Dr. Dave treadmill tested me through the Olympic Training program from 1989-1997. I like the comment made by Wendy Sly of Great Britain, who also was tested by Dr. Dave -- she called him "The Walking Brain." He is genius above genius:
When I asked him how he liked the vehicle he was driving after he picked me up at Atlanta's airport, he replied "It's great. It can turn on a dime. The problem is, you never know where the dime is."
On running 100 miles a week: "If you have to run 100 a week, count in kilometers: You will get there faster."
I asked him during the winter, should I run 1200 meter repeats like Alberto Salazar did, or 1000 meter repeats like Dave Moorcroft (British athlete, former world record holder in the 5,000, 13:00.41, 1982). He responded by saying, "Do what you, Jim Spivey, think is best."
Who's Dr. Dave? Dr. David Martin is Regents Professor Emeritus in Division of Respiratory Therapy at Georgia State University. He has tested many athletes since 1976 when the program began at GSU in Atlanta, including Steve Scott, Seb Coe and Arturo Barrios (former 10,000 m WR, 27:08.23, 1989). I believe how he helped me best, was not the one-off test -- but being tested at the same time of the year, over a period of time. We could look at previous year's data, and determine how to generally change my training to peak at the right time. Sometimes, he would say after I was tested: Keep at it.
In 1992, my volume of oxygen was very low (74) when normally on May 1 when I was tested each year, it was close to or over 80 (one time, 85). But my lactic acid tolerance was unbelievable -- I could run for over 4:00 on the treadmill above 100% lactic acid, when normally I jumped off after 40 seconds. He said, "You have a small engine with lots of gears. You need to take away one speed workout each week, and add a controlled interval workout at tempo run pace -- repeat miles at 5:00 pace; 800s in 2:00 and 30 seconds, etc. In this way, you will continue to build your volume of oxygen.
My coach, Mike Durkin, disagreed, "Jim needs to do speed work, as we have Olympic Trials coming up." However, after talking with Dr. Dave, he agreed and we added a workout every other week of this type. When I was tested again that September, I had raised my volume of oxygen to 79, still not as high as other years, but great for that year. It was also my second best year ever as an athlete, winning the Trials, eighth in the Olympic Games and running 3:32 for 1500 meters.
Dave looked over my training in 1993, and noted that in general for each week, I had a long run, recovery days, intervals days, and tempo run day. He said "You have the long run to work your pulse in that lower range; and you have your interval and faster pace tempo runs to work the high range. What about the middle range? The 150-170 beats per minute? You do not have any workouts that address that area. Why don't you work all the different parts of your system?" He suggested that I add a "within yourself, controlled tempo run" during the week. My fast pace tempo runs were in the 5:00 range, and my long runs in the 6:45-7:00 pace. I added a 25-35 minute tempo run at 6:00-6:15 pace, and decided to call this "Dave Martin pace tempo run" or DMP.
What You Can Do When looking at your training, you have those days when you run intervals, 2 by efforts with 5:00 jogs, MRP runs (faster pace tempo runs) -- this works on the higher end pulse ranges. We also have recovery days and long runs scheduled, the lower end of the pulse. Get the DMP runs to be in the middle. Know in your mind, that you are working a specific part of your body, and making it stronger.
Better Training for Distance Runners provides a prescription for success for today’s competitive distance runners and their coaches. The book combines cutting edge research, sound training principles, and proven program strategies to improve performance in events ranging from the 800-meters to the marathon. In this comprehensive book on the art and science of distance running, Dr. David Martin and Peter Coe explain how to • accurately assess running fitness • gauge training intensity • adjust training loads to achieve peak readiness for competition • determine the most effective racing strategy for each event • stay healthy throughout a running career.
"Dr. David Martin and Peter's Coe's vast knowledge of running is clearly demonstrated here. They have added another brilliant volume in the scientific approach and theory of how to train. This book will be your complete source to being competitive in the years to come." Jim Spivey, US Olympic team member 1500 meters, 1984 and 1992 5000 meters, 1996