Training and Racing Above/Below Your Specialty Event.

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        Ryan Banta on #17863

        As we look back at the year in track and field I have been amazed by the limited range that some of the top athletes in our sport compete. I believe distance runners are better at running a variety of races then our sprinters. I do like the fact that Tyson Gay and friends might run a 400 early in their SPP. However, I think later in the year it would be worthwhile to change up your race distance

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        "Nature hides her secret because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse." -Albert Einstein

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        Mccabe on #111039

        It is a bit different for Elite athletes compared to the rest of us. How many world class 400m runners actually run a 800 these days?

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        Ryan Banta on #111041

        I would ask why don’t they? It doesn’t have to be at a Diamond League Event. If you listen to the Podcast on Merrits training he certainly has put in the work needed to race a fast 800. Jeremy Wariner looks perfect for the event. However, for Jeremy I would like to see him run a lot more 200s and even a 100. Alberto Juantorena was amazing at both 400/800 and I believe there are a number of athletes that can do this like David Rudisha. I believe fear gets in the way more than anything else. Hearing John Cook talk a number of times he had a number of interesting situations with Jamaican athletes who thought they were 400 runners and turned out to be better at the 800 internationally. It took a long time to get those athletes to believe and understand.

        "Nature hides her secret because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse." -Albert Einstein

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        Mccabe on #111042

        I agree that it has merit for helping with an event but the better you get the more specialised you have to be. It isn’t the norm to be a 400 runner who does 100,200 and 800.

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        Ryan Banta on #111043

        Callam I agree it is not the norm. But Allyson proves you can do it and so did Alberto Juantroena. Another more common example is in the indoor season with athletes running the 500 or 600.

        "Nature hides her secret because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse." -Albert Einstein

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        Craig Pickering on #111044

        Wasnt this the first year since 2003 where the World 200m Champion wasnt Allyson Felix? And the first year she decided to really seriously focus on the 400?

        Maybe you need to specialize?

      • Nick Newman
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        Nick Newman on #111045

        I was going to say that. Lol. This was actually a bad champs for her and it was clearly a bad decision for her as im she only wants to win.

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        linas767@gmail.com on #111046

        This year Allyson made her life time best at 400m with 49.59, very near gold medal in Daegu. However, at 200m it seems that she didn’t have 22sec flat speed. In 2007, 2008, 2009 she ran under 22 and in 2010 22.03. This year her SB at 200m is 22.32. With better wind she could run faster but still not like years before. This is just statistics but you can start to wonder how more concentration on 400m helped her at shorter distance like 200m? This year as I understand she didn’t compete at 100m at all. Seems like more concentration on speed endurance and it means less room for max velocity training? In 2003 she ran 22.11 while having 400m time that year of 52.28. Possibility is that they “chose” silver and bronze medals instead of one gold at individual events in Daegu…Just a thought

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        Ryan Banta on #111047

        I find it crazy to say she did not have a good world championship. Did you all ever consider that her work in the 400 allowed her to run all of the races she ran. No one ran more rounds. Also, Allyson is not just training for one year. She is training for next year too. Finally, if you have won an event over and over did you ever consider a new challenge might be refreshing. This may be the reason at some point we see Bolt run the 400 (Probobly break the world record in that too) before his career is done

        Craig as many people on this site know I am a HUGE fan of yours and every time you run I check the results to see if you broke 10seconds. You are important to a lot of young runners out there for a number of reasons. Now I am by no means qualified to talk about your training or race selection but I think a few more 200s would be useful.

        What about Blake? What if he didnt try the 200 when peaked late this year? Obviously, as the World Champion in the 100 Dash it would have been nice to see him Challenge Bolt. But on the other hand he might never have known he was that fast in the 200 (Nearly a world record with a bad start) or that close to Bolt. It creates a amazing race in the 200 for next year. As a track fan I am excited to see what he could accomplish.

        "Nature hides her secret because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse." -Albert Einstein

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        burkhalter on #111049

        In all sincerity for an athlete of her caliber isn’t a good world champs rated by the amount of gold’s she brought home….instead she brings home bronze and silver. If I were her sponsors I would not be pleased with an excuse of training for next year….or I was bored and wanted something new to go after…..I would call this a failed experiment.

