What happened to Michael Granville.


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What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby DentyCracker » Fri Nov 14, 2003 5:21 am

I remember a few years back he seemed pretty promising, running 21.+ 46.+ and 1:48.+. Then he went to college and basically disappeared. I remember thinking that he was a bit too well built for a half miler, but thought he would go far. Anyone know what happened to him?
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby Guest » Fri Nov 14, 2003 5:56 am

He actually ran 1:46.45 in high school.

The fastest he ever ran at UCLA was 1:47.93 (I'm pretty sure), and that was as a freshman.

Usain Bolt brown-nosers, take notice: the early bloomers are not always the great ones in the long run.
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby trackhead » Fri Nov 14, 2003 8:22 am

I have this theory that if you fry a high school-aged kid with copious amounts of anaerobic work and little volume, you fry him for life. I think that Granville is the best case against 800m runners training like long sprinters.

Here's his progression and regression:
1993: 1:51.03 HS FR
1994: 1:48.98 HS SO
1995: 1:47.96 HS JR
1996: 1:46.45 HS SR
1997: 1:47.93 CO FR
1998: 1:47.68 CO SO
1999: 1:48.27 CO JR
2000: 1:50.97 CO SR
2001: NT
2002: 1:54.13i
2003: NT

Among other times, in 1996 Granville ran 46.1 for 400m, and 46.5 in 1998 and 2000. In 2003 he ran 49.1. In Nov. 2002 Granville ran the Farm Team XC Open in 22:09 (5:57/mi).
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby jhc68 » Fri Nov 14, 2003 9:17 am

Trackhead's theory is an interesting one: "fry a high school-aged kid with copious amounts of anaerobic work and little volume, you fry him for life."
I have seen that happen to middle-distance runners who had lots of early success and do not improve in college... the question I have is this: Is it the early high intensity, low volume work that ruins the kid, or is it the inflexibility of college programs to deal with young runners in that circumstance? Say a kid goes from high school with not much milage accumulated to a big-time program where runners rack up lots of miles and the runner doesn't adjust well. Is it the high school coach who has ruined the kid or the college coach whose regime is too strictly programed to accomodate an individual runner's background? I really don't know...
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby Guest » Fri Nov 14, 2003 9:42 am

Not sure what the answer to JCH68's question is but I would also add this:

You can kill a runner with too much early aerobic work as well. The last thing you want is a high school runner that does tons and tons of miles. That will burn him out just as quickly as too much speed.
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby trackhead » Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:05 am

>You can kill a
>runner with too much early aerobic work as well.
>The last thing you want is a high school runner
>that does tons and tons of miles. That will
>burn him out just as quickly as too much speed.

How will that burn him/her out? It running all those aerobic miles from ages 8 to 18 that make Kenyans and Ethiopians the best in the world.
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby Guest » Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:10 am

If you look at the total number of Kenyans and Ethiopians who follow that regimen, the number who actually make it to the highest level is extremely small; probably a very small percentage of the total number of runners who attempt it. The vast majority (whom we don't hear about) end up at best burned out and at worst injured.

It's just not healthy for a body that is still growing and developing to be pounding 80 miles a week on the hard pavement or even on trails.

High schoolers should relax and have fun with the sport; don't bring in the heavy mileage until their bodies are strong enought to handle it.
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby trackhead » Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:17 am

>Trackhead's theory is an interesting one: "fry a
>high school-aged kid with copious amounts of
>anaerobic work and little volume, you fry him for
>life."
I have seen that happen to
>middle-distance runners who had lots of early
>success and do not improve in college... the
>question I have is this: Is it the early high
>intensity, low volume work that ruins the kid, or
>is it the inflexibility of college programs to
>deal with young runners in that circumstance? Say
>a kid goes from high school with not much milage
>accumulated to a big-time program where runners
>rack up lots of miles and the runner doesn't
>adjust well. Is it the high school coach who has
>ruined the kid or the college coach whose regime
>is too strictly programed to accomodate an
>individual runner's background? I really don't
>know...

Certainly concessions must be made in order for an athelte to transition from a low volume program to a higher one, but I think that the excessive anaerobic work (on top of a minimum of aerobic work) can cause irreparable damage. I think that it could happen one of two ways: we know that you train the anaerobic system at the expense of the aerobic system, and that severely overdoing this will cause severe damage to their aerobic system, and I find it likely that when you damage something as an adolscent, it stays damage.

