The 30000 Foot View: Understanding the Models

As trainers, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of what training is and what it’s based on. To achieve this, we need to start by looking at two different models: how fatigue occurs and different models of training. These models act as tools that allow us to represent the training process accurately without getting bogged down in the details.

Once we have a clear understanding of these models, we can move on to discussing the principles of training. By starting with the basics, we can ensure that we’re all on the same page and have a solid foundation to build on. In this article, we’ll explore these models and how they relate to effective training practices.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding what training is and what it’s based on is crucial for effective training.
  • Models of fatigue and training provide a framework for understanding the training process.
  • Starting with the basics sets a strong foundation for effective training principles.

Overall Goal of Training:

Our goal in training is to fundamentally change the athlete we are coaching. To achieve this, we need to take several steps. First, we must decide on a direction to take. This means setting an overall goal for the athlete, such as improving their endurance, speed, or strength. Next, we need to understand what training stimulus will accomplish this goal. This involves creating a training plan that is specific to the individual athlete’s needs, taking into account their current fitness level, training history, and any injuries or limitations they may have.

Once we have a plan in place, we need to apply an appropriate training stimulus for that individual athlete. This means designing workouts that are challenging enough to elicit a training response, but not so challenging that they lead to injury or burnout. We must also allow for adaptation to occur. This involves giving the athlete time to recover between workouts, adjusting the training plan as needed based on their progress, and monitoring their overall health and well-being.

One important factor to consider when designing a training plan is fatigue. Fatigue is a complex subject, but we can simplify it by creating models of how it works. One such model is the old school model of by-product build up and depletion. This model suggests that exercise causes the production of waste products, which are produced quicker than we can get rid of them. This leads to fatigue, muscle failure, and a decrease in performance.

Another model is the integrated model of fatigue. This model takes into account both physiologic and psychological factors that contribute to fatigue. It suggests that our expectations, perceptions, motivation, and emotional control all play a role in how we experience fatigue. By training to handle these factors, we can improve our ability to tolerate increased effort and delay the onset of fatigue.

Using these models, we can manipulate variables to combat fatigue and improve performance. For example, we can train to decrease our perception of effort during a race by improving our fitness, delaying the build-up of by-products, and manipulating what we pay attention to externally. We can also increase our capacity to tolerate increased effort by improving our ability to stay focused and attuned, increasing our emotional control, and proving to ourselves that we can safely handle slightly more of that product before our brain starts shutting things down.

In summary, our overall goal in training is to fundamentally change the athlete we are coaching. To achieve this, we must set an overall goal, understand what training stimulus will accomplish this goal, apply an appropriate training stimulus for the individual athlete, and allow for adaptation to occur. We must also take into account the complex subject of fatigue and use models to simplify it and manipulate variables to combat it. By doing so, we can improve our athletes’ performance and help them reach their full potential.

Training Models

When it comes to training athletes, coaches often utilize different models to achieve their desired results. Each model comes with its own vocabulary, and it’s worth learning all models to allow for evaluation and innovation. Below are a few models that coaches tend to utilize.

Physiology Model

The physiology model emphasizes that the physiology is what matters the most. For each event, we have physiologic demands or components that predict performance. Depending on the event, we might know that VO2max, Lactate Threshold, Anaerobic Capacity, or any other myriad of phrases are important contributors to performance. Everything is designed around enhancing these physiological determinants. The hope is that if we develop these components, performance will improve. Therefore, we put all of the focus in workout design and creation on attacking these components. This model is often adopted by team sports and strength and conditioning coaches when it comes to endurance development. They learn endurance after their own.

Experiential Model

The experiential model emphasizes that we learn through experience. When we grow up practicing sport, we learn the nuances of the training naturally. We aren’t interested in the science or definitions underlying the training as a young teenager and instead, focus on the experience. Our coach provides guidance, and we simply perform the workouts. In this way, we develop a natural feeling for what a 4-mile “tempo” workout feels like or the sensation of hammering out 400m repeats on the track feels like. From this perspective, when we get into coaching, we relate workouts to our experience in completing them. This forms the basis of our understanding of training. Often, we layer on science after the fact as an explanatory mechanism for why we should feel a certain way on training, but the experience dominates.

Mechanical Model

The mechanical model emphasizes that movement is the most important aspect. We create a model of how the athlete should move throughout the event, and perfecting that becomes the point of emphasis. Sprint coaches who dictate what an athlete should look at every point in the race utilize this model. Their training largely centers on perfecting their mechanics, even at the expense of getting a slightly higher physiological stress. This is why often the workout is stopped if mechanical breakdown occurs, even if the physiological stress desired isn’t reached.

Workout/Mathematical Model

The workout/mathematical model is a practical model. The idea is that we have a particular workout, and to improve, we need to change and progress in that workout. While we might be attacking underlying physiology, the coach’s model is simply to look at improving our speed or endurance through ever-evolving workouts. In this model, the workouts predominate. So if we can do 5x1mile at 4:40 with 2 minutes rest, we will race faster if we can do the same workout at 4:35 pace next time. The thought isn’t that we are attacking a particular zone or physiologic system, but instead, simply improving.

The ideal ‘model’ is a synthesis of the aforementioned concepts. We need to know how to apply each of them, knowing when to emphasize one and ignore the other. For example, if you are a 100m sprinter, it makes sense to primarily view the world through a mechanical model. On the other hand, a distance runner might need to forget about mechanical stability and instead, go to the point of complete breakdown. We know that the runner will phase immense levels of pain and fatigue during a workout, so conditioning them for this, and allowing for them to learn how to cope (mechanically, psychologically, and emotionally) may be the key to improving performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of a 10,000 foot view?

A 10,000 foot view is a figurative way of describing a high-level view of a situation, problem, or project. It refers to an overview that is not overly detailed, but still provides a broad understanding of the topic at hand.

What is the difference between a 10,000 foot view and a 30,000 foot view?

A 10,000 foot view and a 30,000 foot view are both high-level views of a situation, but the difference lies in the level of detail. A 10,000 foot view provides a higher level of detail than a 30,000 foot view, but still maintains a broad perspective. A 30,000 foot view is a more abstract and general view, providing a bird’s-eye view of the situation.

What is the opposite of a 30,000 foot view?

The opposite of a 30,000 foot view is a “boots on the ground” view. This refers to a detailed, on-the-ground perspective of a situation, problem, or project. It is a view that is focused on the details and specifics, rather than the big picture.

What are some examples of using a 30,000 foot view in business?

A 30,000 foot view can be used in business to gain a broad understanding of a company’s overall strategy, to identify trends and patterns in the market, and to make high-level decisions about the direction of the company. It can also be used to evaluate the performance of different departments or teams within the company, and to identify areas for improvement.

How can a 30,000 foot view help with decision-making?

A 30,000 foot view can help with decision-making by providing a broad perspective on a situation, problem, or project. It can help decision-makers to identify patterns and trends that may not be immediately apparent from a more detailed view. It can also help decision-makers to prioritize their actions and focus on the most important issues.

What is the significance of understanding models in a 30,000 foot view?

Understanding models in a 30,000 foot view is significant because it provides a framework for understanding complex systems and processes. Models can help to simplify complex information and make it more accessible to decision-makers. They can also help decision-makers to identify patterns and trends that may not be immediately apparent from a more detailed view.

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