing, and please don’t tell me’.”—–[Ayn Rand]
Optimal running performance
— Its not about “its genetic”.
— Its not about out-dated coaching methods based on “years of experience”.
— Its not about altitude, mileage, steroids, or red blood cells.
It is about optimizing human cellular function and applying knowledge to get that done. Its best to place oneself on the front-end of change rather than on the wrong side of history. Thus, access to information and the ability to apply it is the major mechanism of success in human performance in health and wellness, in medicine, in Track & Field distance running events.
Training Human Cells —– Distance running mechanisms of performance…..need brain cells to be able to send signals down nerves to induce relatively high muscle force output and continue in that for a prolonged period of time. How many muscle fibers can you recruit, how quickly can you recruit them, how long can you maintain a high level of recruitment.
The major proteins that your training program needs to cause production of, to a very high level for high level performance…….
1 — Proteins involved in synaptogenesis [production of connections between brain cells to aide in synchronization of muscle fiber force output]
2 — sodium/potassium/chloride/calcium pumps and channels along brain cell, nerve fiber, and muscle fiber membranes.
3 — mitochondria in and around brain cells, nerve fibers, and muscle fibers to supply large amount of chemical energy [Adenosine tri-phosphate] for cell function.
4 — glucose transporters along brain, nerve, and muscle membranes to increase ability to store fuel [glycogen] after meals for cells to use during running for chemical energy [adenosine tri-phosphate] production.
Each of these proteins has a set of genes that serve as the blue prints to be used to build them. The purpose of a workout is to turn on a gene level process called gene transcription and translation. It causes copies of a gene to be produced, copies of the blue prints needed to build a protein. The copies of the gene, the blue prints for a protein go to a set of workers [ribosomes] that use the blue prints to build a protein.
Your training program needs to be designed in a manner that….
1 — causes the right proteins to be produced
2 — produces the right proteins to a very high level to result in high level fitness and subsequently high level performance
Most of these proteins have multiple iso-forms specific to a given velocity of function. Thus your training program needs to be designed in a manner that…..
1 — causes production of the right proteins, the ones specific to the velocity related to your goal performance level
2 — avoids inducing production of high levels of perhaps slower functioning proteins
This is what applied Sport Sciences looks like.
Sport Science is -not- in wearing a heart rate monitor, doing a bunch of “weekly mileage”, paying somebody to measure your VO2max, doing altitude training, or doing carbo loading.
TheETG Position Statements
TheETG Position Statement:
The Most Fit At Velocities Trained On Most
Your highest level of fitness will be at the paces upon which you do the most training. If you’re following a mileage [volume] oriented training program, add up your “easy days”, “recovery days”, “morning runs”, and long runs.
If most of your training is at 9:00 – 10:00 per mile pace, that is where you will be the most fit.
If most of your training is at 8:00 – 9:00 per mile pace, that is where you will be the most fit.
If most of your training is at 7:00 – 8:00 per mile pace, that is where you will be the most fit.
If most of your training is at 6:00 – 7:00 per mile pace, that is where you will be the most fit.
If most of your training is at 5:00 – 6:00 per mile pace, that is where you will be the most fit.
If most of your training is at 4:20 – 5:00 per mile pace, that is where you will be the most fit.
Your highest level of fitness will be at the paces upon which you do the most training.
If most of your training is at 6:00 – 7:00 per mile pace, that is where you will be the most fit.
If most of your training is at 5:00 – 6:00 per mile pace, that is where you will be the most fit.
If most of your training is at 4:30 – 5:00 per mile pace, that is where you will be the most fit.
If most of your training is at 4:10 – 4:30 per mile pace, that is where you will be the most fit.
If most of your training is at 3:50 – 4:10 per mile pace, that is where you will be the most fit.
If most of your training is at 3:30 – 4:00 per mile pace, that is where you will be the most fit.
The Reality As Long As You Live In This World —— If you abandon the mileage [volume] oriented training program, by deleting the workouts that produce most of the mileage, your “easy days”, “recovery days”, “morning runs”, and long runs…..you can more easily train on faster paces without over-training.
