Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA


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Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:28 am

I know this is a tired subject, but what can we do?

Plenty of non-African nations were represented in the 1500 and steeple. You don't have to be from Africa to succeed at middle and long distance.

I don't think you have to be dirt poor to be "hungry" to win at distance running, either. I have a feeling that the French, Spanish and Dutch runners are not dirt poor. The Africans probably aren't either.

We have one of the largest nations in the world and can offer our athletes the best of everything. We should be at least as good as Portugal and France and Italy.

There is something very wrong with our system. What should we do to fix it?

Perhaps instead of learning how to "Run With the Kenyans," we should be studying the French and Portugese to see what they are doing. When we reach their level, then let's take on Kenya and Ethiopia and Morocco.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:57 am

I think there should be an Anglo-American committee designed to investigate what is wrong with both American and British distance running. Maybe both countries could pool their resources and come up with some constructive ideas. The committee could be chaired by both Englishman Roger Bannister and American Steve Scott. Both Scott and Bannister are experts when it comes to their knowledge of training methods.

We all know what happens when the best minds of America and Britain get together.

BTW, the French distance runners we have seen don't sound like Frenchmen to me. France is probably importing their runners.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 1:31 pm

Great idea Annoying Bastard!
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 1:53 pm

>
We all
>know what happens when the best minds of America
>and Britain get together.

You mean we should invade Africa too? I've got enough problems with Iraq thank you very much.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 2:02 pm

I should have used WW2 as an example.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 2:05 pm

A committee would be a good idea but who would pay for it?

Now would be a great time to examine what is happening to our young talent coming out of h.s. and going into the colleges. We have more talent coming out of the h.s. system than in more than 20 years. Track these kids. Look at injury, burnout, illness and simple lack of improvement.

Once the stats come in (we will find most kids fall into one of the above mentioned categories) we can ask why did this happen with a survey. When we find too much competition too early, overtraining and overracing being the causes of the plight we will then have to figure out how to change the system so this doesn't occur.

That is where we will have the problem because kids are hired through scholarships to perform. Coaches want as much out of the kid in the 4 years as the kid can give. CC, indoors, outdoors and multiple events. The system is money driven.

The number of cc and track meets should be cut down. The number of events and athlete would be allowed to run during a track season should be limited - should increasing slightly each year in college. A mandatory red-shirt year. And, putting the athletes long term interest in front of the schools interest in earning points by developing a long-term plan for each athlete designed to slowly move the athlete along the road to progressive improvement.

Unfortunately this won't happen. The bureaucracy doesn't like change even when it is obviously needed.
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Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Randy Treadway » Fri Aug 29, 2003 2:06 pm

>You mean we should invade Africa too? I've got enough problems with Iraq thank you very much.

Who needs an invasion? Annexation works just fine thank you.
Randy Treadway
 
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Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 4:25 pm

We need 1000 nice American families to adopt 1000 promising Kenyan and Ethiopian running prodigies. That's all it will take. I propose a new National Endowment for the Elimination of National Athletic Humiliation grant.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 4:28 pm

<<Now would be a great time to examine what is happening to our young talent coming out of h.s. and going into the colleges. We have more talent coming out of the h.s. system than in more than 20 years. Track these kids. Look at injury, burnout, illness and simple lack of improvement.>>

Tracking young US runners throughout his college career seems to be a good idea. What we would find is a lot of burnt out athletes. I hear even Tim Boe is falling apart.
With Alan Webb we have a perfect case study. A comparison should be made with Jim Ryuns progress after high school. Why did Ryun suddenly improve while Webb started to flounder? At Webb's current age Ryun was the best mile runner in the world.

These heats and ridiculous relay events in college are burning out are top milers.
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Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 4:32 pm

I think that any objective analysis of Ryun's case will show how unsusual he was--a physiological freak (in the most positive way imaginable). Such talents can only be expected to come along once every generation or two. He can't be viewed as anything approaching a "normal" or "typical" case. We could live to be 800 years old and we'll never again see an American high school senior win the national championship race, set an AR, and beat the standing WR holding (San Diego, 1965).
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:12 pm

However, Webb ran faster than Ryun in high school. Doesn't Webb have the same kind of genetics gifts Ryun was given?

I still think Steve Scott was the "great" American miler. Just look at his times.

