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ssteve235
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject: Confused Runner Reply with quote

Im a sophmore in high school. I run indoor and outdoor track and im i have a real dillema and im trying to get as many viewpoints as possible on it. Im a sprinter and always have been a sprinter (run a 12.5 100 avg last year along with a 58 400 and a 25 200) I'm part of a real strong 4 by 1 (my split last year was 11.7 two seniors run low 11s and high 10s and another sophmore runs an 11.5) but after this year two seniors are graduating leaving the sprinting team devestaed. Over the past few months ive become obsessed with the idea of running the mile. Ive never timed myself actually running a mile but i can easily run a 5:30 mile. The real thing i wanna know is if i should stick with sprinting for the rest of high school or switch to the mile after this year (or possibly this year? My coach and teamates would not like that and i wouldnt want to seeing as we have a real good shot at qualifying for states) I would greatly appreciate any advice. Ive already talked to a few guys on the team and the sprinters all wanted me to stay and sprint the distance guys all wanted me to leave.

Last edited by ssteve235 on Fri May 01, 2009 4:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing to consider is tradition and maturation. Typically, when you have a strong event area on a team, the loss of graduation ends up not being as bad as feared. Second tier athletes step up and fill the void as they get older and stronger, and the tradition has a way of passing itself along.

So, don't change simply because the group strength is down. You may surprise yourself and be in the low-11's this year and be next in line for one of those top spots next year. Of course, if you want to try the distances, that's your choice, too. But do it because you want to, not because you're being pulled one way or the other.

Dan
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Angelo Z
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a sophmore too. A 5:30 mile for a sprinter is quite rare especially for a great sprinter in HS. It's not because sprinters have low VO2s, but it's because sprinters weigh a lot more. I'm assuming you weigh around 130. 130 is the standard weight for professional marathoners. If you go to the mile it will bite hard. But don't take this as a discouragement, because the mile (I'm a miler), has it's pros too. You can make a much more drastic improvement in the mile than sprinting, and it will also allow you excel in XC too. In the beginning it will be extremely hard for you to adapt. Most of your muscles are already fast twitch, and the training you will prepare to face will be unbelievably gruelling. I'm talking about getting in 40-50 miles a week for beginners. So I mean, you can forget all of those dashes and pure speed drills. Most of my varsity sprinter friends run in the 6 minute mile range. You may think that your mile is decent from sprinting, but you need to think that it's 1500 more meters that you're running. Here are the cons of the mile: you will lose a significant amount of muscle-mostly from your upper body, and very little from your legs. You lose some from your legs because slow twitch muscles fibers a a smoother look than a ripped-like look that the fast twitch fibers have. If you don't care about your appearance, then it's perfect. This is a fact no matter what, you've probablly seen the XC runners right? Yeah, they all look like twigs. A con about sprinting is how you start out. If you start out too late or too fast, or unwind at the wrong time, it will affect the entire race. This even happens among Olympic sprinters. Keep that in mind too.

In the end it all comes down to one thing: Would you rather run a 10 second range 100m, or a 4 minute range possibly a sub four in the future along with being able to run 5-6 miles at 5:00 mile pace? You decide. I haven't really wanted to give you advice on what to choose, instead I gave you advice so can can have more knowledge on what a mile runner really is. I hope everything is clear enough right now to make your decision. And as for the distance guys, well, that's just them. There's always that controversy that goes on about "Only real men run distance" or "Only twigs run distance." It really doesn't matter.
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ssteve235
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanls for the advice, both of you. First off in reply to what dan said, my school does not have a tradition of a strong sprinting team. We have a good distance team and a great xc team. So the graduating seniors are a real problem because after me the sprinting talent drops off considerably, fastest kid after me is a junior who runs low 13s pr 12.9. So at the end of last year my coach had the four best freshman runners (me, a miler, an 800 runner, and the other sprinter) run and practice the 400. we got demolished at state quals. So thats another choice i have is to become more of a 400 runner, but i have really been wanting to run the mile, because all the speedwork has started to get kinda boring and running longer distances have become alot more fun then they used to be. Besides most college coaches are looking at what you do junior year not so much sophmore year, right?

