Gary Moller: [DipPhEd PGDipRehab PGDipSportMed(Otago)FCE Certified, Kordel's and Nutra-Life Certified Natural Health Consultant]. ICL Laboratories registered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and Medical Nutrition Consultant.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

I am currently a sophomore in a US high school and on the brink of breaking the 5 minute mile barrier. To break the barrier and then some, my winter track coach, who is also the director of XXX Accademy in XXX, strongly reccomends weight training. My coach provided an 8 week program. My only question is, should I continue my hard track training while proceeding with the program simultaneously?

Photo: a young Peter Snell running at a meet in Wanganui and smashing a mile record
Gary Moller comments:

Well, do you actually need more speed to break your 5 min barrier?
Run 200m as fast as you can and then multiply by 8. If the total time is less than 5 min then you have mostly an endurance issue and not a speed/strength one.

If you can already run 200m significantly faster than your one mile pace, then you can do all the core exercises in the gym you like, plus leg presses etc and you will go no faster over a mile as a result of all that extra effort.

Having said this, I am not averse to lifting weights and doing various gym drills - I do some myself most days because it is important to have a strong, supple and well-balanced body to run efficiently and to remain injury free. Read this here. However; the fact of the matter is the only way to get better at running is to get out and run - smartly of course.

Strength training can be effectively done by doing various running drills. These drills develop the muscles and reflexes that are specific to running.

One of the greatest losses in modern running is that athletes have forgotten how to do drills that develop strength, balance and posture that are specific to running.

Please refer to my earlier article on this topic
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