I would like to see Scott's 20 year old training logs and compare them to what Lunn and Berryhill are doing today.
It would be even more interesting to see Scott's training schedule just before he set the US record for the mile (3:47). The answer to this whole question about the lack of success of US distance runners may come down to training.

Someone of this forum was right in saying US distance runners where faster 20 years ago. Today runners should have access to the training logs of those US runners of the recent past.

Question of the Day:
Was Pat Porter than last US 10,000 meter runner to be ranked #1 in the world.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:35 pm

>I think that any objective analysis of Ryun's
>case will show how unsusual he was--a
>physiological freak (in the most positive way
>imaginable). Such talents can only be expected to
>come along once every generation or two. He
>can't be viewed as anything approaching a
>"normal" or "typical" case. We could live to
>be 800 years old and we'll never again see an
>American high school senior win the national
>championship race, set an AR, and beat the
>standing WR holding (San Diego, 1965).

I agree. Ryun was gifted - physiologically, psychologically and in the time he lived. If he were competing today instead of 30 years ago he would not be close to the WR. He would, however, certainly have run faster than he did. This is due to the increased competition, not to mention the more obvious - better tracks and shoes.

But, Webb is also very gifted. Unfortunately the path he chose out of high school didn't work out for him where as it did for Ryun. This is why programs for elite h.s. athletes should be designed with the individual in mind. Not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all program.

Webb's effort in cross his frosh year at Michigan were admirable, courageous, relatively successful and stupid. What business does a young guy who runs 1:47, 3:53 on a max. of 60 miles a week one year have in bumping up his mileage a couple months later to 80+ to prepare for a relatively meaningless college cc season?

In all likelihood Ryun's career would have been even more glorious if he had been guided more cautiously. He probably would have run longer, run more into his prime and ultimately run faster - probably breaking 3:50.

There are exceptions to every rule - Men who can achieve not matter what the obstacle. In U.S. miling there have been a few exceptions to the rule of failure but these exceptions are becoming more and more infrequent.

Webb's departure from the norm will be interesting to watch. I think he will still be successful and has made the right decision. Unfortunately, his future success or failure does not help the problem facing U.S. runners. He was very fortunate to be able to take advantage of a very generous offer - no other runners have this option.

The rest of the crowd (some of whom enter the sytem with a lot of promise and hope) must muddle their way through the gauntlet. They run for the spirit of their school and to earn the right to learn - not for individual glory or future olympic medals.

Four years later they emerge with the school mascot tatooed on their shoulder. If they are still able to put one foot in front of the other they may continue running. A select few who graduate at the top of their running class may start trying to get serious about running fast. Unfortunately, they are already 4-5 years behind and have learned how to run slow very well.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 6:07 pm

I agree. Ryun was gifted -
>physiologically, psychologically and in the time
>he lived. If he were competing today instead of
>30 years ago he would not be close to the WR. He
>would, however, certainly have run faster than
>he did. This is due to the increased
>competition, not to mention the more obvious -
>better tracks and shoes.

Actually, the readings on Ryun's VO2 Max etc. show him to be just as gifted in the important areas as today's best. The only reason he (or a guy with the same talent) wouldn't be close to the WR would be because of drugs (not using) - or being ruined by the "system" now in place. Meaning no system at all.

Am I saying the current WR is due to drugs? No. But I'm not saying it isn't, either. It's just hard to believe a runner with that kind of talent wouldn't be fighting for the top spot today. Consider that he ran the last 1200 of his WR 1500 in 2:46. That's comparable to what today's best hit. Ryun did it on dirt, on a track where the track temp had to be over 100 degrees (it was 97 degrees in the Coliseum), and in 1960's smog. Anyone who lived or was in LA in the 60's knows what I'm talking about. If you were USED to the smog, your lungs would ache after a race. I honestly don't know how he could have run that fast under those miserable conditions, before the days of EPO, the untestable Repoxygen and God knows what else.

That said, to get things going in this country - we need a greater number of people giving the sport a try, and sticking with it. Not many give it a try, and few hang in there. Nintendo is easier, and other sports far more popular.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 6:23 pm

My quote was misinterpretted. I meant he would not have been the WR holder at the same age. I do agree that he may have had the potential to run significantly faster than he did. I mentioned I thought he would have run under 3:50 if his career had been longer and if he had run on today's tracks and in today's shoes he would have been even faster. So we agree about Ryun's ablities.