In response to what angelo z said, your guess about my wieght was pretty close, i wiegh 122, and i get what your saying about the hard work involved, ive got no problem with hard work. I dont really consider i ran unless i come home too sore or too tired to do anything else but rest and eat. Also what you said about the look of a miler compared to a sprinter, i dont really have all that much upper body muscle to lose to begin with so thats not a problem for me. Last thing i wanna ask is if i decide to run the mile junior, is that too late to start? Also i havent really heard about too many runners getting scholarships. Does that happen often? cause if im gonna run in college its going to have to be on at least a part scholarship otherwise im going to a community college.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Junior year is most important for college recruiting. Most of the spots are filled by the time Senior track rolls around. Although, if you take up distance running and find you have some talent at it, running Cross Country your Senior year can increase visibility, now that only NAIA schools can sign athletes early (i.e. during the fall).

Dan
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ssteve235
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are some good track schools?
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Angelo Z
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My senior friend with a 4:09 mile got a scholarship. I have another friend who's a senior now that's going to regionals. He said that if you win nationals, you can join almost any college. I got under 5:00 from 6:55 in less than a year. Most college runners will have times in the 4:10-4:20 range. None of my friends went to track schools though. They just trained by themselves, and got some more coaching when they were participating in track/XC. The mile is extremly easy to make gains in in the beginning. And with not much muscle, you have a headstart. I was just saying that pro sprinters are around 170-180 and pro marathoners are 115-130. Just prepare for a high weekly mileage. Most of my friends go up as high as 120 during the summer. One reason that I don't like sprinting is because I have to lift weights especially for the upper body. But as a miler, you'll have decent 5k/10k times. Most competitions with entrance fees are 5k/10k since older people can join, and the mile run is just beyond their strength. If you want a scholoarship, you need to create shock and awe by joining all comer runs, or setting high school records. With the condition of winning, you will gain a whole lot of publicity. You will get requests from officials to get sponsored, which in return you can start joining competitions with real runners. The Olympics for example would be the highest level of competition, but also requires the most publicity and rep. Here are some examples: Alan Webb and Jim Ryun who ran sub four miles in highschool. The next day, they were on the cover of sports illustrated. Hard to accomplish, but not impossible. There have been 3 other HS athletes that have achieved this feat. So instead of paying out of your own pocket, let Nike and ASICS do its job for you. They pay hundreds on you, but they earn thousands off you back. But you also earn millions if you're unbeatable. Keep in mind that this is only optional if you wish to continue further.
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My favorite all time race: Hicham El Guerrouj - Prefontaine Classic Mile 2002 http://youtube.com/watch?v=4YykUTHzOL8
•London 2012 XXX Olympiad•
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are too many good schools to count... You need to narrow it down by location, degrees offered, style of coaching, event areas emphasized, etc.

Dan
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Angelo Z
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are your parents ok with going to a track school? Most parents input the idea of "Getting a higher education." I have some friends going through the same thing. One of them is nationally recognized in tennis and she now goes to a school in Florida for tennis where she does less academic work but 6-8 hours of tennis everyday.

If you're going to get ready for the mile, it will take about a month to adapt to running long distances. Let's say that you do your first session of 30 minutes and you do it fine, you even sprint to the finish. Don't be surprised if your legs are giving up on you next week. You will just feel like zilch throughout your first month. I highly reccomend to start running outside first to really enforce those legs. I don't know if you ever ran long distances on long sidewalks, etc. but it feels like your 3x slower than running on a track. You might have ran the mile a couple of times, but wait until you start the training. You said that you can run a 5:30 mile easily right? So then I'm assuming you can do 5:10 if you pushed yourself. With a 5:10 mile, you need to do your runs at 6:19-6:30 mile pace. http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/Running%20University/Article%201/mcmillanrunningcalculator.htm

The long runs should be anywhere from 30-90 minutes, but the mile pace for each amount of time shouldn't deviate much. So if you can run 4 miles at 6:20 mile pace, then you should be able to run 9 miles at 6:20 pace.
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•London 2012 XXX Olympiad•
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ssteve235
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i didnt mean high school, a good college to run for. And for the past few weeks ive been increasing my mileage (mostly to build up endurance for the 400) along with the sprint drills ive been doing. I felt like i was gonna die after running 12 miles at about a 8 min pace, so if i switched to the mile i would have alot of work to do
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Angelo Z
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssteve235 wrote:
i didnt mean high school, a good college to run for. And for the past few weeks ive been increasing my mileage (mostly to build up endurance for the 400) along with the sprint drills ive been doing. I felt like i was gonna die after running 12 miles at about a 8 min pace, so if i switched to the mile i would have alot of work to do


12 miles at 8 minute pace is around 1:36:00 minutes. That's almost half a marathon, I don't think sprinters have that much aerobic capacity or even their slow twitch muscle fibers developed enough to run that much. If you can run a 5:30 mile easily, that should be a cakewalk since you also have the potential to run at least 5 miles at 6:45 mile pace. 12 miles 19200m, or 48 laps around a track. The endurance required in the 400m is no where close to 48 400s. I personally run a very fast 100 and 400 but mainly because I'm a middle and long distance runner, even though I primarily focus on the mile only. But yeah, the standard distance runner can run sub 50 second laps, and 11 second 100s - very, very rarely a 10 second 100m. You may just be assuming your times in distance running, or you were not timed which I totally understand. It's normal because you haven't ran the slower paces long enough to know what each one feels like.