Possibility 2 is that the intensity of the anaerobic work has put such a demands on the adrenal gland that it can never fully come back, and the kid's endocrine system is damaged. I would be curious to compare persons who were anaerobically focused mid-distance/distance runners and see how their health is later in life.
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby Guest » Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:20 am

Maybe I'm confusing Granville with somebody else, but isn't he one of those kids who had a really pushy father who micromanaged every inch of his agegroup career? That's a guaranteed recipe for failure too.
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby trackhead » Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:21 am

>If you look at the total number of Kenyans and
>Ethiopians who follow that regimen, the number
>who actually make it to the highest level is
>extremely small; probably a very small percentage
>of the total number of runners who attempt it.
>The vast majority (whom we don't hear about) end
>up at best burned out and at worst
>injured.

It's just not healthy for a body
>that is still growing and developing to be
>pounding 80 miles a week on the hard pavement or
>even on trails.

High schoolers should relax
>and have fun with the sport; don't bring in the
>heavy mileage until their bodies are strong
>enought to handle it.

Kenyans have a high attrition rate because it's so bloody competitive. They beat the shit out of those guys at those camps and whoever comes out on top get's to go to the show.

Ethiopians have a somewhat less internally competitive system -- all submitting to Dr Kostre -- and I think have less attrition. As long as the miles are at a relaxed pace, and there isn't too much too soon, 8, 9, 10 year olds can run a lot.

At minimum, at 18 yrs old you'd ahve want to run 30,000km but that is not going to happen in the US. 15,000km is more realistic for runners who didn't start to train until 14 yrs old.
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby trackhead » Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:25 am

>Maybe I'm confusing Granville with somebody else,
>but isn't he one of those kids who had a really
>pushy father who micromanaged every inch of his
>agegroup career? That's a guaranteed recipe for
>failure too.

No, that was right. His dad was looney toons. He kicked him out of Hughes Stadium after he lost the state meet his junior year.
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby Guest » Fri Nov 14, 2003 12:16 pm

On the tangent of why the Kenyans may or may not burn out from overwork, I strongly recommend Toby Tanser's book "Train Hard, Win Easy".

The discussion on overbearing parents is probably closer to the source of Michael's fizzle. The effect there is to burn out one's heart and passion for the sport. If too much fast training ruined the adrenal system, how would we ever end up with sprinters?
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby Guest » Fri Nov 14, 2003 1:06 pm

"We know that you train the anaerobic system at the expense of the aerobic system, and that severely overdoing this will cause severe damage to their aerobic system, and I find it likely that when you damage something as an adolscent, it stays damage.

Possibility 2 is that the intensity of the anaerobic work has put such a demands on the adrenal gland that it can never fully come back, and the kid's endocrine system is damaged."

I don't think you can physically and permanently damage the adrenal gland and endocrine system from too much speedwork. Where did you get this information come from?
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby trackhead » Fri Nov 14, 2003 4:21 pm

On sprinters -- the volume of their work would typically be less, even 400m specialists than someone like Granville.

On this idea -- it's just a theory. I've postulated it to a couple of exercise physiologists and they've said it is interesting but that there is no study or direct data on the subject. So as of now, it's only an idea to explain the results we see.
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby Guest » Fri Nov 14, 2003 11:38 pm

What happened was that when Michael got to college, he got away from his father, who was pushing the kid, living through him. He was mentally burned out by the time he got to UCLA. This is fairly well known around local track fans. When MG lost the state meet as a junior, his father marched off, disgusted, refusing to talk to him - while MG himself feigned some type of injury, and refused to go to the medal stand during the ceremony. The old man was a tyrant. Talking crazy stuff about Michael running 1:42 in HS. Nuts.
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby Guest » Sun Nov 16, 2003 4:58 am

<He actually ran 1:46.45 in high school.

<The fastest he ever ran at UCLA was 1:47.93 (I'm <pretty sure), and that was as a freshman.

<Usain Bolt brown-nosers, take notice: the early <bloomers are not always the great ones in the <long run.

In next year Olympics a Bolt will break many (American) hearts.
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Re: What happened to Michael Granville.

Postby michael lewis » Sun Nov 16, 2003 5:46 am

There seems to be plenty of speculation going on in this thread about what might burn out young athletes before their normal prime. While I don't know how this could involve adrenal glands or too much high volume work or whatever, I think we can all agree on one thing: Peak human performance is not reached until much later than the teenage years, at least for the species as a whole. Maybe there are some people for whom it is normal to peak earlier than others, but they would certainly be an exception to the norm. Yet we see many promising young athletes reach their peak well before they "should". I would be interested in knowing if there is solid research (I doubt it) indicating what happened in such cases.
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