Your highest level of fitness will be at those faster paces, because your highest level of fitness will be at the paces upon which you do the most training.
In a velocity oriented training program you can do this intentionally, on purpose. In a mileage oriented training program, this is often achieved by accident because…..
1. the runner trained faster on their “easy days”, “recovery days”, “morning runs”, and long runs than he/she was supposed to, particularly runners who train in groups, and somebody “feels good” that day and takes off.
2. the runner trained in a group where the majority were much faster runners than he/she was [similar to what happens when one goes from middle school to high school, or from high school to college].
When The Training Gets Faster The Runner Gets Faster—— When the training gets faster, either intentionally–on purpose or by accident, the runner gets faster.
The easiest way to do it intentionally, on purpose, is via a velocity oriented training program.
The Reality —— A training program that allows you to stay in an anabolic state [avoids the over-trained state] and train on paces that are fast relative to the performance levels in your segment of the sport [ie. high school, college, or age group] or in the sport as a whole……is a training program that will get you fit at those paces, because your highest level of fitness will be at the paces upon which you do the most training.
This is where the sport is headed!!!
TheETG Position Statement:
“Progressions” In Training Stimuli [ie. training velocity]
It would appear that the primary downfall, not of unsuccessful training programs, but of highly successful ones [a relative term in today’s changing world], is the lack of the intentional inclusion of protocols for progressions in training stimuli. One can see this training principle [Progression] going poorly addressed not only in sport training, but in orthopedic rehab clinics, cardiac rehab, in preventive medicine, etc, etc.
Using track & field middle distances [ie. mile, 1500m] as a sport example, one can notice that as top athletes approach the world record, and particularly after they set one, they generally tend to stop training at higher velocities. After setting a record, each year afterward they announce their intentions of setting a new record. After a few years go by without a new record set, they state their intention to move up to a longer race distance and/or make a comment about their age or aging. Sometime later, they retire from the sport. How many times and how many athletes have we seen do this since the 1970’s.
To be fair, some went down the path of…….”if I ran this fast on 40 miles per week, 100 miles per week will do so much better”. Their training programs failed to accurately account for and address the intensity vs. volume issue. The injury issues and lack of anabolic status in their ability to adapt to the training stalled or stopped their progress, and they eventually got frustrated and quit.
Having included that crowd, getting back to the main issue……..they may be unaware that what got them to such a high level was the gradual increase in training stimuli, the increase in training velocity as their fitness level progressed. They didn’t stop that. Not until they reached the world record, then suddenly the brakes were applied. The inching forward of records causes people to assume that the micro-increments in which world records move forward is an artifact of human physiology rather than a consequence of training program design [ie the lack of progressions of training stimuli].
No progressions in training stimuli produces no progression in fitness and performance level.
No increase in training velocity = no increase in racing velocity.
The principle of Progression in training stimuli [training velocity] can be seen pretty clearly by looking at the U.S. top 10 fastest athletes list for track & field events at the end of each year. Using the men’s 800m event as an example, one can notice that the same or similar times are run from one year to the next at the number 10 position. Put another way, if you want to finish a track season among the 10 fastest Americans at 800m, then run about 1:46. If you run 1:46, chances are enormously high that you’ll finish the season among the top 10.
In our sport, we tend to attribute this phenomena to something other than intentionally making “Progressions” in the training stimuli. Given where we are as a species in the knowledge of how our body’s cells function relative to our prowess or lack thereof in developing that cell function via training…..I’d like to suggest that we look at the simple explanations first and stop with the excuses related to performance bell curves, normal distributions of performance levels, and “its genetic”, at least until we do better collectively with the training stimulus issues.
