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Tired of hearing "Tactical Race" during the Oly Trials (Read 101 times)

    And "master tactician" and other bloviating. "Tactical" seems to be the tagline for "slow", to make it seem more exciting.

     

    To be fair, sitting and kicking IS a "tactic", but it's hardly a surprise to anyone. I guess the "tactical" part is keeping everyone else from running very fast until the last lap! So many of the races have featured everyone jogging until the bell, and then seeing who can run the fastest 400. Once in a while an intrepid racer will start moving up with 450m to go, so tactical!

     

    I haven't seen anything truly tactical and complicated like surge/counter surge, corner floating, logjams, blindside fake and pass, psychological irritation (running behind someone and randomly snapping fingers or whistling, driving them nuts [and tightening up] waiting for the next noise, etc), unneeded pushing or shoulder tapping, trapping/blocking, or forcing people to run wide on corners. Well, I did see that a few times.

     

     

    No insult to the racers, they are all doing the best they can, as they were trained to do. I'm whining about the announcers trying to make a 1500m race seem like a chess match instead of a speed contest. "Ooh, they are so CLEVER to run faster than the other people in the race! What a tactician!"

    60-64 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

    Lane


      It must be very exciting to be watching a track meet on TV for the very first time!

       

      [only kidding, of course!]

       

      Commentators in all sports have bad language they use for various things - I've been hearing a slow race described as "tactical" forever.  I'm thinking of things like football players being said to be "downhill runners" when the field is level.  I think that Kara Goucher, Sanya Richards-Ross, et at. have been doing a pretty good job overall.  My bar is pretty low... during the football season I have to listen to Troy Aikman and Joe Buck pretty much every week 

      wcrunner2


      Are we there, yet?

        Abbey Cooper did run a superb tactical race by grabbing the lead and pushing the pace with solo front running in the 5000m semi-finals.  She achieved both her goals of qualifying for the finals and running an Olympic qualifying time.

         2023 Races:

              On IR for now

             

        wcrunner2


        Are we there, yet?

          I find it strange that more of the runners don't do this (pushing the pace like Abbey Cooper did).  There have been a large number of runners who do not have the Olympic qualifying time, yet still allowed the pace to lag.  Even if they had finished in the top three, they wouldn't have made the US Olympic team.

           2023 Races:

                On IR for now

               

          wcrunner2


          Are we there, yet?

            Same complaint in the way the final heat of the distance races were raced: allowing a slow pace knowing that eliminated any possibility of qualifying for the final on time.

             2023 Races:

                  On IR for now

                 

            DavePNW


              during the football season I have to listen to Troy Aikman and Joe Buck pretty much every week 

               

              Thoughts and prayers.

              Dave

                I find it strange that more of the runners don't do this (pushing the pace like Abbey Cooper did).  There have been a large number of runners who do not have the Olympic qualifying time, yet still allowed the pace to lag.  Even if they had finished in the top three, they wouldn't have made the US Olympic team.

                 

                Unlike Abbey, most of the runners in the field are not former Olympians and multiple national champions and have *never* run the Oly standard. So trying to run a lifetime pr in heats is probably a good way to ensure that if they do make the final they finish well off the team. It may be a longshot to think you can 1.) make the final by running tactically, 2.) run the Oly standard in the final or later in the summer, and 3.) finish top three. But for all but a handful of the top runners in the field a long shot is all they've got.

                 

                mta: I guess the window to run the Oly standard ends on the 29th (last day of the trials) but still.

                Runners run

                wcrunner2


                Are we there, yet?

                   

                  Unlike Abbey, most of the runners in the field are not former Olympians and multiple national champions and have *never* run the Oly standard. So trying to run a lifetime pr in heats is probably a good way to ensure that if they do make the final they finish well off the team. It may be a longshot to think you can 1.) make the final by running tactically, 2.) run the Oly standard in the final or later in the summer, and 3.) finish top three. But for all but a handful of the top runners in the field a long shot is all they've got.

                   

                  mta: I guess the window to run the Oly standard ends on the 29th (last day of the trials) but still.

                   

                  I should have been more explicit here.  This refers to the final which more often than not is a slow race.

