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US Distance Running Takeing Our Advice?
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2002 3:14 pm    Post subject: US Distance Running Takeing Our Advice? Reply with quote

I saw this article on Joggers Digest's website, it looks a heck of a lot like what many of us on this board have been saying would be the ideal situation to get the US back in the hunt for medals at the WC's and Olympics. Basiclly it seems that Webb's move to the pro ranks lit a fire under some powerful people and we're begining to see some of the ripple effects. I love the idea especially since it also pays for the athletes college education. Looks like big time college track and cross country programs now will get a dose of what baseball and more recently basketball college coaches have been forced to do, recruit against the pro's. Cool
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2002 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't be fooled, there's a lot more (or less, depending on your perspective) to that story than meets the eye... Investigate the players and you'll see what I mean. If I were to venture a guess as to what percentage of that article is promotional fluff, I would peg it at close to 99%.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2002 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're probably right, but hey if they can get two of say the top 10 or so athletes coming out of high school every year and work on progressing them towards becoming one of the top runners in the world it would be a step in the right direction.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2002 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Possibly, but I would question if they'll even get that many top hs'ers. Compare Dick Brown's claimed coaching accomplishments over the past 15 years to how those athletes have done while actually training under him, then ask yourself if that's a program you would want to enter...

Also, that program of theirs was in the works long before Webb's decision.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading the article I got to thinking about the coaches involved. Here is what I thought, didn't Steve Scott do most of his best training under someone else :question: And why have I never heard of Dick Brown before. (I figured the probable answer was that he didn't coach in college or didn't write many books)

I am almost certain that Scott did most of his best running for someone else, a former Arizona State coach (I'll have to pull out my old copy of The Miler to be sure). But from what I've read of Ray's books he does seem to know what he's talking about. Although being able to right a good book on training (Run With The Best, which is geared for young athletes high school and younger I might add) and being able to train Americans to a level where they can contend for major championships are two very different things. Still the program is a good idea and with two (three if you count Vinny) of the US's top 5 or so coaches already coaching at The Farm and Wettmore seemingly happy at CU these guys might just about be the best available.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ray is a well respected coach, but I'm not a fan of his and Benson's system (as I've mentioned previously). Brown's claim to fame, as far as I know, is having been coach of Athletics West (Salazar and co.) back in the early 80's. He coached Slaney for a while, but I'm not sure if that was her peak years. He coached Suzy during a slump in her career, and Runyan switched coaches right around the time her career took off (not sure if it was to or from Brown). Those are the only notables I can think of.

Now, here's the kicker... I just got an email this morning about a potential web project that may require me to go back and edit my above post to soften my stance a bit... Neutral

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heck you don't have to believe in a guys system of training athletes to create or work on a website for him. Plus I think it would be pretty cool to get to work on a project with or about someone that is trying something knew in terms of making progress for the US on the distance front.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but saying he hasn't accomplished anything in the past 15 years and is 99% promotion isn't exactly the best way to head into a potential business meeting. Smile

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Idea You do have a point there.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in agreement with DG on this, Dan. Plus, its not like we don't know how you really feel. I would say take advantage of the situation.

I have no real opinion on either coach, though I do have Ray's book. It seemed to me when I was following Slaney in her prime, that there were a number of runners that trained under Brown in a transition-like period, and not many stuck with him for the long haul. But I was wondering if that was due more to the environmental qualities of Eugene than the coaching. And I'm wondering if that will remain an important factor. There may be a decent number of people that realize they can't tolerate the air quality during certain months of the year, and will be forced to move on.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know I'm all for sticking my foot in my mouth every opportunity I get Smile ... but I have to draw the line somewhere between bad business taste and just plain offensive, not that I know which is which...

The Eugene asthma situation certainly has complicated things for many an athlete and coach. I don't know what role that has played with regards to Brown. I know he's got speed-based (sub-46 second 400m, for example) half-milers running 10k-marathon type training and not showing much improvement. Sad

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Air quaility :question:

Are you making reference to the rain? Or is it something else. I had always pictured Eugene to be rainy and grey a good bit of the time but I never thought that it was smoggy or anything like that.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eugene (the Willamette Valley in general) is one of the worst places for people with allergies to things like grass and various trees. Air quality itself is good from a natural standpoint.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eugene has unbelieveable allergy problems associated with it. The Coast Range and the Cascades sort of funnel everything into that city, so all the standard Spring and Summer allergies are greatly magnified. Myself, I don't go into Eugene without a ton of pseudoephedrine and my inhaler. Two years ago at the NCAA's and the USATF's my eyes were almost swollen shut. For many runners, it is intolerable.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before I make my pilgramage to Hayward Field I'll be sure to stock up on kleenex and eye drops. That would be rough to train in, I've often wondered about that since my allergies caused me all kids of problems in High School, and my home town wasn't exactly a rain forest. I would have needed a double dose of EPO just to get enough oxygen to go to the bath room if I lived there. Or maybe just some allergy medicine, or is that a banned substance too?
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