I downloaded like 500 pages of work from Renato Canova, Italy born running coach. He had a lot of work done in the running coaching world, but outside of an inaccessible IAAF book, we cannot really find anything about his training methodologies. Just crapped up, messed up, controversial papers, guesswork and so. First of all, I think the confusion comes from interviews and videos, as when he talks about training and periodisation of his work, briefly, it is always individualised. So in one paper he uses the Aerobic Resistance phase as a preceding cycle of the Specific period, while in some other videos he mentions the Aerobic Capacity section beforehand. In case of reality, that is doesn’t change much. Build up a base in PART 1, then work on endurance or speed is P2 and P3, then finish off with race specificity. However in my opinion, he understands very much his athletes. So a speedier guy will do the Capacity phase first, as he won’t loose that speed even if it is not necessarily emphasised during like 20weeks afterwards. It is used, just not focused on. While an endurance monster, would need more of that speed-work later on in the marathon training, to be able to hold on to it. Personal it is !
I think this is why he talks about using the first 3 macrocycles also as observational tests. So he can determine what the athlete would need at the beginning of the Marathon Specific phase. Speed slash Aerobic Capacity focus in the view of marathon pace or Endurance slash Aerobic Resistance in regarding the marathon pace. The differences are very fine at this period in case of paces. This is what is also intriguing. Check this out:
You can give 3 different workouts for instance to a marathoner who’s race pace is 3:00/km.
- 10 x (1000 @ 2:50 + R1000 @ 3:10)
- 3 x 1000 @ 3:05 + 14 x 1000 @ 3:00 + 3 x 1000 @ 2:55
- 20km @ 3:00/km
All workouts are the same distance and same average pace. It is 20km done in an hour. However in case of physiological effects on the body, it is totally different, despite the little 5 to 10 sec differences here and there.
At this final stage they won’t run like hard thousand repeats at sub 2:45 pace or getting into 400s or 5 and 10km training paces. No need for this in that final fine tuning.
There is also some special block iterations. I found for instance a blogger runner who had personal contact with Canova: he describes a Special block of 2 times 20km AM/PM with no refuelling in-between @ marathon pace. With warming up and cool-down it is like a 50 to 70km day. However in other papers this is like AM(10km @ 85% of MPACE + 12km @ MPACE) and PM(10km @ 85% MPACE + 15km @ MPACE) . There is a brutal significant difference between that. In case of Canova, both can be true, as he mentions other interesting stuff in some videos.
There was a special block I saw somewhere of running 20km in the morning @ MPACE and doing 20 x 800 in the evening @ faster than HMPACE with very little rest, like 30 / 45sec.
I am not sure about the glycogen depletion suggestions. It would F you up big time for long long days, or even for weeks. I mean, if you completed a full marathon, split into two, all together 60 70km for one day, with no refuelling in-between and during.
Also he talks about hill training and hill running on a reasonable fashion. 20 to 40minutes constant uphill tempo in the Capacity phase and 18 to 30km rolling hills in the Resistance phase. I am all okay with this.
In a video somewhere, he talks about a 27km hill what he has his athletes to run up and some of them to run down, in the same workout. I mean even if it was a dirt road, it is 54km training run in one go.
Very often it feels actually that he is mocking reporters, giving them false data or mocking them, that they have no freckin’ idea of the work ethic and capacity of African runners !!!