Are you inspired by Alex Vero's ambitions, or slightly insulted?

201 to 220 of 726 messages
15/04/2007 at 17:45
Swan Song- True, but if you accept that making the grade at soccer is like running a 28 minute 10k, and that running a 35 minute 10k is like kicking a ball in a straight(ish) line, you see his point!

Pug is arguing that a sub 35/6 10k isn't really that hard an achievement (not quite the kicking the ball in a straight line, but maybe playing for the local pub side) whilst others are setting it up as the making the grade at a professional club.

It's how you rate it as a physical achievement that makes the analogy work or not work and from that how many can do it or can't do it bringing us all the way back to our original problem :O)>
15/04/2007 at 17:47
Pug: 59 (less three weeks) and 10 stone.

Name is Tom Salway NVH, you can check me out on athletics data.
15/04/2007 at 17:51
I'd have been surprised but not amazed, a 1:15 half marathon isn't that far away from a standard of 2:36 and over the time period the training could have brought him up to that standard.

But I'd still say that his plan was totally ridiculous as he doesn't seem to realise that he's just done the easy bit. From personal experience going from 40 minutes for 10k down to sub 35 was pretty easy given a bit of time and training, it's after that that the harder work comes in and I don't think he realises that this is a sport of diminishing returns in the same way that I didn't when I ran 15:55 and started thinking about if I could maybe make a junior GB team. That extra minute to take off is a bloody lot!

Vero may have the talent to run 2:15 (but I honestly don't think so at this point), but he needs a lot more time and a lot more hard work to get down there. Either you have ridiculous talent (Vero doesn't, someone like Dan Robinson does) and get down there pretty quick or you are a grinder and you work hard at it for years from a reasonably young age and even then you may not get there.

He has the potential to run quick, not that quick, but a lot quicker than he does, but he has totally failed to plan out how long this will take. In fact in setting his goals and targets he ignores all rationality. I'd like him to read a couple of chapters in Coe's Better Training for Distance Runners, about goal setting and see how it is really done!
15/04/2007 at 17:57
"can I change my nickname from Swan Song to Black Swan?"

Or maybe:

"Once White, now heading towards Black Swan". :)
15/04/2007 at 17:59
Tom- you're not really that far away and I think if you weren't dealing with long-term injuries you could well be there and I hope that in a year or sos time you'll be seriously considering masters XC and have a real tilt at an international vest. Standards in V55 are ridiculously high (32:56!?!?!), but at V60 if you can just maintain then you'll be near the top of the division immediately.

You have to admit that an international vest would be an amazing achievement!
15/04/2007 at 18:00
Fair enough I agree. I've been a fan of him, simply because he's stick his neck on the line, abit like myself... and the reason I think he did it like me (only I just put a thread on RW, didn't anounce it to the world), that... it makes you carry on when you have bad days. I've had so many people saying I can do this that and the other that July last year, seen my arse and set about proving people wrong, which I've been doing ever since.

I think this is why Vero did it this way. However, saying that he was going to make the Olympics is where he may have fallen over. If his site was "JOUNEY OF LONG DISNATCE IMPROVEMENT" and it was going to detail him going from sub 4 hours to sub 2:20 maarathon over years, then all this hysteria wouldn't have been created.

I suppose he's caused a bit of it himself... however, I personally think he is in 2:36- 2:38 shape for a marathon, however, he hasn't proved it at the end of the day... and it'll be interesting to see what he says on his sight.

He's going to be coming home with his tail between his legs...

I myself with Edinburgh may well come back looking sheepish, but I'm man enough to stand by my predictions and have faith in my ability (or lack of it)... and if he's the man I think he is, he'll soldier on, maybe alter his schedule, train harder... plan differently etc etc...

