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Canadian Endurance Conference Follow-Up with Malindi Elmore, Guy Schultz, and Marilyn Arsenault

posted by Brandon
Canadian Endurance Conference Follow-Up with Malindi Elmore, Guy Schultz, and Marilyn Arsenault

Some of the biggest names in track and field were on hand in Vancouver, Canada at The Canadian Endurance Conference. With the likes of James Li, Alberto Salazar, Margo Jennings, and Dave Scott-Thomas, this conference was a superb way for coaches and athletes in Canada to learn from the best. We asked some of Canada’s best athletes and coaches (Guy Schultz, Malindi Elmore, and Marilyn Arsenault) to share a few lessons learned from the past weekend.

Malindi Elmore, who has represented Canada on the world stage numerous times and now operates The Canadian Runner Clinics shared 5 lessons she learned over the weekend  from an athletes viewpoint on her blog. She mentioned that “the most important outcome of the weekend was the energy and excitement I gained from hearing the speakers present and chatting with other coaches and athletes.   In fact, I was so pumped up last night about how hard I am going to train and how fast I am going to run this year that I could hardly sleep!”

Read the Full Entry.

Guy Schultz, who was a stand-out at The University of Alabama and a member of Team Canada numerous times wrote that he was “amazed at the resources these coaches have access to”. Schultz is now the Associate Head Coach at The University of Western Ontario. We asked him to share the top 5 things he learned while in Vancouver from a coaching standpoint.

#1: It’s important to effectively manage all aspects of the athlete’s performance (i.e. training, competition, nutrition, psychology, and lifestyle).
#2: A program should incorporate all aspects of training and workout principles (i.e. intervals, speed work , tempo runs, recovery/easy runs, long runs, fartlek and hill repeats)
#3: It’s important to create a program that works for each individual.  Our athletes are all at different ages, levels, and abilities, and with different goals.
#4: Coaching is about Teaching, Motivating, and Learning.
#5: The future of Canadian distance running, from a coaching standpoint, appears to be in good hands. Most Canadian coaches are as hungry to learn.

Marilyn Arsenault is a phenomenal athlete who shares her trials and tribulations via her blog and a one of a kind form coach via Mindful Strides Clinics. We asked Marilyn to share her top 3 lessons learned from a coach/form coach perspective. Please take a moment to check out Marilyn’s blog and Mindful Strides website. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed.

#1: New to me is the idea of ‘training’ your  body to use fuel efficiently – especially important for endurance events like the marathon. Trent Stellingwerff’s talk “Born to Fuel” outlined very clearly how metabolic adaptation (‘fasted training’) works and how you can train your metabolic system to take in and actually metabolize the carbohydrates and fluid necessary to keep you from running out of gas in the last half of the race. This is something you need to practice during marathon prep. The concept of denying your body carbs on a select few volume runs is another way of training your body to run at pace on less-basically mimicking what happens in the final kms of the marathon.
#2: I learned that coaches coaching elite runners put a lot of emphasis on running efficiency and work on ways to improve biomechanics. Even though their athletes are at a world-class level and are obviously fast, their efficiency is not taken for granted and they are monitored carefully. Feedback is routinely provided and run- specific drills are integrated into the weekly training program.
#3: In terms of coaching, most of the training principles were the same from coach to coach. The training phases were basically the same. What did jump out at me was how difficult it is to be a good coach. The art of coaching involves much much more than throwing down a solid training program. Anyone can do that. Truly great coaches are constantly learning and assessing their own abilities. They know how and when to adjust programs, can instill confidence/belief in their athletes and can make logical decisions that steer the athlete in the right direction. Basically they have the talent, intuition and intelligence to match the many faceted needs of their athletes. Each coach expressed the complexity of juggling all these skills and the challenges and the joys they have faced over the years with their athletes. I found this very inspiring.

All the videos from the conference will be posted here.

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One Comment

  1. Nancy Tinari says:

    Thanks for the summary, Brandon! I enjoyed reading about the conference from the thoughtful points of view of Malindi, Guy and Marilyn.

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