Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

    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.

  • #2
    Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

      Great idea Annoying Bastard!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

        >
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

          I should have used WW2 as an example.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

              >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.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

                  <<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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

                    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).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

                        >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.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Suggestions for improving distance running in the USA

                              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.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X