Final Surge Podcast Episode 70: Jonathan Marcus

In Episode 70 of the Final Surge Podcast we speak with Coach Jonathan Marcus of High Performance West. Jonathan is also the co-host of the popular On Coaching Podcast. We discuss the new High Performance West site and ask him a lot of training questions from our listeners.

Welcome to Episode 70 of the Final Surge Podcast, our first release of 2018. Today we welcome back coach Jonathan Marcus of High Performance West who is also the co-host of the On Coaching Podcast. In this episode, we find out what Jonathan is up to since our first visit over a year ago and take some questions our listeners sent in. Remember if you like the podcast please share it with a friend or on Facebook or FinalSurge where we can be found @FinalSurge.

Listen to the podcast on iTunes or listen to it on Stitcher or Google Play if you have an Android device.

Stream it right here:

What is going on with High Performance West?

  • Goal January 5th Full Launch
  • Workout of the day
  • Story/thought of the day
  • Will continue doing daily post with workout and story of the day
  • Have over 5,000 workouts written down to pick from

You recently had a workout from Nick Symmonds. Jerry and Alberto Salazar are two of greatest coaches around and you have stated they are influences on you. They are big believers in lots of high-end aerobic development, but Nick's workout was anything but. Talk a little his workout and what you took from it?

  • Very fast, 400m and faster pace
  • Have to be cautious and keep people healthy too
  • Learn from your mentors, but find your own flavor and thoughts

What advice do you have for coaches who read your site and the workouts of the day and how they should employ them?

  • Designed to make you think
  • Give you the why and how they did it
  • Context of how it fit in
  • Purpose is to get you thinking and growing

What is your other project Coaching With Craft?

  • Goal is short 5-minute videos
  • Contribute to the community of coaches

We wanted to open it up to some of our listeners and we gathered questions from them so let's get into them.

I have heard you talk about doing workouts in a way so that after the hard effort you clear lactate with more aerobic running. I have also heard you say that most of what we know about lactate acid is a myth from the 80's. What do we know and what should we keep in mind? I do mostly 5k-10k road races with 1 track workout a week.

  • Common interpretation lactate acid is a wall/barrier
  • Lactate is a fuel source
  • We get to a tipping point where we cannot keep up and acidosis happens
  • Acidosis turns the muscles off
  • Lactate Flush: Since we can buffer, if we give it enough of a buffer then can turn it around to be fuel
  • 400s at 2k pace with 60 seconds rest. At a point, you will be cooked, but what you can do is flushes at 1/2 marathon to marathon pace for 200m, then easy 200, after about 3-4 of them lactate will reset to a point where using lactate as fuel.

Father of a runner who took over the school's indoor track distance team after they were left coachless had a few questions:

What should the warmups-drills-exercises look like?

  • Keep it fun
  • Jay Johnson Lunge Matrix videos
  • Good team bonding time
  • Good to have drill set A/B
  • Observe and watch

You mentioned minimum effective dose often, when do you know when that has been reached?

  • Make sure there is enough left they can do what they need to do tomorrow
  • Watch over time what they can handle

I am a 33-year-old runner who has been running for 3 years. I started for weight loss and fell in love with the sport. I just broke 20 minutes in the 5k which has been a goal for a year. You talk about looking at the canvass and seeing what is missing. That is what I should be working on. How do you know what that thing is?

  • You don't know what you don't know
  • What problems do you need to find a solution to
  • The problems that arise formulate the questions

I have been coaching xc/indoor/outdoor distance for 4 years. I have done a good job developing 1&2 mile runners on the track, but very little luck with developing 800 runners. I don't have any of those "jump out of the gym" athletes that you talk about. What types of workouts can I add and when should I add them in?

  • I had the same problem until a few weeks ago
  • Added speed work starting day 1
  • Prperation work/ lifting/ gym work
  • Quick stairs/ Power stairs
  • Plyos

In one of your podcast, you said Alan Webb did not go to altitude but was getting similar results from his lifting. Can you explain this?

  • His cardio was great
  • Hormonal release from lifting similar to performance drugs

One thing you talk about a lot is, after a workout or rep, you ask your runner to walk you through it. It is easy to talk about what happens on a bad rep, but what about ones that are "fine"? Do you dig deeper or take fine as an answer?

  • Depends on the session
  • All about the psychology of what is going on
  • Are they engaged or on auto-pilot

Recently you have talked about how you are spending more time on form and mechanics. Can you talk to us about what you have learned, what you focus on and where should we be going to help educate ourselves on this?

  • Form/mechanics have become more of a focus
  • As a younger coach was more about getting the work in, do more
  • When I hit a roadblock I had to look at different strategies
  • Easier to control from top/arms down
  • Arms like slingshots at acute angle
  • Transitions down to legs

High Performance West
Jonathan Marcus on Twitter
Marcus from Episode 40


Team Final Surge

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