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  • Ryun's training?

    Several people have commented that Jim Ryun would have run faster but for his training. It's been a long time since I worried about training methods (I was still in High School when Ryan ran his 3:55.3) but can someone tell me just what the deficiencies of that training were? At the time I recall thinking that his workouts were quite impressive.
    I've been out of the loop for a while I guess...

  • #2
    Re: Ryun's training?

    His pre-3:51.1 training log was on the internet somewhere (listserv?) a while back and it was CRAZY speed stuff that still added up to significant mileage. Lots of 200s and 400s at near maximum with very little rest. Seemed like straight interval training.

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    • #3
      Re: Ryun's training?

      Your description of his training makes sense, given the timeframe. Although I was too young to know about him at the time, Mihaly Igloi's training methods, which strongly favored intervals, were fairly common at the time.

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      • #4
        Re: Ryun's training?

        >>Several people have commented that Jim Ryun would have run faster but for his training. It's been a long time since I worried about training methods (I was still in High School when Ryan ran his 3:55.3) but can someone tell me just what the deficiencies of that training were?<<

        Too much intensity, too often. Chronic overtraining. The kind of stuff Lydiard said would lead to burnout and staleness. And did.

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        • #5
          Re: Ryun's training?

          Yes, he trained extremely hard. My guess is that few others had the physiology to even begin to tolerate the work he put in. But, look at the results: very good in '64, incredible in '65, beyond incredible in '66 and '67, and then merely incredible again in '68. It IS a shame, of course, that we couldn't have seen 4 or 5 more years of that caliber...

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          • #6
            Re: Ryun's training?

            "Jim Ryun would have run faster but for his training."

            He might also have run faster on faster tracks.

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            • #7
              Re: Ryun's training?

              Yes, it would be interesting to see what El G could do on a cinder track, no rabbits, the middle of the afternoon, a pair of adidas Tokyo spikes... I suspect he would have a hard time breaking 3:50.

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              • #8
                Re: Ryun's training?

                El G could break 3:50 wearing wingtips

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                • #9
                  Re: Ryun's training?

                  One doesn't have to be a muddle-headed old-timer to acknowledge that FEW athletes today could do what Ryun did in 1967: to run 3:51 on cinders with no pacesetting assistance whatsoever (in essence, he ran it alone). Yes, El G might be able to do this...but I can't imagine that anyone else could.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Ryun's training?

                    Hey, GH! Do you think El G could do a sub 3:50 in Ron Laird's old Hush Puppies?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Ryun's training?

                      As long as he doesn't talk forever like Ron, were all better off....

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ryun's training?

                        Don't forget that Ryun was running well just prior to Munich ('72), so his career extended through three Olympic Games (Tokyo, Mexico, and Munich).
                        It's interesting to speculate about what might have been, had he not fallen in his qualifying heat at Munich--- or if the officials there had allowed him to advance. I'll concede the point that he failed to win Olympic gold, but he was young and inexperienced at Tokyo (and Snell was in peak form), and came up against an incredible run by Keino (perhaps aided by Jipcho) at Mexico after his bout with mononucleosis, and, finally, a catastrophic collision at Munich.
                        Still, he was years ahead of his time, and put up fabulous marks on non-synthetic tracks in solo efforts.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Ryun's training?

                          I agree completely. Ryun gets some of the credit he "really" deserves from track die-hards, but the general public remembers him (if they do at all) as the guy who lost and then fell down. A completely unfair "assessment." His run in '68 was positively heroic, all things considered; it's just that Keino's run was unbelievable (and remains so--could El G do 3:34.9 at 7350 ft. altitude? I would bet NO!) Without the fall in '72, he probably would have won. It's a no-brainer to say that we need another Jim Ryun today...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Ryun's training?

                            >I agree completely. Ryun gets some of the credit he "really" deserves from
                            >track die-hards, but the general public remembers him (if they do at all) as
                            >the guy who lost and then fell down. A completely unfair "assessment." His
                            >run in '68 was positively heroic, all things considered; it's just that Keino's
                            >run was unbelievable (and remains so--could El G do 3:34.9 at 7350 ft.
                            >altitude? I would bet NO!) Without the fall in '72, he probably would have
                            >won. It's a no-brainer to say that we need another Jim Ryun today...

                            I think El G could run 3:34.9 (or faster) at Mexico City altitude, but it is truly unbelievable that Keino did it...I completely agree with all the kudo's to Jim Ryun--he remains America's finest ever middle distance runner--even 35 years later! I think his 3:33.1 1500m (when he easily ran away from Keino) may have been his best race.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Ryun's training?

                              That 3:33.1 is pretty remarkable considering Ryun ran the last 1200 in 2:46.6 on a cinder track, a hot afternoon, in Tokyo spikes (still my all time favorite spike---those poor kangaroos!).

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