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In my freshman year of college, I broke the five-minute mile at a race at BYU, running a 4:54. My previous PR from high school was 5:05. Transcript: "When did I break the five minute mile mark? It was my freshman year of college. It was actually my first college indoor race. I was running just here at BYU and I actually won the race too. It was a really fun day. I ran a 4.54 I think. So my previous PR from high school was 5.05 so I was pretty excited."
The key to managing stress before a race is to understand that it is your chimp brain exaggerating things, and that sports is not life or death. You should also create laminated cards outlining the 24-48 hours leading up to the race, such as what playlist to listen to, what foods to eat, when to warm up, etc., so you can avoid getting flustered and forgetting things. Transcript: "So, stress is super important before a race because it actually helps you get your best performance. But we want to control it and not let it get out of hand. So the first thing is when you do have stress before a race is to control it. Make sure you understand it, that it's really just your chimp brain exaggerating things. Sport is not life or death. So you need to face everything and respond and usually when we have stress it's telling us we're worried of upcoming performance, we're worried of being embarrassed or something. So it means we care, it means we think we can make a difference. And remember there's really three main parts, I'm making this simple, but there's three parts to our brain. The chimp brain, the emotional side that exaggerates everything. You need to realize sport is not life or death. Control this, this is the emotional side, usually it's things we don't want. Then we have the professor brain which is the rational smart side. We want to engage this part more. Then we have the computer brain which is just automatic things we don't notice. So realize what's going on and the other thing is to avoid stress and to have the least amount of stress, you need to have 24 and 48 hour laminated cards that tell you what to do in every moment. Bill Belichick has a great saying, know what your job is and do your job in every moment. And you should have cards telling you what to do from playlists to listen to, to foods that are right, when to warm up, when to eat, when to drive to the airport, how long it takes. I know it sounds simple but when you get stressed out you get flustered and you forget things. So have an outline of what to do in the 24, 48 hours before the race and you will be fine."
Soccer and basketball are great sports for young athletes to do before they get serious with running. They have aerobic, anaerobic, and neuromuscular components which can help improve running performance. Movement skills should also be emphasized, as demonstrated by the success of professional boxers like Lomachenko who included dance in his training routine. Transcript: "So doing different sports for young athletes before they get serious with running I think is a really good idea. And I would say the first thing that comes to mind is soccer. But there's a lot of sports you can do. The reason I like soccer because I think it really has everything, every element in it that you need to be a great distance runner. There's running in it. So there's an aerobic component. There's an anaerobic component, really short sprints and stuff. There's a lot of movement, a lot of running, and there's neuromuscular stuff with footwork and strengthening the bones through the foot and the leg from running and both kicking the ball and all that coordination stuff. So soccer has everything I think that you need. But one of the most under-neglected things for young athletes is movement skills. And there's a great story about, and this has to do with boxing but I think it's a really good metaphor. The best athletes move super well. And Lomachenko is a Ukrainian boxer, I think he's fighting the war right now if I'm not mistaken. And his dad was a boxer and he got him into boxing and he realized that for him to be great at what he did he needed to have something else. And so his dad made him get into Ukrainian dance. So a lot of dance stuff is really good. I think even Shannon Robery did Irish dancing. So he did Ukrainian dancing for movement and he's one of the best footwork boxers there is. You watch him, it's a work of art how he moves and stuff. So a lot of different ways, you want the aerobic component but don't neglect movement and neuromuscular and I would say soccer and basketball are probably the two best."
