/ Old School Training
Running is not complex. Making it complex doesn't normally help you. Magazines like men's running have a lot to answer for.
I know the Durham runner referred to in the ref.ed article. He retired a bit after that, but reemerged around 40 to run <50 for 10 miles as a 40+ veteran on a diet of lots of miles and 2 simple sessions a week
I don't think we can blame Men's Running for the dearth of top male middle and long distance runners, their market is fat 30-40 year olds. I agree it is mainly a load of old bollocks though.
I think we are breeding fewer people with the exomorphic shape required to run distance fast and young athletes have got a lot more options these days, some with a lot more money. Most of the really good undiscovered runners are probably playing football, I suspect the Brownlee's could break all Kenny and Billy's records in the hills and run great marathons, if they stopped messing around with bikes and wetsuits.
> I think we are breeding fewer people with the exomorphic shape required to run distance fast and young athletes have got a lot more options these days, some with a lot more money.
A lot of kids nowadays get driven everywhere and hardly ever walk, never mind run. The "problem" starts a long time before athletics becomes an option.
I know to a point.. but fell running doesn't want promoting in that sense..
The FRA are very keen on that.. when they say they promote fell runners, they mean to existing fell runners.. they don't want to encourage more.. so the likes of inov8 have had to diversify..
Crossfit, road running etc.. fell running on its own is too small to sustain professionals or large companies which is what people seem to want..
In this country we have few mountain running events, on the continent there is much more money so it can sustain the frosts, wyatts etc.. but frosty is as much about her (and solomans) savvyness.. ability wise she's strong, but her fame extends that because of her personality which is just awesome, but also she is savvy, she's an excellent promoter.
Good runners, of the brownlees standard should shy away from fell running. I always tell the young lads to do the same.. maybe the odd fell race but you can do that once you've ran your 29 min 10k's..
Just been training with a Lesothoan (is that what you call a person from lesotho), classs runner, from a mountainous area.. 'do you mountain run?' I asked.. 'God no, I want to be a fast runner.. maybe once a month I go for a long run in the mountains as it can help make you stronger, but regular mountain running makes you slow'..
He's looking at sub 65 mins at Berlin Half, so pretty good.
> I suspect the Brownlee's could break all Kenny and Billy's records in the hills
It would be great to see some of the old, long standing Kenny and Billy fell records broken.
I notice Jonny Brownlee did Auld Lang Syne last year and won, although he was quite a way off Andi Jones record (in poor conditions though I think).
> I notice Jonny Brownlee did Auld Lang Syne last year and won, although he was quite a way off Andi Jones record (in poor conditions though I think).
It was bloody boggy, windy and wet, so somewhat slow. He also had enough of a lead he probably didn't need to push too hard. The year before Ali was ahead, Johnny a short way behind and the rest well back, so much so Ali waited for Johnny at one point.
I guess as something that they do in the off season and without a huge amount of competition they may rarely reach what they could do. Ribble Valley the year before would have been more of a challenge for Ali I expect.
Maybe.. but there have been some great fell runners/road runners.. ANderson etc.. top class runners.. Stuart, not sure what his marathn pb was before his breakdown..
I hope the brownlees keep off the fells, I'd love to see them do the 10k at the c'wealths.. that would show what they are capable of.. winning the tri there would be pretty pointless really.. TBH..
A very interesting point-I ran the last of the South Wales Winter Series today (fantastic races BTW) and the current organisers are stepping down after 20 years. In his words 'the series is broke; maybe we could get a large corporate sponsor next year' (tongue in cheek) which received heartfelt booing. Who would want to change such a grassroots sport? As participants, most people would probably say they are attracted by the rough and ready nature of the events and the friendly rivalry, which are results of the history of the sport and those people that dedicate so much time to it. There is no money there for the organisers and certainly none of the dispassionate, 'winner takes it all' attitude of the big road events.
