Neal Butler is a career runner and coach. He has worked with athletes of all ages and abilities and has coached them for optimal performance in track, cross country, road races and trail races. Additionally, the fundamentals of high performance running can be applied to virtually any other sports that involve running. As such, Coach Butler has been a consultant to coaches, teams, and individuals who understand the advantages that speed and endurance can bring them in their respective sports.
My interest in running and training goes clear back to grade school. I have always loved to compete, but always felt I was not as talented as others. I made up for that lack of talent by looking for ways to train better than others. I could be found practicing the fundamentals of whatever sport I would be playing at the time.
I soon learned that my natural talent was endurance. I could outlast anyone. I also loved to run. Throughout grade school, junior high and high school, I would dominate the longer races at field days. I would study training on my own and try to implement what I learned. I never got the chance to compete on a varsity team until college. I walked-on to the cross country team at Asbury College. I actually walked into the coach’s office and said, “I want to run for you. What do I do?” He gave me my first training program that I followed to the letter. Little did I know that that decision would lead to my life’s vocation.
I found immediate success as an athlete. I became a three time qualifier for the NAIA National Cross Country Meet and an NAIA District 32 Champion in the 1500 and 5000. I absolutely loved the training. I soon changed my major to physical education because I wanted to be a coach. I studied everything I could about running.
At first I thought that getting the training program right was most important. I just needed to put in more miles and train harder than any one else. As the years went by, I realized that there was more to it than that. I attended my first clinic on running technique in 1990. That was when I realized there was correct way to run. I immediately started working on my own technique and saw immediate improvement. I then started teaching it to my own athletes and saw improvement in them. After moving from high school to college coaching, I realized the importance of strength training for runners to improve their technique. I soon implemented regular strength training for my athletes.
As the years have gone by, I have worked to implement the best ways for my athletes to train. Finally after years of working on the various parts, I realized that running is like any other sport: if you want to succeed, you must master the fundamentals. This was the start of my business The Fundamental Runner. I have figured out the fundamentals a runner must master and the order they need to be trained in. All training must be set up around these fundamental.
This website covers The Fundamental Foundation:
- Bio-Motor Units: Coordination, Strength, Flexibility, Speed, Endurance
- Training Principles: Consistency, Progression, Specificity, Variety
- Energy Systems: Alactic Anaerobic, Anaerobic, Aerobic
- Recovery Principles: Rest, Restitution
- Attitude: Give your all; be willing to change
Mastering the fundamentals enables athletes to achieve their full potential. If you want to improve as a runner, you must master the fundamentals.