                   2023 Races:

                        On IR for now

                       

                    I suspect that for virtually all of the women in the final who didn't already have the Oly standard, the pace they ran in the final was pretty close to the fastest possible race they were capable of on the day and that pushing the pace under 15:10 wasn't even an option for them.

                    Runners run

                    Half Crazy K 2.0


                      Something I heard in a podcast a while back about gymnastics annoucning, which probably applies to all the Olympic sports that get prime TV coverage only in Olympic years, is that the analysts are told to describe things so the grandma watching for the first time can understand what's going on. It wouldn't surprise me if the expert analyst/former athletes announcing track are told the same things. They could probably geek out about actual tactics, but the 4 year fans would have no clue.

                       

                      With track, it probably also makes the 4 year fans think it is easy, hey look, they just jog easily around the track for 3+ laps and then sprint for a bit, not realizing they are "jogging" at a sub 5mm pace.

                      darkwave


                      Mother of Cats

                        Something I heard in a podcast a while back about gymnastics annoucning, which probably applies to all the Olympic sports that get prime TV coverage only in Olympic years, is that the analysts are told to describe things so the grandma watching for the first time can understand what's going on. It wouldn't surprise me if the expert analyst/former athletes announcing track are told the same things. They could probably geek out about actual tactics, but the 4 year fans would have no clue.

                         

                        Yup.  I have known people who are extremely knowledgeable about equestrian sports who have done commenting for NBC on the very rare occasion that equestrian sports are aired on broadcast television.  And those same people start speaking about the sport in such basic, cliched terms that it drives me insane.

                         

                        (hearing about the magical relationship of horse and rider is like nails on chalkboard.  It drives me especially nuts because I think it contributes to the perception of equestrian sports as one where the horse does all the work and the rider just steers).

                         

                        They're coached to talk that way.  And if they don't do it, they don't get asked back.

                         

                        It also seems to be a US thing.  When I watch international coverage of either track or equestrian sports, it's clearly directed towards someone who already understands and appreciates the sport.

                        Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.

                         

                        And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

                        Half Crazy K 2.0


                           

                          It also seems to be a US thing.  When I watch international coverage of either track or equestrian sports, it's clearly directed towards someone who already understands and appreciates the sport.

                           

                          I tend to think it is a NBC thing, at least for gymnastics. ESPN and SEC network have come up with different graphics they use in gymnastics coverage so that can show the casual fan where possible deductions come from (note to NBC, it's not just landings). It's done in a way that is really easy to understand and they don't come across as negative towards an athlete.

                          DavePNW


                             

                             

                            It also seems to be a US thing.  When I watch international coverage of either track or equestrian sports, it's clearly directed towards someone who already understands and appreciates the sport.

                             

                            I’ve spent a big chunk of my life living close enough the the Canadian border to get CBC on our cable system. A lot of people turn to that during the Olympics for this reason. As well as to watch any event that does not include an American athlete, which you will never see on NBC.

                            Dave

                            wcrunner2


                            Are we there, yet?

                              Looking at the splits from the women's 10,000m this morning, I'd say that was a tactical race.  After a slow 2nd km, Emily Sisson stepped up the pace not allowing her primary competitors the luxury of easy running.  Schweitzer, Cranny, and Schneider had all run the semi-finals and the  finals in the 5,000m.  No sense in letting them sit back, run easy, then use their speed over the last lap.  All three have 1500m PBs of just over 4:00.  I don't think Sisson has raced a 1500m or mile since college, or possibly even HS.

                               2023 Races:

                                    On IR for now

                                   

                                Fer sure there's some overall "tactics" involved in such a big meet. I've been in a few multi-day meets with prelims, semis, and finals. Obviously you want to run as slow as possible and still advance through. But the midpackers also need to be aware of the time qualifying spots. The last heat has the advantage of knowing what they have to beat to advance, so it baffles and befuddles me when the FIRST heat is the slow heat! In the 1500, everyone there is within 2-3 seconds of each other regarding season bests, but the men's heat 1 was only 4:45! At least in the semis the 1st heat was the fast heat.

                                60-64 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

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