Frank Shorter Quote...Inspiring or Depressing? (Read 1997 times)

    Just translate in terms of time and pacing and away you go.


    Or take the Ed Whitlock approach.  Just run 2-3 hours every day and forget the pacing.


    Yes - although AIUI he also races shorter distances quite often when training for marathons.


    I sort of tempted to try the Ed approach - just to see how it goes, although finding a 2-3 hour block every day is tricky...


      In what other sport can you become an olympic gold medal winner on 12 hours of training a week?

       Don't forget the 14 hours of naps each week!


      Running is stupid


        It says "there is no magic formula to make this easy, so quit looking for it and get down to work".


        It's only depressing if you are lazy.


        I agree.


        It IS depressing.

          Just listening to him talk...It really was every 30 seconds...."This is awesome"...."I'm never going to run within 5 miles of his times"...."I want to go run right now"..."I just realized that he could still probably beat me at a half marathon"...


          The ease that he talks about running and watching a video he brought of the Munich Olympics was so cool.  As i watched him gliding through the marathon with no body around him, it was stunning to think that he was moving at the same pace that in a marathon that i could probably run if I went out an ran an all out mile today. 


          Perhaps depressing wasn't the right phrase...Perhaps completely daunting is better when you combine the speed of his workouts and general miles in combination with the number of overall miles and frequency of his running 4:20 mile pace repeats.  And to be clear, he was talking about running a few dozen intervals of 400s, 800s, and/or 1200s with active recoveries.  As he was talking, I could imagine how many people were broken and he just ran away from them in the marathon.


          BTW The funniest part of this talk (at least to me) was his discussion of the last few miles of the Munich Olympic Marathon.  He said he overheard and knew he was 2 minutes or more in front of everyone so he said he mostly concentrating about not getting hit by one of the many buses around him.  He said it really was a major concern.  I understand the concern it just struck me as funny that at possibly the biggest moment in his sporting life and race logistics and traffic control are what are on his mind.

          2017 goal: get in shape to actually train in 2018.

          2017 goal: get back to 7 min/mile easy runs.

            I like the Frank Shorter quote. It's a pretty simple way to do well if you're willing to put in the work.


            The Ed Whitlock stuff rarely gets the proper context. You have to understand that the guy did a lot of speedwork when he was younger. He used to be able to pop out a mile in the 4s and I believe he was a masters when he was doing that. The 2-3 hour runs did not so much make him fast as they made him able to endure decent speeds for a long time.


              It says "there is no magic formula to make this easy, so quit looking for it and get down to work".


              It's only depressing if you are lazy.



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                Now that's the first time that I've heard mention of that, but I've thought often, whilst watching major marathons, that the motorcycles and press cars look fairly dangerous -- they drive so closely to the runners.

                It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                  That's all, huh?

                  - Me


                  (Note: italics and underline added by me...he said this very casually without my added emphasis.)

                  DP:  I was just thinking about you today--I haven't forgotten about our "promise" especially because I spotted Plaz measuring the near-by trail.  It's been crazy busy but we'll get there!  Congrats also on your win; I'm actually a bit surprised that 34 won it in Mpls/St. Paul area!!  You might have noticed this area is pretty competitive!  So double congrats to that!!


                  That's actually a pretty famous quote of Shorter--he was the one who said, years ago, that: "You don't run 2:10 on secret formula and good looks."  The 70s really marks the period when "marathon" has become a distance event.  I was just talking to Don Kardong who finished 4th in Montreal Olympic marathon behind Shorter.  I didn't know he ran sub-13 for 3 miles and he said, and I heard it from Kenny Moore as well, that the best marathon runners at that era, Kardong included, were just a bunch of 5000m runners who ran rediculous long run on weekend.  Track men back then, even Pre, ran 2-hour on weekend--people who, interestingly, worship Pre don't whine about doing a long run, trying to justify it on public internet message board.  Shorter, and even Rodgers, told us that that was pretty much the influence of Arthur Lydiard; he made it okay, an accepted event, for track runners to run 2-hours on weekend.  When I had a chat with Rod Dixon and this Japanese guy who is actually the fastest non-African (wind-aided Boston not included) in history with 2:06:16; Toshi, who carefully worked his way up from 3000m Japanese record holder to a marathon; whereas Dixon was already doing 2~3 hour run when he was a teenager, competing in a 1500m.  That's also a common practice in New Zealand.  And that (70s) was when those track men who were used to running long distance crashed with traditional marathon runners like Clayton.  The trend seems to be swinging today, as someone mentioned here, that most African runners seem to actually train specifically for a marathon.  It is probably more effective, and the results show, than traditional quarters.  Probably Rodgers was an exception in that era but, interestingly, he was probably more like today's African runners--he was more marathon specific trained runner, mainly influenced by Squire's training. 


