Training Endurance Athletes

by Michael Boyle |   Date Released : 30 Nov 2016
Michael Boyle

About the author: Michael Boyle

Michael Boyle is known internationally for his pioneering work in the field of strength and conditioning and is regarded as one of the top experts in the area for sports performance training. He has made his mark on the industry over the past 30 years with an impressive following of professional athletes, from the US Women’s Olympic teams in soccer and ice hockey to the Boston Bruins, Boston Breakers, New England Revolution, and most recently the Boston Red Sox. His client list over the years reads like a "Who’s Who" of athletic success in New England and across the country including legendary Boston names such as Nomar Garciaparra, Cam Neely, and Ray Bourque.

Mike is a featured speaker at numerous strength and conditioning and athletic training clinics across the country and has produced many instructional videos and DVDs in the areas of strength and conditioning, personal training and rehabilitation.

In 2012, Michael was selected to become part of the Boston Red Sox coaching staff, acting as a strength and conditioning consultant for the team.

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Comments (3)

cooper, frankie | 21 Sep 2009, 17:39 PM

actually, the author doesn't suggest that the endurance training should eliminate or replace steady state training with intervals. it was suggested that one interval training session be added. perhaps the full study should be read before making the assumption that boyle is incorrect.

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mcleod, aaron | 05 Jun 2009, 10:23 AM

I enjoyed reading this article and I have gained more insight on what Mr. Boyle is focusing on here. If anyone is to disagree with anything in this article im sure Mr. Boyle would just say to look at the similarities in how you train and not the differences you may have towards the article.

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Marsteller, Michael | 11 Apr 2009, 12:24 PM

I'd like to point out a couple things about this article:

1.) How long of an event are we talking when we say endurance? Isn't a 5k considered an endurance event? So is an Ironman. Are both athletes supposed to do a 20 minute run with 30 second sprints? I don't think this type of run would do anything for either athlete.

2.) The example of interval training is 30 sec sprint with 4 minutes recovery. It also states that interval training will increase V02 max. Does V02 max matter in endurance events? You take two 5k runners with the same V02. Lets say 78. One has an LT of 90% of V02 and the other 87% of V02. Which one will win? And won't they benefit more from training that increases their lactate threshold? If so, 30 second sprints with 4 minute recovery is completely bad advice.

3.) What is the definition of steady state training? The term is thrown out there but it is not defined.

4.) I haven't looked at the study you referenced but if you take most of the population and do 30 second sprints versus run for 90 minutes then of course they will get results with the sprints. If you take a 2:16 marathoner and tell them to only run for 20 minutes with 30 second sprints and ditch their 130 - 150 mile weeks they will not be running 2:16 anymore.

5.) This article lumps all endurance athletes into one category. I think you need to look at each individual person and assess where they are coming from, where they are at, and what their goals are. I don't think it's helping at all to put endurance athletes down by saying they are always injured. And I don't think it helps them to give them advice on how to raise their V02 by doing 30 second sprints.

6.) Is it necessary to have 4 minutes recovery after a 30 second sprint?

7.) Take a marathoner that has run a 2:45 marathon and is looking to run 2:42. Wouldn't it be better to have him tested for maybe V02 max, but more importantly his velocity and HR at his lactate threshold. Then base his hard runs off of that?

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