The secret to running fast (Read 2992 times)

     

    It's simple.  Genetics sets your ultimate potential.  Training enables that potential.  I made the assumption that two world class runners would both be training very close to their physical limits.  Not a bad assumption I think.

     

    Agreed, not a bad assumption.  But how you go from assuming both guys are training and racing very near their potential to knowing that the winner had superior genetics?

     

    It's very often the case that the 2nd place finisher in an Olympics or world championship race later in his career goes onto run much faster.  Training is a progression over many years.  And even if you assume each guy is training "very close" to his ultimate potential, there's a huge difference between "very close" and "at" in a race where a couple of seconds spread over 5000 meters make all the difference in the world.

     

    You can't tell by watching one race on television which guy has superior genetics.  You may not be able to tell ever.

    Runners run.

    JimR


       You can't tell by watching one race on television which guy has superior genetics.  You may not be able to tell ever. 

       

       

      I do get his point that genetics plays a role, and gregw's, but nobody really knows what their genetic potential is.  For every person there's a perfect path of training and lifestyle that will bring out their genetic potential and it's unlikely anyone will ever touch theirs, even elites.  The best one can do is get close.

       

      I can't do a thing about my genetics.  There's no test that will reveal what my genetics hold, and anybody who even mentions genetics can do no better than talk in general unspecific terms.  But there's tons of stuff I can control.

       

      Until somebody can take my dna, analyze it and tell me how best to train for a 5k then I really have no reason to care about it.

        And then there's the fact that one race, even if you assume it's a perfectly run race, represents just one moment in a continuum of training over a lifetime.  To assume that both guys (in the two man example) are both equally prepared to run their exact ultimate potential race at that exact moment in time is laughable.

        Runners run.

           

          Until somebody can take my dna, analyze it and tell me how best to train for a 5k then I really have no reason to care about it.

           

          And, if you know anything about genetics, you'd know that no amount of genetic analysis could ever tell you how best to train for the 5k or what your ultimate potential as a runner would be. People use the word "genes" and "genetic" as if it were the secret meaning to all of life or to one's potential. But that's just because they don't know much of anything about genetics. The less catchy words and phrases like "talent" or "What God planned for my life" or "fate" or "destiny" or "woulda" shoulda" "coulda" "but didn't" work just as well and do a better job of concealing stupidity.

            All I know is my genetic potential this year is about 45 seconds/mile faster than the same time last year, ran about 1800 miles during this time.  And if I run a few more this year, I'd be potentially faster.  I'll try to keep doing this until I no longer improve, which hopefully is a long way off.
              A nice quote from Chris Solinsky's Dad on this issue (Solinsky just broke the American Record in 10,000m and does not have the typical distance runner build)


              He was paying all sorts of attention to DyeStat as he was progressing up and of course all sorts of people know everything on DyeStat so they were saying that he would never amount to anything because he was too big and all this kind of stuff. And he was worrying about it and I was telling him, 'You know what, Chris? It all comes back down to who you are and your own motivation.'

               

              Great post.  Glad he didn't listen to the doubters on DyeStat.  

              I dunno if I believe everything I read on letsrun but the consensus over there is that Solinsky goes about 160lbs while the rest of the sub-27 guys are around 120-130lbs, with an outlier being Tergat at ~140lbs.  So, yeah, he doesn't have the typical distance runner build - at least of the company he put himself into Saturday night!

                If you mean that the genetic excuse is the number 1 reason then we might agree.  However I am a long ways away from agreeing that it's the ONLY reason.   What separates a concert pianist from an OK player?  Is it only training or is there an inate talent difference as well?  When I see two runners sprinting the final 200 meters of the olympic 5000 and one overtakes and passes the other, and I know they both trained to the limits of their bodies, then I take the result to mean they have genetic differences that favor one over the other.  (Assuming both pass the pee test.) 

                 

                Well, to be honest, I don’t give a damn what other people might think.  If someone wants to google search some scientific reason why we suck, I’m sure there are hundreds of papers written about genetics and all sorts of stuff – you can hook up with Richard and look for those for all I care.  The truth is; I know I’m not right about what I’ve said.  Some people are pretty and some others are ugly – that’s genetic differences.  Concert pianist?  You don’t even go that far to prove that; sprinters or pole vaulters for example.  They would take a hell of a lot more “genetic advantages” to be good.  But, for one, I thought we were talking about distance running which, probably more than most athletic events, takes a lot more weight on training than “talent”.

                 

                Either way, it’s apparent I take a very different approach form many of you.  Coming from a coach’s view, I’d much rather work with people who have the right attitude than “talent” or “right parents” according to that rat study.  When you face the moment of truth, I’d much rather think about the positives of how hard and correctly I have trained and chug along rather than think about the negatives and throw up my arms and say, “No wonder I can’t run better – I don’t have that physical make-ups to be a good runner!”

