LetsRun.com: The Week That Was In Running: April 12 - April 18, 2010

By LetsRun.com
April 18, 2010

To read last week's LRC Week That Was, click Here.
To read any 2009
LRC Week That Was, click Here.

The big news of the week is going to be Monday's Boston Marathon. Since a lot of people (including ourselves) will be watching the race on Monday morning, we figured we should do The Week That Was ahead of time so people will have something to read while watching the race and so we'll have time to work on our Boston coverage.

In this week's weekly recap, we take a look at a lot of the pros who had their outdoor openers. We give props to the amazing Tyson Gay and wonder whether he can beat Usain Bolt and we talk about the most unheralded performer in American track and field, Dan Huling, and wonder if Dan Lincoln should be getting nervous. We also give props to Molly Huddle for a big PR and a Thumbs Down to last year's surprise, Maggie Vessey. We also compare Ryan Gregson to Alan Webb and show you how in one week East Africa can equal a lifetime of production from America in the industry known as the marathon.

Lots Of Impressive Outdoor Openers Led By Tyson Gay's 44.89

  • Usain Bolt gets lots and lots of press attention - deservedly so - but people shouldn't forget that Tyson Gay is clearly a special talent himself and if anyone is going to beat Bolt this year, it's probably going to be Mr. Gay. Remember Gay did run 9.69 and 19.58 last year when he was battling injuries. If not for Mr. Bolt's 19.19 and 9.58, Gay would be viewed as a super-human himself.

    Early indications are that Gay may be able to close the gap on Bolt's superhuman times in 2010, as Gay opened up his 2010 season last week in impressive fashion by running a 44.89 for 400. That's some .68 faster than what he opened with last year and he did it two weeks earlier this year than last. 44.89 is very fast. To put it in perspective, please realize 44.80 got the bronze in the Olympics in 2008. More: Tyson Gay - 44.89.
  • Maggie Vessey was another pro that her outdoor opener last week. Only hers didn't go nearly as well as Gay's. Vessey, who was the mid-d revelation of the 2009 season as she ran a 1:57, started her 2010 season in horrific fashion as she ran a 2:06.10 to place 10th at Mt. SAC.
  • Dan Huling did have a big opener last week. Huling, who surprised many by running 8:14 in the steeple last year, opened his 2010 outdoor season with a 22-second personal best at Mt. SAC to get the win in the stacked 5,000 in 13:24.72. He's certainly not resting on his laurels and it's officially time to ask, "Is Daniel Lincoln's American Record of 8:08.82 in jeopardy this year?"

    Lincoln's 5,000 PR was 13:32.

    We give credit to "call it real," who wrote the following message board post praising Huling. Definitely our Message Board Post of the Week, as Huling gets zero publicity:

    "Huling is going to rock the next couple of years. Most underated distance runner in US in an event we can actually be competitive if he can get to 8:10 or faster! Trains all by himself in beautiful Oxford Ohio!"
  • Mt. SAC also was kind to Molly Huddle, as she shattered her personal best by nearly 20 seconds to place 2nd in the women's 5,000 in 15:05, second only to Sally Kipyego's world-leading 15:02.
  • Other world leaders at Mt. SAC came from Lashinda Demus in the women's 400 (51.40), Jeshua Anderson in the men's 400h (49.11) and Libor Charfreitag (80.59m) in the men's hammer.
  • At the Kansas Relays, American Ivory Williams ran 9.95 to beat Churandy Martina, as Veronica Campbell-Brown impressed in the women's 200. The reigning two-time Olymipc 200 champ ran a meet record 22.32 in Kansas, the best outdoor season opener of her career, topping the 22.39 she ran to open her 2007 campaign. 22.32 is fast. How fast? Well, realize that 22.35 is what Campbell-Brown ran to get silver in Berlin.
  • 400-meter world champ Sanya Richards opened up her 2010 outdoor season with an 800. And she left every middle distance fan who has always thought that a Michael Johnson or Jeremy Wariner would crush the 800-meter world record disappointed, as she only ran 2:10.

