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  #11  
Old 11-06-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
Hmmmm this is dismissing the recent discoveries as per the actual role of blood lactate, and to a wide extent to its role in what we now call the lactate metabolism.

That slap in the face (ie, lactate is no longer a waste, it's a fuel, favored by our heart itself over glucose), we mostly received it late 90's for those in the knows. I got mine in 2004 so hmmmmm....

This is also dismissing the works of Dr.Phil Skiba, md, not my best friend but still someone I grant the idea of quantifying very precisely swim training workload using a model that's derived from that propose by Coggan, which is also all about Threshold and that was created in 2003 (so not quite 70y ago).

I'm fortunate enough to coach an exercise physiologist, a PhD who's a teacher at the U where I coach. He's studying the impact of hurting someone other than with training prior testing his metrics (including threshold), this is occurring at the moment of writing these lines.

I collaborated with a team of researchers 15y ago in a study that was aimed at figuring out if you could cross-test, ie, using a score obtained on bike to set running training zones etc....

It seems that this team here are studying the same thing (roughly):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22915172

This dates as of 2012.

With all that said, the biggest discovery as for threshold lately is really that blood lactate is seen as a fuel now. As such, it's very important that science continues trying to find what makes us slowing down, vs what makes us swimming faster, metabolically speaking. The whole body is a complex entity of inter-related systems. The neuro-muscular aspect is crucially important, but without understanding how these muscles controled by the brain get fueled and get tired, we only have a fraction of the equation. The most important? This is what Mike Joyner, md, Brent Rushall, phd, you (in a much more modest extent, I) seem to suggest.

Again, I agree with you that neural driven training probably leads to a much smarter use one's time and physical resources.
Charles, do you think we will see more swimmers like Sun Yang (who looks as if he will be able to perform at his level for at least ten years if he desires) at the next olympics, or the Rebecca Adlingtons (who is already on the fade as her body starts to refuse the physical punishment she subjects it to in training?)
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  #12  
Old 11-06-2012
terry terry is offline
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Default Lack of Purpose may be the greatest deficit of Energy System Training

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
Rebecca Adlingtons (who is already on the fade as her body starts to refuse the physical punishment she subjects it to in training?)
I don't know enough about Rebecca's training to venture an opinion of the extent to which her underperformance in London may reflect overtraining, staleness or "Failing Adaptation Syndrome."

My own low regard for Energy System Training is based far more on my observation -- of 1000s of swimmers -- that it leads to mental staleness and loss of enthusiasm.
Why did Michael Phelps need to take nearly two years off following Beijing? And why is it so rare for swimmers -- unlike runners -- to maintain elite performance into their late 20s or mid-30s?
It's because the mouse-on-a-wheel aspect of metabolic-oriented training is tedious to the point of being soul-destroying.
The goals one pursues - raising VO2max, buffering lactates, etc. cannot be included in a meaningful feedback loop and therefore become abstractions. The swimmer almost MUST tune out just to survive the tedium. The brain goes to sleep.

A fundamental principle of neurally-oriented training is that it's based on tasks that are measurable and trackable. On every length--indeed every stroke--you can sense what you must do to succeed.

This translates into a sense of self-reliance, purpose and mastery -- which are immensely more valuable than a higher anaerobic threshold. And, I daresay, even a better predictor of Olympic medals -- as has been documented for a wide range of excellence.

Ian's description of his practice as thoughtful AND invigorating speaks to the holistic nature of neural training.
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Last edited by terry : 11-06-2012 at 01:23 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-06-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Originally Posted by terry View Post
I don't know enough about Rebecca's training to venture an opinion of the extent to which her underperformance in London may reflect overtraining, staleness or "Failing Adaptation Syndrome."

My own low regard for Energy System Training is based far more on my observation -- of 1000s of swimmers -- that it leads to mental staleness and loss of enthusiasm.
Why did Michael Phelps need to take nearly two years off following Beijing? And why is it so rare for swimmers -- unlike runners -- to maintain elite performance into their late 20s or mid-30s?
It's because the mouse-on-a-wheel aspect of metabolic-oriented training is tedious to the point of being soul-destroying.
The goals one pursues - raising VO2max, buffering lactates, etc. cannot be included in a meaningful feedback loop and therefore become abstractions. The swimmer almost MUST tune out just to survive the tedium. The brain goes to sleep.

A fundamental principle of neurally-oriented training is that it's based on tasks that are measurable and trackable. On every length--indeed every stroke--you can sense what you must do to succeed.

This translates into a sense of self-reliance, purpose and mastery -- which are immensely more valuable than a higher anaerobic threshold. And, I daresay, even a better predictor of Olympic medals -- as has been documented for a wide range of excellence.

Ian's description of his practice as thoughtful AND invigorating speaks to the holistic nature of neural training.
This in a couple of short paragraphs is why I will always be a TI swimmer and why this approach has improved so many different aspects of my life in the last two years.

Accept and relish the different paths of mastery available to you and the world is a joyous, exciting experience.
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  #14  
Old 11-06-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
My own low regard for Energy System Training is based far more on my observation -- of 1000s of swimmers -- that it leads to mental staleness and loss of enthusiasm.
As far as I'm concerned, I tend to separate - entirely that is - the mental aspect from the physical aspect.