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        Matt Gardner on #111050

        2011: Outdoor bests – 200m, 22.32 (No. 5 in the USA, No. 6 in the world); 400m, 49.59 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 3 in the world)
        2010: Indoor bests – 400m, 51.37 (No. 4 in the USA, No. 3 in the world); Outdoor bests – 100m, 11.27 (No. 16 in the USA); 200m, 22.03 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 2 in the world); 400m, 50.15 (No. 2 in the USA, No. 8 in the world)
        2009: Outdoor bests – 100m, 11.08 (No. 6 in the USA, No. 13 in the world); 200m, 21.88 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 1 in the world); 400m, 49.83 (No. 2 in the USA, No. 5 in the world)
        2008: Outdoor bests – 100m, 10.93 (No. 4 in the USA, No. 8 in the world); 200m, 21.93 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 2 in the world); 400m, 49.83 (No. 2 in the USA, No. 5 in the world)
        2007: Outdoor bests – 100m, 11.01 (No. 4 in the USA, No. 5 in the world); 200m, 21.81 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 1 in the world); 400m, 49.70 (No. 3 in the USA, No. 6 in the world)
        2006: Outdoor bests – 100m, 11.04 (No. 4 in the USA, No. 6 in the world); 200m, 22.11 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 2 in the world)
        2005: Outdoor bests – 100m, 11.05 (No. 3 in the USA, No. 9 in the world); 200m, 22.13 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 1 in the world); 400m, 51.12 (No. 7 in the USA, No. 28 in the world)
        2004: Outdoor bests – 100m, 11.16 (No. 10 in the USA); 200m, 22.18 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 2 in the world); 400m, 51.83 (No. 19 in the USA)
        2003: Indoor bests – 200m, 23.14 (No. 6 in the USA, No. 18 in the world); Outdoor bests – 100m, 11.29 (No. 14 in the USA); 200m, 22.11 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 1 in the world)
        2002: Outdoor bests – 200m, 22.83 (No. 6 in the USA, No. 24 in the world)
        2001: Outdoor bests – 200m, 23.31

        That 22.11 in 2003 was after her junior year in high school I believe. She’s clearly improved in the 4, but I think most would agree her progression in the 200 and 100 has been less than stellar.

      • Nick Newman
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        Nick Newman on #111051

        Im sure her coaching choice is the main problem. And no for a routine world number 1 ot a great year

      • Carl Valle
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        Carl Valle on #111053

        I find it crazy to say she did not have a good world championship. Did you all ever consider that her work in the 400 allowed her to run all of the races she ran. No one ran more rounds. Also, Allyson is not just training for one year. She is training for next year too. Finally, if you have won an event over and over did you ever consider a new challenge might be refreshing. This may be the reason at some point we see Bolt run the 400 (Probobly break the world record in that too) before his career is done

        Craig as many people on this site know I am a HUGE fan of yours and every time you run I check the results to see if you broke 10seconds. You are important to a lot of young runners out there for a number of reasons. Now I am by no means qualified to talk about your training or race selection but I think a few more 200s would be useful.

        What about Blake? What if he didnt try the 200 when peaked late this year? Obviously, as the World Champion in the 100 Dash it would have been nice to see him Challenge Bolt. But on the other hand he might never have known he was that fast in the 200 (Nearly a world record with a bad start) or that close to Bolt. It creates a amazing race in the 200 for next year. As a track fan I am excited to see what he could accomplish.

        I think we need to see the value of racing and training and development as specific discussion points. For example, many women in the 100 and 200 can double up and each have to work on specific qualities to see development. The 100,200 and 400 individual events are not the same as being tossed on the relay as you can’t have a relay pool person run the rounds for you!

        Check out PJV article on the 400.

        I believe 400m people need to develop 200 more or they will be doomed long term, that’s why MJ had such a great 200. Jeremy is not the same as Mike and needs to TRAIN to the 200 more.

        100m guys benefit from running the 200m and 200m people benefit in just having a 400m relay as frosting. Conversely the opposite is true as too many 200 guys train like 400m guys and think winning the 200 is about 4 x 200 vs max speed plus speed endurance.

        The combo is very hard for Felix and I don’t think she should do it if she wants individual gold in the 200, but if she thinks she can drop under 49 and get a gold and get more hardware that is a more realistic plan.

        CV

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        Craig Pickering on #111054

        I find it crazy to say she did not have a good world championship. Did you all ever consider that her work in the 400 allowed her to run all of the races she ran. No one ran more rounds. Also, Allyson is not just training for one year. She is training for next year too. Finally, if you have won an event over and over did you ever consider a new challenge might be refreshing. This may be the reason at some point we see Bolt run the 400 (Probobly break the world record in that too) before his career is done

        Craig as many people on this site know I am a HUGE fan of yours and every time you run I check the results to see if you broke 10seconds. You are important to a lot of young runners out there for a number of reasons. Now I am by no means qualified to talk about your training or race selection but I think a few more 200s would be useful.

        What about Blake? What if he didnt try the 200 when peaked late this year? Obviously, as the World Champion in the 100 Dash it would have been nice to see him Challenge Bolt. But on the other hand he might never have known he was that fast in the 200 (Nearly a world record with a bad start) or that close to Bolt. It creates a amazing race in the 200 for next year. As a track fan I am excited to see what he could accomplish.