                  Shorter's training principles, and he actually told me this, was for him to be able to run a decent 2-mile race any week of the year.  And his training was taylored to that.  If you ever have a chance to talk with Rod Dixon, ask him about the time when Shorter beat him in a 2-mile race.  I think it happened twice, once before Munich and once an indoor race in the US.  Dixon, at that time, was more accomplished miler so it is quite amazing that a marathon runner like Shorter could pull something like that.  And that was his training that enabled him to do that.  By the way, I don't think he did as many as "a few dozens" of 400s.  I think his usual workout was more like 12 or 15 X 400 but his thing was that he did them fast (64~65 sec) and very short recovery; starting out as 150m or so and cut it down to 50m.  I don't think he did 1200s as often but, if I recall it correctly, he said that would be the hardest workout he'd do.  I really don't think he'd do 1200s "a few dozens" but more like 4 or 5.  His thing was not volume but rather fast and very short break.  He probably wouldn't understand people plodding along doing Yasso 800s--I'm certain he would NOT consider Yasso 800s as "a speed work".


                  Training for any distance event IS quite simple.  We pretty much know everything there is to know about what needs to be done.  But when we focus more on numbers and formula, rather than principles and purpose, things go a wrong way.  Why do we do 10 X 800?  What's the purpose of that workout?  Today even Bart sort of questions about it himself.  I remember, in my younger days, when I first got together with Lydiard and I asked him why I couldn't run fast (my first 10k by the way was 34 minutes) even though I was running upward of 100 miles a week.  He simply told me that I was "trying to eat a cake half cooked."  Why couldn't I run fast?  Because I never trained to run fast.  I guess I never even thought that I was "not born fast" as a reason for that...  We always emphasize "balance".  When most people come back to us, asking if it's okay not to run 3 X 20-miles to prepare for the marathon, we reply that our program has everything in it.  When all you do is plodding, that's not a healthy combination and the results will reflect that.  Training, when it comes down to it, IS quite simple; you cover everthing that needs to be covered, then the results will follow.

                    The press truck thing--he did that probably because he was almost pushed out of the course by one of the press trucks in the early stage of that marathon and had to bang the side of the truck to let them know.  His winning time at Munich was something like 2:12:15.  He basically broke away and coasted.  Today's runners always argue who's the best American marathon runner.  Shorter always coasted when he secured the win.  When he ran 2:10:30 at Fukuoka, I have no doubt that he could have run significantly faster if pressed.  In fact, I still believe he could have been the first man to go under 2:08.  Rodgers, on the other hand, told me that he didn't think he could have gone much faster than 2:09.  When he ran, what, 2:09:27 at Boston in the drizzling rain, he said he thought that was as hard as he could push.  Said he was rather disappointed that he improved ONLY a half a minute from his break-through 75 effort.

                      Believe me...Winning the race was as much of a shock to me than to anyone.  Like i said in the other forum, I have finished in the top of many races, but there was always 1-3 guys who would beat me by 2-3 minutes.  It was fun. 


                      I just enjoy listening to Shorter/Moore/Lacey and company talk.  These guys were/are such beasts.  I was being a bit sarcastic about the "depressing" thing, but as been pointed out numerous times, there are no shortcuts in running.  It can get to be a bit overwhelming when you start to look at those training plans week after week.  I think the 7 days that RA gives you on the home page is perfect.  It gives you a sense of where you are at but those workouts keep coming so you know everyday that another one is coming.  My dad is thinking about running one more marathon for his 60th birthday after finally getting his achilles fixed and is thinking about running Chicago next year hoping for a 3:05 or so, while I'm getting psyched to break 2:50 for the first time...it's a bit of a womp womp.  33 years gets me about a two mile lead on him.....

