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sprint vs. distance coaching philosophies
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Hammer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that the success of athletes has more to do with the environment as a whole than coaching philosophies.

Most of the countries that have success in disance running have established a running culture where running lots of mileage and running hard is accepted in the community. In the US we do not have that. In the US we have a great sprint culture and therefor we have better sprinters.

Hm.. chew on that for a while.
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Distance_Guru
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't claim to know about the quaility of the sprint culture in the US compaired to that in other countries. But I will say that the culture of American distance running definetly laggs behind that of the counties that are currently dominaiting the world, namely Kenya and Ethiopia. This is especially true with young people. There you would never hear an up and coming 16 year old talk about training really hard, while running 40 miles a week while you hear it all the time here.

Looking at the high school programs that traditionally turn out top level runners, York being the one that I'm most familiar with. The best seven or so runners on that team are running 70-90 miles per week when they graduate. Why, simple because they have created a culture where running that much is what you do.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I believe that the success of athletes has more to do with the environment as a whole than coaching philosophies.

So, the coaching philosophy is independent from the training environment? That's a new one.

Quote:
Hm.. chew on that for a while.

I must say, you have a wonderful way of offering up very little to think about and saying it so smugly that it sounds like the deepest thought ever. Wink

Dan
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Distance_Guru
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hammer wrote:

Hm.. chew on that for a while.


Not exactly the most tactful way of advising further consideration of the facts.
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Conway
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm ... Chewed on it ... And don't agree ... What sprint culture ??? we don't have bunches of peole out sprinting after work and on weekends ... We don't even have great intramural programs at colleges churning out recreational sprinters ...

we HAVE been succesful as a nation in events involving speed .. But as I have stated before, as a nation we are successful in all events in track and field save for the distances !!!! Do we have a throws culture ??? A jumps culture ???

And I have to keep coming back to the fact that our women ARE competitive at distances longer than 400 meters (and ironically save one or two women are NOT competitive right now in the sprints) ...

We have some good talent and some great coaches coaching the sprints ... Jim Bush, John Smith, Tom Tellez, Bobbie Kersee ... These men have been responsible for almots all of hte sprint medals the US has won in international competition since 1980 !!! You can look at Art Venegas in the weight events ... Earl Bell in the PV .. WE don't have that in the distances - Running with the Buffaloes notwithstanding ...

Ironically the only area of competition in this country that has a defined "culture" is distance running !!!!
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Hammer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most youngsters play sports that involve sprinting (baseball, basketball and football) these sports usually led to a better sprinting culture.

Less children play sports like soccer in the US therefore we have less of a distance running culture.

Many middle and upperclass adults take up distance running but they don't really fit into the conversation.
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Hammer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even with the efforts of Title IX Women still have less sports to participate in that can lead to better US women distance runners.

Also in most countries women are not allowed the same privliges as men that directly leads to the US having an advantage.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Less children play sports like soccer in the US

How do you figure that? If anything, the vast number of kids playing soccer takes away from running's talent pool.

Quote:
Many middle and upperclass adults take up distance running but they don't really fit into the conversation.

Maybe, maybe not. At least they're there. The same cannot be said for a participatory sprint group.

Quote:
Also in most countries women are not allowed the same privliges as men that directly leads to the US having an advantage.

I've often thought the same thing, but I'm not so sure it holds up when comparing the US' male/female performance levels to those of other Western countries with similar opportunities for women.

Dan
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Conway
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Hammer ... People running does not equal people sprinting ... Any more than distance runners "striding" equals sprinting ... you make an assumption - that runing that is not out on the road for long distances is equitable to sprinting ... Sorry but that doesn't fly ... Baseball produces no sprinters and no sprinters are going to play baseball ... two completely different skill sets .. Same for basketball ... Football has sprinters participating, but they are/were sprinters before they were/are football players .. They learn to transfer the speed of sprinting to the sport of football ..

The one sport that has had a history of producing "sprinters" is soccer ... and those "sprinters" have been q-milers ... And NONE were American ...

And as far as cultures go there are thousands of playgrounds and school yards all over America with young kids playing basketball ... With old kids playing basketball ... With wanna be and ex-college and NBA/CBA players playing basketball ... That would be a "basketball" culture not a sprinting culture ..

In the fall vacant lots and fields are full of kids and men playing flag/touch/tackle football .. Living and re-living the last seconds of the winning game ... That would be a football culture NOT a sprinting culture ...

T-ball ... Little League ... Babe Ruth ... These are all part of the "baseball culture ...

