Bake the Cake before adding the Cherries
The world of instagram has spawned the selfie and with that, the need to look good, the filters and the excellent for running slo-mo app.
With this we have seen an influx of training clips from the stars of athletics and their coaches, I know this because like everyone else I have been guilty of searching and watching all these vids too, sometimes for 12 hours straight. And here we get that issue of the looking good at all times culture, what we see being posted is what I term ‘cherry on top’ the glamour sessions, technical elements done as finishers for the athletes, not the guts churning hard sessions.
The result of this is very clear, I see an increase of athletes and even some coaches look at the cherry on top elements and think ‘that’s what the fastest and best people are doing so we should do that too’.
I see these elements then become a large emphasis in the training plan at the detriment of the foundational pure elements of just running. The sessions are taken out of context and not fully understood.
On of my own athletes a few months had a slight niggle and so was instructed to some extra hurdle mobility separate from the group, he set them up in a square formation and continued to do some kind of spinning dance turning left and right through them, I asked him what he was doing and why, his answer “I don’t know I saw it on youtube”. And then we have other sessions in the gym, the nice single leg hang snatch to box….. when athletes haven’t reached sufficient strength targets (or even know what those strength targets are, as too busy looking at the cherry sessions).
Now of course the context of all this is very simple, you see the wicket drill video on instagram done is slo-mo, you don’t know what number session it is for that athlete, the gaps being used (is it for rhythm or stride frequency etc). And you don’t see that the athlete also does sessions of 500m at 95% too in his training regime, throwing up in to a bin at the side of the track. (and you wont run over 150 because you don’t think its needed). Without really knowing its place and without doing the work It wont work for you the way you believe.
I believe we are in a time where information is so easily accessible that its making a lot of coaches and athletes lazy looking for the easy route without actually understanding the places of these cherries, and simply not putting in the crucial element required…. Running!
Make the cake and then add the icing and then the cherries!