A brief intermission between my HS training review for a rant.
You want the secret to success in the training world? Use big words, preferably big combination of words. And if you really want to be a master of training, use a big combination of scientific sounding words.
It AMAZES me of some of the crap i'm reading and the claims being made. Basically, as long as you use big scientific words, you can make any claim you want, even if it makes no sense practically or scientifically. No one will know the difference.
And finally, the key- Learn just enough of biomechanics, physiology, motor control to be dangerous. Don't try and understand them, just learn enough to be dangerous. Once this is done, then you can throw together cool phrases like "optimal motor program patterning" and "enhanced proprioceptive control." Even if it makes no sense, don't worry, it sounds fancy, no one will know.
Lastly, ignore this thing called common sense.
Really, you can come up with a terrific training program just using common sense. Step back, look at what you do and see if it makes sense. I have a friend I run most of the training I give by who has zero experience in exercise science or coaching. Why? Because he's excellent at evaluating things from a common sense standpoint. Sometimes, we forget about that.
The reason for this rant, is I was reading a training booklet on warm-up/core/strength work that is heavily used/emphasized by some good runners. In it were billions of body weight exercises for strength/core with all kinds of seemingly complex sounding explanations. The one thing that is a pet peeve that they used, is that frequent mention was made of exercises/programs designed to elicit some complex physiological goal, such as motor programming or some of the other things mentioned above. The problem is, this doesn't pass the BS meter. Why would doing lunges or some sort of leg swings initiate motor programming of the running stride? Would running not do this? If you think you can get motor programming from doing some exercise that isn't really even close to running, you underestimate the complexity of our brain. THe problem is you can make statements making claims like this and it doesn't matter if it makes sense or there's proof or if there's theory that shows it might occur. It doesn't matter, as long as it sounds good.
On a somewhat related note, there's a good coaches clinic audio thing where George Gandy talks about the strength training his athletes do. Note that Gandy was the guy who came up with Seb Coe's strength and circuit training.
He said: "What I want out of the weight room is exactly what the shot putters, throwers, sprinters want." He then went on to talk about how he tries to get athletes to progress to doing 2 sets of 6 reps at 1.5x body weight of Front full squats, then cut the reps to 5 and 4 with heavier weight.
Basically, don't go to the weight room to do what you do out running. Train for what you can't get from running.
I couldn't agree more with his statement.