You have yet to identify anything that would remotely be akin to a sprinting culture ... AS there is none !!!!! We had this conversation during the Kenyan thread ... I know it would make things so much simpler if you could just point to something and say "see we're good in the sprints becasue everyone is doing it" ... But the reality of the matter is that is not nearly the case .. And we're good at the sprints for other reasons ... Trying to find and define a "sprint culture" is not going to improve US distance running ...
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Hammer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems to me that we have some re-occuring themes and the same type of participation: Everytime we bring up the lack of success in US Distance running I offer an opinion (of a possibility) and then Conway and Dan go against that possibility.

Do either of you have any independent ideas or do you just go against what people say as a form of amusement???
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hammer, I really should learn to ignore you until you have something of value, or at least something new, to offer to these discussions... How can you accuse others of playing the same role when you do exactly the same thing yourself? I see nothing but hypocricy, lack of originality and maturity, and defensiveness in your posts. It's no surprise that you choose to be anonymous when you seem unable to bear being disagreed with. If you can't stand having your statements analyzed and not worshipped, then take it as a message that no one wants to hear what you have to say.

I am now going to switch over to my new policy of pretending Hammer does not exist (which would be in line with his unwillingness to identify himself). If any of you wish to waste your time by carrying on discussions with him, be my guest. If I feel compelled to comment on the matter again, the next recourse will be banning Hammer from these forums.

Dan
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Conway
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The recurring theme is you keep offering up the same opinion - we do well in the sprints becasue we have a asprint culture, and therefore we're really that not that bad at the distances ... If the distances had wht the sprints have we'd do better ... And I'm sorry I didn't buy it during the Kenyan thread and I'm not buying it now ...

I'll tell you the same ting I tell my kids - you can't justify poor behavior or reults by talking a bout what someone else did or has done ... Ya gotta stand on your own ... And US distance running ISN'T DOING THAT ... And its not because all ofo these other disciplines have "cultures" thta support them ...

As far as independent ideas, I've given out lots of ideas ... And most have been my own ... I spend very little time or effort quoting books or coaches or otherwise ... I give out MY opinions ... And when necessary try to provide some supporting evidence ...

And if you want something to be accepted simply becasue you made a statement, I'm the wrong person ... Hmmm chew on that doesn't cut it ...
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Micah Ward
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto's for Dan and Conway. If there is a running culture in the US it is not a sprint culture, it is the weekend road race culture. I know...I'm up to my neck in it.

The same concept Conway uses with his children applies to US distance runners. Individual responsibility. If you want to be good then decide if you have the talent and then develop the talent. Sprinters do it. Jumpers do it. Throwers do it. The women distance runners do it. The only people who aren't doing it are the male distance runners. And it is no one's fault but their own.

Conway...Dan...if I didn't think it would offend you I would bestow you with honorary warthog status. Laughing
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Distance_Guru
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not exactly sure where this falls in terms of agreeing or disagreeing with anyone but here is my two cents. I would disagree that the US doesn't have a sprint culture or a jumps culture or a throws culture. We do, they are simply made up of a small number of people. I only have to look as far as my track team to see it. The sprinters all live in the "track house" they hang out and talk a lot about sprinting, the throwers (who are the big scorers for our team) do the same. When we have meets they hang with the other sprinters/throwers and talk sprinting/throwing. The mistake that has been made is over looking realativly smaller groups as cultures. And after all the higher the level of compotition the smaller the number of participants in any culture of athletes.

Calling the "everyone that finishes wins" culture of mid pack road racers a distance running culture is a huge mistake. It's like calling the weekend warriors that play in the local slow pitch softball league part of big time baseball culture. (No offense to any mid-packers out there).

As for Hammer dragging other sports in to the conversation. I believe what he was trying to get at was that soccer training or just palying helps build the physiological systems that are used in distance running, while sports such as football improve the physiological systems for more explosive events. So that when an athlete tries a different sport they will be predisposed to doing better in the area that is most similar to what they have already been doing.

As for anonymity, lets not go there. I like using a screen name, however if anyone really is curious enough to want to determine my quailifiactions as a distance running advice giver, send me a private mail and I'll tell you. If no one has asked Hammer, then don't cry that he remains anonymus.
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Micah Ward
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have a real problem with the screen names. If someone has something intelligent to say then so be it. The cream will rise to the top and a few of us that can fake it will hang with the pack too.

Don't ban Hammer...just let natural selection take place.

The road race culture is there and can't be denied. Are we part of the same group as Khannouchi or Drossin and the ones that can run with them? Of course not, but we aren't trying to be either. We are just trying to be as good as we can. The weekend softball players ain't Barry Bonds or Tom Glavine but thousands of them are out there every weekend any way. And they aren't part of Bond's and Glavine's culture, they are their own culture.

The point I'm trying to make is that the largest segment of runners in the country aren't weekend sprinters...they are weekend distance racers. So if there are running cultures, we are the biggest one. I wish Conway was sprinting every other weekend and Dan was running the mile too. But reality is that 5K and 10K races are what is most abundant. Not the all comers track meets.
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