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    Dutra
    Senior Member

  • Dutra
    replied
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile - telling your son

    US distance running fans now constitute a
    >small group found on both Letsrun and Track and Field news. It is almost as if
    >these two websites operate outside the mainstream sports press.

    Next time
    >you are at a sports bar ask somebody who was the last American to break 3:50
    >for the mile. They would probably look at you with a vacant stare.>>>

    You have a point but are going a bit overboard in an attempt to prove it. There was probably no point in which you could ask the question to name any American to run under 3:50 in the mile and not get the same blank stares.

    To the point of the SI cover of Ryun and Liquori...there were a lot less sports to cover at that time and it could be argued, at the very least, that those two were the best in the world. Americans like to focus on who the best are in more fringe sports. If we're not at the top we don't want to hear about it.

    Leave a comment:

  • utkvol80
    Senior Member

  • utkvol80
    replied
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile - telling your son

    Jim Spivey: Thanks for your post; that's the real thing, Nothing more can be said.

    Leave a comment:

  • 15mph
    Senior Member

  • 15mph
    replied
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile - telling your son

    There are guys today running 3:37+ and signing higher contracts than anything Scott or Spivey had.

    In the US sprinters are treated like princes and distance runners are treated like paupers. I would say only 5% of the US population knows who Alan Webb is.


    There was a time when US distance runners made the cover of Sports Illustrated. I remember seeing in the attic an old Sports Illustrated cover featuring Marty Liquori beating Jim Ryun.
    You almost never see front line coverage of the mile anymore. In the early 70's wide world of sports even covered top mile races. Now to watch a good mile race you have to turn to ESPN 2. Most of the time these races are time delayed.

    The decline of US distance running (mile) probably started around the time the US national soccer team started qualifying for the world cup. It was around this time that Spivey and Falcon posted the last sub 3:50 miles posted by an American. Now it is US soccer players that sometimes make the cover of sports Illustrated.

    US distance running fans now constitute a small group found on both Letsrun and Track and Field news. It is almost as if these two websites operate outside the mainstream sports press.

    Next time you are at a sports bar ask somebody who was the last American to break 3:50 for the mile. They would probably look at you with a vacant stare.

    In short it is the lack of interest that is the main problem facing US distance running. If and when Webb breaks 3:50 for the mile will America really care. It may be posted on page 5 of the sports page.

    Leave a comment:

  • eldrick
    Senior Member

  • eldrick
    replied
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile - telling your son

    jim

    when you were in the best shape of your life, what were your then current bests for 400, 800 & maybe 3k ( maybe from time-trials in training ) at that one particular point in time ( not PBs or SBs, but your exact form when you ran either the 3'31 or the 3'49 )

    i'm just trying to see if you had more potential at the 1.5k/1M or as i suspect, that you may have had more to offer at 800m or 3k

    all a bit of fun

    Leave a comment:

  • Brian
    Senior Member

  • Brian
    replied
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile - telling your son

    >How do you explain the dream mile. When I
    >replied: It was what I trained for all year, he was quick to point out that
    >wasn't the World championships or Olympic Games more important?

    >Facts: I
    >averaged 43.5 miles a week from January through the Los Angels Olympic Games
    >in 1984. After changing coaches to Mike Durkin (76,80 Olympian) and Ken
    >Popejoy (9th world 75), it had a range of 60-75. Rarely, if maybe 10 times
    >over that amount from 1987-97.

    3:49.80 is, of course, an excellent time.

    But do you think your getting by internationally mileage fact could be the reason you, despite your huge talent, fell short of actually winning either the Dream Mile or the games?

    [How can someone achieve their potential without gradually increasing the training stimulus? Why would a 25 year old be at the same training volume as he was in college?]


    Simply throwing money at people who aren't maximizing their potential with optimal training creates running bums, not Olympic champions.

    The best runners in the US today have one thing in common: great coaches. Start throwing money in THAT direction for a change.

    Leave a comment:

  • Brian
    Senior Member

  • Brian
    replied
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile - telling your son

    >How do you explain the dream mile. When I
    >replied: It was what I trained for all year, he was quick to point out that
    >wasn't the World championships or Olympic Games more important?

    >Facts: I
    >averaged 43.5 miles a week from January through the Los Angels Olympic Games
    >in 1984. After changing coaches to Mike Durkin (76,80 Olympian) and Ken
    >Popejoy (9th world 75), it had a range of 60-75. Rarely, if maybe 10 times
    >over that amount from 1987-97.

