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sprint vs. distance coaching philosophies
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Micah Ward"]
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.
[quote]

That seems to go towards the point I'm trying to make. KK and DD are in a completly different class than your average road racer. This is how they make their living. They live eat and breathe running. If your average road racer slacks on their training, what happens they have a bad race and that's the end of it. If an elite has a bad race they can't pay their electric bill. The fact that we as meer mortals run the same coarse on the same day as world class athletes doesn't put us in that culture. As far as our relationship to them it's the same as that of Joe season ticket holder hoping to catch a Bonds foul ball is to Barry (well runners are nicer than him but no matter). We can barely phathom what their training and racing is all about. The same way we can barely phathom hitting 73 home runs against pitchers that throw 95 miles per hour and have a curveball that breaks 3 feet.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
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.

Definitely a chicken and the egg situation there. I'm more of the opinion that people will choose the sport they're naturally predisposed toward, not vice versa.

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If no one has asked Hammer, then don't cry that he remains anonymus.

I believe it was made quite clear last time we broached the topic that he ought to remove the veil of anonymity if he didn't want his irresponsible words to ring hollow. As I've said before, I really don't care if people choose to remain anonymous, but I have zero tolerance for irresponsible posting, and that unfortunately typically goes hand in hand with anonymity. Hammer has done nothing to indicate he is capable of carrying on a mature discussion, rather proving the opposite with regularity.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe we should try to define what a sport culture is before debating who fits into the respective segments?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I say sports culture I mean people that can or do get together and talk about their sport on the same level. When I met Yobes Ondeiki (sp)then the world record holder in the 10k, I asked him about his training. I was a high school kid and couldn't imagine the things he was telling me. When you run 40 miles a week it is impossible to comprehend the tole running 120 miles a week with four or more interval workouts takes on your body and mind. Heck, I was a descent college runner who has topped 100 miles a time or two and spent a ton of weeks in the 90 mpw range and it still blows my mind. Lynn Jennings in an interveiw with Joggers Digest talked about a big race (worlds I think) where she had a bad day, she said something along the lines of I was seing spots and feeling pretty light headed but I should have pushed through it I've pushed through a lot tougher. In my life I've seen spot maybe three or four times and was never able to accomplish more than not passing out before the finish line. Your average raod racer has no concept of these things.

I'm not saying that average road racers don't have a culture. They do and is thriving, it just isn't the same culture as that of elite eunners.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the subject of Hammer and his comments. I agree with a lot of the things he says. Not today, but more often than not there is worth in his comments. He simply differs with the view points of some of the other posters on this board. I still sometimes find myself annoyed when I'm trying to get my point across to people that have a different philosophy especially when it comes to training. I know my stuff, I'm sure I'm right and it's frustrating to have people that you feel (rightly or wrongly) know no more than you do disagreeing with you on a subject that means a lot to you. In this case it's hard not to get upset when you're disagreed with at what seems like every turn. I think this is where Hammer is coming from. Distance_Guru, running expert and amiture psycologist.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That may be, but no one is being forced to participate. If anyone does not like being disagreed with, it's simple enough to not share your opinion.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Point taken.

Still, I wouldn't right him off. From his posts the guy seems to have a pretty good knowlege of training for distance runners. He's talked about basing training paces off of v VO2 max pace, and other things that are based on advanced training theory. Your average shmuck wouldn't know what v VO2 max pace was much less what relationship it played with other training ranges. You don't have to agree with everything he posts but to ignore him would be ignoring someone that knows something about distance running.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may be right. Or, he may be simply regurgitating something he read in a book. We don't really know, and the way he's presented himself gives me no reason to give him the benefit of the doubt...

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure I've read that book (I think it's the Daniels Running Formula) and if he is regurgitating he's got it right. Besides my ears always perk up when people use technical terms. If for no other reason than that termanology lets me know that they've at least read a book or two on the subject.

Besides I've seen enough coaches that I wish had the good since to buy a book like the Formula, Run With the Best, or High Performance Training for Track and Field, and just do what someone that knew what they were doing said too. At least this guy has picked up a book and taken something from it. I've always felt that, that is better than just making it up as you go along like so many coaches do.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dang I missed a lot !!!! But gotta give the family time (and work some too) ... Let me try to catch up ...

