My son was a decent (4:19 mi) high school runner then. It definitely was the "low mileage 90s". The general coaching philosophy then tended to be long on VO2 max work and very little threshold work. There were a lot of good 800 runners, but few high schoolers with the training volume to run well at 2miles/3200.
Lol! I assumed from his name and from his performance that there was a strong likelihood his ancestry was not from West Africa like the majority of black Americans. And if what you say is correct then I was correct in my belief. Thx!
Well played. So many feel the need to discredit this influx of fast HS MD times, probably to protect their egos and maintain that they’d be just as competitive now as they were in their day.
I scored 3rd-places in the 800 and 1600 at the Iowa HS state meet in ‘09/‘10 - last weekend my HS PRs would have put me 12th and 16th respectively. I don’t think it’s the shoes, I think it’s largely because Jackson Heidesch gets 250 “kudos” every time he logs a bowel movement on Strava; within the community of motivated HS runners, everyone can see what their competition is doing and strive to emulate it. Once a couple local kids are running faster times, the bar is raised and the momentum just builds. I have no doubt there’s also a higher percentage of competent HS coaches than ever, after 20+ years of the internet offering an easy resource for knowledge and discussion and with dwindling holdovers from the 80s and 90s that produced 0 sub-4 kids.
Really there should always have been more sub-4 high schoolers nationwide than we’ve seen in the past. I mean it just doesn’t make sense to me from a physiological/developmental/statistical standpoint that we’d have a crop of 18-20 year old college kids running sub-4 every year to no fanfare while 3:59 for a 17-18 year old HS kid is supposed to be reserved for future Olympians. You could say it has to do with “training age” and that leads me to another point, that more middle schools have XC teams than we had in years past. Way, way more freshmen are running sub-17 and 4:40 miles than when I was in high school and they’re coming from schools with good middle school programs.
TL;DR: more kids training intelligently from the age of 12-13 and dreaming of running fast times = more kids running fast times
Yeah that's just not true. I was on that team and we all believed he could break Ryun's record. Nobody on our team or the coaches were saying he had no chance. Not sure where you got that idea. Whether or not he would get it done in the one shot he took was a question, but we all knew he was capable of it that season. Don't try to rewrite a history you weren't a part of buddy haha. Maybe the announcers were questioning it (not sure, been a while since I've watched that race) but don't confuse the announcers speculations with what people who watched him and ran with him every day were saying.
Yeah the 3:59 indoors was Alan's PR before that. But the 6 second drop isn't as crazy as it sounds. I was on his team and he was ready to do 3:59 junior year but our coach shut him down a few weeks early cuz he had a minor little injury and our coach didn't want to push him.
He ran that 3:59 indoors, he ran 3:59 split 1600 at Penn Relays, he ran a 47. 4x400 split at one meet, he ran 8:45 all on his own in the 2 mile at indoors nationals, hell he ran a 4:06 at our district meet as part of a workout in which he did 4:06, 1:49, and 49. 1600/800/400 in I wanna say 90 minutes if I remember correctly, but that 4:06, being a workout and all, he did with 2:14/1:52 splits (coach wanted him to do 2:12/2:00 but when he hit 800m he clicked his watched and just took off like a bat out of hell blowing by the field haha). By end of senior year just doing sub-4 would have been easy for him. So the fact that he only had a 3:59 PR coming into that 3:53 race doesn't mean much. Was blowing out Ryun's record by nearly 2 full seconds amazing...yes absolutely! Us on his team were thinking in a good race he'd beat Ryun's record but not by a lot, maybe 3:54.5 to 3:55-low.
Also you gotta understand that 3:59 indoors was done without much work at all to get him ready to run a really fast mile at that point in the season. Our coach was ecstatic after that indoors 3:59 because they hadn't really even begun to get Alan ready for running the mile yet that season. Running a fast 2 mile at Indoors Nationals was the goal for indoors, not running a fast mile. His indoor training that year was focused on building strength for the 2 mile, then outdoors was all about honing down for the mile record.