So yes, you're right Iain-if someone wants a career from running, then they are far better off doing ultras on the continent or hitting the track or road. And perhaps for this of us that enjoy fell-running, we're all better off for the fact that it remains, and may for ever be, an obscure sport. What we've all got to hope for though is that, given the biggest age categories at all the S Wales Winter series were the O40's and O50's, enough people take it up early in life to keep the sport alive; there's little room in fell-running, certainly the organisational side, for a 'me first' attitude. What fell-running needs is people who will give a lot to a sport that even at the highest levels has little t give, at least in material terms.
I'm on the fence.. but the fact is fell running is UK only..
I was reading an old FRA forum thread by the current Eryri Chairman.. saying UKA should push fell running as an olympic sport.. and it just highlights the gross ignorance of some UK fell runners about how much of a UK oddity fell running is.. its a minority sport in a minor country..
Which is something I love.
Too many try to compare it with mountain running, or skyrunning, but they just aren't the same, and fell running needs to drop its gaurd to mountain running.. its not the softer sport.. its just a different sport, for me a purer sport in many ways, reducing everything to pure athleticism.. but because of fell runnings isolation it will always be a minor sport financially.. that won't change unless we get millions in the UK doing it.. which we don't want..
But I do think the andy jones of this world are for me huge huge heros.. full time workers.. dads.. husbands.. knocking out 140 mile weeks.. 2:15 marathons.. as amateurs.. in-ruddy-credible..
For me.. he's my british athletic hero.
Hard training? People need person trainers now to tell them how hard they should push themselves.
I'm not saying things were better, just different. Look at the Olympians, they're getting faster but unless you're taken under the wing of big money sponsorship and selection (in this country) you don't get a look in
> For me.. he's my british athletic hero.
Couldn't agree more - pure inspiration.
Look at North Wales fell running now.. its awful.. winning times are way way down. 2 years ago top 10 was generally quality... we all pushed each other. It went from 1:20 being decent at wyddfa to 1:13 being decent.. we all pushed each other in a healthy way..
Its now gone back as that group has dispersed, so winning times are back low.
I saw a garmin link yesterday of a 'hard session'.. I ran the same session with a similar group 2 years ago.. we did it at 8 min miling, they did at 10.. OK its still a 20 mile run but we got more from it, because we trained harder because we all competed.. training was basically a race..
Others in the club wouldn't attend..
Now none of the better runners do them a big group do them..
It depends on a persons outlook, I think areas like wales people want to be big fish small ponds, its why few race away, people are happy winning small races.. I used to get stick for rarely racing in north wales.. it served no purpose.. I didn't win much but I'd certainly race uncontested, be it in 5thm 4th 3rd or 1st.. that doesn't bring you on.
But I come from sport where top level is professional. So you never stop wanting to improve and seek bigger ponds. I don't think enough fell runners seek the bigger ponds, especially in areas like north wales.
Its why so few north wales runners have longevity at the top, like holmsey, they get bored winning, lose motivation and quit.. the ones who have lasted have travelled to race and never lost that motivation because they were constantly put in their places at the bigger races.
One of the others was told this at a party 'oh you're the arrogant runner'..
I look at peoples watch data from hill rep sessions.. their hill reps are quicker than mine.. but overall time is longer.. which is fine, they are being sociable, running hard reps then chatting.. which is fine, but its why they aren't running quick times.. but if they train like we did then they'd be seen as arrogant.. its a no win.. but for me I don't expect people to wait for me and vice versa during my hard sessions..
Huws a decent runner, I've done a few races with him, beat him at rhayader 20 due to a pit stop for him... normally don't.. lovely guy though.
Great little piece about Kenny's training here, starting on page 2.
But I feel more for Jones.. full time.. no funding..
'In 1984, there were 75 sub-2hr 20min British marathon runners.' Yikes.
'I wasn't even the best in my club, I was about third.' Paraphrasing, can't find the exact quote, but still not bad for a 2h08 marathoner...
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