Fatigue in Distance Runners

Training a distance runner properly requires and thorough understanding muscle physiology. We must train two different energy systems and understand how they work together to power our bodies so that we can design the most effective workouts.  If your background is not is physiology or exercise science, you might want to turn to some experts that can help you become a little more scientific in your training.

In the first of two clips below renowned distance coach Scott Christensen discusses issues related to fatigue in distance runners. Coach Christensen states that training to delay fatigue will improve performance .  He believes that all other factors being somewhat equal, fatigue will determine winners and losers and finally the athletes with the greatest ability to manage fatigue are the ones setting all of the records.

In the second clip he discusses proper rest intervals during workouts and how to adjust them as the season progresses. Generally speaking he believes they should be shorter early in the season and longer as the season progresses. Exactly the opposite of what one might think.

For those of you unfamiliar with Coach Christensen his high school teams have been ranked in the national top 10 eight times.  He has coached 13 Minnesota State Championship-winning teams and 27 individual Minnesota State Champions.  Coach Christensen has also spent 14-years as a USATF Level II endurance lead instructor and currently serves as lead endurance instructor for the USTFCCCA Coaching Academy.

He has produced several products that are great items to add to your coaching toolbox. The clips below are from his program  ADVANCED TOPICS SYMPOSIUM IN CROSS COUNTRY In this program he covers the following topics: (These are just a few. In all it consists of 6 hours of training)



  1. Scientific theory of training
  2. Role of fatigue in performance
  3. Cross Country training theory
  4. Influence of Aerobic Training
  5. Influence of Anaerobic Training
  6. Training Schedules for 5K


The YouTube videos below have audio, so please make sure that your sound is turned on and that you  have access to the site. Please note that some schools block access to YouTube.





For more information about Scott Christensen’s ADVANCED TOPICS SYMPOSIUM IN CROSS COUNTRY click on the link here or on the image. This and other great coaching resources may be found at Complete Track and Field



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