In the latest episode of the Magness and Marcus show, we
discuss a familiar topic to all coaches, the trap to do more because you really
don’t know what else to do. Yes, we’re talking about the age old problem of
increasing work for the sake of increasing something. We begin with the
diminished return and plateau effect and the mistaken and wrongly idealized
linear growth mindset.
From here, we delve into how to manipulate variables and
stressors to take an athlete slightly beyond their comfort zones to insure
adaptation. Jon and I both talk about how we never repeat the same exact key
workouts and what are reasoning behind that decision is.
After getting into the training a bit, we step back and take
a look at some of the set patterns we fall into as coaches an athletes.
Beginning with the issue of assigning importance to a component simply because
we can now track or measure it, and then getting into relying on “default mode”
workouts where we simply give a workout without really thinking about what we’re
actually doing it. To get around this problem, we talk about responsive
training and using a thinking pattern of breaking concepts down to their
simplest components before trying to build them up.
In this podcast we also mention enough books to keep you
busy for a few months!
Hopefully you all enjoy the podcast and let us know what you



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Resources mentioned in this episode:

Upside of Stress  by Kelly McGonigal

What makes Olga run? by Bruce Grierson

Make it Stick by Peter Brown

The Rise by Sarah Lewis

TED talk- The first 20 hours– How to Learn Anything by Josh Kaufman

Get My New Guide on: The Science of Creating Workouts

    1 Comment

    1. JTL in MTL on July 29, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      As usual a great podcast to listen to, though I found the Josh Kaufman Ted talk to be a bit light. I think he purposely misinterprets the 10000 hr "rule" so he can go back on it later. I am not sure I know too many people who don't understand it as "expert" level, though I think we also now know that 10000 hrs is the average and some experts reach it in 3000 vs 17000 (thank you David Epstein).

      He's also giving some outdate information about how breaking up a complex skill is the best way to learn it. I guess if you are going for "how to get competent at something real fast but not much better than that" then it works. But if you truly want to learn a skill and have good retention, then you should practice complex skills in their entirety, or focusing not on each particular part, but on where you start and where you finish the movement (for example in baseball, where you hold the bat and where the bat ends up after the swing, but not the swing itself). These are kind of two contradictory ideas but they both go to the idea of "automation" which is key to developing skill.

      Anyway, it's always a challenge to adapt this stuff to distance running as the "skills" are sometimes hard to identify. Practicing pace changes is one way to do it. I think I've read some others in Steve's book, too.

      Thanks for the podcasts, they are great!

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