We disagree about the problem in U.S. middle distances. Its not Nintendo (though this is a problem on the other end of the spectrum- obese children). There are a lot of talented kids coming out of the high schools, even compared to the 60s, 70s and 80s. Why aren't they developing?

Something is going wrong after talent is identified. We must look at the time between h.s. graduation and the athlete's prime (late 20s). There in lies the problem.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 6:41 pm

US soccer has a system called project 40 that identifies talented athletes at early age and nurtures them.

Project 40 results:

1. The US national team is now ranked 9th in the world.
2. Adu is considered by many to be the best U17 player in the Americas.
3. The US made it to the semis at the last world cup.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 7:25 pm

Question of the Day:
Was Pat Porter
>than last US 10,000 meter runner to be ranked #1
>in the world.>

Porter was never ranked.

Bruce Bickford was the last US no. 1.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 7:35 pm

jim ryun was great, however he never improved his times after age 19.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:20 pm

>jim ryun was great, however he never improved his
>times after age 19.

Well, when he was 20, he ran 3:51.1 with a 53.7 last lap, with little effort, and no competition, to break his own world record, and a few weeks later he ran his 3:33 mentioned above with the 2:46 last 1200. Plus his 36.4 last 300 in a 3:38 race (which no one has yet duplicated) so I'd say, yes, he was much better at 20 and 21 than he was at 19. Look up your facts first.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:21 pm

2. Adu is considered by many to be the
>best U17 player in the Americas.


Adu is most certainly much older than is claimed. It's believed that his parents arbitrarily made up a birth date fo him when he moved to the US.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:35 pm

>My quote was misinterpretted. I meant he would
>not have been the WR holder at the same age. I do
>agree that he may have had the potential to run
>significantly faster than he did. I mentioned I
>thought he would have run under 3:50 if his
>career had been longer and if he had run on
>today's tracks and in today's shoes he would have
>been even faster. So we agree about Ryun's
>ablities.

We disagree about the problem in
>U.S. middle distances. Its not Nintendo (though
>this is a problem on the other end of the
>spectrum- obese children). There are a lot of
>talented kids coming out of the high schools,
>even compared to the 60s, 70s and 80s. Why aren't
>they developing?

Something is going wrong
>after talent is identified. We must look at the
>time between h.s. graduation and the athlete's
>prime (late 20s). There in lies the problem.

Thanks for clearing up your statement. I understand what you mean about our kids that do manage to stick with the sport not developing (although with the population increase, the numbers don't match the mid 60's to early 80's level of talent). Yes, some point to what they call the suspiciously rapid development of some foreign collegians after they leave US schools, but that's just another example. Most of our kids seem to get burnt out, and those that improve in college, seem burnt out by graduation. Yes, their is the pressure to make it in some kind of career here in the US also, but there is something wrong with the collegiate system, or wrong with the way American kids and the college coaches look at (possible) development and training. The E. Africans, N. Africans, etc. don't seem to put any reins on hard training or goals, and do work and nurture their top prospects. Our top prospects get stuck worrying about the dual with Stanford, the Penn Relays, the Regionals and scoring some points at the nationals so old coach greyhead can point to another trophy and get glad-handed by alumni.

There is no National program in the US, no imperative for winning when it comes to distances, or T&F in general. Not so in places like Kenya or Morocco or even Cuba.

I do think Nintendo, Playstation, Soccer, skateboarding, cycling, even swimming among other sports in general are robbing track of potential stars. There is more choice of activity, and kids in the US are pitiful for the most part when it comes to realizing how silly a lot of peer pressure is. But that's life in the big city. If you're growing up in Kenya, Ethiopia, Morocco, running is something that's been very attractive for years. Not so in the US or even in Europe. Soccer is KING in Europe.

There are no examples to get kids in the US interested or excited about running - Webb did for a bit, and he may rise from his problems and get kids believing they can do it. I hope so. Network television's fixation on sprints, presenting 45 minutes of buildup and close up profiles of sprinters, 10 replays of the 100 meters, followed by 2 min. of the 5k and the homestretch of the 800 isn't exactly doing the sport any favors.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:45 pm

>
2. Adu is considered by many to be the
>best
>U17 player in the Americas.


Adu is most
>certainly much older than is claimed. It's
>believed that his parents arbitrarily made up a
>birth date fo him when he moved to the US.

