i believe his future success will depend on his focus and ability to stick with a program. when an athlete changes coaches it can take time to adjust to the new training, regardless of how good the program may be. most age group phenoms dont pan out. one theory is that because of the accolades and publicity given the age group phenom may subconciously feel they have reached the top of the mountain, and at the high school level webb did. i think he can improve if he sticks with a coach. if he has 5-6 coaches in 10 years he probably wont reach his potential
I, for one, would sure like to see some REAL info; if only he wasn't so darn secretive!
The biggie is ... is his training going as they want and is he hitting the times in workouts -- but then just having poor races (for a variety of reasons)? Or are they not that displeased with the races, believing things will really get much better at later stages? Or is the training NOT going so well and they're trying to figure out what's wrong with that?
I agree. And sometimes the new system doesn't work. This may be because it is focused more on developing a team than an individual. This is one of the flaws of the U.S. collegiate system. Athletes are hired with scholarships to perform and earn points for the school. This leads to too much racing, programs designed for quick success, and programs designed for the team not for the idividuals. That is why I think he made the right choice by going back to what initially worked for him. Why should he be burdened by running college cross, or earning multiple points for his college team on the track?
You may be right, he may be in an adjustment phase. However, I would think that the adjustment of going back to something familiar would be much easier. Until he is able to get back down into the 3:53 range he may be subconciously doubting his own abilities, which may undermine his solid training efforts. Hopefully they are on schedule in training and on pace for faster racing in a couple of months - it is still very early.
I'd agree that the team approach at the collegiate level sometimes hinders development of runners who have done very well in high school with individualized coaching. Is this why age-group phenoms in the USA often fail to improve while age group phenoms in other countries often become world beaters?
>I'd agree that the team approach at the
>collegiate level sometimes hinders development of
>runners who have done very well in high school
>with individualized coaching. Is this why
>age-group phenoms in the USA often fail to
>improve while age group phenoms in other
>countries often become world beaters?
Yes, this is one reason. The other is that the highschool system fall into the same trap. In the collegiate and h.s. level everyone - coaches, kids and schools want instant gratification. This results in pushing too hard too soon. Also, it often results in having the kids run too many races - many kids run multiple races in one meet and a couple meets a week. This is not good for long term development.
Most coaches in highschool and college talk the good talk. They say they are looking out for the long term development of the athlete. However, coaches salaries and kids scholarship require results and this often leads to pushing kids too hard too soon and racing them to much to get points. It is exploitation - and a fact of the real money-driven world. There is no one to blame - the system is at fault.
Of course, this happens to varying degrees. Many coaches honestly try to balance the ideal of the athlete's long-term development with the real world needs of needing to run fast now to score points to make the team and school a success.
Again, this is why I think Webb has made the correct decision. If you are going to be hired by a school or company you should cut the best deal possible. For him it was 250k. Much better than a free education to Michigan. He also has nothing to be concerned about but what is best for Alan Webb. He doesn't have to worry about scoring points for the school or running cross country or running indoors. He can stay focused on what is most important - running the mile fast in July - September. Hopefully we will see this happen.
It would appear that he is training through the early competitions. That is an assumption, but it just doesn't make sense that a guy that has run sub-4 indoors is having trouble winning 4:05 miles outdoors. If he is training through that would explain that he doesn't have the leg snap at the end of races, even slow ones. Now that he is in the Pre let's see what happens.
I would think his body type and leg speed are more suited to the 800/1500. He ran 47r after several other events while in HS. He could probably run in the 46's if he trained for the 400. He's either training through or carrying some serious mental baggage.
I'll admit I've only seen him once on TV...his great race last year at the Pre meet. My first thought was that his running form resembled Steve Ovett. Not a bad model and definately a 1500m runner, as that result kind of proves. Give the kid some slack, he has plenty of time on his side.
>I would think his body type and leg speed are
>more suited to the 800/1500. He ran 47r after
>several other events while in HS. He could
>probably run in the 46's if he trained for the
>400. He's either training through or carrying
>some serious mental baggage.
I agree its perplexing, but look at last year - he had the same trouble. He looked like he was overtraining. No legspeed - even late in the season. He hasn't run a really good middle distance race since high school. He did run a couple solid times but nothing close to what he did in in '01. That is why I'd like to see him run some 8s - try to rekindle that speed. Speed has been missing since his strong cross season at Michigan and that big ill-advised summer.
