One of my friends posted a photo from 1974 US XC Nationals on Facebook. This was the first Nationals that Frank Shorter did not win after winning 4 in a row from 1970, '71, '72, '73.
It occurred to me (after reading an interview with Frank from before that race that someone else posted on FB) how much has changed in running since then.
Every year from '70 until '74 Frank ran the XC Nationals the last week in November (on Saturday) and then JUST SEVEN (not 10 or 8) days later he ran Fukuoka. This is where Shorter really made his name before Munich. He won Fukuoka in '71, '72, '73, '74 consecutively. It was recognized as the most prestigious marathon in the world at the time and then through the late 80's probably. Notice that he ran XC Nationals EVERY year that he won Fukuoka and he won them both and he won Nationals a week before for three of those years.
I was reading the article (which is on prepcaltrack.com if you want to read it - there is some good info on his training and why he went to altitude and his mpw volumes) and they asked him "DO you think that a race like this would hurt your chances in Fukuoka?" He was too polite to say that it hadn't hurt him the last THREE times he won it. But he said that it wouldn't hurt him, and that THREE DAYS before the marathon (every marathon) he ran a 4-mile time trial at 4:28 pace ... so this 10k XC race should not hurt him.
After reading that and remembering from long, long ago that XC Nationals were just 7 days before Fukuoka back then, I started thinking about what he actually tackled in 1972.
This is just from memory and TaFNews and are not all the races he ran that year:
The first one I remember was the US Nationals in track on 6/18 where Fredericks set the AR in 28:08 and Shorter was 2nd in 28:12.0.
Next was the Oly Tr where he ran a heat on June 29, winning in 29:07. Then won the final on July 2nd in 95 degF heat in 28:35.
Then on July 9th he tied for 1st with Kenny Moore in the Marathon Trial in 2:15:57 (also very hot out). Bachelor was 3rd in 2:20:29 and the trio went on to finish 1st, 4th and 9th in the Munich Games.
I am not sure if he ran any Euro track races (or any races!!) before the Games since he had three races at the Trials and his Olympic races were starting on Aug 31.
Next was Munich. ON Aug 31 he was 3rd in his heat in 27:58 (a new AR - his second maybe after his 2:12:51 marathon the year before). Then, three days later, he ran 5th in the final on Sept 3rd in another AR of 27:51. He was behind some all-time greats (Shorter, Haro, Yifter, Puttemans, Viren).
But it wasn't over. He won the Marathon in 2:12:19, just missing the OR of Bikila (because he "didn't want to hot-dog it in the stadium") of 2:12:11. The marathon was on Sept 10, just 7 days after the 10k final.
Again, I don't know what he did between the marathon and XC Nationals (probably rested? and trained?) but he won the US XC Nationals for the 3rd time at the end of November and then just SEVEN DAYS later won Fukuoka FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT TIME in 2:10:30 (which ended up being his PR), a time which was 3rd-fastest all-time (after Derek Clayton's 2:09:37 and Ron Hill's 2:09:28).
So, to recap:
6/18 - 28:12.0 2nd fastest American ever - 2
6/29 - 29:07 - 1st in heat at OT - 1
7/02 - 28:35 - 1st in 95 deg heat in final - 1
7/09 - 2:15:57 - 1st in OTM in heat - 1
8/31 - 27:58 - 3rd in Munich heat - 3 - AR
9/03 - 27:51 - 5th in Final - 5 - AR again
9/10 - 2:12:19 - 1st in Marathon
late November - Wins 3rd consecutive XC Nationals
12/03 - 2:10:30 - wins 2nd consecutive Fukuoka Marathon - AR
I don't know how he did that. I guess it was spread over 6 months (from 6/18 to 12/03), but ask Frank if Puskedra is doing something wrong.