Freddie does seem older than 14 but when playing against the Brazilian's last week in the World Cup U17 match they definately made Freddie look 14. They read every faint and head fake he through at them. Manchester should be looking more closely at about 11 or 13 of Brazil's u17 team before looking at Adu.

However, the US talent ID system has worked wonders for US soccer that is now playing pretty close to the rest of the world with the exception of Brazil.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:54 pm

I do>think Nintendo, Playstation, Soccer,
>skateboarding, cycling, even swimming among
>other sports in general are robbing track of
>potential stars. There is more choice of
>activity, and kids in the US are pitiful for the
>most part when it comes to realizing how silly a
>lot of peer pressure is. But that's life in the
>big city. If you're growing up in Kenya,
>Ethiopia, Morocco, running is something that's
>been very attractive for years. Not so in the
>US or even in Europe. Soccer is KING in Europe.
>

There are no examples to get kids in the US
>S interested or excited about running - Webb did
>for a bit, and he may rise from his problems and
>get kids believing they can do it. I hope so.
>Network television's fixation on sprints,
>presenting 45 minutes of buildup and close up
>profiles of sprinters, 10 replays of the 100
>meters, followed by 2 min. of the 5k and the
>homestretch of the 800 isn't exactly doing the
>sport any favors.

Other US sports don't have the same problem with T.V. and video games. Basketball, football and baseball are bursting at the seems with talent.

I do agree with you other points about network's dismal coverage and the general problem of getting kids interested in the sport. As I stated on another thread, its difficult to promote a sport to children where the prerequisite for success is to be able to tolerate large amounts of pain. When you compare this to "game" sports where the primary focus is fun its hard for track to catch the attention of the young athlete.

Running is something you need to experience to really appreciate. And, you need to stick with it until you can feel the sense of accomplishment through success and realize what is actually involved. Unfortunately this is a much harder sell than having fun hitting a ball with a stick.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:29 pm

Other US
>sports don't have the same problem with T.V. and
>video games. Basketball, football and baseball
>are bursting at the seems with talent.

Yeah, but they're marketed and presented as "cool" - and these sports are the "popular' sports when it comes to HS. Track is an afterthought for most kids.

Actually, basketball is having some problems. The American kids, at least the black kids, are so into trying to learn moves that make ESPN highlights that they no longer have fundamentals, and more and more foreign players - from the training centers in Europe - are showing up. John Thompson said it was getting impossible to coach most (black) kids anymore. Surprising he would say this (on Real Sports on HBO). The basketball training centers (and the training academies for baseball in Latin America - hence all the Latin players) remind me of the camps in Morocco, Kenya, Ethiopia for distance runners.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:53 pm

Yeah, but they're marketed and
>presented as "cool" - and these sports are the
>"popular' sports when it comes to HS. Track is
>an afterthought for most kids.

True. Marketing proper marketing would be very helpful. This, as you mentioned, would have to start with proper presentation on t.v. However, this year there is virtually no t.v. coverage. So we must dig out of a deep hole that seems to get deeper every year.

Actually,
>basketball is having some problems. The American
>kids, at least the black kids, are so into trying
>to learn moves that make ESPN highlights that
>they no longer have fundamentals, and more and
>more foreign players - from the training centers
>in Europe - are showing up. John Thompson said
>it was getting impossible to coach most (black)
>kids anymore. Surprising he would say this (on
>Real Sports on HBO). The basketball training
>centers (and the training academies for baseball
>in Latin America - hence all the Latin players)
>remind me of the camps in Morocco, Kenya,
>Ethiopia for distance runners.

The point I was making is that the kids are there playing basketball. The talent is there. They may be having some trouble putting the cart before the horse (tricks before fundamentals) but the talent is there not playing Nintendo.

We do agree with a possible solution to the problem in track. Identify talent early (mid-late teens) and nurture the talent in a long-term progressive, individualized format. A national program devoted to the development of middle and long distance runners with coaches committed to long-term success would do wonders.

We may need to enlist international coaches to help initialy because most of our distance coaches have been in the college system for so long they may not be able to develop a plan longer than 4 years out.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 11:15 pm

>>jim ryun was great, however he never improved
>his
>times after age 19.

