SDSU Aztec wrote:
Why would Mantz have an advantage?
Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve always understood it like this - Mantz I think is considered to have the slowest pure leg speed. This means he gets the bulk of his talent from his aerobic capabilities. He’s using more energy to go the pace, but he has more energy to use. The other fast guys like Luis Grijalva conversely get their capabilities from not needing to expend as much energy to go that pace, but their lungs don’t necessarily supply as much energy as mantz’s do. Obviously we are thinking in big bulk terms here, and obviously each runner has both high aerobic AND speed capabilities.
In an XC race with terrible conditions, the wind, mud and the hills change the mechanics of running enough so that the speed gifts that some runners rely on, are no longer in play. Speed talent is a mechanics thing where the body just knows how to do the motion better. So when the mechanics change so drastically, those fast runners are going to be expending the same energy as the slower runners that have big engines. Since the fast runner’s speed can’t save energy to offset their small engine, they do poorly. When slow runners go from a track 5k to an XC 5k, they do better, and when they go from XC 5k to muddy, windy, hilly XC 5k, they get even better.