As far as being disagreed with, I love a good debate ... Absolutely nothing wrong with that ... As long as it is done in an adult manner ... I would hope that we all agree to be able to disagree ... And then move forward ... And even when one "knows" what one is talking about new light can be shed by others ... My father always said be like a river that flows as it is constantly changing ... When you stop learning you beocme like a pond which sits still and begins to smell ...

As far as Hammer is concerned ... I care not what he wants to post on, so long as he does so in some type of coherent fashion ... None of this hit and run ... Or its true becasue I say so don't argue with me ... I am over 30 years in this sport as participant, coach, announcer, and observer ... I have discussed it with some of the best including the likes of Bobbie Kersee, Charlie Wells, Tom Moore, and numeroius world class athletes ... If they can be disagreed with so can anyone else ... And I take no offence when anyone disagrees with me ... Comes with the territory when you choose to enter a discussion ...

Now back to cultures ... What you describe DG is more the gathering of cliques than cultures ... It is only natural that when people get together they pair off into groups with similar interests or backgrounds ... That in and of itself does not create a culture ... To me a culture is a societal movement ... In our society for example it has become "fashionable" for everyone to run ... No where (except in the sport of track and field itself) does anyone throw a shot or discus .. Or recreationally pole vault ... Or just go out and sprint for exercise ...

And as for all of these sports that contribute to sprinting ... There is NO sport that has the demands required of sprinting .... The closest is football and the ONLY position in football that is made up of sprinters is wide receiver ... And half of those are good not becasue of speed but becasue of precision route running ability ... The other half have been STOLEN from track and field in the hopes that they can be TAUGHT to catch the damned football ... Everyone else is as slow of foot as any other athlete in any other sport ... And the sprint types in football, unless they came from track and field would get their lunch handed to them in your average sprint race against REAL sprinters ...

If you must find something to explain why we do well in the sprints and hurdles perhaps call it tradition ... You want to get truly historical then lets look at the fact that the sprints have always raised the crowd and therefore everyone has wanted to do well at them ... And for American Black athletes it was a way to garner respect and a sense of human dignity when it wasn't available anywhere else (pre 70's) ... Therefore it became something worth striving for .... Since then its been tradition ... When Borzov won the sprints in '72 it was like somethign was taken away from the US that BELONGED to us ... Same in '76 when the Carribeans won the sprints ... Even watch the announcers of things like the Olympics and World Chamionships ... When an outsider comes up in the sprints (Christie, Bailey, Fredericks) its like who is going to rise to the occasion and take out this outsider !!!!! When we develop that kind of National feeling about distance running we will regain lost ground ...

See we have never accepted losing in the sprints and hurdles ... Never ... Before blacks were in the sprints we had Bobby Morrow and Mel Patton and Dave Sime ... The sprints have always been an American thing !!!!! Not a culture, but a tradition to be upheld ... Pre was trying to go there in the distances ... Not accepting the losing ... Never accept it ...

I look at distance running like the automobile industry ... Before the 70's we owned auto manufacturing ... Then the Japanese got involved ... And they started making more efficient cars ... (gas shortages) ... Then as they started selling more cars they began to make them nicer as well as more efficient ... Then more luxurious ... Soon foreign manufactureers are kickin our butts ... And we got complacent and accdepted it ... Anly recnetly have American auto manufacturers begun to make "better" cars ... Same thing happened in distance running ... We were among the best ... Then a couple of Kenyans showed up (Keino and Jipcho) .. Then a few more ... Then the Kiwis got better ... Then the British ... Next thing ya know everyone is kickin our butts and we accepted it ... And like the auto manufactureers we gotta find a way to improve and get better .... There is NO reason why we can't ...
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2002 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As usual I find my self in total and whole hearted disagreement with you.

To say that the best American distance runners accept being beaten is completely absurd. These are some of the most competitive people I've ever met. Kennedy, Goucher, Todd Williams a few years ago. None of these guys are or were just sitting on their thumbs saying that the Kenyans or who ever are just better than I am and I guess I'll just lose to them. These guys are out there training as hard as the Kenyans, running races to the very best of their ability with the intention of winning. To say otherwise is as uninformed as it is incorrect.

I looked up the word culture.
The patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population.

Using this definition we can define what were talking about. We have a population. Anyone that runs under a time deemed to be elite or on the verge of elite. Here in the US you might say anyone running under 14 minutes for 5k. There is our population. Their training, physical appearance, and ability to relate to each other are all part of a culture.