  • And lastly, we normally try to ignore the ACC when it comes to outdoor track, as we think it's a joke that a conference has their outdoor conference meet prior to Penn or Drake Relays. It shows that the conference ADs really don't care about track.

    But the ACC had its conference meet last week (the Clemson women and Florida St. men won) and the news of the day was that UVA freshman Robby Andrews lost his first college race, as the guy who defeated Olympian Andrew Wheating indoors lost to his teammate, Lance Roller, in the 800 at ACCs.

    Look for a nice potential rematch between Andrews and Wheating at Penn Relays this weekend. Oregon has entered the 4 x 800 for the first time in history at Penn, so hopefully Wheating and Andrews will clash there or in the DMR. Walt Murphy reports that a ridiculous 15 teams have lied seeded themselves at sub-7:20, including realistic sub-7:20 prospects Oregon, UVA, Penn State, LSU, Texas and Tennessee.
    More: Unbeaten Career Over: Robby Andrews Loses 800 To Teammate Lance Roller
    *5 World Leads At Mt. SAC *Mt. SAC Relays Results *Tyson Gay 400m - 44.89 *Vessey's First Race Of Year *Kansas Relays AP Recap *Results *Sanya Richards 2:10.74


Australian Athletics Championships: Day Three


Gregson Winning In Style

Australian Champs - Gregson Defeats Riseley To Win 1st National Title
The Australian Nationals were held over the weekend and there were some strong performances in a few areas, but the one race LetsRun.com fans would really care about was the men's 1,500, where Australia's teen phenom (and LRC visitor) Ryan Gregson ended his teenage career in style by earning his first senior national title just 8 days prior to his 20th birthday. In the process, Gregson defeated Nick Willis conqueror Jeff Riseley. Riseley has PRs of 3:32.93 and 1:45.48 - which are PRs that Gregson pointed out were very similar to what Nick Willis had run prior to his winning silver at the Olympics.

Gregson is indeed a talent. The chart shows that he is indeed Australia's version of Alan Webb. Check out their PRs at age 19.

Alan Webb At Age 19
800 PR: 1:47.74
1,500 PR: 3:36.10*
*converted from 3:53.43 mile

Ryan Gregson At Age 19
800: 1:46.04
1,500: 3:35.42

More: *Ryan Gregson Profile *IAAF Recap Of Australian Champs *2010 Australian Track Champs Results

Quote Of The Week #1
Our first quote of the week (that wasn't a quote of the day) comes from former American mile record holder Steve Scott. He recalled the best advice he ever got it and came from Kiwi great Rod Dixon:

"Life is an elevator: you meet the same people on the way down as you do on the way up. So be careful how you treat people. Treat people (with respect), keep your word and do the right thing because at some point you are not going to be good anymore and you never know, years down the road, when you might need the help of people."
More: Q&A With Steve Scott

Message Board Thread Of The Week - Just How Hard Is It For An American To Win A World Marathon Major?
As we got ready to root on and cheer for the Americans at the Boston Marathon and dream of the first American male winner since 1983, we were hit with reality. Message board poster "reality check time" started a thread simply entitled:

More E. Africans Ran Under 2:10 in Paris and Rotterdam than US runners have EVER run under 2:10

Is he correct? Yes, he is - with room to spare. The stats speak for themselves:

