as usual , the slow talkin texan with the fast moving brain comes up with his summation at the end of his blog
how far have we come .
when one is discussing the long distance running issues , as his reading material was written in 1978 ,
and the answer is for us intellegent western societies whitees , that like the rest of our society , is looking to science to save us in so many ways , we have not come any where but gone backwards .
mean while our african neighbors who have held on to the long held belief that hard word and self sacrifice will provide you with improvements over time like it has done down the the generations ,
so the western nations have at best stood still while the incremental gains are made by people who in traINING camps dont have ice machines , they dont have physios , they dont even have electricity ,
they wash there running kit in a near by river .
once they strike it rich , with their running ability , they buy homes and land but when it comes to serious time most of the continued successful ones head back to the training camps to lay their ground work for the seasons assaults on the richest races around the world .
back in the late70s early 80s
i can give you a little history , that they lost their best youth and up and coming athletes to american colleges but the highlighted african failures were so startling that their best decided to stay at home and not lose their ability to western universities and thoughts .
i can remember like it was yesterday a lesson in this , when i was attending the institute of sport in canberra in the 90s
we had the tri team based there
and out best marathon runner lisa martin had married a kenyan, yobes ondieki , and they were trying to figure out the best living arrangements for their partnership , so they had decided to give it a go in canberra her town , i was running some at that point so i would join in the easy runs and lectures to learn what i could
i was privvy to one " lecture " to yobes by our estimed head distance coach for australia .
" you need to get some structure into your work yobes " he said , much to my astonishment ," think how much you will improve on your fellow kenyans , if you work your work ethic into a more scientific based program " i watched yobes face , and it looked like he was confronted by an alien , he was polite said nothing ,as the coach rattled on " you just dont rest enuff or do enuff slow work yobes , to fullfil
your dreams , " again yobes sat there this time he looked over at his wife and she gave him a little hand signal to calm him that all was ok , and then he said " thank you dick , ill think on it ."
dick then rattled off to the rest of his elite long distance squad tomorrows work out , it was going to be tuff and very very stressful so
tomorrows easy 10 km in the morning needs to be easy " no racing as in the after noon we are going
4x 1mile at anearobic threshold , recovery as you need" , i looked at yobes instinctively and his face looked at his wifes , then he asked " if it is possible dick for him to do his with only 400m jog between each as this is how he does this set at home " dick looked at him and said yobes im expecting from the boys 4m16 to 4 min 14 if they having a greAT DAY but for you i think 4m12 " its not easy tomorrow yobes its like a kenyan track day " yobes shrugged and said ill run 4m12 for you of just 400 rest dick "
and so it was .
so i thought i must be there for tomorrow .
so the first run we all kicked off light banter no one running hard i found my self running next to the great one with ease , in fact he was doin it tuffer than me i thought , smiling good natured man , he said
today coach will be good day , and so we trundled the 10 km i would think in about 40 min
our group with yobes and his wife were not the first group .
the younger aspiring guys must have ran it in around 36 m not hard for them then another break off group ran around 38 dick was in that one and a few of australias best ,
but yobes just wandered around and we camt to a halt .
then i had a run session with a couple of triathletes and so i was at the track at 10 .30 am
i was suprised when i got there to see lisa and yobes there , lisa a marathon champion was whipping out 32 sec 200 s with no discernable rest period she would belt one out then cut across the middle as it would seem 200 float was too long for her ,
but the major point was yobes here he was tearing around the track , doing 2 lappers , and it was obvious this was not at any speed known to australian distance men
he was well into the session by the looks of him so, i said nothing got my little triathletes going and was doing the session they had planned , lisa who the word stoic was designed for, gave me a nod , nothing more than a acknowledgement glance , and got about her work , meanwhile yobes jogged passed on his recovery that looked like no more than 400 m to me said " good morning coach , please dont tell dick about this , but i cant become world champion doin that work " i said your secrets safe with me
then i watched in awe as he reeled off about 5x 800m all in 2 min , as he went past i said
" how many you doing ?" he replied dont know may be 8 to 10 see how i feel we got the hard set this afternoon
so this coach was getting a language lesson in kenyan , he is doing or he ended up doin 10 800 in 2min
and the hard session was coming .
ok , i then made the mistake of asking lisa on her easy 100m how many she doing , she snapped back " no idea " so i shut up from there on in .
so no more was said i trained my guys they finnished then joined up together and didnt get into a car but jogged off home i imagine which was 4 km from the track .
so of course i had to be at the track that evening .
to see the mess that yobes was going to be in for dicks tuff set .
he and lisa turned up , she sheepishly in a cold calculating manner said sorry , " i dont like to talk when im training , and i didnt know how many i was doing or the time , yobes has taught me to listen to my body it tells you the speed , not the watch or how many your legs tell you that , so its new for me but its working .
so the sombre mood has setteld on all the aussies now this is going to be tuff
and the atmosphere , you could cut it with a knife .
lisa say to dick " im going to do my milers like yobes 400 m only and im doing 6 i run marathons 4 is for the 5 and 10 k people , " dick knew strait away you dont argue with her , but he turned to yobes and said i want only 4 yobes as im looking for 1m3 laps and with the short rest thats going to be tuff enuff
the answer came yes coach no problem
and so the distance girls ran the first one with lisa and then broke off for their 7 min or what ever rest they were taking it could have been one every 10 min but i forget .
the guys ran the first one with yobes he hit 4m10 the ran 4 m 12 and dicks eye balls nearly popped out of his head
"too fast too fast you have 3 more , now go and warm down of that so you dont tighten up "
yobes was gone on his lap recovery dick just shook his head ." they just dont get it"
to cut a long story short
dick got his 4 1 milers of his boys and it was great work he said all 4 min 14 they had PROGRESSED NICELY the lactates were encouraging , he said to me .
mean while yobes ondieki
went 1 2 3 4
4m10 4min8 4m 6 4 min 2.5
all off around 90 sec rest i would summise
he came jogging back after the last lap easy and said , " ill jog home dick , its been a good day "
dick jumped up and said yobes , " see what is possible when you rest properly ,
yobes graciously said " thank you dick, it was a good day "
he jogged passed me , stopped and made the shoosh symbol in front of his mouth , he said coach
your group swam this morning they run with me at lunch and now they bike ,
you under stand , but dont tell dick , as western run coaches will never get it, all their science make sure no white man will beat a kenyan "
there is an epilogue ,
on a nite at the world championships in japan , the expectations were high that the kenyans would suffer in the oppressive humidity , a pundit said before the 5000m " the kenyans preffered to prepare in the home land and fly in late to try and beat the humidity but i feel this is a mistake as the rift valley is less than 10 % humidity here its 93% . we could see some upsets .
well the start of the 5000m was off and the first lap was so slow like a 1m 12 all people were thinking humidity be careful .
the start of the 2nd lap a kenyan burst from the pack and litterally took off, and he kept going
the next lap he clocked 1min for the 400 , pundits going wild "this is in sane , this is insane he will be lucky to finnish " next lap 1min
after 4 laps the runner had ran 4min o2 for the mile 1 lap after the start , he then proceeded to reel off 1min3 an tiring 4s for 3 more of the 12 laps
nobody could cope or challenge him, the world had a new champion
true story and as a little side dish
first man to break the unbreakable 27 min barrier the great yobes ondieki .
but shoosh dont tell dick he wouldnt understand .