    3:49.80 is of course, an excellent time.

    But do you think your getting by internationally mileage fact could be the reason you, despite your huge talent, fell short of actually winning either the Dream Mile or the games?


    Simply throwing money at people who aren't maximizing their potential with optimal training creates running bums, not Olympic champions.

    The best runners in the US today have one thing in common: great coaches. Start throwing money in THAT direction for a change.

    Leave a comment:

  • Jim Spivey
    Junior Member

  • Jim Spivey
    replied
    Running a 3:49.80 mile - telling your son

    14 July London, England
    I took my 14-year old son, Sebastian, to London the day the bombs went off. We fly back next week. We drove out to Warwick castle today, and I mentioned to him that the Oslo track meet was coming up, I thought this Saturday.
    "The dream mile?" he said with a question.
    Yes, the dream mile.
    "Why do they call it the d-r-e-a-m mile ... isn't it just a mile? What was your best finish?"

    How do you explain the dream mile. When I replied: It was what I trained for all year, he was quick to point out that wasn't the World championships or Olympic Games more important?
    When I said it was live on TV, at 425pm (1125pm Olso time), live! I don't think he believed me. "A track meet, live!" No, just the mile.

    Taking a run two days ago, to the parks on the North side of London, where I ran, brought back many memories. I came to these parks every year from 1986-1996. 11 years. I could remember zipping around after having a great race, and also going around, trying to bring everything back together after a poor one. That's the problem if you travel from race to race / hotel to hotel: Never time to regroup and regain your focus.

    I have met with Jack Wickens, a name I am sure you will hear more of in 2005-06. Craig Masback flew to Nashville to see him, and I and another were lucky to be invited. LDR chair Glen Latimer also asked if I would be willing to help USATF two weeks ago, and we will meet at the end of July.

    I read in the above posts where we must have been committed. Ready to struggle to gain fitness. Finance difficult. Facts: I averaged 43.5 miles a week from January through the Los Angels Olympic Games in 1984. After changing coaches to Mike Durkin (76,80 Olympian) and Ken Popejoy (9th world 75), it had a range of 60-75. Rarely, if maybe 10 times over that amount from 1987-97. Finances were very difficult after running 3:31.01 in 1988. After receiving my largest running contract from N in my career after winning the bronze in 1987, 1988 was a successful year. With the Olympics over, and placing 4th in the Trials not making the team, I made $16,000 for 1989 - total. I said to N if that was all they could offer me after running 3:31, then I would rather run for free for ASICS. Looking back at the time, that was a pretty poor decision .... $12,000 from N is better than none. I thought I could prove to N in 1989, that they had made a mistake, so trained harder. Injuries for 2 years had me only running 3:36 and 3:34. Not until 1991 did things come back together.

    How do we help the up and coming runners, and in turn, run 3:49?

    Steve Scott said consistent training over a period of time.
    I would add, believe in your own training. Don't always believe that your competitior ran a great 800m time trial last week, or that their training is better than yours.

    Contentment is the crux. You finish a race, running very, very well, and everyone is so excited. "You just ran a 3 second pr!" That could be said to Rob Myers this summer, if he runs 3:50. 3:50 .... I know before I ran it in 1983, I never would have dreamed I could get even close. Then I was 2nd to Scott in the Dream mile in 1983, at age 23. 14.0 last 109 mters (3:36.6)for one of the fastest kicks ever. Even saw this week in an old Running magazine for 1984 in England, that "Spivey can kick like a mule," as it analyzed Coe's, Ovetts and Crams chances. It also said "I would bet the mortgage on Coe."

    This all goes to your head. You say you want more money from your shoe company, from races. Appearance require more time, so more finances.
    One needs humality. Injuries will do more good for an athlete in this department.
    As Marcus O'Sullivan said, "You had a cracker of a workout, come flying home in the car, and your wife says: "Yea, yea, another good workout ... here, take out the garbage."

    I would hope that we can help new distance runners with options after college. I may have had a contract right out of college for $12,000/year, but had run 3:55. After running 3:50 that summer, Glenn from N calling me up and saying they were increasing my contract to $18,000. We need options, so that when in college, they can start the process.