It's a toughy, 2:15 was always a 1 in a million shot, he knew this from the start, we all know it... however, if he got to say 2:25 in London 2008 (which funily enough is my target), then surely he's done fantastically well in just that fact alone, and this may well inspire people which is what it's all about in the end?

kay, I'm sure now he's sitting there in his hotel room thinking "shit people are goign to crucify me " and what he's going to do... however, the only way he could've got anywhere near 2:15 in London 2008 is to run 2:30 today, he can't and he hasn't thus I think he needs to be man enough and say, it's beyond me. However I'm going to carry on, increase etc etc and see how far I can go? Also, keep the documentarty going, see and show hwo hard these national athlete really train... I think I'm trianing hard at 80 mpw... it's nothing, I'm a anothing and most of us on here are that also... and need to give the national runners full respect and making this documentary may just do that?

15/04/2007 at 18:02
"whilst others are setting it up as the making the grade at a professional club."

Bryn - do you think that anybody has ever run a 35 min 10km if they weigh more than 16 stone?

I've certainly never seen anybody that size at that speed in the 20 years I've been racing.

The point being, of course, that some people are just that big, and it isn't fat.

I don't think it is professional football club standard. I think it is good amateur football club standard. Most people who play football don't get anywhere near that.
15/04/2007 at 18:19
themoabird- Now you're making statisical errors.

The chance of someone being 16 stone and that being the lowest possible weight they can get to is fairly low as far as I know.

Those who I do see running sub 36 10ks I'll admit are generally a lot less. But anyone who trains hard will generally weigh a lot less than 16 stone.

So we really know very little about whether someone who at their lowest possible weight after a ten year intensive training plan is 16 stone and their ability to run 10k.

I'll willingly concede that I haven't seen someone who weighs 16 stone run a sub 36 10k (I think... there are a couple of people over the years that I haven't actually physically weighed).

But I also have never seen someone who was 16 stone after a ten year intensive training plan with a very low fat content, and I think they could run sub 36.

Remember most 16 stone people the majority of it is fat, and so they wouldn't be expected to run sub 36 without losing the fat, we're looking for someone that weighs 16 stone and it's muscle and bone only.
15/04/2007 at 18:22
There was a programme a couple of years ago about a total novice cyclist trying to make a team that were going to challenge for the title in the race across America.

The guy had about 6 months at the most to turn himself into a very decent cyclist of the calibre that could cycle 100 miles in about 4 hours (ie 25 mph).

After about two months of training he managed to cycle at 20mph for 30 minutes to record a 30 minute 10 miler. The film made a really big deal about this as if it was a breakthrough which could see the guy in the team. In fact to anyone who has even half an idea this was nonsense.

The guy failed to make much more of an improvement and failed by such a wide margin that you were left wondering why on the earth the film had been completed and shown on TV.

All the film went to prove was that its maker had no comprehension of just how much of an unsatisfying experience this was for a viewer to watch. I hope Vero has more of an idea of what constitutes suitable material for a film.
15/04/2007 at 18:25
"Now you're making statisical errors."

There are no statistical errors there. It was a question. You might argue that it contains erroneous assumptions, but it has nothing to do with statistics.

I actually have specific kinds of people in mind. Rugby players. Rowers. Professional. Olympic standard. Enormous. No fat. Highly conditioned.

Can they run sub-35? Or even sub-36?

I'm not convinced that they can or would ever be able to do so.

If they cannot - or even if one of them cannot - then the proposition that everybody with some x of training can run sub-35/36 is falsified.
15/04/2007 at 18:28
How quick is James Cracknell? He's pretty quick, isn't he?
15/04/2007 at 18:31
Huge shame that he did not achieve his current marathon potential which I believe by reading is around 2:40. Today's heat would require going out at a much slower marathon target pace and doing the best you can. If he set out at 2:40 pace from the start then his inexperience will have made him blow up.

Excellent posts all round. It's been interesting reading.
15/04/2007 at 18:34
Interestingly I was thinking of the same sort, American football players to be precise as a counter-example, whereby they're huge, none of it is fat, but they are very likely to be able to break 36.

and the answer is yes, I do think that they would be able to go sub 36. I think it would be extremely difficult, but possible.

