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sprint vs. distance coaching philosophies
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Micah Ward
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2002 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Earlier I said if you cross running and the Grateful Dead you get Gabe.

If you cross a distance runner with a sprinters mentality would you get Pre?

Could American distance running use another Pre right now?
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Paul
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2002 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as TV announcing, I'm referring more to the big 3 sports in this case, there seems to be a definite gulf between fantasy and reality, even by people who have played the game and should know better. I know part of the color is to draw viewers in, but I still find it appalling what some of these people can say. Conway can comment on this better, because he knows a lot of these people.

Paul
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Paul
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2002 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Micah, the difference, as I see it, is Mo's attitude is 'you can't beat me even if I'm on crutches', whereas Pre would say 'I don't care how good you think you are, I'm coming after you' . You might only be able to count on one hand the people with Pre's attitude, today.

Paul
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2002 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conway wrote:

Back to the TV Announcer ... We're not talking about elite athletes here ... But rather young people - pre teens / early teens who are easily impressed by what they see on TV .. They may choose to participate in certain events (or not participate) based n their perceived ability to do well later on ... Obviously if you have gotten to elite status you have chosen your path and the positives and negatives that go with it ... But unless you are a young phenom the inclination for most people is to follow the path of least resistance (and has nothing to do with the "lazy" discussion held earlier) ...




I still differ with you on this point. Even a pre teen that has a dream of running in the Olympics, isn't really going to be afraid of running against Africans. Of coarse I could have a bais here because of the enviornment I grew up in. I was raised very near the Navajo reservation in northwest New Mexico. That reservation has more natural runners than any place this side of the Rift Valley. My school was mostly white kids. On my high school team there were two kinds of runners those who thought that Native Americans were part deer and unbeatable freaks of nature and the kids that knew they were just runners. In other words there was a JV and a Varsity. The kids that were afraid were worthless, the kids that weren't afraid were pretty good. And that was the order, unafraid and then good not the other way around. The thing was the same kids that weren't afraid of Navajo runners weren't afraid to race the Kenyan runners that went to the local JC in road races either (of coarse these Kenyans weren't Bernard Legat or Boaz Chembio, just average to a little above avearge D2 level college runners). My point is the good kids heard all the stories about Native American runners that were half deer and how good the Kenyans were supposed to be and you know how much it affected them, not at all.
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Conway
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2002 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well of course they weren't afraid ... They kept hearing that THEY were half deer !!! ie that they were compatible and could compete ... So they did ... THAT is the power of the media AND positive thinking .. The same happens in the negative ... Also Native Americans have an inherent belief in themsleves and their place within nature ... As such they feel that they are born to do things like running ... That is totally different than a young child who's interchange with the world may have been a zoo ... And for whom the boob tube is the ultimate in his/her knowledge base ... It relays the gospel of society and the world to them ... It IS information ... And if that inforamtion source tells them that these are the events that your people are good in - let it be so ...
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Micah Ward
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2002 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Concerning the idea that the average runner can't relate to the world class runner, I disagree somewhat. Several years ago I competed in a short triathlon...500 yard swim, 15 mile bike and 5K run. I was pretty tired afterwards. That afternoon the Hawaiin Ironman Triathlon was on tv.

Watching those guys the same day I had done a triathlon gave me a completely new appreciation for the effort they were putting out. Does it mean that I know exactly how they felt or that I would place myself on the same level as them? Absolutely not!! But I felt like I could relate to what they were doing and I could understand what they were going through.

Now I don't know if that makes us all part of a triathlon or endurance sport culture but it does create a connection. (Where am I going with this?) I think the point I am trying to make is that everyone who competes in a sport has a connection no matter how good or bad they may be. You can call it a culture or not call it a culture but I believe it is there.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2002 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conway, you seem to have missed the point of my post. I was talking about the success of white high school runners against Native Americans and 3rd teir Kenyans and how they overcame the hype. My point was in order to be a quaility runner, at any level, you can't be afraid of any group of people. At my high school it was Native Americans, at the world level it's Kenyans, in between it might be runners form a certain college or running club. The point is the athletes with the will to be good at any age are never affraid of any individual just because of his skin color or uniform. And it doesn't matter who is saying otherwise whether it's a TV announcer saying "these Kenyans are unbeatable" or a sophmore saying that kids from the reservation are half deer and that's why their so fast. Neither of which is true. And neither negatively influences a person with the tools to be good.

I would even go so far as to say that these type of statements have a motivational affect. One of the most inspirational things in the world is to prove someone wrong.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone who wants to be the best tells themselves they can compete with the best, but that's not the same as believing it. I don't think "fear" is the right term, maybe awe or intimidation?

Case in point, the recently completed NBA finals. Nets coach Byron Scott knows all about championship situations and even played with Kobe (and I believe Shaq was there that year) briefly. Like every good coach, he talked about what they had to slow the big fella down. Like every freshly defeated coach, he talked about Shaq being a freak of nature that no one could stop... Did his thinking suddenly change after the fact? Unlikely.

The same can be seen with almost any top tier American runner. They talk of how they are prepared to run with the big dogs, and sure enough they're up there halfway through the race. Suddenly, "Mr. Unbeatable" from pick-your-African-country throws in a mid-race surge and you can see the defeated look in the eyes of the yank. It was inevitable, and he knew it coming in. Of course, he couldn't admit it ahead of time, but it's obvious from the response.

