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Haile says 1:59:59 Marathon Possible?


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  • #46
    Re: Haile says 1:59:59 Marathon Possible?

    >Given that that the 7' HJ was relatively recent, didn't the 8'
    jump look pretty improbable at the time?>>

    Yes, but if foam pits, synthetic takeoffs and Mr. Fosbury had never come along it would probably still be looking improbable. Technology has been huge in that event.


    • #47
      Re: Haile says 1:59:59 Marathon Possible?

      Eldrick, you enjoy yourself in making "forecasts", but reality of training is completely different. I agree that is possible to compare distance pertaining to the same group of events, as the individual qualities that you need for having your performance are similar. But you cannot forget that is not possible to compare the possibilities of the same athlete in very different events. So, if we can suppose that 9.80 on 100m can be compared to 19.50 in 200, 43 in 400, 1:41 in 800, 3:25 in 1500 and 12:35 on 5000, for example, we cannot suppose that the same athlete can run 9.80 and 1:41, because these performances need the exaltation of top qualities, specific for every event.
      I want to explain you what happens in training.
      If you are an athlete running at top level for long time short distances (for ex., 3000/5000m), your physiological goal is TO IMPROVE THE POWER OF YOUR ENGINE. This is possible working on both your motors : muscles, improving strenght, elasticity, technique, fluency, reactivity ; and organic engine, changing your heart and your peripheral situation (see a poster on Letsrun regarding mytochondial activity). So, we try to push the engines of the athlete in order to run faster, coming from shorter distances (that means SPEED) for lasting longer at high speed. In this case, we don't have any problem regarding fuel : in any case, we have fuel enough for every level of performance.
      If we want to compare runners with cars, we must think of a Formula One, that has an engine for running about 300/350 km, and another engine for the lap deciding the position of the car in the starting grid.
      For the runner, that has a goal to run 12:40 in 5k, the engine for one lap is like working with 10x400 in 53" with short recovery, trying to push your physiology in very hard anaerobic direction, in order to produce more lactate and to train your body in eliminating it very quickly.
      There is a very strict correlation between the anaerobic work, or work of POWER, and intensive aerobic work. If you train for running fast and longer, you have more base for training faster with shorter distances (for ex., going from 10x400 in 57" with 1 min recovery, to 10x400 in 55" : so, more endurance is good for improving speed). At the same time, if you are able now to use 10x400 in 55" instead in 57" like before, you can run 15 times (and no more 10) in 57". So, improvement of speed helps you in increasing your specific ENDURANCE.
      The continue balance between these two elements is the real secret of training.
      In all this work, Marathon is the only athletic event that is not involved.
      In fact, if phylosophy of all the distances (till HM) is to try to improve the power of your engine, for marathon your goal is to reduce the consumption of fuel.
      When you start from short distance for analyzing the qualities of a marathon runner, you make a practical mistake, because there are no relations between speed and resistance, in this case.
      Of course, may be that some athlete very strong in short distance can have top qualities for marathon too : in this case, we can hope that a relation 26:30 / 2:02 can be possible, in theory. But the example of Tergat and Sammy Korir is very clear : Paul was probably a potential marathon runner for 2:03 when was at his top level (5 years ago), but trained his engine in direction of improving his power, using more fuel, so the "reconversion" in "full aerobic runner" needs long time, and may be finished when the qualities of the athlete are going down for the consumption of a long career and his age.
      Instead, Sammy Korir born marathon runner. He always was able to use a mix of fatty acids and glycogen very rich of fat for running around 3 min per km, like Tergat (and also Gebre) are not able to do. They are different engines.
      Coming back to your mathematical comparisons, you can see that they have more value when events are very close (800/1500, for example). This happens because the type of enzymic and biomechanical activity are similar. But, when we go on more far events, this type of analogy becomes step by step less obvious, beeing based on different attitudes.
      So, I think that can be possible in 10 years a time about 2:03 (may be also 2:02 something) in marathon, but NOT FROM AN ATHLETE RUNNING SHORTER DISTANCES FOR LONG TIME.
      And, in any case, the correlation among times of 5/10 k and marathon cannot be like you think.
      I want to give you an example, looking at the differences in the level of lactate for top runners, with different speeds for km :
      3:40 = 1.0 mmol/l (3 hrs running in training)
      3:30 = 1.4 mmol/l (2:45 running)
      3:20 = 1.6 mmol/l (2:30 running)
      3:10 = 1.8 mmol/l (30 km running)
      3:05 = 2.0 mmol/l (25-30 km running)
      3:00 = 2.2 mmol/l (20-25 km running)
      2:55 = 4.0 mmol/l (15-HM running)
      2:50 = 7.0 mmol/l (10 km running)
      2:45 = 11.0 mmol/l (8-10 km running)
      2:40 = 13/14 mmol/l (5-6 km running)

