For Hodgie-san and malmo, or others who've been supporting their side:
1. Do you believe that with enough work, your "average" male could run under 16:00 for 5k? What about 15:00, or 14:00, or 13:00?
2. Do you think that if only Derek Clayton had wanted it more/tried harder, he could have run under 2:05:00?
What it seems to me you're saying is that people who don't attain the top ranks of running are doing something wrong. But not everyone has the same talent level, do you at least agree with that?
I'm sorry but this is a little absurd. Have you ever tried running high mileage with poor results? Really. And I don't mean running "only" 32 minutes for a 10k off 90 mpw or something like that, I mean really running poorly in an empirical sense (or as close to one as there can be). If you have, good, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, imagine if you worked your job, and you worked hard at it and well, and you never advanced once for ten years. Would you want to continue working that job? There are some people out there who, because of a lack of talent or whatever you want to call it, simply don't get good at running. If you worked really hard and something and sucked balls at it, would you do it for ten years to see "how good you could get?" If you did, I'd argue that you are not passionate or dedicated or exploring your limits - you're either irrational or an idiot.
People who say running takes no talent are invariably talented.
Mr. Muffin wrote,
"I'm sorry but this is a little absurd. Have you ever tried running high mileage with poor results?"
Nope. Anytime I ran decent mileage I ran a lot better than when I didn't.
He also wrote,
"There are some people out there who, because of a lack of talent or whatever you want to call it, simply don't get good at running. If you worked really hard and something and sucked balls at it, would you do it for ten years to see 'how good you could get?'"
My point was that sometimes it takes awhile to see if you're going to be good at something. Sometimes years. Sometimes many years. I'm not saying there isn't any such thing as talent, but one certainly isn't going to find out by putting limits on themselves.
Anyway, how do you define "sucked balls"? 40 min 10k? 36 min 10k? Slower? Faster? Name one person who "tried really hard" and sucked. Then define, "tried really hard." I'm willing to bet they didn't try really hard. End of the day, it's an individual decision one makes to see how good they can be.
Discover your talent, through working hard and belief. What you ultimately do, is what you do, no more no less.
Well I will admit that I only read the first couple pages because I have med school finals to prepare for....but this is a thread I can relate to.
I started in high school a freshman not making the varsity team for cross and by senior year was doing 90 mile weeks and becoming one of the top runners in the state. I was SLOW for short stuff, I mean slow. I didn't have the 'talent' In college I consistently worked up to 120-140 miles and 6:00 pace felt like nothing at all. I became a 24:45 cross runner. I know I don't have the most 'talent' that most people will say but I also know I have some of the best talent of a distance runner, discipline and perserverance.
Sure there were more talented guys that barely lifted a finger and could beat me, hey that's running, it happens. But I can still look back and realize that there were still people that wished they could be like me too, they trained hard and tough and just didn't reach it.
In summary, everyone has a limit or a cap and talent does play a big role in it but it's always hard to find that cap. One also has to remember that hey, maybe they aren't doing the training that would benefit them the best, that their body would respond to the best. Overall, people don't have long enough running careers to find the maximized training system for themselves, but many get lucky and after the first few tries find one that's pretty damn close and they blaze some times and get remembered.
In the end everyone in running that is competitive will realize and have to live with the fact that no matter what you do there will always be someone better than you that does a hell of a lot less (and just for these board people, except Bekele etc.)
"Lack of" talent is nothing more than convenient excuse for people NOT to try hard.
While you're wondering how much "talent" you have or if running 100MPW is too much or what kind of "pace" you should be running each and every workout or trying to predict (or asking others to predict) how fast you can run a mile based on one repetition workout, you're not trying hard enough.