        I agree Ryan, 200s will be something I will add in hopefully next year. The main issue for me is that:
        a) I tend to get injured more in a 200, and
        b) The A standard in the 100 is my priority, so until I get that twice, I want to reserve my competition days for 100m races.

        One mistake a lot of people make with me is that they assume because I dont do 200m races, I dont do 200m training. This couldnt be further from the truth. I do plenty of 200 based training, just not that many races. My training partner ran 20.47 this year for example, and we do the same training!

        Also, the year I ran my 200m PB is the year I ran my worst at 100m. Its probably important to pay attention to that statistic!

        Regarding Felix, my point is that by doing the 400, it hurt her in the 200, as she came 3rd, off the back off three consecutive wins. Obviously she had a great champs, Id love to come away with an individual silver and bronze, but, for the first time, she isnt World 200m Champion.

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        Craig Pickering on #111055

        2011: Outdoor bests – 200m, 22.32 (No. 5 in the USA, No. 6 in the world); 400m, 49.59 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 3 in the world)
        2010: Indoor bests – 400m, 51.37 (No. 4 in the USA, No. 3 in the world); Outdoor bests – 100m, 11.27 (No. 16 in the USA); 200m, 22.03 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 2 in the world); 400m, 50.15 (No. 2 in the USA, No. 8 in the world)
        2009: Outdoor bests – 100m, 11.08 (No. 6 in the USA, No. 13 in the world); 200m, 21.88 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 1 in the world); 400m, 49.83 (No. 2 in the USA, No. 5 in the world)
        2008: Outdoor bests – 100m, 10.93 (No. 4 in the USA, No. 8 in the world); 200m, 21.93 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 2 in the world); 400m, 49.83 (No. 2 in the USA, No. 5 in the world)
        2007: Outdoor bests – 100m, 11.01 (No. 4 in the USA, No. 5 in the world); 200m, 21.81 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 1 in the world); 400m, 49.70 (No. 3 in the USA, No. 6 in the world)
        2006: Outdoor bests – 100m, 11.04 (No. 4 in the USA, No. 6 in the world); 200m, 22.11 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 2 in the world)
        2005: Outdoor bests – 100m, 11.05 (No. 3 in the USA, No. 9 in the world); 200m, 22.13 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 1 in the world); 400m, 51.12 (No. 7 in the USA, No. 28 in the world)
        2004: Outdoor bests – 100m, 11.16 (No. 10 in the USA); 200m, 22.18 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 2 in the world); 400m, 51.83 (No. 19 in the USA)
        2003: Indoor bests – 200m, 23.14 (No. 6 in the USA, No. 18 in the world); Outdoor bests – 100m, 11.29 (No. 14 in the USA); 200m, 22.11 (No. 1 in the USA, No. 1 in the world)
        2002: Outdoor bests – 200m, 22.83 (No. 6 in the USA, No. 24 in the world)
        2001: Outdoor bests – 200m, 23.31

        That 22.11 in 2003 was after her junior year in high school I believe. She’s clearly improved in the 4, but I think most would agree her progression in the 200 and 100 has been less than stellar.

        She went from being ranked, at worst, 2nd in the world (from 03 onwards) to being below that ranking (albeit still impressive!) in the year she decided to double up. It would seem apparent that adding the 400 has hurt her better event, the 200m. She does however have immense 400m talent, and may move to that distance more in the future.

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        Ryan Banta on #111057

        [quote author="Ryan Banta" date="1317161693"]I find it crazy to say she did not have a good world championship. Did you all ever consider that her work in the 400 allowed her to run all of the races she ran. No one ran more rounds. Also, Allyson is not just training for one year. She is training for next year too. Finally, if you have won an event over and over did you ever consider a new challenge might be refreshing. This may be the reason at some point we see Bolt run the 400 (Probobly break the world record in that too) before his career is done

        Craig as many people on this site know I am a HUGE fan of yours and every time you run I check the results to see if you broke 10seconds. You are important to a lot of young runners out there for a number of reasons. Now I am by no means qualified to talk about your training or race selection but I think a few more 200s would be useful.

        What about Blake? What if he didnt try the 200 when peaked late this year? Obviously, as the World Champion in the 100 Dash it would have been nice to see him Challenge Bolt. But on the other hand he might never have known he was that fast in the 200 (Nearly a world record with a bad start) or that close to Bolt. It creates a amazing race in the 200 for next year. As a track fan I am excited to see what he could accomplish.

