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Running a 3:49.80 mile

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  • #16
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

    Thank you.

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    • #17
      Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

      Mr Spivey-

      thanks for including the bonus structure. as someone on contract, i now feel quite lucky to look at my bonus structure and see the same dollar figures with times like 3:56, 3:52, next to them. best wishes, AM

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

        >It was better to hang back, kick like mad, run >3:51 and get 5th, than to go for the win and >fail. Yes, the wrong way to race. A nice way to >continue to make a living.

        But this is not what got you to the top. As you said, it may have helped you stay there longer, for the pragmatic reasons you listed.

        During the past ten years, I have come in contact with many runners who haven't yet made it to the top--whatever their "top" might be--but have already subscribed to your secondary attitude of attempted maintenance. I believe this has hurt them by their settling for a premature plateau.

        Surely on the way up, Mr. Spivey, you remember times of relative staleness. I believe some of these athletes have too quickly accepted this temporary paralysis in improvement, thinking "that was it." I believe others have willingly accepted it for the minor perks it offers, such as free equipment, pocket-change prize money, etc.
        I believe they have gotten the same "fear of losing what you've got" that you describe at a much lower level than you attained or that some of them could aspire to achieve. And I see the Colorado guys under Wetmore--for one example--as being examples of not selling themselves short...of having that unceasing attitude to improve that you describe on your way up. The same attitude that spurs young Kenyans to get good in order to leave their country and start bettering their lot by earning prize money. [The Kenyan, of course, differs in that in order to reach even the lowest level of economic freedom, he first has to be among the best of his countrymen...which eventually makes him better than most of the rest of the world.]

        I don't believe Americans are lazy, but I do believe many sell themselves short by getting scared when the inevitable temporary results plateau occurs and then failing to push onward, trying to keep what relative little they already have.
        My opinion.

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        • #19
          Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

          We at T&FN were blown away by Mr. Spivey's multiple posts (couple on this thread, one on an earlier one) so--with his permission--we've taken all three of them and combined them into one (slightly shorter) piece, with some headlines added, and easier to read than here on the message board itself. Go back to the front page and you'll find the link.

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          • #20
            Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

            I was rather impressed with Spivey's list of credentials that you added at the end. How can this man not be in the Hall of Fame?

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            • #21
              Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

              This was one of the best "interviews" ever published by TFN. Thanks to all.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

                >Seb Coe said to me in 1988 - If I can get the 8" between my eyes and the top of my head right, I can beat anyone in the world.<


                And I always thought that was my little secret.

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                • #23
                  Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

                  I think it was actually Joe Newton who told Seb Coe and his father these words, and wasnt the actual quote, " the 12 inches above your shoulders"

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

                    Just a very late "thank you very much" to Jim Spivey for most interesting details/write-ups.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

                      Your comments are quite accurate. Jack Daniels was the distance and X-C coach at Univ. of Texas during the early 70's and preached that quality over quantity was preferred. He spent more time developing the mental attitude to go along with the physiological attributes necessary in distance running. Even pace and negative splits (not jog and kick)equate to faster times.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

                        Thanks, Jim. Nothing like the voice of experience AND excellence.

                        A few years back I had a conversation with former American Record holder from your same era about the fact that, as a sport, we seem to really under-utilize the talent and collective wisdom of our past stars. I'm not sure how we do it, but it is imperative in my opinion to get guys like you, Scott, Virgin, Marsh, Rodgers, Shorter, Salazar, Nenow and others more directly involved with guys like Lunn, Webb, Berryhill, Torres, and the other up-and-comers. Obviously some of you are in coaching (yourself, Scott, Salazar) and other are still involved in the sport in some capacity, but we don't seem to have a good way of passing on the collective experience and knowledge that all of you possess.

                        This may be the best use a message board I have ever seen. Thanks again.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

                          >Thanks, Jim. Nothing like the voice of
                          >experience AND excellence.

                          Ait is imperative
                          >in my opinion to get guys like you, Scott,
                          >Virgin, Marsh, Rodgers, Shorter, Salazar, Nenow
                          >and others more directly involved with guys like
                          >Lunn, Webb, Berryhill, Torres, and the other
                          >up-and-comers. Obviously some of you are in
                          >coaching (yourself, Scott, Salazar) and other
                          >are still involved in the sport in some
                          >capacity

                          the problem is that those former stars who are coaching aren't coaching the best....

                          Torres/Ritz = Mark Wetmore
                          Webb = Scott Raczko
                          Lunn = Gags?
                          Berryhill = ?

                          it's a bunch of fairly succesful college coaches such as Lananna and Mcdonnell coaching our best collegiates after college, while guys like Salazar are coaching high schoolers and a bunch of 2:20 marathoners.

                          I guess Spivey's done some work with Gags, but for the most part, the elite US runners are being coached by college coaches or others who have never competed at the top, while the semi-elite US runners are being coached by guys like Salazar and Scott

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                          • #28
                            Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

                            >I'm not sure how we do it, but it is imperative
                            >in my opinion to get guys like you, Scott,
                            >Virgin, Marsh, Rodgers, Shorter, Salazar, Nenow
                            >and others more directly involved with guys like
                            >Lunn, Webb, Berryhill, Torres, and the other
                            >up-and-comers. Obviously some of you are in
                            >coaching (yourself, Scott, Salazar) and other
                            >are still involved in the sport in some
                            >capacity, but we don't seem to have a good way
                            >of passing on the collective experience and
                            >knowledge that all of you possess.>>

                            No offense to Mr. Spivey, who would appear to be a coach/communicator of the first order, but isn't he an exception rather than the rule? Most of the successful coaches I've ever come across (in all sports, not just track) were mediocre athletes. People to whom it didn't "come easy," and who aren't burnt out from years of training and competition. Relying on ex-studs, I fear, is a road to ruin.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

                              Agreed that most of the better coaches seem to have limited or mediocre records as competitors themselves (Cerutty, Lydiard, P. Coe, etc.), just as some of the better coaches in other sports (Phil Jackson springs to mind) were not the very best. Coaching is a skill of knowing the athlete, knowing how to train and motivate, which may or may not be talents the great runner may have. The self-interest and obsessive drive to perfection and other qualities necessary to fuel world-class competitors might even be a hindrance for some (not implicating Mr. Spivey in this, I add my thanks for his extremely interesting and generous sharing).

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

                                There seems to be some misunderstanding as to what I am suggesting. I am NOT suggesting that past stars coach current athletes, or even that they coach at all. What I am suggesting is they act as mentors on all aspects of world class running, which includes a LOT more than just how they train. There is a ton of collective wisdom an insight about what it takes to prepare and compete at that level which goes far beyond the X's and 0's of training.

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