Combined Rotterdam-Paris Result 2010
1. Patrick Makau          KEN  2:04:48 PB Rotterdam
2. Geoffrey Mutai         KEN  2:04:55 PB Rotterdam
3. Vincent Kipruto        KEN  2:05:13 PB Rotterdam
4. Feyisa Lelisa          ETH  2:05:23 PB Rotterdam
5. Tadesse Tola, ETH            2:06:41 PB Paris
6. Bernard Kipyego KEN  2:07:01  PB debut Rotterdam
7. Alfred Kering, KEN           2:07:11 PB Paris
8. Wilson Kipsang, KEN          2:07:13 PB Paris
9. Benjamin Kiptoo Koulum, KEN  2:08:01 Paris
10. Daniel Kipkurgat, KEN        2:08:29 PB Paris
11. Mulugeta Wami, ETH           2:08:32 PB Paris
12. Zambala Yegeze, ETH          2:08:48 PB Paris
13. Francis Kiprop         KEN  2:08:53 Rotterdam
14. Haylu Mekonnen, ETH          2:09:01 Paris
15. Francis Kibiwott, KEN        2:09:26 Paris
16. Vincent Kiplagat, KEN        2:09:38 Paris
17. Daniel Rono            KEN  2:09:49 Rotterdam
18. Negari Terfa, ETH            2:09:59 Paris

All Time US Marathon List At 2:10:00 Or Better
1 2:05:38 Khalid Khannouchi USA 22.12.71 1 London 14.04.2002
2 2:06:17 Ryan Hall USA 14.10.82 5 London 13.04.2008

3 2:08:47a Bob Kempainen USA 18.06.66 7 Boston 18.04.1994
4 2:08:51a Alberto Salazar USA 07.08.58 1 Boston 19.04.1982
5 2:08:53a Dick Beardsley USA 21.03.56 2 Boston 19.04.1982
6 2:08:56 Abdihakem Abdirahman USA 01.01.77 4 Chicago 22.10.2006
7 2:09:00a Greg Meyer USA 18.09.55 1 Boston 18.04.1983
8 2:09:15 Mebrahtom Keflezighi USA 05.05.75 1 New York City 01.11.2009
9 2:09:27a Bill Rodgers USA 23.12.47 1 Boston 16.04.1979
10 2:09:31a Ron Tabb USA 07.08.54 2 Boston 18.04.1983
11 2:09:32 David Morris USA 17.05.70 4 Chicago 24.10.1999
12 2:09:35 Jerry Lawson USA 02.07.66 7 Chicago 19.10.1997
13 2:09:38 Ken Martin USA 10.09.58 2 New York City 05.11.1989
14 2:09:41 Alan Culpepper USA 15.09.72 6 Chicago 13.10.2002
15 2:09:57a Benji Durden USA 28.08.51 3 Boston 18.04.1983
16 2:10:00 Dathan Ritzenhein USA 30.12.82 11 London 26.04.2009
Bold = Active Runner

It just shows you why it is so statistically unlikely that an American will win another major any time soon. 16 American runners have run 2:10 or better in history, only five of whom are currently active and three of whom were actually born in Africa. Contrast that fact to the 18 African-born runners who ran sub-2:10 last week alone in Paris and Rotterdam. Throw in a sub-2:10 from Daegu, South Korea, as well as one in Milan, and there were 20 African sub-2:10s alone last week.

Popular message board threads from last week included:
1. My goal of sub 4:00 1500-I will not stop until I reach my goal 2. sanya richards running 800 this weekend - predictions?
50 US Men qualify for the marathon Trials in one race! 4. Jordan Hasay 5000m debut : what you expected or not?
Mt Sac HEAT SHEETS 6. Tyson Gay 400m - 44.89
IS KENENISA BEKELE FINISHED? 8. Arthur Lydiard was right about Alan Webb
Tadesse will destroy Geb's Marathon WR 10. Richest Sub-4 Miler?
NYRR are crybabies 12. Chris Derrick 13:33 5k at Mt. SAC
Team Cook - Manzano Rowbury Torrence Moser Hernandez Looking GREAT in Mexico 14. Wisconsin Badgers dump Nike!
Disciplining a kid on team (A week before Penn) HELP

Weekly Free Training Advice #1 - Don't Leave Your Best Race In Practice
This week's weekly free training advice comes from US marathon star Ryan Hall. If Hall wins in Boston on Monday (which we just showed you won't be easy), it will because he learned something we here at LetsRun.com talk about all the time. There should be a difference in intensity between your workouts and your races and you must ensure that you don't leave your best race in practice.

