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Marcus O’Sullivan: Middle Distance Training
With Marcus O’Sullivan
Villanova Head Track & Field and Head Men’s Cross Country Coach, 4 X Olympian, 3 X World Champion, 100 Sub 4-minute miles in a 15 year pro career, voted NCAA National Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1998.
The focus of this presentation is on anaerobic work, i.e. work that takes place “above the aerobic/anaerobic threshold line.” Before O’Sullivan discusses actual anaerobic training, he shares the set-up of a training plan for the season, working back from the peak meet, including a seasonal breakdown of appropriate training phases helping to establish a solid aerobic base; Marcus presents a wide variety of anaerobic workouts which will help increase the VO2 max and the anaerobic capacity of the athlete. His delivery includes lactate infusion and diffusion – getting the athlete to build lactate in order to teach him/her to diffuse the lactate acid. Throughout the presentation, O’Sullivan offers caution regarding the hazards of over training in this energy system and offers strategies that will allow adequate recovery to avoid overtraining an athlete prior to his or her most important competition. O’Sullivan also presents workout sets that target specific race distances for the middle distance runner. He presents a segment on the importance of speed development, suggesting specific ideas to help increase and enhance the speed of the athlete without it becoming a detriment to the overall performance.