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What's wrong the US and the mile?

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  • What's wrong the US and the mile?

    I'm going to write a letter to TFN about how more milers should move up to the 5k and how they need to incorporate an intensive Lydiard hill training phase. But I want to more privately post a concern that I found in reading the article.

    I think the influence of Brooks Johnson on US training is another major problem. He has been seriously overrated as a distance coach. He has had only 3 or 4 successful athletes out of one of the richest recruiting pools in the US. Lannana's success at Stanford with athletes of the same caliber belies Johnson's incompetence. Stanford's only XC title came from a team loaded with frosh who had not yet been ruined by Johnson.

    Johnson's pseudoscientific approach focused on building distance runners' speed over endurance is only detrimental to US prospects. He's obviously politically astute enough to survive in the sport and to get the "cush" jobs that he has, so I doubt that he'll be dislodged from his USATF position for some time. But we'll suffer so long as he's there.

  • #2
    Re: What's wrong the US and the mile?

    USATF should pay Dr. Kostre from Ethiopia to teach all US distance coached how to coach.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What's wrong the US and the mile?

      RMc is referring to a super-duper articl ein in the latest issue of the magazine, which is excerpted here:

      http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/archiv ... .html#WhatísUp

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What's wrong the US and the mile?

        I agree with RMc. Stanford had excellent distance recruits during Brooks' tenure and most of them failed to thrive.

        But we need not choose between a Lydiard-type system and bio-mechanical improvement. IMHO, Brooks is right when he emphasizes the importance of bio-mechanics. But let's work on improving bio-mechanics while we're simultaneously building a solid base.

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        • #5
          Re: What's wrong the US and the mile?

          1ST OF ALL BROOKS JOHNSON,DOES GIVE HIS HEART&SOUL TO THE SPORT.HE PROBABLY DOSNT HAVE YOUR DISTANCE TALENT LYDIARD//BOWERMAN//JOHN MCDONALD HAS BUT HE HAS COACHED GREAT 400 RUNNERS.
          ALVIN&CALVIN HARRISON ARE TWO OF HIS PROTEGES.
          LAST,I HATE TO ADMIT IT BUT ARE MILE TALENT POOL HAS BEEN AWFULL.NOT THE COACHES,OUR ATHLETES.AND THE TRAINING.
          IN THE EIGHTIES WE WERE LOADED,,SYDNEY MAREE,STEVE SCOTT,JIM SPIVEY,EARL JONES JUST A FEW.I SAW EARL JONES RUN 2:47.8 FOR 1200 THEN JOGG 10 MINUTES RUN 46.4 FOR 400 AT 80%[email protected] IN 1986.I DONT THINK ALOT OF YOUNG MILERS WERE TRAINED RIGHT.
          I THINK WE HAVE 10+KIDS NOW WHO ARE WELL CAPABLE OF RUNNING UNDER3:50 IN MILE,WE,LL SEE.

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          • #6
            Re: What's wrong the US and the mile?

            You may not care, but you might be interested in knowing that there are people out there, including some active contributors to this Board, who simply will not read anything longer than a few words that is written IN BLOCK CAPS.

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            • #7
              Re: What's wrong the US and the mile?

              What the heck is a former 400meter coach doing instructing milers.

              Our top high school talent seems to be fade away once they get to either college or the professional circuit. What good is running a 4:04 mile in high school when you only better that time by a few seconds in college?
              There is a new unfortunately phenomena in US miling, which is runners posting PRs in prep school only to fade in college.

              The US wastes more miling talent than any nation on earth. What happened to Rich Boulet after his 3:53.21 mile several years ago. We have a large talent pool to choose from, but we can't continue to throw away so much talent. The less said about the Jennings fiasco the better. Actually, Jennings problems are of his own making and not indicative of the problems facing US distance running.

              Steve Scott would make a good US distance coach. What we are getting now is just crap.

              If no American's make the 1500 finals in Athens changes should be made in the entire training structure of US distance running. It is now getting embarrassing. If this was happening to US swimming changes would already have been made.
              The problem is that the decline in US distance running has been so gradual that nobody really noticed or cared.

              It is hard to believe an American once run 3:47 for the mile.

              This weekend the top US milers will stroll through the 1500 at a leisurely 3:40 pace. It will be yet another dull tactical affair instilled in our runners from their NCAA days. Hey if Lunn runs a 3:36 I will be thrilled.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What's wrong the US and the mile?