Well, when he was
>20, he ran 3:51.1 with a 53.7 last lap, with
>little effort, and no competition, to break his
>own world record, and a few weeks later he ran
>his 3:33 mentioned above with the 2:46 last 1200.
>Plus his 36.4 last 300 in a 3:38 race (which no
>one has yet duplicated) so I'd say, yes, he was
>much better at 20 and 21 than he was at 19.
>Look up your facts first.

i looked up my facts and his 3;51 was and still is the american junior record as is his 1.44 half, i was unaware he ran a 3.33 1500 if you say so i believe you. he also still has the american junior record in the 1500 3.36, junior records are under 20
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 11:50 pm

Don't over complicate the simple.
It is all in "Run With The Best 2nd Ed." by Tony Benson and Irv Ray. Scott is featured in the book. See also www.benson.com.au

For interest the the "All African Middle and Long Distance Level 2 Coaching Coures" are run by Tony Benson.

The solution has always been there, just need intelligent coaches to lead the way for the athletes. Don't skimp on anything. Follow the programs in Run With The Best and it is almost impossible to succeed if you have the talent.

Yes the American system needs to be totally ignored: train the junior for the future and race very little, don't get involved in anything beyond racing for experience and practice only.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 11:51 pm

Correction to above: It is almost impossible NOT to succeed. Sorry
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 30, 2003 8:29 am

Running is something
>you need to experience to really appreciate.
>And, you need to stick with it until you can
>feel the sense of accomplishment through success
>and realize what is actually involved.
>Unfortunately this is a much harder sell than
>having fun hitting a ball with a stick.>

It's also harder to earn a living as a distance runner. Why suffer and put off starting your 'life' for a relatively small opportunity to succeed when you can begin your 'life' as an accountant or something like that?
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 30, 2003 10:52 am

>Don't over complicate the simple.
It is all in
>"Run With The Best 2nd Ed." by Tony Benson and
>Irv Ray. Scott is featured in the book. See also
>www.benson.com.au

For interest the the "All
>African Middle and Long Distance Level 2 Coaching
>Coures" are run by Tony Benson.

The solution
>has always been there, just need intelligent
>coaches to lead the way for the athletes. Don't
>skimp on anything. Follow the programs in Run
>With The Best and it is almost impossible to
>succeed if you have the talent.

Yes the
>American system needs to be totally ignored:
>train the junior for the future and race very
>little, don't get involved in anything beyond
>racing for experience and practice only.


Ben-

The problem is the system overcomplicates the simple. College coaches recruit athletes and pay their tuition so that the athlete can earn points for the school. Unfortunately this pressure to perform now and for the next four years gets in the way of the progressive development outlined by Ray.

I know Irv was working with and advising Ryan Hall I don't know if Ryan is planning to go back with Irv or if he will be once again running for Stanford. It is tough for a kid. Ryan is a perfect example (with Irv) of a kid on a long term plan who gets caught up in the college system. If Hall would have stuck with Irv I beleive the last two years would have produced much better results and we likely would have had a kid running under 3:40 consistently.

Unfortunately Hall doesn't have the opportunity Webb does and he may feel an eductation at Stanford is worth sacrificing his long term running success. It is a dilemma. I don't have a simple solution.

If I were a kid with talent coming out today I'd choose a low key program with a knowledgeable coach. NAIA, D2 or D3. I think Steve Scott will be a great coach if he can get some talent to work with - he has the knowledge, experience and is extremely personable. Kids really like him.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 30, 2003 12:41 pm

one of the problems i have heard from coaches in a variety of sports, is there just isnt as many kids today that have the same work ethic. i agree with cyril, steve scott who i believe is coaching at cal state san marcos would be a great coach, being that he went from being a good not phenomenal high schooler to the best miler the united states has produced, however i read some of his workouts 20xhalf, 10xmile, 40x 300 meter hills, run 15 miles on recovery days 5am 10pm. the problem is how do you get kids willing to work that hard, of course they would have to work up to it, how do you find kids willing to work that hard. Steve Scott is probably at least as rare an exception in his motivation to work hard, maybe even more than his phisical ability.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 30, 2003 12:56 pm

Excuse me, but NO ONE posting on these boards should be "unaware that Jim Ryun ran a 3:33" 1500. (3:33.1, to be precise, in 1967, to destroy Herb Elliott's revered WR of 3:35.6.) Good God!
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 30, 2003 3:57 pm

>Excuse me, but NO ONE posting on these boards
>should be "unaware that Jim Ryun ran a 3:33"
>1500. (3:33.1, to be precise, in 1967, to
>destroy Herb Elliott's revered WR of 3:35.6.)
>Good God!

