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Do Workouts Matter?

McKayla Fricker  (center), readies to compete in an 800m race at the House of Track in 2016.

McKayla Fricker (center), readies to compete in an 800m race at the House of Track in 2016.

Recently, I was sitting with an esteemed, tenured, and highly successful distance running coach, and he posed the following question, "Do workouts even matter?"

His point was that workouts are but one ingredient in the recipe. And often, coaches and athletes place a disproportionally high value on the importance of workouts, thinking of them as the end-all-be-all secret to success, instead of a means to an end. 

With so many different training methods and philosophies and an abundance of success being enjoyed throughout the competitive landscape, he has a point. 

It is not the act of working out that makes an athlete successful, but the person doing the workouts who takes consistent action to create their success. 

When this is understood, coaching ceases to be an accounting exercise prescribing and tallying up reps, sets, volumes, etc. to judge an athlete's compliance and becomes a gardening activity of cultivating, nourishing, and encouraging the athlete to grow.

 

Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm 

Jonathan Marcus