      Like you can see, little differences in speed correspond to big differences in lactate, improving your pace. This is the reason because a mathematical approach is not possible, talking about marathon.


      • #48
        Re: Haile says 1:59:59 Marathon Possible?

        seriously, this is not a place to post complete journal articles. he was merely suggesting that mathematical approach for speculation's sake, not to set in stone anyone's potential for a given race. your post was ridiculously long, and misdirected.


        • #49
          Re: Haile says 1:59:59 Marathon Possible?

          GH alerted me to this thread, because I wrote an email to him that T&FN published in 2/99. There were a few letters to the editor that said Geb could run under 2 hours for a marathon.

          Eldrick's method is similar to the method I used to predict that Geb, in his then WR form, could run a 2:03:41.

          The difference between Eldrick's method and mine is that I use known data on the individual runner to make the predicted time. The advantage of this is that a pure mathematical formula does not compensate for the intrinsic endurance capabilities of each runner.

          In fact, one can generate a curve of velocity vs distance run for each runner. What you'll find is that at short distances, i.e., 100-200 m, the average velocity over the distance is greatly affected by acceleration. Nobody has yet run 9.76 for 100, but MJ did 19.32 for 200. MJ himself couldn't come close to 9.76! So average velocity of any given runner is almost always ~1.1x faster for 200 than for 100. There is a big dip in average velocity at around 400 m, as a percentage of 200 m velocity, such that even the best runners can hold only ~0.9x their average velocity over 200 m. Beyond 800 m, the percent of average velocity becomes quite constant for all OG distances. Some runners (which I characterize as "high-endurance") can hold 0.98x their velocity a half the distance; most runners are in the range of 0.95x; some runners (which I characterize as "low-endurance") are more like 0.93x their velocity over half the distance.

          As a sports scientist / physiologist / sports med doc, I know quite well that none of this is based on the physiologic sciences, but in fact this linear regression method is capable of being extremely accurate. During my running career, which included two OT's, I used this for my own assessment of myself and my competitors. Trust me, it is very reliable.

          This is how I predicted Geb's marathon time. I think Tergat's Berlin marathon simply showed that the men's WB in the marathon is soft in comparison to the track 5k / 10k (as I and many of you had predicted). <BTW, in the marathon it is a World Best, not a World Record.> So, in fact, I think the current WB is still soft by about 3s / km.

          The problem, from my perspective as a former marathon runner, is that achieving this level of performance requires immense skill of the MIND. One has to focus exquisitely tightly on the race and oneself for 2 hours. I know very few individuals who can focus on anything that intensely for that long. I don't believe it can be done without a seriously threatening competitor on your heels. Of the physiologic vs psychologic components of an marathoner, the psychological part is FAR more difficult to train.

          As to the comments on all the "other" runners who could wipe Geb off the course: I will simply say that I had many many teammates who were a lot faster than me at 5k, 10k, 20k, but who could never came close to my marathon times, and I personally feel it was my superior ability to focus (and nothing more than that). Raw ability does not necessarily make a good marathoner.

