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Thread: mr b's comeback

  1. #591
    Senior Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T View Post
    As I see it, speed on the flat is a simple motor skill, whereas technical ability on the fells is a complex motor skill - like height and hair colour they are unrelated, and you are very lucky if you have both. And if you can only have one of them, and you want to run on the fells, technical ability is the one to have.
    I don't see it like that. I came to fell from running 800m, where I could run 2mins 3secs in my late thirties (I came to the sport late) and once broke 2mins in training. Running 15mph requires a lot of power, and so good heart and lungs and consequently VO2 max are essential. Some of this does translate to fell, particularly on the uphill (very fast road runners tend to be light in weight too).

    I once took my training partner, a low 30 mins 10km runner and former Staffordshire 1500m champion, over to a AS race in North Wales. It was a small race with some decent runners, (Jez Brown was one), and three ascents. He ran in lightweight road shoes, fell over 5 times, and still won - despite never having run fell before.

  2. #592
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    I don't see it like that. I came to fell from running 800m, where I could run 2mins 3secs in my late thirties (I came to the sport late) and once broke 2mins in training. Running 15mph requires a lot of power, and so good heart and lungs and consequently VO2 max are essential. Some of this does translate to fell, particularly on the uphill (very fast road runners tend to be light in weight too).

    I once took my training partner, a low 30 mins 10km runner and former Staffordshire 1500m champion, over to a AS race in North Wales. It was a small race with some decent runners, (Jez Brown was one), and three ascents. He ran in lightweight road shoes, fell over 5 times, and still won - despite never having run fell before.
    Some people are lucky and have both "simple" speed and "complex" technical skill. Some track/road speedsters can do well on simple albeit hilly terrain. It is descending on complex terrain that really sorts people out.

  3. #593
    Senior Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T View Post
    Some people are lucky and have both "simple" speed and "complex" technical skill.
    Whilst I can grasp what you are trying to say, I do object to the word 'lucky'. I had to do a lot of speed and proprioception drills and a lot of weightlifting. (I live in a flat area, with a lengthy drive to any fells worthy of the name.) There is a lot of training required to run towards the fast end of the field, whether it is road, track xcountry or fell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T View Post
    Some track/road speedsters can do well on simple albeit hilly terrain. It is descending on complex terrain that really sorts people out.
    I agree with this, and expect most other readers will too. It is worth saying that descending technique can be learnt, and I got a lot quicker at it - reaching a respectable, if not super fast, speed. I found weightlifting very useful for giving me the strength to bound off rocks and run down drops of up to 2m

  4. #594
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    I'm about as much use as a one-legged man in a arse kicking contest in the Lakes, and my training is very heavily focused on leg speed and being able to suffer badly for very long periods of time- i call this speed endurance. My results in the Pennines can be quite good at times, and i have never beaten his holiness Pope Fishwick in the Lakes. I've always considered it necessary to have powerful legs to do well in the lakes, what you lack in flat speed will never reveal itself because the place is too hilly with too few plateaus.

    It is partly for this reason that i think we need a Cat B championship; most of the races will be in the Pennines, and you will need to be fast on the flat-ish bits which sometimes drag on for mile after mile. The lakeland climbers will probably see their advantage deminish, and find themselves exposed to better tasting fish and chips.
    Can't climb for toffee...

  5. #595
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    [QUOTE=Marco;675773]Whilst I can grasp what you are trying to say, I do object to the word 'lucky'. I had to do a lot of speed and proprioception drills and a lot of weightlifting. (I live in a flat area, with a lengthy drive to any fells worthy of the name.) There is a lot of training required to run towards the fast end of the field, whether it is road, track xcountry or fell.


    "Lucky" in that to have the potential to run fast a person needs to have inherited the relevant genes - in other words they need to have chosen their parents very carefully - their mother in particular, as we get 100% of our mitochondria from our mothers, and mitochondria determine our VO2 max. Training - lots of it - is of course needed as well - mileage, speed sessions, weights, plyometrics. Running efficiency and the % of VO2max that can be reached/maintained are also important, and unlike VO2 max, which is more or less fixed (unless there is a significant amount of weight to be lost), can improve a lot with training.

    So I agree, it is not just luck, but luck does come into it. The average chap with a VO2 max of 44 will never be fast, no matter what training he does.

  6. #596
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    I agree with this, and expect most other readers will too. It is worth saying that descending technique can be learnt, and I got a lot quicker at it - reaching a respectable, if not super fast, speed. I found weightlifting very useful for giving me the strength to bound off rocks and run down drops of up to 2m
    Like a language, the earlier in life that descending technique is learnt the better, though it can be learnt, to varying degrees, at any age. Like a language it requires constant practice. It is interesting to see how much some people's descending has deteriorated when they are coming back after injury.
    Last edited by Mike T; Today at 02:32 PM.

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