The following comes from a Q&A Running Times had with Hall about his 2010 Boston preparations:

    RT: After New York last fall, you said you ran faster in some workouts than you had in the marathon. So did that cause you to change your training in any way?
    Yeah, I'm a lot more rested for Boston than I was for New York and some other races. I've been taking it a lot easier on my easy days. Even if I feel I could run harder, I don't. At one point, I realized that my legs had more "pop" in them after taking several weeks off after a marathon than they had before the marathon race day itself. I thought, "I should be reversing that. I want to have the 'pop' on the front end, before the marathon." That's what I've tried to do for Boston. At the same time, I hit all the hard workouts I needed to hit. I didn't miss any of them.
    More: Ryan Hall Talks About His Boston Prep

Martin Lel Still Snake Bitten
When healthy, there is no doubt that Martin Lel is one of the greatest marathoners on the planet. The 3-time London champ, who also is known as the last man to defeat Sammy Wanjiru in a 26.2 mile race, has withdrawn from his 3rd-straight world marathon major. Last year, he pulled out of both London and New York at the last minute with injuries. This year, his injury problems have continued and he was forced to withdraw from London last week. Such a shame, as Lel seemed to be in good form and had defeated Sammy Wanjiru in the inaugural Mardi Gras Half Marathon in what he was hoping was his buildup to 2010 London.
More: *Martin Lel Pulls Out Of 2nd Straight London

And Michael Jordan's Replacement Is ...
Last week the mascot for the 2011 World Champs was unveiled. And while we like the little guy, we feel quite sorry for him. He has to try to succeed the greatest sports mascot in history, Berlino.

12th IAAF World Athletics Championships - Day Six

More: *2011 Daegu Mascot Announced Daegu mascot faced with perhaps the toughest-ever mascot shoes to fill. Only 500 Days To Go.

Photo Of The Week
We don't have permission to use the photo here, but if you are a runner and a dog lover, you'll love the following photo. Trust us.


Thanks to LRC visitor M. Lang for letting us know about it.

Weekly Free Training Advice #2 - You Can't Eat Your Cake And Have It Too
This week's free training advice comes from HSer Emily Sisson. A story relating to her perfectly shows one of our strongests beliefs about running. You can't be good all the time. You need to try to periodize and peak a couple of times a year and then you need some down time.

It came out that Sisson, who was third at Foot Locker XC in the fall, is going to miss her senior spring official Missouri high school season. She's going to miss it in part because she's been banned by the high school association for competing at the Nike Indoor meet, which isn't a USATF-sponsored meet. But Sisson isn't upset by the ban, as she knew it was coming. Her #1 goal was to get ready to represent the US at World XC in Poland (and she did a fine job of that by finishing 18th in the junior race) and she felt like running Nike Indoors would be good prep work for that. Sisson was also starting to feel a bit tired from having competed/trained basically non-stop since the fall and knew it would be hard to continue that into a long spring season. As Sisson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "It was a difficult decision. But it would've been difficult to train for Worlds and come back and train for track all season."

So the plan was and still is to focus on World XC, run a few spring invites and then take a break and get ready for college. Very smart. Too many runners think they can do Foot Locker XC, World Cross, outdoor states and outdoor nationals. It's hard enough for collegians to have three good seasons - harder still for high schoolers. Pick two seasons and focus on those.
More: Sisson Banned In Missouri

Gimmicky But Interesting
One thing that drives coaches crazy is how every single men's miler in the land seemingly thinks he has a great kick and will never push the pace. Need proof? Look no farther than the Puma Mile, which took place at Mt. SAC last weekend.

2010 Puma Mile

The Puma Mile consisted of men's and women's milers racing each other in a single race with the women getting a 29-second head start. The winner of the race received $10,000. Considering the woman got a huge head start, you'd think the men would take it out hard. Nope. The men went out in 62+ and 2:04, no doubt causing many viewers to believe the rabbitless runners might have dawdled too long.