1:46.28 in 2014 was the time of the 10th fastest American
1:45.45 in 2013 was the time of the 10th fastest American
1:45.90 in 2012 was the time of the 10th fastest American
1:45.52 in 2011 was the time of the 10th fastest American
1:46.11 in 2010 was the time of the 10th fastest American
1:46.07 in 2009 was the time of the 10th fastest American
1:46.05 in 2008 was the time of the 10th fastest American
1:46.62 in 2007 was the time of the 10th fastest American
1:46.50 in 2006 was the time of the 10th fastest American
1:47.06 in 2005 was the time of the 10th fastest American
1:46.66 in 2004 was the time of the 10th fastest American
1:46.78 in 2003 was the time of the 10th fastest American
1:46.76 in 2002 was the time of the 10th fastest American
1:46.83 in 2001 was the time of the 10th fastest American
1:46.21 in 2000 was the time of the 10th fastest American
Outside of sport, in the orthopedic rehab area we see patients returning for an obscene number of visits to the rehab clinic, forever doing the same exercises with the same rubber tubing or with the same amount of weight [resistance]. People scratching their heads as to why their recovery is taking so long or why it doesn’t seem to be happening at all. What we see in preventive medicine areas are things like the familiar TV commercials that tell us, not if, but when your exercise program fails to lower your cholesterol levels, “ask your doctor” about our magic pill. In the cardiac rehab areas we see patients forever on the treadmill walking at a snail’s pace, while their bypass blood vessels, those put in to bypass the clogged ones, gradually clog up over time.
Gradual, standardized “Progressions” in training stimuli matter.
TheETG Position Statement:
Drug use and drug testing are a sham and a scam
The original purpose of drug testing was to protect the health of athletes. So how did that morph into policing for performance retarding [more commonly referred to as “performance enhancing”] drugs?
Some history. Here is how that happened…….
1 — Directors of drug labs got themselves on the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission in then 1970’s and 80’s. They setup their own labs as the only ones that could be used for drug testing athletes. They placed their arms elbow-deep into the financial cookie jar of sport governing bodies world wide.
2 — They jumped on the bandwagon for adding the term “performance enhancing” in front of the word “drugs” -not- because of the effects of drugs but due to why athletes were trying them. Obviously zero humans on the planet earth do things that harm their endeavors therefore drugs must be performance enhancing otherwise athletes wouldn’t take them. Based on this they gradually started promoting their work as “leveling the playing field” and claiming that they are protecting “clean athletes” from the unfair advantages gained by dastardly “drug cheats”.
3 — Athletes started suing sport governing bodies for lab mistakes and bogus tests. These lab directors saw that as a direct threat to their cash cow. They did what any good capitalist would do. They created a trade organization to do their bidding and guarantee the long term viability of the cash cow. That drug lab trade union is called World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA]. It’s. Local rep is United States Anti-Doping Agency [USADA]. That trade organization has done well. It now has its arm elbow-deep in the financial cookie jar of governments world wide. They’ve positioned themselves such that tax payers are securing their financial future with a relatively endless supply of mo money, mo money, mo money!
4 — They took advantage of the media. A media that was more than willing to report that big name Athlete X tested positive. That big name Athlete X is a “drug cheat”. More than willing to report these things blindly, asking zero questions about the test, the testing, or the testers. More than willing to -not- know whether or not big name Athlete X really tested positive for anything. A media that includes a plethora of lay person commentators, more than willing to repeatedly recite the mantra that drugs are performance enhancing and are thus the scourge of sport.
The belief in the efficacy of magic pills and potions a.k.a performance retarding drugs has empowered all manner of non-sence in sport over the past several decades.
WADA-USADA’s existence is dependent upon maintaining the illusion that they are invaluable, invulnerable, and infallible. That they are “leveling the playing field” and protecting “clean athletes”, that no one can sue them, that courts don’t have jurisdiction over anything related to them, and that they’re accountable to no one. They have come to believe their own bravodo oriented chest thumping rhetoric of being all powerful.
But as the saying goes……Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Years of bravado oriented chest thumping by WADA-USADA has been highly successful in creating an image. An image that says that………
— zero athletes are falsely accused of doping
— zero athletes innocent of intentional or unintentional drug consumption produce a positive test
— their testing kits have been legitimately validated for efficacy and that a positive test means an athlete consumed a drug
— they have the power of a Federal Court
— their declarations of guilt carry the weight of a jury verdict in a criminal trial
WADA-USADA’s image is just an image. They created it. If you buy into it, that’s on you.