Here's an extract from an article I wrote once:

Motivation
There’s very little doubt that motivation plays a big role in the outcome of any performance, in most training and racing contexts. But what is motivation? Well it’s quite a wide concept belonging to the domain of psychology. For our own specific purposes, we can categorize it into 3 distinct types: Intrinsic motivation, extrinsic self determined, and extrinsic non self determined. The first category is self explanatory. It’s just pure passion for the activity, regardless of any other reward or goal. I like to run, just for the sake of doing it. Doing it simply makes me feel good. Extrinsic self determined is the sort of motivation we get in deciding to do something having a specific purpose in mind. For example, I train in the pool to improve my time over 1500m. Non self determined implies some pressure from outside the individual. An example would be my coach wants me to swim the 1500 to help the team, despite the fact that I don’t really enjoy it. Ideally, we should aim at exploiting the two first motivation types through our coaching, the most important being the second type, extrinsic self determined motivation. Intrinsic is important but you don’t want to rely solely on this since it tends to vary too much according to our moods or other factors.
In most coaching situations, there’s often a very thin line between self determined and non self determined motivation. A good way to get an athlete to commit entirely to something, head and soul, is to dress most key training elements in term of Challenges.


The Sweet Uncertainty Concept
A challenge that is too easy will probably trigger boredom. For instance, a tasteless challenge is often be a great recipe for indiscipline when coaching kids. On the other hand, imposing a challenge that is too difficult could trigger too much stress. Making it way too spicy will spoil the meal. In between these two poles, there's a nice zone. It's been described by some researchers as being the Sweet Uncertainty Zone (Brunelle et Tousugnant; 1988)(1). A challenge that is made difficult enough so that the athlete isn't
1
entirely sure that she can cope with it, but in the same time easy enough to be achievable given enough commitment would fall in this zone. The Sweet Uncertainty Graph below shows a graphical representation of this Zone.


I reckon though that neural oriented training makes the coach's task of using Challenge Driven coaching easier. I may also add that I see very little if NO value in teaching swimmers what energy systems are, or even suggesting to them that we are addressing energy systems vs neural training vice versa. The reason for this position that I have, is simple: I coach age group as well, ie taking the swimmer at the Age required to expect performing at a high level. A 14yo girl doesn't actually need to know the theory behind the training. She just wants to have fun, since getting up at 5:30am to swim almost every morning is in itself, not funny at all.

I doubt though that the training approach alone could explain why runners run older than swimmers swim. After all, runners are heavy energy system users when comes to actually periodize their training. Thanks to the advent of run techniques (chi, pose, newton), it tends to change, but still... The main difference (although the whole picture is probably multi factorial) has to be the age at which you NEED to begin swimming vs the age at which you NEED to begin running, for optimal performances to be reached. Environnement in which you train also makes a big difference. Human generally prefer the sight of outdoor landscape over the sight of a black line painted on the floor seen through fuzzy goggles.

It's also important to realize that neural vs e.system approach pertains much more to the way matter is being taught. Those who train neural also develop their energy metabolism, and those who train using e.systems are also developing their neuro-muscular component.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
Charles, do you think we will see more swimmers like Sun Yang (who looks as if he will be able to perform at his level for at least ten years if he desires) at the next olympics, or the Rebecca Adlingtons (who is already on the fade as her body starts to refuse the physical punishment she subjects it to in training?)
It is extremely dangerous to draw a relation between how a swimmer look when he swims, and the actual strain that this swimmer experience.

(I've rarely felt as boring as I probably am in this post, sorry lol)

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 11-06-2012 at 03:44 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-06-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
It is extremely dangerous to draw a relation between how a swimmer look when he swims, and the actual strain that this swimmer experience.
I wasn't thinking of the effort level, but the consistency of his splits and the precise manner he replicates 1200 identical strokes or so over the course of 14 and a half minutes.

I too am not privvy to Rebecca Adlington's training schedule but all the UK reports I've read with regard to Rebecca and Keri Ann Payne is how great they are at tolerating pain and pushing themselves beyond the limit. In contrast to the UK cycling team there is never a mention of training smarter, whereas that's all the cyclists talk about.
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  #16  
Old 11-06-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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A 400m free hurts big time, therefore it's impossible for Sun to win over this distance without going through excruciating suffering... No one, I mean no one escapes this. A 800/1500 also hurts, but it is not the same sort of pain.

The rest, is pure illusion.

Generally speaking, the lower the rate, the higher the pain, and that with little regards to how the performance looks like.

It's also worth noting that - though I haven't ran any stats on that - the UK seems to display one of the best medals per capita ratio in the world in London 2012 - just like Australia, which is the country where Sun was coached.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 11-06-2012 at 08:47 PM.
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  #17  
Old 11-07-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
A 400m free hurts big time, therefore it's impossible for Sun to win over this distance without going through excruciating suffering... No one, I mean no one escapes this. A 800/1500 also hurts, but it is not the same sort of pain.

The rest, is pure illusion.

Generally speaking, the lower the rate, the higher the pain, and that with little regards to how the performance looks like.

It's also worth noting that - though I haven't ran any stats on that - the UK seems to display one of the best medals per capita ratio in the world in London 2012 - just like Australia, which is the country where Sun was coached.
Team GB picked up 3 Swimming medals in London, a serious underperformance, 2012 for me was a step change in how athletes will perform, smart or hard. (At their level they need 100% of both but there is a difference in approach).

from bbc - british swimming at 2012 - did home advantage backfire?
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  #18  
Old 11-07-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
Team GB picked up 3 Swimming medals in London, a serious underperformance, 2012 for me was a step change in how athletes will perform, smart or hard. (At their level they need 100% of both but there is a difference in approach).

from bbc - british swimming at 2012 - did home advantage backfire?
You're right. Their medal count per capita was awesome generally speaking, but not in the pool.
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