In the end, as with a Tour de France peloton closing down a breakaway, maybe they knew what they were doing, as they easily caught the women with nearly half a lap to spare, but we must admit we found the race to be interesting and worth watching. The problem with many track races is that they are basically time trials with no one actually racing. Here was an actual a race in April sans rabbits and with something on the line - a $10,000 Puma contract, which ultimately was awarded to Derek Scott. As a result, the people put in some real effort and some of the runners were collapsing at the finish.

You can watch the video above or see a different video from above that shows the women's runners as well.

Recommended Reads
Ryan Hall: "I Want to Run Free"
*Ryan Gregson Profile
LRC Improving The Sport - NYC Marathon Lottery And World XC Ideas
Training Talk With Bill Aris 
We talked to one of the top HS coaches in the land, Bill Aris.
*Page 1: Introduction, What is the Stotan Lifestyle, Percy Cerutty, The Process is the Goal, and There is No #1 Runner
*Page 2: Getting Kids to Buy Into the Program, Logistics of Running a High School Program, What to Do With People New to Running, Weekly Mileage
*Page 3: (No Magic) Workouts, Strength Training and Doubles, Collegiate Success, and Running as a Part of Life
*Page 4: Stotan Racing Team, Lopez Lomong vs. Dominic Luca, Alex Hatz and the Sub-4 Quest

LetsRun.com Quotes Of The Day - Day-By-Day:

Sunday: "I never finish unless I will finish in the top 3. If I anticipate ahead of time that I will not be top 3, I quit. That is my philosophy."
- Defending Boston champ Deriba Merga, who bailed on his only 2 races in 2010.

Saturday: 3:59.48!!
- Eddy Lee becomes a legend 30 months after starting the 76-page thread: "My goal of sub 4:00 1500-I will not stop until I reach my goal." Read the last 3 or 4 pages of the thread; you might never see LetsRun message board people this happy ever again. Also, the thread coincidentally reached 1,500 posts today.

"My motto for Sunday will be No risk, no fun! ... If it should turn out that this is too fast for me, it will get very tough in the final part of the race. But a marathon is not a children's birthday party! If I don't try going for 2:09, I will never find out if I am capable to do it. That is why the marathon is special - you can not try that in training before the race."
- One of our favorites - Günther Weidlinger - shooting to become the first Austrian below 2:10 in the marathon Sunday. Race live at 2:40am Eastern online and in English.

Thursday: "Well, another one of our phrases that you've correctly tapped into - 'the process is the goal' - we live by that. I've got that up on our wall in our office and every one of our kids can recite that and they know exactly what it means. ... We focus on not the achievement of a certain elusive goal. We focus on trying to perfect what we do every day - that's our goal. The process is the goal. The daily grind is the goal, if you will."
- Bill Aris talking to Robert Johnson as our special guest on our latest LetsRun.com Training Talk. We focused on the process and somehow managed to transcribe and summarize the hour-and-a-half-long epic coaching manifesto. But you can just sit back and listen. Enjoy.

"Meb had already been to the mountain top once, when he won the silver medal at Athens. Now the question was: Are you willing to start at the bottom and try to make the long climb back to the top again? We talked a lot about this. I told him I would completely understand if he said he didn't want to go through it again. Fortunately, his answer was: 'Yes, I want to do it again.'"
- Bob Larsen, talking about Meb Keflezighi's decision to come back to the sport after major hip injury in 2007. Meb's coach since 1994, Larsen says in an interview with Runner's World that his charge had to play catch-up with his training for Boston but that "his races always surpass his workouts." 

Tuesday:  "I think there was some hubris involved ... I think for them to think that their name meant dollars, and that I was going to forgo almost a million dollars on their good looks is hubris."
  - Doug Logan talking candidly about Mary Wittenberg and NYRR, who are upset about Houston winning the 2012 men's and women's US Olympic Trials Marathon.

Last Week's Homepages
*Mon (April 19) *Sun (April 18) *Sat (April 17) *Fri (April 16) *Thu (April 15) *Wed (April 14) *Tue (April 13)


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