“With each glamorous athlete who tests positive, we perpetuate two myths: that these drugs actually work, and that you have to take them.”
[R. Dawson…..Bell Lap….Runner’s World Daily…by Jim Ferstle October 14, 2003]
WADA lab errors falsely accused athletes of doping [ESPN June 23, 2011]&&&
“Ghaly was among three Middle East-based players suspended after the lab in Penang wrongly reported positive tests for the steroid nandrolone. He challenged the analysis but served a one-month ban before his innocence was proved…..”
“Two soccer players in the United Arab Emirates, Samir Ibrahim Ali Hassan and Hassan Tir, served eight-month bans last year before…..cleared their names.”
“In a separate CAS verdict last year, Hassan was awarded $11,900 in legal costs from the UAE anti-doping authority, the report said.”
“CAS ruling said—-“….But for the initiatives of the athletes, and the investigations of other laboratories, the errors would not have been unmasked and the athletes’ careers interrupted, if not terminated.”
from the Marquette Journal Of Sports Law:
“It also creates the risk that athletes will have their reputations, careers and livelihood ruined over drug test results that may not be based on the most accurate and reliable science.”
“….even if a player is exonerated because the testing method is invalid, the damage to their career and reputation would have already been done. Although many in the doping control field would have athletes, and the public, believe that testing is accurate, reliable, and unchallengeable, there are some in their own arena that disagree and are critical of the entire anti-doping system.”
“Donald A. Berry, a biostatistician…..Texas’s MD Anderson Cancer Center argues that the anti-doping sciences are weak and something [he] regards not to be science.”
“Berry dismisses financial and other objections by putting it bluntly: If we cannot as a society afford to fund that sort of effort, then we ought not to be trying to makes these measurements and ruin people’s lives….” “Doing it in a half-assed way is not serving anybody.”
[G.F.E. Birren, J.C. Fransen….The Body And The Law: How Physiological And Legal Obstacles Combine To Create Barriers To Accurate Drug Testing…….Marquette Journal Of Sports Law……Volume 19 #1……Fall 2008…..page 287 -288]
TheETG Position Statement:
Format of major championship track & field meets…..NCAA Championship, USA Championship, World Championship
Track meet presentation. The in-person experience and the televised product. Improving and simplifying the presentation of our sport, particularly at the championship level is necessary over the long term as our sport continues to grow in quality and depth at the professional level. Over the long term, as much as we’ve resisted in the past, at some point we’re gonna have to move to a format for our major championship track & field meets where we place the qualifying rounds together as a group as if they’re part of a separate track meet, held earlier in the week. That, being followed by the finals on a Saturday and/or Sunday, held as if its a separate, stand alone track meet.
I’m proposing a quarter-final, semi-final, and final type of format where 1 or 2 days is designated for finals only. The quarter-final and semi-finals placed for all events in a Monday thru Thursday structure. Finals-only events such as the race walk, 10,000 meters and marathon could be spread across the weekend. Switching to a “finals-day” format provides opportunities for broadcasters to expand and deepen their coverage. And switching to this type of format inherently provides our sport with an opportunity to conduct our championship semi-final rounds as if they are a track meet unto themselves. Set apart on their own day[s] earlier in the week, providing our sport with an additional high value product to sell for tickets, television rights, in-stadium advertising, etc. And obviously in this day and age the rights to the quarter-final rounds can be sold to TV or online broadcasters.
Switching to the separate day format for qualifying rounds, semi-final, and finals provides for a better track fan experience, particularly for ticket purchasers. The track fans that purchase tickets will have a far better understanding of the product they are buying. Those that purchase tickets for finals will know that they don’t have to sit through qualifying rounds of some events, waiting to get to see the finals they are really there to see. Low budget fans can more easily choose a “semi-finals day” ticket and know that they’re still getting to see a high value product.
This format provides athletes and coaches an easier way to plan ahead for championship meets in every area from budgets, to tapering, to race day event prep. This format also allows athletes that are participating in more than one non-relay event to have days where they don’t have a final of one event followed by the opening round of another. They can get all the qualifying rounds out of the way, have a day off, then focus solely on their event finals.