This fictional account brought to you by the Run-Down Bedtime Story Service... RDBSS for short. Smile

Dan
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think now we're going from mentality to reality. I agree with you on both points. Every person that is going to be worth his spikes not only tells himself but does believe that he can run with who ever. And once pick-your-kenyan throws in a mid race surge it is a different story. Until the next season. The beatiful thing about our sport is you really do know where you are in realation to everyone else. You realize that in order to beat, Geb in a 5k you had better be ready to go at least 12:40 something at the slowest, if your not ready your not ready and all you can do is try to make yourself ready to run that number. Now if you can run whatever time you think it takes to beat an opponent and you can't do it against him then I say it's mental. If your racing a 12:40 guy and your best is 13:25 then all you can do is hang on as best you can for as long as you can. In which case you probably should be more concerned with getting down to 12:40 rather than having someone that much faster than you in your head.
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Hammer
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2002 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it nessessary for American Males to overcome the hype of African Distance runners? Or are the other isues that stand in the way that are causing more problems??

Does the rest of the sprinting world fear American sprinters or do they fear people individually?

As far as the fear of elite runners I believe that distance runners fear geographic phenomenons and sprinters fear individuals. (This is only an assumption, I have nothing to back this up.) This may be who Kennedy went to Africa to train with the Kenyans. And then the question is: What helped him more, training with more and better athletes or training in a new system???
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Conway
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2002 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Distance_Guru wrote:
If your racing a 12:40 guy and your best is 13:25 then all you can do is hang on as best you can for as long as you can. In which case you probably should be more concerned with getting down to 12:40 rather than having someone that much faster than you in your head.


OK .. Now here is where the rubber meets the road ...

First I have a question: how does that person "really" feel ??? I remember my first trip to state as a soph in HS .. I had run a 10.7 at sections to taek 3rd and make it to state .. Section had been won in 10.6, so I had been competitive .. But in my heat in the trials at state, amonog others, was the defending state champion AND state record holder (at the time) at 10.3 !!! I was as cocky and self confident as you can imagine a 15 year old to be, but the thought of facing this guy had me totally frightened ... Why ?? Becasue in most every other race I had run that year I felt I had a shot at winning or medalling (and had) ... But going into that race I felt like I had no shot ... That perhaps I was out of my league ...

So how does 13:25 feel going up against 12:40 ??? And how does 13:25 feel doing that in almost every race he runs ???

Second question is: How does 13:25 fix/solve that dilema ?? Or can it be fixed ???

Final question for this post: IF it CAN'T be fixed what does 13:25 do and how does he feel ???
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2002 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like yor example and it reminds me a little of my own experences in the 3200 in high school. And it leads me to believe that we might be looking at another difference between distance runners and sprinters. In a sprint race they are over so fast that the mentallity coming in is the mental state you're in the entire race, there just isn't time for any change of attitude. With distance races the attitude can change 180 degrees in the coarse of a race. If you haven't run a good time but you get into a race with runners you know are really good and then hang with them for a while you start to believe that you are as good as they are and can have a huge boost in confidence and can do very well.

In the case of our 13:25 racing a 12:40 here are our options. If the 13:25 is a young runner, someone like Ritz running a race or two in Europe then the race should be taken to build experince, to see how the best in the world race. He can then take that experince and use it as motivation to improve and work towards that 12:40.

If he's an old dog, well then I hope he has a good personality so that we can finally get a color commentator for the distance races that is worth a darn. Either that or he can work his tail off to get the best possible kick and then hope that he can get into one of those tactical race like last years worlds where the winning woman ran faster than the winning man.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2002 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Hammer is asking a couple of good questions.

I think that before we as Americans can start worrying about some kind of Kenyan aura we just need to get more than one runner below 13:00 in tbe 5000. I also really don't think that the best Americans are scared of "kenyans" primarily because racing kenyans is a pretty common thing. Heck I would bet money that my life time record vs runners from Kenya is me ahead of them. Now I didn't race the best Kenyans but I did race Kenyans. The problem is that there is such a gap between our best and there best. I don't think its so much us being afraid of them as it is their best right now being way ahead of our best in terms of time. Now if we had three or more runners under 12:50 and we still couldn't break through then I might have a different oppinion.
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Hammer
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2002 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But how do we get 3-4 runners to run under 13:00??? Is Bob Kennedy the only runner with the make up to run that fast??? If there are more how are they found????
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Conway
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2002 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While appreicate what you said, you still didn't answer my athree specific questions ... And I am really curious as to the answers ... And why don't we say that 13:25 is an athletes in his post collegiate years (since that is what the typical Mr 13:25 is) ...

Now as far as your finding the fear factor as a difference between sprinters and hurdlers, I have to disagree ... As a matter of fact since the races are shorter it makes it EASIER to block out the fear temporarily ... If I had completed my story, you would have found that I placed 5th in my heat (first 3 moving on to the final) in a windy 10.5 ... The race was won at 10.3 ... While I was afraid of some of the guys in the race, I knew that in order to try to be competitive and NOT get embarrassed I had to be totally focused and could NOT afford to make any mistakes (I had a very good coach) .. When I got in the blocks all I could think about was "gotta get out, gotta get out, gotta go" ... And once the gun went off all I could think of was "lift, lift, lift" ... And while I didn't make the final, my confidence took one whale of a shot UP !!! I had competed and competed well .. I proved I DID belong and that I could run with the big boys ...

Now as for your guy running with teh 12:40 guy, even though he keeps up for a while he HAS to know that that is temporary .... And spend how much time "waiting" for the group to take off from him ... Or does he ???
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