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The future of long distance running?

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  • The future of long distance running?

    In attempting to compete with the E. Africans in long distance running should the US be looking for 6'-5" runners with long strides and good turover like Bolt? If a lanky sprinter can turn the sprinting world upside down could a long legged runner do the same for distance running? It is hard not to notice that most of the Olympic distance runners fall well short of 6'. Are guys like Wheating the future ? Or is distance running subject to different requirements ?

  • #2
    I would think that the better approach, if we are to follow your line of reasoning, is not to find someone built like Bolt, but someone built like Bekele or Geb. Power to weight ratio is more critical here, with the power being that of the cardiopulmonary system.

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    • #3
      Emulating the E.Africans isn't exactly beaking the mold like Bolt did in the sprints. Perhaps we need to try something different to break through. Ryun was 6'-3" back in the sixties when that was pretty tall.

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      • #4
        Craig Mottram is a great runner, not because he's tall. Guys with his body type --or Ryun's for that matter-- aren't going to be runners very often anyway.

        Champions Coe, Cova, Fermin Cacho were 5'9 as is Alan Webb who's pretty good.

        "Wheating the future?" Not in "long distance running." 800 medal prospect in London though.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by the lagster
          Emulating the E.Africans isn't exactly beaking the mold like Bolt did in the sprints. Perhaps we need to try something different to break through. Ryun was 6'-3" back in the sixties when that was pretty tall.
          Not that I know much about human physiology, but it's usually said the efficiency of the cardiovascular system of tall guys isn't generally good enough to allow them to be world class in long-distance running. 800/1500 is probably a different story.
          Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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          • #6
            jack bacheler was a tall olympic marathoner, and canada had a marathoner who was about 6 foot 5 give or take an inch.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by doug091463
              jack bacheler was a tall olympic marathoner, and canada had a marathoner who was about 6 foot 5 give or take an inch.
              Exceptions confirming the rule And neither of them was a superstar anyway.

              BTW, I believe Bolt is just a freak of nature in that he's a tall guy who is as efficient in his running as much shorter sprinters. I don't think there are many more like him out there, and I don't expect the sprints to be dominated by 6'5+ guys in the near future.
              Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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              • #8
                It is important to remember that there simply are less tall guys
                around. Any attempt to find the "ideal height" in any sport by
                comparing top athletes will be skewed towards the mean height of the
                population.

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                • #9
                  actually genetic engineering is here currently, and you will soon be able to have a child be whatever you want it to be...

                  some will view this as a form of cheating, but if you can select positive traits for you child, would you not...

                  say, the next mozart...or the first 30 foot LJer??

                  science is remarkable..

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                  • #10
                    Outside of the genetic engineering , seeing successful distance runners from the West will be more a matter of chance, at least for a while. Low "turnout" so less chance to find talented people. As far as African dominance goes, they have interest and a good number of talented runners. The financial rewards for them are great. For Westerners, the monetary rewards don't equate. People can say that money isn't a major factor, but it is.

                    Wonder what would happen if those little tiny people from the Andes started running, what with their tremendous lung capacity and extra blood volume?

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                    • #11
                      Masback had this to say on the subject about nine years ago:

                      "The recent world-record breakers in middle-distance running—Morceli, but El Guerrouj in particular—have had defining characteristics of very long strides and extremely light carriages, or upper bodies," says Craig Masback , the CEO of USA Track & Field and a former 3:52 miler. "To some extent, we are talking about a machine: El Guerrouj has the cardiovascular system of a man 6'6", the legs of a man 6'2" and the upper body of a man 5'2"."
                      http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/ ... /index.htm

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