        I agree Ryan, 200s will be something I will add in hopefully next year. The main issue for me is that:
        a) I tend to get injured more in a 200, and
        b) The A standard in the 100 is my priority, so until I get that twice, I want to reserve my competition days for 100m races.

        One mistake a lot of people make with me is that they assume because I dont do 200m races, I dont do 200m training. This couldnt be further from the truth. I do plenty of 200 based training, just not that many races. My training partner ran 20.47 this year for example, and we do the same training!

        Also, the year I ran my 200m PB is the year I ran my worst at 100m. Its probably important to pay attention to that statistic!

        Regarding Felix, my point is that by doing the 400, it hurt her in the 200, as she came 3rd, off the back off three consecutive wins. Obviously she had a great champs, Id love to come away with an individual silver and bronze, but, for the first time, she isnt World 200m Champion.[/quote]

        Fair enough. What are you doing with your winter season? Are you going to wait a bit or do a number of indoor meets. I know you have had a lot of success indoors. Looking to the Olympics its a long season. I thought your PB was last year May of 2010 20.89? As for Allyson if she didnt try it we may never know what she could have done.

        In previous years she had TRAINED by running above and below her race distance. Also using a number of meets to run above and below her race distance. In that season two years ago she was the world champion and broke 22.0 seconds. I believe many of us reading this blog are looking at this year in a vaccum for Miss Felix. I guess that was my fault by not being clear using this world championships as an example of her range in races not training. We need to look at her body of work and her training should be looked at in the same way.

        Craig good luck in your General Prep phase.

        "Nature hides her secret because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse." -Albert Einstein

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        coachformerlyknownas on #111065

        Perhaps someone might expand on how this subject relates to and or differs from classic “short to long” or “long to short” philosophies?

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        johnstrang on #111069

        Im sure her coaching choice is the main problem. And no for a routine world number 1 ot a great year

        I am sure you could make a case for this seeing that she hasn’t really had much improvement in her main event since training with him and neither has Clement (I think his PR is still from ’05, but I am not positive).

        I do disagree that it was a bad meet for her though. She has been a world champion and although that was certainly her goal for the 200 and 400, I have to believe her training plan this year was really in preparation for the Olympics. It was a perfect time to test the waters in the 400m while also building a strong base to go into this year’s training. If we are talking about training above and below the event, this might be a great thing for her 200m. It doesn’t take too long to get your speed back and she could have been just be banking volume for this season. Furthermore, she is getting older and a switch to the 400 could increase the longevity of her career when her speed begins to decline, if it hasn’t already.

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        Craig Pickering on #111071

        Both Ryan and John make good comments regarding Felix that make sense to me. Next year will give us a better indication of whether this year worked out in the long run for her.

        Ryan – regarding my winter season, I am meeting with my coach next week to discuss all this. I want to open my outdoor season earlier (maybe even late April) than normal as the Olympics are much earlier. The knock-on effect of this is that it will shorten my indoor season.

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        PJ Vazel on #111074

        This year Allyson made her life time best at 400m with 49.59, very near gold medal in Daegu. However, at 200m it seems that she didn’t have 22sec flat speed. In 2007, 2008, 2009 she ran under 22 and in 2010 22.03. This year her SB at 200m is 22.32. With better wind she could run faster but still not like years before. This is just statistics but you can start to wonder how more concentration on 400m helped her at shorter distance like 200m? This year as I understand she didn’t compete at 100m at all. Seems like more concentration on speed endurance and it means less room for max velocity training? In 2003 she ran 22.11 while having 400m time that year of 52.28. Possibility is that they “chose” silver and bronze medals instead of one gold at individual events in Daegu…Just a thought

        In Osaka’07, a few days after her 21.81, she ran 48.0 for the second leg of the 4×4, which is worth 0.7sec slower from blocks from the statistics. You’re right, more concentration on 400m speed endurance leaves less room for max velocity development (or more specifically: 200m speed endurance), but the her best 200m corresponds timewise to her best 400m, like many other 200-400m sprinters. 200m is the key for 400m high performances.

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        mortac8 on #111079

        I would like to see them Usain Allyson Felix. Let her run the 100 more…maybe she’ll PR by .5 who knows.

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        W.E. Price on #111086

        ” date=”1317248628″]I would like to see them Usain Allyson Felix. [b]Let her run the 100 more[/b]…maybe she’ll PR by .5 who knows.

        I certainly agree with that. Perhaps it might even improve block clearance and subsequent acceleration qualities. She might also need more time there as well as the benefits of such concentration helped Jeter along this year.

        In addition, if the schedule for London remains intact for the women’s 400 and 200 races it might prove to be even more difficult to double in those events since recovery time would be largely reduced than it was @ Daegu. And could she get over the mental hurdle that was this year with considerably less time in London?

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