I told you that the mile requires a lot of work. Did you know that there hasn't been one white guy to go under 10 seconds for the 100m? Which is exactly why I don't sprint. It provides less success for me than distance running. In distance running you have people of all heights, and the record holder of the 5K and 10K is around 5'5". Not only that but sprinting is extremely hard to be successful in. You must have a pretty solid winning streak and the start is always critical. If you mess up just a tiny bit, it will affect the enitre race and I think that you already know that. Now you felt like you were about to die because you let the distance conquer you. That's another thing you need to adapt to, and it usually comes within 2-3 months of hardcore running. At first the pain is overwhelming-not because you're not trained well enough, but because you're not used to it. An elite runner running 4 miles at 4:20 mile pace feels the same pain as a novice runner running 4 miles at 8:30 mile pace. The only factor is that they are more mentally developed to the pain. As for a college I don't really know, but I reccomend that you just go to a great University and run there. Pretty much all of the nation's colleges have a track to run on. If you were doing some other sport like tennis or basketball, or even gymnastics, then I would understand. But in the case of running or bodybuilding, you don't need so many hours of training. Besides, that's a good thing since you can focus a lot on academics. In the words "student athlete," student comes first. So if you can get into Princeton, or some state college TAKE IT. My friend who runs the 4:09 mile goes to Abilene University, TX which focuses on degrees in business. He competes fine over there too, and he also has a lot of competition due to the Kenyan/Ethiopian runners.

Former Usain Bolt was asked by a reporter if he wants to break any 400m records. He says "I dislike doing 600s, 500s, etc." And I think that's the dilemma that most sprinters face when they want to go long distance. If you've been a sprinter for quite a long time, then sprinting engraved in you pretty deeply. I reccomend for you to watch some distance runs before you make any decisions. Some people prefer sprinting because it's short, others like longer distance for the pure reason that they last longer, etc. Here are the videos I reccomend for you of elite distance runners: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YykUTHzOL8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbHZzsRe0DY&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6roXDygZ3ag
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvCsj7eJKKA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eJZA-V9U9Y&feature=related

The mile and 1500m world records are in there. These are just to see what a 3:43 mile looks like, etc. It's up to you to decide which one appeals more to you. From my mental perspective, I chose distance running because it affects me more mentally, and I have deeper experiences that occur in them. Sprinting requires a lot of training too such as doing loads of plyometrics, weight lifting, you need to watch your diet more closely i.e. getting high amounts of protein. Sprinters spend an average of 45 minutes doingplyos, compoud intervals, other special intervals just as distance runners sped 45 minutes running hard the whole time. Distance runners do sometimes go up to 90 minute training sessions. You just think that they do more work because you're overwhelmed by the weekly mileage.
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My favorite all time race: Hicham El Guerrouj - Prefontaine Classic Mile 2002 http://youtube.com/watch?v=4YykUTHzOL8
•London 2012 XXX Olympiad•
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ssteve235
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for all of the advice, after thinking it over, im gonna stick with sprinting at least for this year. Because my 4 by 1 has such a good shot at states i dont wanna blow my chance or my friends chance at that. I do think im going to concentrate more on the 400 then the 100 this year. Im also gonna definatly run xc next year and see how my feelings are about distance then. Thanks for the help guys.
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Angelo Z
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been a pleasure to help you. Good luck with state.
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•London 2012 XXX Olympiad•
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Eddd the Sailor
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on your PRs, it seems like you're best at the 400 and may have the most potential at even longer stuff... If you want to try, it might be worth it to run mid-distance and do the 800, and possibly the mile if it feels good. Otherwise, since the 4 x 1 might be your best opportunity at success, sticking with that is fine. Just do your best either way and you'll see improvement.
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ssteve235
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah thats what i started thinking once the season started. Ive been concentrating on the 400 since the indoor season started.
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