High schools and colleges in the United States should also consider moving to this type of format.
In short, at some point its gonna be necessary for us as a sport to move away from the current model that scatters finals and qualifying rounds across several days to 2 weeks, forcing fans, TV viewers, and broadcasters to be experts at schedule reading to know which finals are happening on any given day. We have an opportunity present our sport in a more logical, easier to follow manner. We should fully embrace that opportunity.
TheETG Position Statement:
Time for Track & Field to leave the Olympic Games
Its been a decade or so since some in our sport, quite wisely in my view, started discussing the subject of making our World Track & Field Championships a stand-alone focus of the sport. Doing so by making a formal separation from the Olympic Games. Achieving this by limiting participation of Track & Field athletes in the Olympics to athletes under 20 or 22 years of age.
Perhaps several issues with the Olympic Games is the universe telling us to get on with it.
Too expensive to host. Too expensive to attend. Ticket prices out of reach of the average citizen of the host country. Fewer country’s making serious bids.
Expensive venues sitting idle after the Games are over.
In the last 50 years the Olympic Games has been a blessing and a curse for our sport. The world stage every 4 years was the blessing. The rules of amateurism and branding issues were the curse. And in the United States in the 1970s when the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball were reaching escape velocity via sport promotions, branding, and athlete pay, we in Track & Field were stuck with the Olympics as a ball-and-chain around our neck. Branded in the public’s mind as a once every 4 years sport. All narratives being that any athlete training must be training for “the Olympics”, in the process of being an “Olympic hopeful”. So attached to the Olympic Games were we that we didn’t even have a World Championship.
We have a World Track & Field Championships. Even the first one in 1983 was worthy of being branded as -the- best track meet on earth. At some point we’re probably gonna have to end our codependent relationship with the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Games. To be a stand-alone sport with a stand-alone championship. Maybe this is a good time to assert the World Championships, an event we control, to be the sole focus and stand-alone Championship at the top of our sport.
TheETG Disruptive Innovation
TheETG primary training program principles…..
1 — Stay anabolic. Keep the body in an anabolic state. If you get that done everything moves forward. If you don’t get that done, nothing else matters. Be highly aggressive at preventing the gradual pile-up of job time, school time, travel, stress, lack of downtime, etc. And in this modern era of distance running it goes without saying that you should permanently place days off in your training program. That’s days, as in the plural form of that word. As in more than one.
2 — Relatively high velocity aerobic training in interval form is all that matters. The faster you train the less frequently you’ll need to train and the lower the training volume required in your training. Repetitions in the corridor of 400m to 1 mile, the corridor of 1 – 7 minutes of relatively high intensity running. Those workouts should never be “periodized” out of a training program. They shouldn’t come and go across the course of a year or sport season as is the traditional approach in our sport. Their presence should be permanent. At the cellular level both endurance and speed emanate from relatively high velocity aerobic training. You’ll have “speed” whether you do sprints or not, you’ll have endurance whether you do “long runs” or not.
3 — Hamstring, calf, or quad issues occur at times when your fitness level is moving forward. The rate of tissue tightening as your fitness level progresses in any given week may exceed the rate [frequency of stretching] and/or effectiveness of your stretching protocol. Such issues may be independent of the strength or lack there-of…of those tissues. Strength training is the most effective rehab approach but not the primary mechanism of prevention. So stay anabolic, have 100% of your workouts consist of reps between 400m to 1 mile, and do formal stretch sessions somewhat frequently to keep up with the rate of tissue tightening as your fitness level moves forward.
So stay anabolic, have 100% of your workouts consist of reps between 400m to 1 mile, and do formal stretch sessions somewhat frequently to keep up with the rate of tissue tightening as your fitness level moves forward.
Do these things and you remove the major limitations and road blocks that are embedded in most traditional approach training programs in our sport.