                      2017 goal: get in shape to actually train in 2018.

                      2017 goal: get back to 7 min/mile easy runs.

                        How was Kenny?  I think he's got some health problem...  A nice guy.


                        I didn't think anything of you saying "depressed"; in fact, I've gotten depressed many times with a similar stuff.  I think the recent "worst" was when I ran my recent PR in 5k with just over 20-minutes; I was feeling pretty good about it until I found out that there was another 50yo ahead of me!!  And then realize that my avarage mile pace was about the pace I used to run, in my 20s, my weekend long run....every weekend!!  That actually shows, with age and being lazy, how much you CAN deteriorate!! ;o)


                        Arthur Lydiard used to always say that, instead of looking at what Kiplagat or Mutai or Haile does in training; look at what they were doing 10 or 15 years BEFORE.  It almost freightens me to read some of the comments on a popular running forum where all they talk about is what those world beating Kenyans do NOW; that they don't run weekend long run or that they do all quality and race-pace and all that.  They sure as hell weren't doing that 10 years prior to their breakthrough.  Frank Shorter was a 4:16 miler in high school--a good runner; but you can find a dozen or more anywhere in the country.  The biggest question is; what happened between then (when those runners were 17 or 18) and now (when they mature).  Why Frank turned out to be the Olympic champion and others didn't.  Shorter wasn't running 20-miles on weekend with "a few doezens" 400s at Yale.  In fact, I think he was too busy with his chior and study and, on a good week, covered 50MPW.  Before his marathon debut, I believe he was doing tons of mega-mile stuff at high altitude.  When you see "a point" (at the point where he was doing those 20-milers and 400s), it really doesn't mean much and it might depress you or leave you in awe.  But if you see the flow, you'll understand why and how he got to that point.  I'm sure your dad is the same way too.  It's not like some 59-year-old all of a sudden jump out of the couch and started "Smart Coach" program and flirt with 3-hour marathon.


                          Now a'days you need to add 20-30 hours a week of video games


                          + 3-5 of stretching, strength and core training. 


                          In what other sport can you become an olympic gold medal winner on 12 hours of training a week?

                          7/20/17 #247 Comeback #19 ... 10/8 - Glacial Trail 50M




                            It's only depressing if you are lazy.


                            My new favorite quote.  Big grin

                            Son, when you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose; it's how drunk you get. -- Homer Simpson


                              From the quote - It would appear Frank only ran vo2 max stuff ... no LAT work at all.  For him 400's-mile repeats would all be vo2 max - specially with very short recoveries.


                              Since 2007-2008 I have lost my ability to run really fast (Relative to my ability) - I am working on getting my leg speed back up 1st - I am not sure how long it will take - Then I will start the shorter intervals 1x a week again ... At one time 16 x 400 @ 75 was a tough, but doable workout.  Although my recoveries were not Frank like - More like 90 seconds.


                              I am looking long term - So I can be patient - 1st get back to where running some 200-400 intervals @ 75 is comfortably hard.  Then increase reps, then decrease rest, then increase reps, then start working toward longer reps.


                              The tough thing is I am currently doing workouts that I like - I am seeing weekly improvement


                              *  4x2 mile @ LAT

                              *  4-5 x 5 minutes @ CV (20 sec / mile faster than LAT - But slower than they should be)

                              *  Long hill loops (Just a hill strength workout)

                              *  Long runs - trail or road (4-6 hours) - Once or Twice a month


                              2x a week I am throwing in 4-8 bursts (30-45 sec) @ 5:15 pace - I am hoping to get this to 5:00 pace and then start the process above.


                              Something will have to go - All though my favorite workout is the 4-5 x 5 minutes - That is the one that will get the axe.  But eventually in 2012 the faster running will blend back into a workout similarly.

                              7/20/17 #247 Comeback #19 ... 10/8 - Glacial Trail 50M




                                 I would take 4 hours of naps -


                                 Don't forget the 14 hours of naps each week!

                                7/20/17 #247 Comeback #19 ... 10/8 - Glacial Trail 50M