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Jim Ryan and Gerry Lingrens training in high school

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  • EPelle
    replied
    They're being discussed in a historical section, where they belong. Webb and Fernandez are contemporary athletes, and are on a current event status. The buck isn't stopping with either athlete - Webb or Fernandez, however, as you'll notice Galen Rupp (another favourite of yours) is getting more print time than anyone right now.

    If you'd made a query about Bernard Lagat's training - as he is the defending 1.500m and 5.000m world champion, you'd have gotten answers specific to today's day and age, and not references to outrageous amounts of strain and stress folks 40+ years ago put their bodies through.

    Lindgren wasn't ahead of his time. His trainer was copying a successful formula which worked for the best of that time. That formula worked for one successful high school athlete. The rest are called the York Effect, apparently.

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  • williamwindhamjr
    replied
    The thing about Gerry and Jim is yes the records they set have been broken,but they clearly were ahead of their time,and had sucess against the best in the world.It is 2009 and we are still talking about them.Will we be doing the same about German Fernandez,Alan Webb?Im not saying we wont,but give these old school runners credit.The tracks we have now,the weight training,the internet.Athletes today have better knowlege at their disposal as do the coaches.

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  • lovetorun
    replied
    I think Ryun under Bowerman would not have run as fast as he did at age 19-20-21, but would have run even faster later on as he : 1. didn't burn our mentally and physically 2. matured physically with age. Sadly, I don't think Ryun had to do the volume/intensity of training he did...he could have run even faster with a solid program (like Bowerman's) as he matured over time,into his mid to late 20's. I've always thought he had the natural speed/talent to run at least 1:43.5 or so and 3:29/3:47. But he trained too hard too early and suffered the consequences.

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  • bambam
    replied
    Originally posted by Dave
    Originally posted by EPelle
    Great, Per. William's defense of such strategies should now be put to rest. No one (no, not the one above ;-)) has come close to copying some - or part - of the outrageous workouts these former athletes endured and stayed within the sport any particular length of time (or enjoyed nearly a fraction of the success).

    That this training has NOT been implemented, and those records have since been broken, speaks volumes about today's proper training methodology versus yesterday's wreckless abandon. And, yes, we are comparing outliers to outliers (Ryun and Webb in the mile; Lindgren and Fernandez in the 2-mile).
    Since this is all speculative, how might Ryun or Lindgren fared with a more sane approach to training? Had Ryun been training with Bowerman, would he have lasted longer and still excelled?
    Or maybe not, maybe he simply would not have been very good. Hemingway once said that to be great in anything you had to go very far out on the branch, so far out that if you failed you could never get back.

    Some of this is just natural selection. Ryun and Lindgren could tolerate these workouts and it pushed them past the envelope. Dan Gable did workouts that would have broken down most athletes but it made him the greatest wrestler in the world. In 1971 at the World Championships, an Iranian world champion saw Gable working out, and asked the American coach, "Tell me, is there something mentally wrong with Gable."

    Eric Heiden did likewise - in the late 1970s his coach was asked by the Dutch speedskating coach if she would send him Heiden's workout schedule. She did, the Dutch team tried the schedule, and half of them were in the hospital within the week.

    We don't know where the limits lie. But I've never liked the idea of train easy, train slow, and train for a long career. That may be true, but it may be that you need to push yourself harder than that to reach the top levels of any sport. The body may break down - we don't know when and where or at what levels that will always occur. If your goal is only to have a long career, training slow and easy is certainly safer.

    Not saying one should try what Ryun and Lindgren or Zatopek did, simply that we do not know where the limits are for each individual.

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  • Dave
    replied
    Originally posted by EPelle
    Great, Per. William's defense of such strategies should now be put to rest. No one (no, not the one above ;-)) has come close to copying some - or part - of the outrageous workouts these former athletes endured and stayed within the sport any particular length of time (or enjoyed nearly a fraction of the success).

    That this training has NOT been implemented, and those records have since been broken, speaks volumes about today's proper training methodology versus yesterday's wreckless abandon. And, yes, we are comparing outliers to outliers (Ryun and Webb in the mile; Lindgren and Fernandez in the 2-mile).
    Since this is all speculative, how might Ryun or Lindgren fared with a more sane approach to training? Had Ryun been training with Bowerman, would he have lasted longer and still excelled?

    Leave a comment:


  • EPelle
    replied
    Great, Per. William's defense of such strategies should now be put to rest. No one (no, not the one above ;-)) has come close to copying some - or part - of the outrageous workouts these former athletes endured and stayed within the sport any particular length of time (or enjoyed nearly a fraction of the success).

    That this training has NOT been implemented, and those records have since been broken, speaks volumes about today's proper training methodology versus yesterday's wreckless abandon. And, yes, we are comparing outliers to outliers (Ryun and Webb in the mile; Lindgren and Fernandez in the 2-mile).

    Leave a comment:


  • Per Andersen
    replied
    I'll just quote from Kenny Moore's SI article of 1986:

    "Ryun was famous for doing 20 quarter miles in 60 seconds apiece, with only a minute's recovery time in between. This became a lethal heritage. Not only was Ryun ready to quit by the time he was college senior, but Timmons acknowledges that he compromised the careers of many other Kansas runners with the volume of such workouts, not realizing that Ryun was almost freakish in his ability to withstand and improve under such anaerobic stress".