TheETG training program in a nutshell
What took you so long…..Disruptive Innovation
[by Marshall Burt]
By the late 1980s, I was well convinced that world records were no where near the limits of human performance. I noticed a number of people setting records or winning medals at major championships, or performing at very high levels after down-time forced by illness or injury. Blind assertions by coaches, fans, and media that these people were training optimally and that their records could never be broken by the people that set them or anybody else seemed illogical to me. It soon became plain to me that neither athletes or coaches possessed much knowledge of human cellular function, and thus neither training or performance levels could be assumed to be either optimal or at the limits of human ability.
Following a one week trip to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in 1988 where I attended the USA Track & Field’s Level II coaching education certificate course, I wrote a letter to all of the members of the USATF coaching education committee. The letter suggested that they focus on identifying the underlying mechanisms of performance of each track and field event, and then use that information to develop training programs to apply and teach. Only one person wrote back, basically saying it was a great idea……..somebody ought to do it. It seemed plain that they weren’t intending to be the people to do it, so I decided at that time to begin pursing it on my own. The result of that effort is TheETG Training Packets.
Around 1989, I began developing the “Elite Coaching Support Group” which consisted of several of the top researchers in the world as well as several clinicians [Jack Wilmore PhD, Ed Coyle PhD., Randa Ryan PhD, John Ivy PhD, Larry Abraham PhD, Marsha Beckermann R.D, Allan Besselink P.T. Dip.MDT, Dave Martin Ph.D, Ellen deJong PT] who’s work I believed would be the most helpful to me in identifying the underlying physiological mechanisms of performance, injury prevention, etc. I chose people who’s names I had come across fairly often while reading research, a few people who I knew personally and knew their knowledge would be necessary to acquire, and I chose researchers whose work was well beyond the norm in the area of sport sciences. Access to information is the foundation upon which the club and all its training programs have been built. It is and will always be the underlying mechanism of our success in every aspect of our lives and sport performance.
In 1990 I got closer to creating an “Elite Coaching Library” which I had begun in 1984. Prior to moving to Austin I started with just following 3 or 4 science research journals. After moving to Austin, I was able to dramatically expand the list of research journals I followed in having access to 4 libraries on the University Of Texas campus. TheETG Human Performance Library grew to about 60 research journals across 8 – 10 doctoral disciplines that I follow all year around. The libraries on the University of Texas campus carried nearly all of them. The purpose of TheETG Human Performance Library has been, and continues to be, to acquire, combine, and apply research information from all major areas of sport sciences.
I wanted a science based training program — that provided a large amount of controllability — in producing a large amount of fitness — in a short period of time — from a small amount of training. That was sometime around 1991. I thought it would take about 1 – 2 years to design a program that achieved all of the above.
So the answer to the question….. “what took you so long”. Very little work at high intensities produces large and rapid improvement. Being a distance runner bringing a distance runner’s mindset to this discovery, it made since to me at the time  that if very little work is being done, one doesn’t need much rest day to day. I thought that training days could be grouped together on back to back days followed by a rest day every 3rd – 4th day. A belief reinforced by that model containing more rest days than traditional, mileage oriented training programs.
That was faulty assumption #1. Faulty assumptions are the mother of all screw-ups. Faulty assumption #1 completed stage 1 in the two stage process of “what took you so long”.
Stage 2 came when the resulting over-trained state presented itself. The term “over-training” means different things to different people. Most people in the sport define it in such a way as to relate to a running injury. That’s the common way people think of it. The more common manner in which it manifests itself is in suppressing one’s body from gaining fitness, thus suppressing improvements in performance level. The body enters into the physiological state where your anabolic system [a.k.a. tissue building] is suppressed to some significant degree and thus your ability to acquire training adaptations and move forward in fitness level is suppressed. This can be referred to generally as “Physiological Over-training”, or being in an “over-trained state”.
So stage 2 of “what took you so long” initially came in the form of a stalling-out of what had been a steady, consistent, and rapid rate of progression in fitness level and performance ability. The rate of progression in fitness level eventually progressed to zero. I failed to identify the problem as an over-trained state.