10 years is a long time, enough time to totally change a body type, for a start the 16 stone can come down, muscle mass would need to be lost etc., but they wouldn't be 16 stone at the end. Those 16 stoners at the moment couldn't run a sub 36 10k, but then they haven't done any training at all!

Unfortunately this is question that we can never answer adequately ( because as you say, people will always claim that the training was wrong), but for me, if Jack Daniels cannot take someone and turn them into a 36 minute 10k runner then I will willingly concede that I wrong!

I still don't think that after ten years of intensive and well planned endurance training you would not have a sub 36 10k runner.
15/04/2007 at 18:36
Bryn, I take your point. I've probably wandered off topic slightly. The thrust of my comments was in denial of the proposition that "all you have to do is to want it badly enough". The other thing that compromises the football analogy is that it isn't quantitative. The market place for aspiring footballers is very crowded and success may be influenced by availabilty of places - a bit like university entrance.

The proposition that Pug advances can easily be denied by using Themoabird's black swan approach. However to take that line is simply to challenge how rigorously Pug has defined his terms of reference rather than the conjecture that "most well conditioned males in good health" (my qualification) are capable of running sub 35 mins........

Still accepting the above, subjectively I don't think that the running of sub 35m 10K (or sub 50min 10M for that matter) is as easy as Pug suggests. Firstly there's a tendancy for anyone who has done it to say that it's doable - and I've been guilty of that in the past. As I said in an earlier posting the doing of it at my advanced age now eludes me, despite my best efforts. You could summarise my failings as being down to old age despite my best training efforts. However old age is simply a combination of physiological conditions,. Bearing in mind we don't all age at the same rate, it could be that some people are simply old before their time. Or to put it another way they display physiological conditions (inability to develop mitrochondria, poor capilliarisation, sluggish LT and VO2max response to training etc)that are more commonly found in older runners. If you recognise that high adaptabilty to training stress is what sets high achievers appart, it is equally valid to suggest that low adaptabilty, due to poor physiology, defines low achievers.

From my own experience my training efforts whilst "raging against the dying of the light" demonstrate that no amount of effort can make up for physiological shortcomings.
15/04/2007 at 18:37
In a strange way I have more sympathy for him now he has crashed and burned like many of us have before. It's like he's earning his stripes as a proper runner rather than just posting numbers on a website asking for cash donations.

Pug - if the conditions in June are similar, do you intend to doggedly stick to 2:36 pace for as long as you can or revise your goal in the light of the conditions? In 2005 I knew I was in 2:37 shape and stuck doggedly to that until it all unravelled from 14 miles onwards. Had I run to the conditions I believe I could have gone around 2:41, losing 4 mins instead of 14.

There is a runner at a local club who has come into running after 15 years of body building. I can see his muscle mass (and believe me it is all muscle) falling race by race and his times dropping too.
15/04/2007 at 18:38
Themoabird- can't remember marathon time but 1:21 for HM without really training much at all (had spent 7 weeks in a boat doing nothing but rowing), which is approximately equal to 36:24 for 10k (McMillan) so sub 36 would easily be accomplished in a ten year training period.

Continuing with professinal sports people, Ronnie O'Sullivan has run around (I think under) 35 minutes and last I heard wanted to run around 33 minutes.
15/04/2007 at 18:42
BR- we've got a lad in my training group at home. Huge lad, must be at least 14/5 stone, absolutely dwarves me, he's about 6'3/4 I think, he's in around 35 minute shape now. Absolutely silent running as well. I'm constantly churning over with a very high stride rate and heavy footfalls, he floats along with strides at least twice as long probably more!

He's improving a lot and will run very quickly...
15/04/2007 at 18:43
From Alex Vero's Website:

PARIS MARATHON :- 3 hours 11 minutes

Having dedicated the last 14 months of my life towards this project the result in Paris was heart wrenching. I was in the shape of my life, felt full of energy if not a little nervous before the start, but was safe in the knowledge that I had done everything asked of my to achieve my revised target time of 2 hours 36 minutes.