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  • Double R Bar
    replied
    You are right, Marlow. Very few high school runners could maintain those workouts. I remember Sports Illustrated printed one of Ryun's workouts and it was amazing. I didn't even think about trying it (maybe half of it).

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  • no one
    replied
    EVEN no one - maybe a new username ... one of things I was TRYING to say - but perhaps a poor job ... Ryun and Lindgren were certainly 'out there' but many, or some, or a few - no I'd say some went to extremes to replicate training etc. Including coaches. To think this was the rule and not the exception ... well ....not so, obviously. But I did know more than a few who did do crazy workouts. Thinkin Tabori, Igloi, and Zatopek and others - being copied ...Anyway ... my quarterly lurch into the mo spin zone.

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  • Marlow
    replied
    I'm surprised no one (not EVEN no one) mentioned the fact that both Ryun and Lindgren were freaks of nature that could withstand the punishing training they did. Very, very (VERY!) few HSers (or collegians for that matter) could survive the kinds of workouts these outliers could. Recipe for disaster with almost anyone else.

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  • jhc68
    replied
    Well, IMHO, the 250 mile per week regime seems unlikely. I'd take my cue from lovestorun whom I know really did love to run and ran as much as possible. If he thinks 250 is a stretch I'd lean his way.

    But the exact milage is not very important because I think everyone would agree that whatever the exact details, Lindgren ran huge milage and Ryun ran insanely challenging interval workouts. The question is should other elite high school kids run similar programs, and it seems like sort of a moot issue to me for the following reasons:
    1) You couldn't get most kids (including elite runners) to even attempt such programs, now or 40 years ago.
    2) Of the kids who would try it, most would be unable to do so without chronic injuries.
    3) Of the ones who survived, most would be so drained physically and emotionally that the whole program would be counter-productive.
    4) The few that came through unscathed would be outliers like Lindgren and Ryun, but the rest of the crop of elite kids would road kill.

    Will suggests that rest would make such routines accessible for more runners but isn't the whole point of such a program the idea that hard work with quick recovery is the major element?

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  • no one
    replied
    ps - found some correspondence with 'mileage guy':

    "ran the 2:17 in Jan 1973 the same week I ran 153 miles, the 13:42 in Feb 1973 and ran 169 miles that week"

    "I ran my first 200 + mile weeks Dec 19 - 25, 1972 (219 miles), and Dec 26 - Jan 1 1973 (222 miles)"

    "My biggest week ever was 246 miles in December 1973"


    Total miles in 1973 = 8060

    Example of the stuff happening then -

    not unusual for some of guys to run 5 - 6- 7 miles the morning of a track meet. and similar after.. Thats how unusual we were. Hasta be other 'unusual' guys from whenever

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  • no one
    replied
    Seems to me that whenever 'this' comes up, it ends up ... in disarray. I think anyone who was around 'back then' AND was somewhat a student of the sport realized that we were in the beginning of the learning 'curve', if not then certainly now with some hindsight vision. There was a pretty significant influx of training philosphies - all having their poster boys/girls. The international influence became more accessible - the 'mystery' of the Russian methods and others.

    The people that I were aware of (60s-70s) were eager and willing to experiment in the training. It ranged all the way from LSD to those eternal intensive intervals sessions - to Bowerman/Lydiard etc etc. The element (I think) that was a controversial one - had to do with resting within workouts and between and prior to racing. Rumor/fact(?) was that Shorter et al trained up to 3 or 4 times a day while in Colorado. Lindgren's megamileage was legendary/mythology - but known amongst the plebians. I was coached by 3 Olympians - each with dif approaches. Each had success and positive influence on their athletes. The ahtletes AND coaches were learning, based on my experience. I know I would have done some things dif with what I know now - I'm guessin the vast majority fit there too.

    and .."I don't believe the 250 miles/weeks attributed to Gerry Lindgren" I had a college teammate that I KNOW ran a healthy bit beyond 200mpw for several weeks (I'm thinkin 4 ... I'd have to look it up.) - and he was US ranked a coupla years - as high as 3rd and 3 guys in top ten during a 3 yr period) - so something was happening. Running 4-5-6 yrs after grad college. Could of they have done better - can't do the woulda coulda shoulda thing. Our mileage king ran copmpetitively up until most athletes at the time did then - had to get a job, family etc. Generally I agree with the volume thing - we had more than a few who lived by numbers. - and they did ok. I could never run as much as they ~injury - I settled in at about 110 week. From what I could tell - that wasn't unusual around the country.

    Talking about training and talent seems to fall into the same category of politics and religion. Inevitable results.

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  • EPelle
    replied
    Hyperbole alert.

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  • lovetorun
    replied
    I don't believe the 250 miles/weeks attributed to Gerry Lindgren...if you believe that quote, he ran 4 weeks of 250 miles/week before racing the Russians in 1964. If he really did that his legs/body would have been so dead he couldn't have run the way he did.

    That volume of training is a recipe for injury/burnout disaster.

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