The first in what became a very long line of many assumed///guessed causes of the problem was glycogen depletion and an inadequate level of carbo consumption. So after making adjustments in the training or nutrition programs to resolve that particular assumed/guessed problem, following a period of time obviously I eventually discovered that the assumed///guessed problem wasn’t the problem. So onward to more problem solving, coming up with the next assumed/guessed cause of the problem, followed by another period of time, followed by finding that the assumed///guessed problem wasn’t the problem. I repeated this process for the next assumed/guessed cause, and the next, and the next, and the next.
Each took about 3 – 18 months to cycle through.
So this is the answer to the question……“What took you so long”.
Wasn’t until 2008 that I accepted that the workouts I designed were at an intensity and impact on the body that makes them like miniature races, and thus must be treated that way in terms of rest in between them. By this time I was deep into chronic fatigue and at the beginning of fibromyalgia. That added a couple more years on, since it took about 2 years to get out of that severely over-trained state once the necessary changes to the training program were made. That brings us toward the end of 2010.
Complicating matters, around 1993, I put out some newsletters that stated that the ETG was just about ready to begin achieving its mission statement of taking down American and World records.
Obviously…that didn’t happen. Along with numerous delays in that coming to pass, were other newsletters providing projections/estimations/predictions as to when we would be ready. Around 2000, I made the decision to stop offering any more projections, etc. as to when all this would happen. With each fiddle, tweak, and overhaul of the training program I was convinced that I had successfully dealt with and solved the problem. I announced such resolutions in the ETG newsletter nearly every year between 1993 – 2000, having been thoroughly convinced that we would then move quickly towards our fitness goals. With an unfortunate frequency, I announced that I would be at such-and-such a fitness level, by such-and-such a date. A few months following each episode, I found that the fitness related problems had -not- been solved, hence there was a significant number of false alarms.
So in “what took you so long”, it took about 20 years to get into the ball park of having fully developed a velocity oriented, “all interval training all the time” training program. A project to develop a training program that I thought would take me 1 or 2 years, took closer to 2 decades.
“There are no setbacks or side-treks, there are only experiences along the path to where you choose to go.”
I did a lotta things wrong. Listed below are some of the things I did right along the way………
1991 — Identified the major mechanisms of performance based on previously identified adaptations to training. Began the process of inching closer to fully focusing on the Brain & Nervous System as the end all and be all of performance. Did so in a way that lead to my focusing on the 3 major Brain & Nervous System related mechanisms of performance [recruitment, recruitment rate, recruitment duration] upon which The ETG training program is now fully based.
1992 — Identified the critical intensities-velocities necessary to most potently produce the desired adaptations to training.
1994 — Backed up the 1992 info through learning about “gene transcription and translation”..the underlying mechanisms of inducing the major adaptations to training, This lead to the formal establishment of the concept of “All Interval Training All The Time”.
1995 — Learned to intentionally design a protocol for making “Progressions” in the durations of intervals.
1996-2000 — Abandoned traditional concepts of “periodization”.
2004 — Formally established the concept of “All Goal Pace Training, All The Time”.
2008 — Came to the realization that in terms of impact on the body, the workouts are basically miniature races that get longer as progressions are made. Thus it is necessary to treat the workouts as races by scheduling more rest following each workout and a longer Break Period at the end of each series of workouts.
2012 — Converted my 2 week [14 day] megacycles, basically combining 2 of them together and expanding the Break Period at the end to move to a one-calendar month Megacycle.
2014 and 2015 —Designed several workouts that are TheETG velocity oriented “all intervals all the time” training program version of what practitioners of traditional training programs might call “tempo runs”. The one other change was simply in reversing the order of the workouts from past years. This returns to a simplified version of periodization. Similar to a traditional training program’s 3 to 4 month season that flows from distance work, to hills, to “speed work” and races followed by an end of season break period, TheETG version of that is condensed into one ETG Megacyle comprised of a one month period of time.
2016 —Settled on the 5 workouts, down from 6. The base building workouts comprised of 3 reps rather than 4. And settled on having each rep run at the same pace to create stability in fitness level over time rather than allowing the first rep to be faster or greater effort than the others.
2017 —All workouts comprised of 2 reps rather than 3.
You can find TheETG Training Program in a pdf on “TheETG Master Of Sport page of TheETG website.