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Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

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  • Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

    I've seen coaches make guys do doubles that make no sense at all: mile run/DMR anchor (trials & finals), or 2mile/DMR, or 100 & 200 & 4x1 & 4x4!! Why do some coaches risk their runners' careers by running them into the ground for 4-5 years of cross country, indoor and outdoor track? Can someone explain this?

  • #2
    Re: Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

    There's far-far less doubling of athletes than there was "back in the day," and I would posit that's contributing to falling U.S. standards in many running events. What better training for racing than actually racing? Particularly when you're tired.

    Competition has become such a dirty word for so many modern coaches that many American athletes get blank looks on their faces when faced with a new situation in a real meet. Get out there and compete!

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    • #3
      Re: Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

      Since the incidence of college track athletes going 'pro' is certainly well below the 1% level, the other 99.7% who get financial assistance do so with the understanding that college track is a team sport and they will do whatever the coach deems best for the team. And the 99.7% are thrilled to do it. Where's the beef? With the handful that might make the Oly team? They are being handled with kid gloves, becuase the coach knows if he has an Oly team member, his/her program will reap huge benefits in the future from such publicity. Please provide the dozens of cases that you are familiar with that are detrimental to the athletes' 'career' in track.

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      • #4
        Re: Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

        >There's far-far less doubling of athletes than there was "back in the day,"
        >and I would posit that's contributing to falling U.S. standards in many running
        >events. What better training for racing than actually racing? Particularly when
        >you're tired.

        Competition has become such a dirty word for so many modern
        >coaches that many American athletes get blank looks on their faces when faced
        >with a new situation in a real meet. Get out there and compete!

        Exactly... When did they (whos's 'they' suckka?) come up with the idea of saving themselves for tomorrow? Only when tomorrow comes they're saving themselves for another tomorrow.

        If you study all of the best competitors in NCAA history, it's no coincidence that those are the same guys who competed at a high level year round.

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        • #5
          Re: Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

          I think the original post was about guys/gals being run into the ground and breaking down. A former coach at UCI and ASU was pretty notorious for doubling and tripling sprinters in Feb/Mar and then wondering why they were injured come NCAA time. A bit of common sense is required.

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          • #6
            Re: Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

            Their modern-day American counterparts don't have the background for that. Follow the east African model:

            a lot of running, limited intensity, very few races until 17/18/19.

            4-5 XC races, and a similar amount of racing in track (depending on background and event). If you're focus is the 5k, 1-2 400s, 3 800s, 3 1500s, 2-3 5ks and 1 10k. No more than 30km of racing (if background permits).

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            • #7
              Re: Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

              So, the coaches are to blame for current scholarship/budgetary limits?

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              • #8
                Re: Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

                Not sure what the budgetary limits have to do with anything ... As was stated before "back in the day" there was much more doubling and tripling - by athletes in all disciplines (sprints, distances, jumps, etc) ... And there were MORE scholarships !!! Ya gotta race to get burned out ... Too little racing going on ...

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                • #9
                  Re: Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

                  You also need to look at the different coaches. Mark Wetmore at CU, for example, races his big guns very little. I think that the problem with some college coaches is that they train their kids on too hard of surfaces or the wrong way (i.e.-plyometrics) which leads to a lot of injuries such as stress fractures.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

                    >Not sure what the budgetary limits have to do with anything ...

                    Um, it means that in many places fewer members make the traveling squad.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

                      Being able to identify the volume of training and racing any runner can perform is a key element to good coaching.

                      Finding that proper edge will max any runners ability.

                      Doubling does provide a huge race simulation affect and provide good training.

                      Too much breaksdown any runner

                      I'm of the believe everyones work capacity is unique, but can be expanded over time.

                      Having solid base work, mixed in with the appropriate high quality race simulation finishing work and lead to great results.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

                        A former coach at UCI and ASU was pretty notorious for doubling
                        >and tripling sprinters in Feb/Mar and then wondering why they were injured come
                        >NCAA time. A bit of common sense is required.

                        does anyone remember obea moore (high school sprinter out of cali)? he was rumoured to have run something like 90 to 120 races in his final season. i get the feeling high school coaches think that excessive racing in one day is just a good replacement for a workout.

                        i'm not sure how much of that carries over into the college arena, but i can tell you as a distance runner, it is very hard to gain traction in a strong college program. i was at a top 5 distance school about 5 years ago and as a strong 5th or 6th man, i found it impossible to put together a season without burning out or injury. this wasn't just a middle-packer phenomenon, there were a lot of unknown greats at my school who you never heard about because the 2 or 3 big names performed so well that nobody was interested in finding out why the rest of the crew didn't meet their potential. i'm talking about sub-9 two milers out of high school (3 in three years) all of whom fell off the face of the running world because they were so disillusioned with the extent of the training. the argument i always used was, "yes, so-and-so is running very fast, but he is a talented phenom and lord knows how fast he could be in a more moderate program". furthermore, for every so-and-so, there are those three sub-9 two milers that couldn't hack it.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

                          Having been there I can tell you it is hard for a developing college distance runnere 18-22 yrs old to race 5 or 6 8k-10k cross country races,then 4 - 3ks, 2 5-ks and 1-1500s indoors then 2 -1500s, 3-4 -5ks and 1 -10k outdoors all against competition better than them (which is the case for 95% of college track athletes). Mentally that is very tough on young men and women who are coming from high school were they were use to winning each week and not often having to put out 100% to do so.

                          I'd be in favor limiting the number of cross country races to 4 or 5 and having of a seperate half-marathon championship during the winter for the distance guys so they could replace the 7 indoor races with a half marathon championship and only 1 or 2 indoor races (i.e. conference championship); letting them develop through some training as well as racing. This would also help produce better US Marathon runners.

                          I know the NCAA will never go for it (adding another championship with very limited ability to sell tickets - yeah right), nor would many colleges but it would be a better environment in which to develop true distance runners.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

                            I'd be in favor limiting the number of
                            >cross country races to 4 or 5 and having of a seperate half-marathon
                            >championship during the winter for the distance guys so they could replace the
                            >7 indoor races with a half marathon championship and only 1 or 2 indoor races
                            >(i.e. conference championship); letting them develop through some training as
                            >well as racing. This would also help produce better US Marathon runners.

                            this is an excellent idea! there should definitely be some sort of program to develop the marathon talent better. even possibly 2 half marathons and a 20 miler each year as part of sponsored circuit with some real prize money.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Do college coaches burn out our athletes?

                              >Having been there I can tell you it is hard for a developing college distance
                              >runnere 18-22 yrs old to race 5 or 6 8k-10k cross country races,then 4 - 3ks, 2
                              >5-ks and 1-1500s indoors then 2 -1500s, 3-4 -5ks and 1 -10k outdoors all
                              >against competition better than them (which is the case for 95% of college
                              >track athletes). Mentally that is very tough on young men and women who are
                              >coming from high school were they were use to winning each week and not often
                              >having to put out 100% to do so.

                              I'd be in favor limiting the number of
                              >cross country races to 4 or 5 and having of a seperate half-marathon
                              >championship during the winter for the distance guys so they could replace the
                              >7 indoor races with a half marathon championship and only 1 or 2 indoor races
                              >(i.e. conference championship); letting them develop through some training as
                              >well as racing. This would also help produce better US Marathon runners.

                              I
                              >know the NCAA will never go for it (adding another championship with very
                              >limited ability to sell tickets - yeah right), nor would many colleges but it
                              >would be a better environment in which to develop true distance runners.

                              Why not skip indoors? What's the point?

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