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RE: Mr. Renato Canova: Could You Please Answer a Question About Effective Ways to Improve the Lactate Threshold?
I'm in Iten, and this night there is power (during last 4 days no power for the continuous rain), so I can read your messages. At first, please, don't do any graduatory about "the best coach in the world". This is useless and of sure not correct. I know a lot of coaches that have good knowledge and never the opportunity to follow top runners. Of course, I (like Rosa) had the possibility of growing in some specific knowledge only after coaching many Kenyans. My merit was to seek and to find this opportunity, that can be considered a choice of life. And of course, when you can "manage" the preparation of many and different top runners, you can have new experiences and sometimes a new mentality.
To coach Africans is easy if you think that the goal is to beat Europeans runners, but is more difficult under other points of view. In any case, it's a completely different thing.
You become a good coach when enjoy the improvement of your athletes not for yourself, but for them. You must be a friend, a teacher, a guide, before being a scientist, and this is particularly true with African people. They are very simple, and the first quality that can appreciate is the human behavior of the coach, not his specific knowledge. Remember that every athlete is a different man, and this is the key for his improvement.
Regarding my athletes, we are at the last 2 weeks of a long period of preparation. Shaheen will run WCCh in short : he had some small problem, but I think that can be ready. Among my Qatari athletes, Sultan Zaman improved from last year, running 2nd in Caceres back Lebid and winning Diekirch, but is strong expecially on the mud. Kwalia is not too much adapted for a cross, and Hassan had to stop training for the last 2 weeks due to a tendon injury. But the team is not bad, and I hope to present 2 athletes that nobody knows, that can be a very important "atout" for the team.
Regarding my Kenyan athletes in the team (Mosop, John Korir, Abraham Cherono in long run, Catherine Kirui, Irene Kwambai and Irene Limika among women), I personally think that the strategy of removing the top runners from their coaches during the last 4 weeks is not correct, and like me Patrick Sang and Brother Colm think the same. In my personal strategy, the best runners must continue with their coaches till last 10 days, when they have to go all together in a camp for assembling the "spirit of the team". The idea that WCCCh is a team competition is correct, but if you don't have legs for running fast, what is the importance of the tactic and of the team ? When in Paris the Ethiopians are able running last 5000m in 12:57 and the best PB of the Kenyans is 13:03, what a team can do ? But anyway, I wish to Kenyan team to grow again, having some good chances against Ethiopians (expecially if Bekele and Sihine have problems).
Now, we are on the finish line, and the only thing that we can do is to await and to look.
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