Before going to altitude, it is important to check your hemoglobin, hematocrit, and ferritin levels. Altitude can benefit your aerobic metabolism and muscles, but it is important to also make sure you get enough sleep, manage stress, and have a good nutrition plan. Additionally, when training at sea level, it is important to remember the ultimate goal. Transcript: "So most people are going to altitude to benefit their aerobic metabolism and to get stronger. And so the most important thing before you go to altitude is to look under the hood and check your hemoglobin, your hematocrit, and your ferritin. Okay you want to have some of these tests saved if you've been to altitude before and you want to do this before you go to altitude and after. Okay and you know you need 50 to 100 nanograms of ferritin in stores to really get the aerobic enzymes that you're after at altitude. So altitude benefits your blood but it also benefits your muscles, your intercostal muscles. Okay your breathing apparatus gets more efficient. So it's just a stress, okay, an added stress that you need to factor into your recovery. And you know the most important things are sleep. Okay maybe more than everything combined make sure you're getting your sleep. Stress management, just stress in your overall life from relationships to people to finances to everything in your life that stresses you. Okay then nutrition and that's where this comes in. Okay the nutrition component is huge. You need to make sure you're getting you know eating red kidney beans, spinach, kale, beef, okay, organ meats, all that stuff. Try to get iron from your food first if you're low and that starts with health first. Your gut bacteria, okay, all these things. And then lastly your training is factored in. Okay you need to never forget what you're after. Okay at sea level a lot of people come to altitude and just put in lots of work and hope for the best. You want to always keep in mind what the ultimate goal at sea level is. And so that is one of the most important things."
To improve lactate threshold, coaches should focus on bringing stress and crisis to their athletes by training them in a variety of ways, such as anaerobic workouts below lactate threshold, and uphill tempo runs above threshold. This will help the athlete's cells become more efficient at buffering and producing enzymes to deal with lactate. Transcript: "So, one of the most important things to understand with training is that all types of training improve you, okay, improve you as an athlete, okay. So, obviously, the biggest factor in improving as a distance runner is the aerobic component, okay. But there's a lot of layers of the aerobic component. And dealing with lactate, buffering lactate, your muscles, being able to deal with it, your cells is huge, okay. And so, an aerobic component is huge to you increasing your lactate threshold, okay. So threshold is not just about avoiding being right under where your 4mm jump up is, okay, and training tons in that, okay. Obviously, that is a real efficient place to train. But you need to be able to deal with buffering and lactate in between cells. So you want to train a little bit below lactate threshold, okay, at lactate threshold and below lactate threshold into that anaerobic area because you become more efficient at buffering, at producing enzymes that deal with lactate. You know, one of my favorite workouts for increasing lactate threshold is an uphill tempo run above threshold, okay. So dealing with lactate, okay. It's continuous. It's dealing with lactate. Your cells have to become more pliable. So every pace and everything factors in to increasing your lactate threshold. And you know, really, how do you improve lactate threshold? Stress, okay. Bring in stress and crisis. You know, as a coach, you need to know the components and where you're most efficient and aim your athletes to what they haven't maybe done to improve them."
It is important to have a 24-48 hour laminated card that outlines what you need to do and pack for a race. Double check your racing flats, and make sure you have the right equipment for the situation you are going into. This will help alleviate some of the stress leading up to the race. Transcript: "So, it sounds like a funny question, but your equipment is huge, okay, to your success, having trust in it and making sure you have everything. Okay, so one of the most important things is to have those 24 and 48 hour laminated cards that tell you what to do, what to pack, okay, in bad weather and hot weather and taking things with you that you need, supplements, vitamins, caffeine, water bottles, whatever you're going to need, Martin, whatever you're going to need in the race, try to bring with you and even some food and snacks and things. You know, when you travel, there's interruptions, you don't always have the most perfect situation to get everything you need. You know, hydration, all those things should be with you, should be part of your 24 and 48 hour laminated card and equipment is part of this, okay. Double check your racing flats, you know, people forget their racing flats all the time, they take two rights or two lefts or something, you know, so double check things, have a check list, you know, there was an Olympic marathon that I had heard about that had a hundred things to do before the Olympic marathon, you know, including like paying their number. I think you go crazy doing that a little bit but you need to know what to do in every moment leading to the race and a laminated card is part of this and it is connected to your gear so have the right equipment for the situations you're going into and this will help alleviate some of the stress. You know, road and trail, obviously there's going to be different things you're going to need but that's up to you and your coach and what you normally use but leave nothing to chance, have things outlined and these laminated cards can definitely help."