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March 28, 2009

Tips from Tom #1 - Our Training

Written by Tom McGlynn

To the Fleet of Feet,
I realize that we have many new runners and that even some of our veterans can always use a concise explanation of our training philosophy.

So in an effort to keep everyone on the same page, here's 1-pager on how the Focus-N-Fly training philosophy functions (say it fast 10x).

The stress from our training leads to the adaptation in recovery and subsequent peak performance.
We like to consider successful training a a repetition of completing the STAR.

 

S = STRESS
T = TRAINING
A = ADAPTATION
R = RECOVERY
PP = PEAK PERFORMANCE

All our athletes try to continuously complete the STAR.

The underlying premise of this approach is to train at current fitness level to race at peak performance.

We utilize a variety of workout types to try and stress the various physiological systems that contribute to running
1. Aerobic Economy
2. Lactate Threshold
3. Speed Endurance
4. Glycogen Storage
5. Muscular and Psychological Development

This is accomplished with a mix of track workouts, maintenance, long and tempo runs (kind of like a balanced diet.) We space these stresses to allow for appropriate recovery so that the body can condition accordingly. Just think even the most accomplished Olympic weight lifters take recovery between sets and reps. So why should runners be any different?
These intensity variations along with volume changes (the amount of miles you run) is called periodization. We ask our athletes to follow the assignments according to pace, volume and recovery because they are all designed with a specific objective. When the workouts become too easy we encourage our runners to go run a race so that you receive a new pace chart and concomitant new assignments for every workout.

Together we complete the STAR and use proven training methodologies for long-term development.

On this topic we have many All-Stars who have trained under the Focus-N-Fly system. However the all-time greatest Star maker is Tom Hancock. Tom started with Focus-N-Fly in 2003. Here's the chronology of an All-Star STAR completer:

Tom's Marathon PR was 4:10 when he joined.
• 2003 - 1st Marathon with FNF = 4:03
• 2003 - 5 shorter races and 5 faster pace charts
• 2003 - 2nd Marathon with FNF = 3:50
• 2004 - 7 shorter races and 2 faster pace charts
• 2004 - 3rd Marathon with FNF = 3:47
• 2005 - 4 shorter races and 2 faster pace charts
• 2005 - 4th Marathon with FNF = 3:33
• 2005 - 7 shorter races and 1 faster pace charts
• 2006 - 5th Marathon with FNF = 3:29
• 2006 - 4 shorter races
• 2006 - 6th Marathon with FNF = 3:21
• 2007 - New 5K PR
• 2007 - 7th Marathon with FNF = 3:25
• 2008 - 8th Marathon with FNF = 3:22 and first Boston Qualifier

Every individual is unique of course however I remain thoroughly convinced that this approach is the best way to become a runner for life and to stick with it as long as you want.

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