Complete Track and Field

Identification and Prioritization of Your Training Themes – Part 2

PART 2 – Terminology

Now that we have identified the paces available to us, let’s create a system of terminology that can help us prioritize those training paces as they relate to any primary event.  The philosophies of Lyle Knudson, Tom Schwartz and Steve Magness have heavily influenced my perception of classifying training.  I have borrowed many terms and added a few in order to more thoroughly cover the training spectrum.

HS TRACK5 CONLONSpecific Support describes training at the pace of an athlete’s primary event, and allows us to further classify all other training.  Endurance Support will be used to classify any paces that are slower than the athlete’s primary event.  Speed Support will be used to classify any paces that are faster than the athlete’s primary event.

The paces closest to the primary event will be called Direct Endurance Support and Direct Speed Support.  The next set of paces will be called Medial Endurance Support and Medial Speed Support.  The next set of paces will be called General Endurance Support and General Speed Support.  The next set of paces will be called Peripheral Endurance Support and Peripheral Speed Support.

Let’s look at two examples.  First we will look at someone who is primarily a “miler” which will also cover the 1500-meter or 1600-meter events. 

Specific Support- Mile Pace

                               Endurance Support                      Speed Support

Direct                    3k/3200/5k pace                          800m pace

Medial                   10k pace                                        400m pace

General                 Half Marathon Pace                     200m pace

Peripheral             Marathon Pace                             100m pace

Next we will look at someone who is primarily a 400-meter runner.

Specific Support- 400m Pace

                                Endurance Support                   Speed Support

Direct                     800m pace                                  200m pace

Medial                   1600m pace                                 100m pace

General                 3k/3200/5k pace                       Speed Development

Peripheral             10k pace                                             

It should be noted that any paces that fall beyond the peripheral classification may still be utilized in training and they will also be classified as peripheral training.  Speed Development Training is appropriate for every running athlete from the 100-meter specialist to the Marathoner.  Speed Development will fall within the support continuum for all sprint events. 

For Endurance athletes, Speed Development may not fall within the support continuum, but should still be trained.  This kind of training can always be classified as Neuromuscular Speed Support.

This system of organization has helped me more clearly plan training for many groups of athletes.  Using event pace and support terminology has helped to simplify what can be complex concepts of energy systems and periodization.

Go Back to Part 1: Identification and Prioritization of Your Training Themes – Training Paces


About Ron Grigg

Ron GriggCoach at Jacksonville University (FL). Coach Grigg has had 10 x Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year. He is USA Track & Field Level II Certified – Sprints, Hurdles, Relays, Jumps, Throws & Combined Events, is an USA Track & Field Level I & II Instructor. He has Coached: 9 NCAA National Champions, 25 NCAA All Americans, 86 Atlantic Sun Conference Champions...
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