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Alan Webb May Be Skipping Nationals, But He Has Big Plans for Europe This Summer
June 21, 2006

Alan Webb may be skipping this week's USATF national meet with a hamstring injury but he plans on having a big European campaign after nationals, according to his agent Ray Flynn.

Ray Flynn, former miling great (89 sub 4 minute miles) and CEO of Flynn Sports Management), told LetsRun.com that Webb decided to skip nationals this year because he has not recovered 100% ready to race after missing some training with a hamstring injury that plagued Webb earlier this year.

Flynn said, "Alan is just not 100% (ready to run his best). He (Webb) wants to run his best when he races.  I think he wants to run well when he does race again and not have a subpar run."

Webb's last race was in the Prefontaine Classic mile, where he stepped off the track briefly on the final bend, grabbed the back of his leg and then continued to the finish, running 4:00.87. Flynn said Webb was a "little injured" heading into the Adidas Track Classic 2 mile, and that Webb further injured himself a week later at Prefontaine.  Flynn said, "he (Webb) had to take some time off and so he and his coach (Scott Razcko) felt he was not 100% (ready) to race at nationals."

2006 is not a World Championship or Olympic Year, so although Webb will miss a shot at the US title, he will not miss out on qualifying for any major championships.

Much of Webb's European campaign has already been planned out assuming Webb's recovery goes according to plan the next couple of weeks. Webb plans to open up in the Paris Golden League meet on July 8th running the 5000m. He'll follow that up at the Rome Golden Gala with a 1500m on July 14th, then run a 1500m in Stockholm on the 25th, followed by a 5000m 3 days later in London on the 28th, in the meet where Justin Gatlin and Asafa Powell are finally scheduled to race each other for the first time.

Webb then will have a brief break from racing during the European champs which are August 7th-13th, but the focus of the season is on Webb running fast in August in the mile and the 1500.

Flynn's indicated that Webb's early season campaign of one 10,000m (a stunning debut on April 30th, where Webb defeated Dathan Ritzenhein by running 27:34.72), and a couple of 5000s in Europe in July, is not a shift in emphasis form the mile to the 5000m, but rather is an attempt for Webb to get the strength necessary to run a fast 1500 or mile in August and even September when the long European season reaches its climax with the Grand Prix Final on September 9th.

Flynn said, "The emphasis this season was to run some longer races earlier in the year, but to really focus on 1500s and miles in August, having that background strength. So we're running a couple of 5s (in preparation)." He pointed out that athletes such as Craig Mottram ran a 10,000m last year early in the year (27:56 at Stanford) and subsequently went on to run a PB in the mile (3:48.98).

Flynn was less certain of Webb's season after Europeans but did mention the desire to run a fast 1500 in Rieti, which is a notoriously fast track for distance runners (where Morceli ran his 3:28.86 1500m WR in 1992 and Daniel Komen ran his 7:20.67 WR for 3000m in 1996). The Zurich and Brussels Golden League meets are also after Europeans in August.

Flynn indicated Webb may be racing as late as the September 30th at the 5th Avenue Mile, but he was confident that Webb's focus on longer distances earlier in the year would help him have strength to run fast miles in August and September. "There is nothing wrong with running a 10 earlier in the year, then running some 5s, then getting down to the mile at the end of summer. (In fact), It's a great plan, it's a perfect plan... Time will only show, (but) Alan will perform really well during the summer. But he doesn't want to rush anything (by racing not 100% healthy at USATFs).

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