Don't forget that El G. is arguably the
>strongest, most talented miler in history, who
>doesn't need XC. In addition, he runs a more
>grueling outdoor schedule than almost anyone.
>Maybe his success says that there are other
>means, but I think it just indicates his
>God-given gifts (or drugs).
>skipped XC for the first time last year and it
>didn't help. El G could be running XC meets in
>the fall and he'd still be the best.
What came first the chicken or the egg? Is El G the best ever at least inpart due to the way he trains or is it simply talent and no matter how he would train he would still be the best?
We don't know for sure, but we can also look at most of the other world class milers today - non of which put in serious cross seasons. We can also look at El G's longevity, minimal injury problems and conclude he has things very well figured out.
As mentioned before, I don't think xc is a problem for a miler if it is kept in the perspective of the scope of the miler's training. When a cross season becomes a serious endeavor unto itself it jeopardizes the focus a miler should have for track running. I think running a serious season of collegiate XC with 10k races puts too much pressure to perform at a long distance on out elite milers.
A miler who has intentions on running a fast mile (not 5k, 10k steeple xc or any combination of these) should structure his entire year towards training for racing the mile during one key month a year. If a few short xc races fit into the mix great. But, they shouldn't train specifically for xc racing. As always IMHO!