As for different sports not influencing each other I diagree with you there also. In order for one sport to not influence another no one involved in one of these sport must do any other sport. In other words nobody sprinting also does football. Which simply isn't the case. Training for explosive sports helps sprint times. Not as much as sprint specific training but more than doing non explosive training or being inactive. And if you have an athlete that is geneticly predisposed to to sprinting and he does football at an early age it will help prepair him when he finds track. Because lets face it, in the US track is almost no young athletes first choice.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2002 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might be that there are a few individuals such as those you mentioned that are true competitors and are not intimidated by the east Africans, but the sport as a whole in the US doesn't seem to fit that mold.

Quote:
As for different sports not influencing each other I diagree with you there also. In order for one sport to not influence another no one involved in one of these sport must do any other sport. In other words nobody sprinting also does football. Which simply isn't the case.

I've known distance runners who played football, so that can go both ways... Lots of distance runners play basketball, soccer, etc. Too much blending of the groups to make a very sharp distinction, in my opinion.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2002 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couple of things ... First of all I didn't say that the elite distance runners have accepted losing ... I am sure there are individuals who are eaten alive at the constant loses ... I have no doubt about it ... What I referred to was the broader body of the distance community as well as the US as a nation (even referencing announcers of meets and more importantly TV announcers) ... WE (as a sporting nation) have accepted some things as being "the way it is in sports" ... Among them:

That we have the fastest sprinters in the world ...
That we have the best basketball players on the planet ...
That we are the best at football ...
That no matter how many kids play soccer it will NEVER be an American sport and we are not as good as the rest of the world at it ...
That we are not as good at distance running as the rest of the world ...

Now if you ask me NONE of those statements is entirely true ... Nor do they have to be true at all to any degree .... For example, more and more foreigners are comign over and making their mark in the NBA ... In tonights draft several of the first several picks will likely be youngn foreigners ... All of those statements have just become ones that we have grown to accept (as a GROUP of people DG not necessarily some individuals) ...
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2002 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next ... Becasue someone is training hard does not mean they are training smart ... And just because someone is running up to their "current" ability doesn't mean there isn't more there to tap into (depending upon several variables of course) ... THAT within itself is part of the acceptance ... I think that that is part of the inherent problem ...

Culture: 1a. The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought. b. These patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population: Edwardian culture; Japanese culture; the culture of poverty. c. These patterns, traits, and products considered with respect to a particular category, such as a field, subject, or mode of expression: religious culture in the Middle Ages; musical culture; oral culture. d. The predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization.

From this definition (Harvard, Oxford, Webster all carry this as the primary definiton of the word) I would say we have a distance running culture in this country (not simply confined to sub 14:00 5K runners) ... A professional sports fan culture in this country ... But NO sprinting culture ....
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2002 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for various sports influencing each other ... In the broad sense one could say that ANY extended physical activity is going ot have an influence on any and every sport !!! WE are not talking about in a broad sense here ... We are talking specificity ... And specifically there is NO sport that is contributing "quality/productive" individuals to the ranks of sprinting ... None ... Sure there is explosive action in various sports ... THAT does NOT mean they are producing sprinters ... A wing in soccer that might run 11.00 is NOT a sprinter ... Fast by "normal" standards perhaps, but NOT sprinter ... A wide receiver who might be able to run a 10.70 is NOT a sprinter ... not on a world class level and that is what you have to compare since the same individual IS world class in football !!! Guys running 10.05, 10.10, 10.15 or so would be considered world class ... And to date NOT A ONE has develoiped that speed in football land THEN come to the track to become a sprinter ... Anyone with that speed in football developed that speed in track and then WENT to football to try to make money ... Not conjecture ... Fact ... I could sit here and create a list of said individuals convering the better part of the last 30 to 40 years ...

And as far as football preparing indivduals for track, I can produce a similar list showing individuals that were good at track, tried football, came back ot track and were NEVER able to regain their speed !!! Because while both sports are explosive (and let me divert here to say that only a select few positions in football are explosive in the way that we are discussing the word) football and track (for the speed events) build on different sets of muscles and develop different kinds of speed !!! The two are really NOT compatible at all which is why football player typically fail in track and sprinters typically fail at football !!!!!

The issue of track not being a first choice sport is a totally different issue unto itself !!!
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