Mr Coach Lang: After I had a conversation with one an athlete yesterday I was reminded of the ideas behind the Central Governor Theory. What do you think about this study?
Coach: That is really interesting.
Mr. Coach Lang: Tim Noakes has done a lot of research on this. In a Runner's World article in 2012 he said a sub 2-hour marathon was impossible because of this theory (they said the same about a sub 4 minute mile back in the day).
Coach: Long story short, the competitive marathon is still in its infancy. For a long time, it was a distance that elites only attempted once they had already exhausted their abilities at 5k, 10k, etc. and when they were in their 30s. Now, with the money available, many top athletes (Kenyans and Ethiopians in particular) are getting into the marathon sooner and doing some truly mind boggling workouts. To me it is just a matter of time.
Mr. Coach Lang: I agree. I haven't done the research but I wonder if Tim Noakes has changed his mind about a sub 2-hour marathon.
Coach: I could relate to how (the mile athlete) seemed to feel, which is that he took his body to a place it had not been before. He was trained to be able to begin his kick from that far out, but had not yet closed a race off of an already quick pace. I also think there was a significant mental/emotional component.
Mr. Coach Lang: I saw in another article some believe "
interval training works largely by teaching the central governor that going faster won't do your body any harm." Maybe more accurately, interval training fine tunes the central governor to be more comfortable being uncomfortable.
Coach: One thing kind of related to Noakes' comments on interval training. Jack Daniels has a great quote talking about racing-- "if you are feeling bad, before slowing down, try speeding up." In other words, his theory is that sometimes you can get fatigued from a particular pace...but you might feel equally better with a slightly faster pace than you would with a slower one.
Mr. Coach Lang: Interesting....