It was a hot day in Paris, but I had prepared for this after succumbing to the heat in Palma in October and had learnt my lessons of the importance of hydration the hard way. I had gone to such lengths that I had a soaked cap waiting a few km past the half way mark to deal with the sun. I met up with my friend Hugh from the Serpentine Running Club and ran the first 10km eight seconds under my target and felt great heading up to the park. At 12 km I felt a slight twinge at the top of my left leg in the ITB/Hip rejoin but thought that I would be able to run it out. At 17km it was still there, if not a little worse and I stopped to stretch and have a pee.

After a minute of stretching I got right back into it, thinking that I would be able to make up the time in the last 12km but to stick to the pace that I had been going at. 3km latter I had to stretch again which by this stage was becoming indicative of a small tear becoming exacerbated by continuing. Still I though I would just grim and bear it as I was feeling very fresh still and felt I might be able to get around in 2 hours 45 minutes.

At 22km I was reduced to walking and had to get on the ground to stretch it out and should have thrown in the towel but for some reason I did not. I thought of the members of my family who have given so much support to me from the start and thinking of them stationed along the next 10km waiting and willing me on, I felt a sense of pride that no matter what happened in the next 20km I would finish this race and that at least in their eyes I could hold my head up high.

The next 20km was the most painful and helpless experience of my life with a combination of; walking, jogging and stretching I finally made it to the finish line. I felt unbelievably frustrated. I had in the past thought of every scenario that would have prevented me from reaching this time but injury never past my mind. I might have had a few niggles over the last 14 months but nothing at all in the last 6 weeks and never a problem with the ITB/Hip area. To say the least I am absolutely gutted!

Sitting here writing this after returning home on the EuroStar from Paris I not only am in a lot of pain in the ITB/Hip area but I have a splitting pain down my right shin caused by the compensation of shifting my weight while running on my right leg to take some of the pressure off the left leg.

At this time after this setback at the moment to tell you the truth I don't know what I am going to do. It was a failure but an inconclusive failure. I am going to the physio tomorrow and will have a better understanding of how it is and whether I will be able to run in the near future. To give up after all the dedication and hard work in training though after the nature of the failure would be foolish but when an if I can run again is undecided.

Although very frustrating I am very aware that it really is not the end of the world. To put this into perspective I have a friend who has been very unwell, I thought of him out on the course today while I was limping along through the last few km. He is the bravest man I know, he has been through hell, his battle is for survival mine is to run a fast marathon!

Thank you very much to all those that have supported me throughout and good luck to those running running in London next week. May I wish you far better luck then me.
15/04/2007 at 18:45
I guess my intuition about this is as Swan Song's. I think sub-35 (and perhaps sub-36) is not as easy as many people are suggesting.

And partly this is because I've seen people train incredibly hard, and fail to achieve it. The particular fella I'm thinking of did crack 37 minutes on his training regimen, but never 36. He wasn't enormous, but he was naturally well-built.

Cracknell is impressive, though. But, you know, this is an olympic standard athlete. What about people with his build who are not that standard? Can they do it?
15/04/2007 at 18:46
Barnsleyrunner Hi matey, well, I'm man enough to admit, I'm not in 2:36:50 shape, so to do that would be suicicide.

I've neither trained hard enough or put the dedication, both timewise etc etc that is required. However, I'm doing Ranelagh Half on the 13th May and will be tapering... whatever Iget I'll add 20 seconds per mile and set out at that pace.

However, if I get to Edinburgh and it's 28C, then to be honest with you, I probably won't run... I don't see the point for myself... it won't be proving a damn thing for me to go out at 6:30 pace and do 3 hours, why> I want to be going out and doing quicker than last time and I know that I suffer in 5 miles in hot races never mind 26.2 miles...

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