          As to the question of when someone will run under 2:00:
          Haven't you guys got anything better to do? There's good reason to estimate how fast somebody can go NOW, because that's what you have to prepare for if you want to beat them NOW. But some unknown runner 50 years hence? Why bother with that? Because the posts are right - if athletes keep cheating with ergogenic aids and getting away with it, there's no telling how fast they'll go. And in my case, I'll only know one thing, which will be that up against me, clean, none of them ever ran faster than 2:17:41. Each of us carries around our own best time, and we only know where everyone stands as long as nobody cheats. If we're going to allow the cheating, then as far as I'm concerned, athletics is dead.

          I stick by my prediction of '99 based on the 5k / 10k WRs:
          Gebreselassie, 2:03:41
          And in recent years, he's been beaten, so I very strongly think he's not the only one who could run this fast...



          • #50
            Re: Haile says 1:59:59 Marathon Possible?

            "Nobody has yet run 9.76 for 100, but MJ did 19.32 for 200. MJ himself couldn't come close to 9.76!"

            MJ himself never came close to 19.32 other than once in his entire career. How close he could have been to 9.76 had he concentrated on 100m at his peak we won't know, but his 10.12 from lane 3 in Atlanta should be as good as 9.92 on a straightaway.


            • #51
              Re: Haile says 1:59:59 Marathon Possible?


              Very good. I do think El G. is still very close to a 3:26 guy - but that's another discussion. I believe in your 12:40-45 extrapolation.

              But, you have trouble with the extrapolations because of his mastery in one event and relative infrequency he runs other distances. Thus the flaw in the equation - now I understand why you were reluctant to post his 5 prediction.

              However, it is still very interesting and appears to be quite accurate especially for those who run a variety of events.

              As to a sub 2 hour marathon - since we now have a 1/2 under 60 minutes I would think the 2 hour marathon will be done in the not too distance fuuture (10-20 years). At least it does appear to be within the realm of extreme human physiology, though the current times these guys are running seem inhuman.


              • #52
                Re: Haile says 1:59:59 Marathon Possible?

                i know geb has run 331 for 1500, but he probably lost some of
                >that speed before he ran his 206 marathon.) so i think sub 2 is unlikely.

                additionally, throughout Gebrselassie's career (including his preparation towards London) Haile would run 16x60m on the track in spikes.


                • #53
                  Re: Haile says 1:59:59 Marathon Possible?

                  >throughout Gebrselassie's career (including his preparation towards London)
                  >Haile would run 16x60m on the track in spikes.


                  I never heard this though it is interesting. Do you have any more of the details - ie. how many day/wk, off season and in season etc.

                  I always felt it is invaluable for a distance runner to keep speed year-round even something as light as you describe above - keep the leg turnover.


                  • #54
                    Re: Haile says 1:59:59 Marathon Possible?

                    here's haile's week from the german "Laufen Mit Haile Gebrselassie: Das Traingsprogramme"

                    MON: am. 3hr (32mi) run @ 17km/h (5:40/mile) + stretching
                    pm. 1hr run easy

                    TUE: am. 90min + stretching
                    pm. 1hr easy

                    WED: am. long LT 15km-30km (9-18mi)
                    pm. 1hr easy

                    THU: am. sprint work + stretching
                    pm. 1hr easy

                    FRI: am, 15-20x400m hills with jog back recovery
                    pm. 1hr easy

                    SAT: am. track specific work (between 3x1200m to 8x2000m)
                    pm. 1hr easy

                    SUN: 1hr run very easy


                    and from Renato on the specifics of his sprint work:

                    "Gebrselassie used every week repetitions with spikes of 60m at his max. speed, 10-15 times, during all the season"


                    • #55
                      Re: Haile says 1:59:59 Marathon Possible?

                      >Here is a little more one the WR progression in the marathon. A little more
                      >precise on the calculations.

                      At the end of each decade here is the WR
                      >marathon in terms of pace per mile:

                      1910 6:12 per mile pace
                      1930 5:41
                      1940 5:36
                      1950 5:33
                      1960 5:10
                      1970 4:54
                      1990 4:50
                      2000 4:48
                      2003 4:46

                      for the statisticians out there other than myself, please chart this progression. what do you notice? - a logistic equation that is levelling off very very quickly. the growth rate of the progression is a lot more interesting than simply stating that the last 50 or 80 or whatever number of years have seen a x amount decline.