Too much science in sport

August 12th 2019

By Matt Hill
Categories: Athlete Resources

Too much science in sport

Podcast by Joel Filliol & Arthur Lydiard

Two resources discussing sciences interference with coaching and athlete development: a podcast with (probably) the world’s most successful ITU triathlon coach and a YouTube clip narrated by a legendary run coach!

The podcast

You all know we are big on training by feel and don’t advocate the use of technology. This podcast with Joel Filliol discusses how science has been integrated into sport, but has not progressed it; and how he doesn’t believe in its accuracy and “doesn’t care” about the data his athletes get!

If you haven’t heard of Joel, check out his athlete list on his about page – you’ll have heard of his athletes!

The video

Bonus video – Arthur Lydiard, New Zealand Track and Field coach.

Arthur is a legend coach in general and specifically in the athletic and running world. We have “borrowed” a lot of his wisdom for our own approach to coaching.

He is of an era when technology wasn’t around to capture and  “pollute” training outcomes; instead, he was highly attuned to his athlete’s state of wellbeing and expected them to take responsibility for their own training efforts.

You should recognise a lot in this old recording / slideshow – it is what we have been preaching for years in our articles and posts! We keep training simple and balance the training intensities, so you progress healthily. The main points to note:

  • Training by feel and listening to your body – each day, each session. Sound familiar? No timing, no tracking, no counting, etc to compare to previous sessions; just listening to your body and adapting to its needs on the day
  • Start events (and sessions) under control, exactly as we suggest – start with EASY speed, then finish strong.
  • The danger of overdoing threshold / lactate / anaerobic training! Not only should you listen to your body and adapt to its daily needs, you need to be aware of how dangerous high intensity interval training is for your immune system – we have often advised you guys to ease off or cut sessions short if tired. *

* High intensity interval training (threshold, etc) . This refers to sessions that elevate your heart rates up to max aerobic levels or above them. The strength training sessions we allocate (25m paddle reps, STOMPing, hill reps) are strength training sessions with short reps, long rest and load the skeletal muscles – not the cardiac muscles. These should make you feel burning in your muscles – the very upper back of your arms (lats) and legs (quads, hamstrings and glutes) – not so much in your heart and lungs.