                 

                I remember talking to Coach Joe Vigil at Chicago marathon in 2003 where Deena ran, I think, 5th.  He told me that, at that point, she wasn’t sure if she should run 10 or the marathon.  I told him, all due respect, if you can’t sprint, which Deena was not too well-known for, it’s VERY difficult to win any medal on the track events.  That’s genetic talent, or lack thereof.  However, in the marathon, 7 or 8 out of 10 favorites would most likely to make mistakes and go nowhere.  If Deena does everything correctly and runs smart, then there’d be a chance to win a medal.  She won the bronze.  I’m not saying I was responsible for her bronze (as much as I’d love to claim so! ;o)); but hers was a perfect example of training hard and intelligently and executing the right tactics perfectly to outrun runners with more “physical talents”.

                  .... Words....

                   

                  The truth is; I know I’m not right about what I’ve said.  ....

                  Some people are pretty and some others are ugly – that’s genetic differences. 

                  ... Words ...

                  Is sentence one what you mean to say? I think you want to say you are right.

                  Sentence two: I think that may be subjective and cultural/societal.

                  The rest? Good points.

                   

                  Meanwhile, I quit having sex because I saw Ron Jeremy in a porno. I just don't have the genetics.

                    When I was a teenager, a friend of my parents was once ranting about "pronos."  The correct pronunciation still triggers laughter.  

                    "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus


                    Feeling the growl again

                      When I was a 20min 5K runner, I thought I had no talent and anything under 18min was a pipe dream.

                       

                      When I was a 17:00 5K runner, I dreamed of 16:00 someday, never much beyond, and thought I had little talend but just worked harder than others.

                       

                      When I was a mid-16 5K runner and mid-34 10K runner, I decided I had an iota of talent and perhaps one day I would see mid-15s and sub-33.

                       

                      Finally, when I was running 15:30s and 32s, I was training under such a load that I could finally imagine rationally the limits of the training load I could handle and set lifetime goals of sub-15, sub-31, and sub-2:22 marathon figuring that was the fastest I could go at my talent level before imploding under the training load.

                       

                      I ran the sub-31 and was pretty much maxed out, I think I could have beaten the other two by a decent margin on that particular day.  There was not a lot of room left to further increase the training load as I was already having serious issues handling it.  So I was never going to be a 2:15 marathoner but that was impossible to tell untill 15+ years of training.

                       

                      Moral of the story is, people look at fast people and see talent and look at slow people and claim no talent.  Unless you are already running like 100+ mpw and approaching your limits, the truth is claiming "no talent" is nothing more than an excuse for you because you are so far from where your talent could take you that there is no rationale way to determine whether you have it or not.  I am not the only "no talent" runner who got pretty far through serious training beyond what most people are willing to do before claiming to be limited by their talent.

                      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                       

                      WMRunner


                        And then there's the fact that one race, even if you assume it's a perfectly run race, represents just one moment in a continuum of training over a lifetime.  To assume that both guys (in the two man example) are both equally prepared to run their exact ultimate potential race at that exact moment in time is laughable.

                         

                        Well tactics are important if that's what you mean.  The race in question wasn't particularly fast overall, but when El Guerrouj came from behind and out sprinted Bekele in the 2004 Oly 5000 it was a pretty good example of one man who was simply faster than the other.

                           

                          Well tactics are important if that's what you mean.  The race in question wasn't particularly fast overall, but when El Gerrouj came from behind and out sprinted Bekele in the 2004 Oly 5000 it was a pretty good example of one man who was simply faster than the other.

                           

                           

                          No, that's not what I mean but you know that.

                           

                          I get it now.  Take care, buh bye.

                          Runners run.

                             

                            Well tactics are important if that's what you mean.  The race in question wasn't particularly fast overall, but when El Guerrouj came from behind and out sprinted Bekele in the 2004 Oly 5000 it was a pretty good example of one man who was simply faster than the other.

                            Do you like apples?

                            "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus


                            she runs like a girl

                              Coming from a coach’s view, I’d much rather work with people who have the right attitude than “talent” or “right parents” according to that rat study. 

                              I'm with Nobby on this. I'm helping out a local HS track team and there is a young guy who is amazingly talented but very lazy and never puts effort into training. Then there is another boy who is the same age (15) and a decent runner but is extremely dedicated, hard-working and positive. I explained the importance of training to both boys.

                               

                              Natural talent boy will run 65 second 400m repeats one or two times in practice then quit. I've tried to talk pacing with him - we won't listen.

                               

                              Boy 2 runs ~70-75 in practise and tries hard and paces through workouts - but does not have the speed boy 1 has.

                               

                              We has a track meet last week and both boys went head to head in the 800, which I thought natural talent boy would win for sure! He went out very hard and quit when he was passed. He ended up running 2:35! My little guy who works really hard actually beat him - 2:20!

                               

                              He told me he couldn't believe he beat the other guy. I told him if he continues to train the way he does, he will continue to win. Smile

                              2010 goals: PR at distances from 3k-HM 3k: 02/02/10 - 12:00 - road 5k :03/13/10 - 20:32 - road 10mile: 04/02/10 - 1:15:49 "The only thing I hate more than running is not running"