Hopefully that is the plan and we will see him with that great finishing drive in the next couple of months...if not you're right...serious mental baggage and good luck next year.
>I'd seen Webb live at the Penn Relays, and his
>ability to shift into a gear most young milers
>don't have is what was so unique with him.
That speed wasn't just unique to "young milers" it was unique to any milers. He showed the kind of change in speed that looked like it could win heats in slow times while he was plenty strong to run a very brisk pace. The gift was very unique. I want to see him find that gear again. We haven't seen it for two years!
The mile is all about speed - he had it - he needs to find it again. If this season is unsuccessful he should go to the Seb Coe school of speed development and train with 400 guys for a year. He will get that speed back and the genetic strength will not be lost.
If you have
>the basic speed, and you train to that strength,
>then it'll be apparent in races.
I do hope he is training to his strength -"speed". If he is doing that it is not yet apparent in his races - but it is early in the season.
If his training is based on the old standard - aerobic base, followed by strength, then speed (culminating with a sharp peak) he has plenty of time. Many world class middle distance athletes now keep at least some speed component in their training through the base and strength phases as well as the peaking phase. So, we are now seeing more sustained high quality racing but not quite the dramatic peak that we had seen in the 60s-80s, Lydiard system training.
I agree, Krummenacker is doing it right and its paying off. I think he will ultimately make a great miler and may be able to get Scott's record within the next 1-2 years. He is being coached very well and has his head on straight. His quote about staying injury free and healthy being one of the most important aspects of a sound training program says it all. Progress steady but surely - you don't need giant jumps but progress is required if interest is going to remain. I think he may be the United State's next great middle distance runner.
If Webb doesn't improve on his 3:53 for 3-5 years he will likely get frustrated. Unfortunately, its hard to have a lack of urgency when you are an extremely competitive individual and you are being pain 250k to perform...and you have guys like us examining every race.
Hopefully Flynn will be helping. The Lakers did insist that Kobe progress more slowly than Kobe would have liked. But, it proved wise. But basketball is much different than track. The team component his psychologically and emotionally supportive.
Ritz had an unbeleivable frosh year. He clearly transitioned over to the collegiate level without missing a beat. Webb has missed a couple beats but hopefully will be finding the rythm soon... now I'm starting to sound like Gabe. I better stop and ride go on a bike ride to clear my head.
So, here it is, about 14 1/2 hours till kickoff, and I gotta say, I'm very impressed with both Alan and Steve Magness. They were out at the track this p.m., shaking out, and both seemed to have that "snap" that the really good middle distance runners have. I think Webb will run well tomorrow, and by that, I mean his second fastest time ever...about 3:57. I think that Magness will break 4, maybe by several seconds. He is going to go out in 57, 1:58, and "hang on", in his words. Says he's been training to do that all season. Well, he's picked the right race. Lagat has asked for 1:53. There are 19 (yes, you read right) in the mile, in keeping with our meet motto, "You can never have too many good milers." The Pre Classic record is 13 in one race. Ready for a new record...?
PS, weather forecast is for rain starting at 3 p.m. Last event is scheduled at 2:50-ish. Could we be so lucky? We'll find out...
>There are 19(yes, you read right) in the mile, in keeping with our meet motto, "You can never have too many good milers." The Pre Classic record is 13 in one race. Ready for a new record...?<
I hope for everyone's sake that the obvious disaster does not happen, but if one guy trips and takes down half the field about 150m into the race, it should not come as a shock. 19 is too damned many for a mile, no matter what your motto says. Why not do what Zurich does? Have the guts to make tough decisions and put the lesser qualified guys in a 'B' race. Better safe than sorry.
Webb did have the second fastest run in from the 1500 mark to the finish, so maybe he's just lacking in confidence. If he's aware of how fast his finish was in comparison to the other runners, maybe he'll bounce back.
Can I get splits on the mile? I'd also like to see Webb's splits. I had to be at my kid's soccer game so I wasn't able to watch the meet. If its true that Webb had the 2nd fastest last 100m. it may mean that he is starting to focus again on getting that finishing zip back. He may have played in conservative early to focus on the finish. I think that is extremetly positive. If he is still thinking 2 months to go before being at his best, then he might be doing o.k. I would like to see him get to at least sub 3:55 this year.