The folks posting on this board seem more content with complaining and point out how poorly the US distance runners are doing than actually researching some background on the sport.
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 30, 2003 4:48 pm

i looked up my facts and his 3;51 was and
>still is the american junior record as is his
>1.44 half, i was unaware he ran a 3.33 1500 if
>you say so i believe you. he also still has the
>american junior record in the 1500 3.36, junior
>records are under 20

Ryun ran 3:51.3 at 19 struggling to run a 56.0 last lap. A year later, he coasted to a 3:51.1 WR, unaware he was even running so fast (see his bio or watch the video tape on his career "America's Greatest Miler". Ryun's last lap in the second mile WR was 53.7, with no competition. His 3:33.1 was set in a duel with Kip Keino. The last three laps show that he had not reached his potential at all. Ryun was a much better runner later on. Yes, he had problems in several areas, and didn't reach his potential, but most people know he did set the 1500 record, and it lasted over 7 years.

You can watch the video of "easy" 3:51.1 here: http://www.ryunrunning.com/video/Mile03.mov
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 30, 2003 6:01 pm

BTW, the French
>distance runners we have seen don't sound like
>Frenchmen to me. France is probably importing
>their runners.

What the Americans are allowed to have immigrants but France is not?
Guest
 

Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 30, 2003 6:09 pm

The problems start long before the frosh year of college.
Rather than try in vain to change the current bureaucracy/ies, basically create a new one!

>A committee would be a good idea but who would
>pay for it?

Now would be a great time to
>examine what is happening to our young talent
>coming out of h.s. and going into the colleges.
>We have more talent coming out of the h.s. system
>than in more than 20 years. Track these kids.
>Look at injury, burnout, illness and simple lack
>of improvement.

Once the stats come in (we
>will find most kids fall into one of the above
>mentioned categories) we can ask why did this
>happen with a survey. When we find too much
>competition too early, overtraining and
>overracing being the causes of the plight we will
>then have to figure out how to change the system
>so this doesn't occur.

That is where we will
>have the problem because kids are hired through
>scholarships to perform. Coaches want as much out
>of the kid in the 4 years as the kid can give.
>CC, indoors, outdoors and multiple events. The
>system is money driven.

The number of cc and
>track meets should be cut down. The number of
>events and athlete would be allowed to run during
>a track season should be limited - should
>increasing slightly each year in college. A
>mandatory red-shirt year. And, putting the
>athletes long term interest in front of the
>schools interest in earning points by developing
>a long-term plan for each athlete designed to
>slowly move the athlete along the road to
>progressive improvement.

Unfortunately this
>won't happen. The bureaucracy doesn't like change
>even when it is obviously needed.
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Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 30, 2003 6:10 pm

>BTW, the French
>distance runners we have seen
>don't sound like
>Frenchmen to me. France is
>probably importing
>their runners.

What the
>Americans are allowed to have immigrants but
>France is not?

Chouki and Baala were both BORN IN FRANCE!
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Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 30, 2003 6:48 pm

The problem is the
>system overcomplicates the simple. College
>coaches recruit athletes and pay their tuition so
>that the athlete can earn points for the school.
>Unfortunately this pressure to perform now and
>for the next four years gets in the way of the
>progressive development outlined by Ray.

I
>know Irv was working with and advising Ryan Hall
>I don't know if Ryan is planning to go back with
>Irv or if he will be once again running for
>Stanford. It is tough for a kid. Ryan is a
>perfect example (with Irv) of a kid on a long
>term plan who gets caught up in the college
>system. If Hall would have stuck with Irv I
>beleive the last two years would have produced
>much better results and we likely would have had
>a kid running under 3:40
>consistently.

Unfortunately Hall doesn't have
>the opportunity Webb does and he may feel an
>eductation at Stanford is worth sacrificing his
>long term running success. It is a dilemma. I
>don't have a simple solution.

If I were a kid
>with talent coming out today I'd choose a low key
>program with a knowledgeable coach. NAIA, D2 or
>D3. I think Steve Scott will be a great coach if
>he can get some talent to work with - he has the
>knowledge, experience and is extremely
>personable. Kids really like him.

