Monday, April 21, 2008

An Inconsistant Season

Hi Guys!


Sorry I have not been on the blog for a while but I’ve been tied up with some of the medical stuff.  I’m now able to get back up and post an update to Greg’s track season.


First off, the guys have definitely accepted me as part of the woodwork.  I have been helping out at practices, mostly timing and logging workout intervals and freeing up the real coaches to take care of other things.  Naturally, I have been assigned to work with the 400m group.  After watching their intervals, sprints, fartleks, etc. I can definitely feel their pain!  Why are those memories of tough workouts sweet now when they hurt so much at the time?


We are now half way through the season and the best word to define it is: inconsistent.  This applies to the team as well as Greg’s individual performances.  From a team perspective, we were placed in a new league this year and it’s definitely not to our advantage.  Basically, we got dumped in a more competitive pool of schools we did not usually run against.  The plain truth is that in many events, we are just overmatched.  Our chances of placing out of the season ending divisional and regional meets to get to the state championships are slim to none.  Runners from lesser leagues will advance with slower times than we run but because their competitive environment is easier.  It doesn’t seem fair but that’s the way it is.


Unfortunately, for Greg and some of our other key runners, individual performances have not progressed as expected and there is no apparent reason.  In Greg’s case, he ran a personal best 53.7 for the 400m indoors.  His best open time so far is 54.5 although he was credited with a 52.9 relay split.  The coach opted to drop him down to the 100m and 200m for some speed work and he has posted new personal best times in both events of 11.8 and 23.6 respectively.  Nice times for a sophomore but nothing that is going to win most dual meets and he’s not the number runner for us in either event.  I think his biggest issue is endurance.  He gets off to a fast start but seems to lack the kick for the last 100 meters.  This is frustrating since a runner doing under 24 in the 200m should at least be running a 52 400m.  But then our number 1 runner is not doing that well either.  This kid is a junior and ran 50.8 last year and has not broker 52 all season. 


The coach and I have discussed adding more endurance running to next year’s training schedule and having the boys run more indoor meets during the winter season.  As I have mentioned before, there is no official winter track season in Ohio like in New York.  It’s my opinion that our guys don’t have the endurance or times I produced at the same relative point during high school because of the lack of winter track.  In my day (yes, I actually said that!), training and running for the 600 after a full season of cross country made us better spring runners.  We were in shape at the beginning of the season and the longer races definitely helped develop better stamina and endurance.  All very well for next year but we still have to get the best we can for the current season.


I am still confident there are some good times yet to come this season.  The guys are definitely putting in the work but something is still missing.  Could it be the “head” part of running?  Stay tuned but if anybody knows a good sports psychologist, let me know.


Regards to all,


Former Runner



Eric said...

Greg sounds like quite a good runner to me. He probably isn't quite fast enough to do a lot of damage in the 100, but his 200 time, I think is very impressive. As Dave said, it indicates sub 52 speed for 400. Well, that's really good for a high school sophomore. He isn't quite strong enough yet to do the 52, but the 200 time itself means he should be scoring plenty of points.

To put this in perspective, the automatic D3 qualifying time for nationals this year is 21.31 and the provisional time is 21.75.

So it sounds to me like is an outstanding 200 meter runner today. If he can work this year on dropping his 200 time and, next year become good at 400 too, he is going to have some very nice seasons.

49miler said...


I agree with Eric that Greg has a lot of potential, and will realize it in the near future. The key, as you said, is doing some real training in the off-season. If he is like me, I was not nearly fully grown in 10th grade, and had gigantic improvements between 10th and 11th (5:12 to 4:46 mile, 10:58 to 10:25 2 mile, etc.) Let us know how his season is continuing. He may still surprise us before the season is over!

P.S. You might want to correct the spelling of inconsistent, in case our resident professional journalist, Moinbo, logs on......