                >I'm going to write a letter to TFN about how more milers should move up to the
                >5k and how they need to incorporate an intensive Lydiard hill training phase.
                >But I want to more privately post a concern that I found in reading the
                >article.

                I think the influence of Brooks Johnson on US training is another
                >major problem. He has been seriously overrated as a distance coach. He has
                >had only 3 or 4 successful athletes out of one of the richest recruiting pools
                >in the US. Lannana's success at Stanford with athletes of the same caliber
                >belies Johnson's incompetence. Stanford's only XC title came from a team
                >loaded with frosh who had not yet been ruined by Johnson.

                Johnson's
                >pseudoscientific approach focused on building distance runners' speed over
                >endurance is only detrimental to US prospects. He's obviously politically
                >astute enough to survive in the sport and to get the "cush" jobs that he
                >has, so I doubt that he'll be dislodged from his USATF position for some time.
                >But we'll suffer so long as he's there.>>>

                I'm not sure if I missed something but what milers is Brooks coaching or influencing?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What's wrong the US and the mile?

                  Peter Snell remarked that US distance running, at least the mentality among coaches, was similar to watching people rearrange seats on the deck of the Titanic. Having speed is great. If you don't have the endurance to hang on and be able to use that speed, you're out of luck.

                  Not enough strength building going on. And guys with speed to begin with aren't going out for the mile. They're not going out for the 800 either. Considering the size of the US population, if track were truly popular, we'd have at least one dominant athlete in every event. Track is less popular overall than ever, with more competition from soccer, video games and cable TV not to mention many other acitivities. Many Americans are psyched out as well. Lopsided drug enforcement and PC policies haven't helped the situation here or in Europe either. Let's see a European male get off an EPO bust on a "technicality".

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What's wrong the US and the mile?

                    I say blame everyone for the decline of US mile running. When we get through blaming Masback and Brooks we can then blame American Football.

                    Hmmm, Football is taking money away from some college track programs. I maybe on to something.
                    Actually, I would want to see the rest of the Snell article. Now that is somebody that we should listen to. Spivey gave some excellent insight to the problem here six months ago.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What's wrong the US and the mile?

                      >>I'm
                      >not sure if I missed something but what milers is Brooks coaching or
                      >influencing? >>

                      From Dan's informative piece:

                      <<....[Snell's] views, based on the training system developed by his coach Arthur Lydiard, run contrary to those of USATF’s Director of High Performance, Brooks Johnson, whose own ideas have heavily influenced the USATF Coaching Education curriculum.

                      “I participated in a conference organized by Brooks Johnson where they discussed why American runners were getting buried on the last lap,” says Snell. “Some said the reason is a lack of speed. Wrong! They don’t even have the sufficient endurance to even be near the front with a lap to go.

                      “A lot of athletes and coaches have gotten away from what works really well, and that is establishing a big, endurance base.....>>

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                      • #12
                        Re: What's wrong the US and the mile?

                        Why would they get away from something that works in the first place.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What's wrong the US and the mile?

                          >>>I'm
                          >not sure if I missed something but what milers is Brooks coaching
                          >or
                          >influencing? >>

                          From Dan's informative piece:

                          <<....[Snell's] views,
                          >based on the training system developed by his coach Arthur Lydiard, run
                          >contrary to those of USATF’s Director of High Performance, Brooks Johnson,
                          >whose own ideas have heavily influenced the USATF Coaching Education
                          >curriculum.

                          “I participated in a conference organized by Brooks Johnson
                          >where they discussed why American runners were getting buried on the last lap,”
                          >says Snell. “Some said the reason is a lack of speed. Wrong! They don’t even
                          >have the sufficient endurance to even be near the front with a lap to go.

                          “A
                          >lot of athletes and coaches have gotten away from what works really well, and
                          >that is establishing a big, endurance base.....>>


                          Thanks. I haven't gotten my copy yet. No wonder I felt like I walked in on the middle of a movie.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What's wrong the US and the mile?

                            The Snell stuff is great and Brooks actually does say some things that seem to have value but the part I liked best was the small boxes with the opinions of past U.S. greats Ryun, Liquori, Scott and Spivey on what's wrong. It is must read stuff. Oh yeah, and how U.S. coaches are misusing "the moroccan system"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What's wrong the US and the mile?

                              OK I'm a fast reader but it took forever to read the latest issue. What a monster! I have only been reading the magazine for a dozen years or so and am slowly filling in my collection of issues before that but I think I have to say that this is the greatest issue they have ever done. Not counting Olympic and World Chamionships coverage of course. Those pages after pages of mile stuff are incredible.

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