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    Re: US Marathoners

    With this sort of thing usually the simplest explanation is the best. The truth is that US distance runners don't train hard enough. We can talk about poor shoes and Oxygen tents all we want, but it all comes down to the fact that US runners don't train as hard as their African counterparts. US runners train hard enough just to get the 2:12 standard. I believe the best times at the trials for native born Americans will be around 2:11 - 2:12.

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    Re: US Marathoners

    The decline of american runners, or any runner from a industrialized nation, goes hand in hand with the development of sport science. I'm not talking as compaired to the rise of east africans but the DECLINE of quality distance runners from the U.S., U.K., Canada ect... The shoes are the biggest contributing factor. Learning to run in the current crop of running shoes promotes poor form and weakens the legs. The use of super spicific pace training (ie LT pace, AT pace) has interfeared with the art of running and racing. The race does not care wheather or not you are above or below your LT, it only asks that you race it to the fullest. We have lost the art of running fast, changing pace, getting uncomfortable and racing the other people in the field.

    Solution: 1st,Use different shoes and know why you are doing it(to change your form) The ideal shoe would not have a drop from heel to forefoot, would not be too high off the ground (5-8mm is enough) and would feel like "soft earth", firm, not squishy. 2nd, Forget the pace when you run and use more "perceived" pace training. Learn to change pace in a race using the track, ie 600 at perceived 5k pace fallowed by 2-400 "kick". check out KK's website and read up on how he runs or describes his training pace.

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    Re: US Marathoners

    Today it does seem that a 3:40 1500meters and a 13:40 5000meters are lame ass times

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    Re: US Marathoners

    Why was America better at everything 20 years ago?

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    Re: US Marathoners

    There are a lot of American 13:40 5000meters that will never develop beyond the B level. They are heroes to a few and forgotten by many. They sit at home during the Olympics and say to their friends during the 5000 meter final telecast, "well I finished third in the trials but couldn't get the Olympic standard."

    Many of these runners end up running on the roads as semi-pros. They have full time jobs but still have the desire to run.

    The international elite runners have no time for the 13:40 5k runner.

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    Re: US Marathoners

    I just wanted to post an apology for my atrocious number of typos. Thanks for reading past them, I promise to try and proof read before posting in the future. (I guess all that mileage is hurting my typing skills.) I'll now stand-by and let some others post for a while.

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    Re: US Marathoners

    Lets start by looking at six different factors, a couple of which El Supremo very keenly hit on already.

    1) More Competition: More international runners are racing in the US making both tier one (NYC, Chicago, Boston) and tier two US marathons (Twin Cities, Houston, LA, etc.) more competitive and thus harder for US marathoners to place high or make a living at marathoning. (Nothing you can do about this but get better to compete.)

    2) Options/Careers: Most of the top US distance running talent come from the college ranks in which college grades can make more money eaiser initially in the other choosen fields (such as business or engineering) that they can make in a highly competitive marathon scene. Bigger economy and more opportunities than in the past. (weeds out those who don't truely love the sport and wish to or ned to sacrafice for it).

    3) Training: The simple fact is that most US marathoners today do not train as hard as there predacessors (Shorter, Rodgers). Many have gotten side-tracked by gimmicks or other distractions and simply do not put in the mileage or tempo work necessary to compete in the marathon. You may be able to get by at 70-80 miles a week in the 5k-10k but in the marathon you need 120+ miles with 10-20% of it at marathon pace or better for most to be competitive.

    4) Sponsorship / Teams: There has been little progress in the sponsorship / training team front in the past 20 years. Not as many top notch groups getting together to live and train. Good economy, expanded opportunities and broadened lifesytles have made many unwilling to sacrafice for this type of lifestyle while the lack of sponsorship money for up and comers have made the sacrafices necessary very real.

    5) Focus: As El Supremo has astutely pointed out many 5k and 10k runners are hanging out to long at the 5k and 10k because they can still be competitive in the US championships even while they fall far short of the world standards. They only move up to the marathon at a late age and by that time they begin to understand it they are already too long in the tooth. (Todd Williams?) Need more Salazars who move up in their early to mid 20's. They can still race 5k's/10k's as Shorter and Salazar did but they need to gain valuable Marathon experience. Note: Rodgers wasn't much of a 10k runner before picking up the marathon.

    6) Lack of success breeds lack of success. Not many stories of the home grown American college guy getting out of school, moving up to the marathon and winning NYC or Boston. Once one does it, it will empowers others but getting them to believe it is possible.

    There are several other factors in my opinion but I wanted to through these out to get your opinions. thanks!

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  • MJD
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    Re: US Marathoners

    But to your point, I do think some of the
    >reasons for the decline in the marathon parallel
    >the declines in the mile but there is are few
    >event specific ones as well I hope to get into
    >shortly. Do enlighten us with your opinion on
    >this matter.

    About 3 years ago I compared the 50th best Canuck 1500 meter time in the year 2000 to 1983 and 1984 and the times were almost identical. The fact that Hood and Sully were at the top made up for the fact that it got a bit soft after that. The point really being that, in Canada at least, there hasn't been much of a decline in the 1500 compared to the marathon.

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    Re: US Marathoners

    Marathoning takes time to master - and most Americans go into marathoning too late. Spence and Salazar were both mid 20's and marathoning - today it seems most US runners continue to compete on the track far too long. If you haven't run 13:30 or 28:10 by the time your 25 it's time to move up. Note Shay seems to have figured it out, and Culpepper as well. Americans spend too much time worrying about beating each other (thus 13:40 guys don't move up since they can still make a U.S. final) and not enough time determining what it will take to compete internationally.

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    Re: US Marathoners

    Nope Latte, it is not a switch but hopefully the beginning of a lively debate on the reasons why US marathoning is suffering as of late.

    I did not just realize this but lived it over the course of my career and am interested in the wide variety of opinions and experiences represented on this board. So I welcome you to join in.

    But to your point, I do think some of the reasons for the decline in the marathon parallel the declines in the mile but there is are few event specific ones as well I hope to get into shortly. Do enlighten us with your opinion on this matter.

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    Re: US Marathoners

    >Lets look at the stats. US marathon running has
    >taken a big nose dive in the past 15 years.>

    Did this just occur to you or is this just switching events from the "American milers suck" threads?

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  • MJD
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    Re: US Marathoners

    >Lets look at the stats. US marathon running has
    >taken a big nose dive in the past 15 years.

    Same with Canada. Some years there are only a couple of guys under 2:20. Looking forward to what you have to say. Part of the reason is population density by age as gh will point out but that doesn't explain only a couple of guys under 2:20.

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    Guest started a topic US Marathoners

    US Marathoners

    Lets look at the stats. US marathon running has taken a big nose dive in the past 15 years. In the men's marathon (with the exeception of KK recent citizenship) US marathoners have not been a factor in the world rankings since the early 80's with only Plaatjes (#2 in 1993)and Spense (#5 in 1991) being ranked since Salazar's #1 in 1982. In the 1970's and ealy 80's we routinely had 2 or 3 guys in the Top 10. Similarly in the womens marathon we have not had an American women ranked in the top 10 since Olga Appell was 10th in 1994, and Kim Joes and FL-Smith in 1991 (at # 5 & 6). In the 70's and 80's the US women routineky had 2 or 3 or more ranked in the top 10.

    So what has happened in the US over the past 10-15 years that has caused the US to fall through in the marathon. I have some opinions that I'll give shortly but I wanted to open this area up for debate. Please lets try and limit this discussion to the marathon (where posible).
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