    How do you explain, even to your son, that you put your head in the race, look at the guys neck in front of you, and float. At 56-57 second pace for the first 800. You stick your finger in your ear as you pass the 800 ... what's the point of hearing 1:53 or 1:54? You knew it was going to be fast even before the gun went off. Hearing makes disbelievers of all of us. Run for a feeling. Greg LaMond, Tour de France winner in 1989, told his coaches: "no splits." Seb Coe wrote a book, Running Free. Any thoughts of what this means? Run for the race, not times. Get pulled along for the fast time. Then, be hungry for more.

    Dave Moorcroft, 13:00 in 1981, World Record, I heard say, "I had 8 races in my life where everything went perfect. I could make any move, surge, respond. Run a pr. I trained the rest of my life for the 9th one."

    If I could go back, I wish MIke or KEn, although I bet both said it, would have said,
    "Run like the shape you are in ... your in great shape." How can one run 1:53, jog 5 mins., the 1:37 700m (1:51 pace) in 90 degree heat, and not go home and say, Ok! it's time to race. Yet, that's what I did in 1988. It took me 4 races to beleive that I was ready. We doubt ourselves so much, and say, "just one more great workout, and I will be ready."

    Hope the 14th of July had you running in ASICS, and getting in a run. I did, got lost in London, but had a great run.
    js

    Leave a comment:


  • jello
    replied
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

    For our system of distance running to improve, it will take more of a committment from the USATF and the sponsors to stick with the talented athletes (who are dedicated) through the ups and downs. Spivey's post brought back memories of my experience coaching an elite athlete and seeing how the USATF and the shoe companies and the meet promoters no longer "knew them" anymore if things went bad because of injuries, personal problems, etc. It may be a bit better now, but is probably much more similar than it is different. The athletes from the 60's and 70's sacrificed very, very much to reach the levels that they did!!! That sort of sacrifice is rare now. Our society (especially here in the U.S.) is much more into "instant gratification".

    Leave a comment:

  • utkvol80
    Senior Member

  • utkvol80
    replied
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

    Spivey's post is the best I have read so far. If I was still running rincky-dinky road-races, it would have been inspiring. But in a way it was, because I swim now to stay in shape, and his description of the lactic acic swimming in his head has encouraged me to swim through the rough parts! Swimming a mile or more is a lot tuffer than running those distances....

    Leave a comment:

  • 15mph
    Senior Member

  • 15mph
    replied
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

    Spivey's post is nearly two years old. I wonder how he would evaluate runners like Webb, Myers, and Gruber today. Remember, he was referring to the pervious generation of US milers like Lunn, Stember, and Berryhill in his post.

    Things can only get better for US 1500/mile runners.

    Leave a comment:

  • 26mi235
    Senior Member

  • 26mi235
    replied
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

    >He added that when he used to go into the Washington Post office on Sunday in the 1970s, there might be 20 people there working on something.

    Today, if you went in on Sunday there wouldn't be more than one or two.>

    With resources like the Web, it is not clear that his statement is quite as meaningful as it might appear. You can do work from many different place that before was most easily done at the office.

    Leave a comment:

  • mustachebrigade
    Junior Member

  • mustachebrigade
    replied
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

    Excellent. Thanks.

    Leave a comment:

  • Cyril
    Senior Member

  • Cyril
    replied
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

    >Does somebody here think Webb is going to break 3:50 this summer?


    AW may be able to do it, if, as 26 mi. pointed out, he can find a mile race that fits his schedule. Mile races are not easy to find.

    Leave a comment:

  • SKAPMUSIK
    Senior Member

  • SKAPMUSIK
    replied
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

    Ahhh, maybe journalist don't dig as deep b/c people aren't as interested and news is too ever changing and of the moment...someone can dig, dig, dig all they want, but by the time a good lead becomes a good story it's old news in todays "information now" world...

    Leave a comment:

  • utopian
    Senior Member

  • utopian
    replied
    Re: Running a 3:49.80 mile

    A couple of nights ago Bob Woodward was interviewed on his new book about Deep Throat. He was asked why journalists today didn't seem to dig as deep as he and Bernstein and others did in the 1970s.

    Woodward pointed out that he and Bernstein were single and thus was able to work a double shift. Today's young reporters are already starting families.

    He added that when he used to go into the Washington Post office on Sunday in the 1970s, there might be 20 people there working on something.

    Today, if you went in on Sunday there wouldn't be more than one or two.

    Leave a comment:

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