Thanks Cyril,
Very informative. Seems like someone in charge needs to kick a few butts and change the whole system.

You seem to be right in your last paragraph - a low key Ray/Benson program. Problem is the loud mouth coaches who are chasing success for themselves or schools will fill kids heads with garbage - so really need to get in early and keep the kid away from the system.

Is it possible for a kid to ignore competing for their school and just train and study in an independant fassion? Correspondence training can be very effective.

In Kenya they do not judge a school by its successes at school competitions - they judge it by how many world champions it has produced. Perhaps USA schools could start looking at that instead. Someone over there at least needs to be telling the school coaches that they are destroying talent and counter productive against producing elite seniors: perhaps from the head of USA T&F down - the message needs to get through.
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Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Randy Treadway » Sat Aug 30, 2003 8:20 pm

>n Kenya they do not judge a school by its successes at school competitions - they judge it by how many world champions it has produced. Perhaps USA schools could start looking at that instead.

That assumes that administrators in charge of schools (and their AD's) and those who have influence (alumni) VALUE world champions more than intercollegiate success. Most of them would say 'being a world champion is great- makes a fine footnote in the annual press guide- as long as you win conference and NCAA first- that is imperative and the top priority'.
I really don't think they CARE what USATF has to say.
Randy Treadway
 
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Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 30, 2003 11:41 pm

YIKES!
Sorry, Run With The Best is dinosaur crap physiology at best, the epitome really of what is wrong w/ US distance running (that and maybe the plaid pants at an NCAA coaches meeting).

A stopwatch is used in track and field, not a sundial. Rehashed Lydiard did nothing for Ryan Hall who got pasted at the mile distance by a kid who ran half as many training miles. Why? How could it be? Gee, but Hall improved his 10 mile time and boy was his HR ever so low at 5:10 pace...

You better believe that speed matters far more than volume. Throw away the heart monitors and the antiquated mega mileage mindset and maybe just maybe our US distance runners will have a chance. You want a fleet of US <13 minute 5k runners? Lets get some more <335 1500 runners and stop training guys for the Western States.
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Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Postby Guest » Sun Aug 31, 2003 2:03 am

>

YIKES!
Sorry, Run With The Best is dinosaur
>crap physiology at best, the epitome really of
>what is wrong w/ US distance running (that and
>maybe the plaid pants at an NCAA coaches
>meeting).

A stopwatch is used in track and
>field, not a sundial. Rehashed Lydiard did
>nothing for Ryan Hall who got pasted at the mile
>distance by a kid who ran half as many training
>miles. Why? How could it be? Gee, but Hall
>improved his 10 mile time and boy was his HR ever
>so low at 5:10 pace...

You better believe
>that speed matters far more than volume. Throw
>away the heart monitors and the antiquated mega
>mileage mindset and maybe just maybe our US
>distance runners will have a chance. You want a
>fleet of US <13 minute 5k runners? Lets get some
>more <335 1500 runners and stop training guys for
>the Western States.

Are you joking? Seriously?
Suggest you go and re-read the book - your ignorance of the clearest link I have ever seen presented between speed and stamina is truly astounding.
Suggest you read Cyril's comments re Hall.
Your statement about the two juniors highlights the very problem: people placing too much importance on junior results.
Now lets throw away mega milage hey: well if two athletes with the same basic speed are competing who will win: ummm the one with the highest stamina maybe, now where does stamina come from?????

Speed does not seem to be the problem in USA, as you have tons of athletes who are fast: but very few who can last till the last lap (of anything from 800m+) to show their speed. Do you think running sub 13:00 for last 5k of 10k does not require stamina?

Do you actually know the volumes that are being run by world leading/class athletes? Do you actually know what the African nations do in training? I do. I admit I know very little about your USA system, but I know it is not working and I do know the system that is working is based on Run With The Best principles: Speed+Stamina

I will leave it there and not comment any further on this issue. I have no connection with US athletics at all and was just trying to offer unbiased advice. You can ignore the advice, but thus far you've chosen to argue with points that support my statements, look like they've come straight from Run With The Best and other points that show your ignorance of dinosaur physiology???.
(Glad that Snell ran in the dinosaur ages and not now - I don't see too many americans beating his 1:44/800m solo on a grass football oval.)
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