Today’s runners, history’s runners, differences, etc…

Welcome! Forums Running Forum Today’s runners, history’s runners, differences, etc…

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  MothAudio 14 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #1368


    First…..I’m new to these forums, so I’m not sure if a post like this has been done before. If there has, my apologies!

    What do you think is the difference for the success of American distance runners now and those from the past? Think Pre, Shorter, Billy Mills, Cunningham, etc. Also, other international runners like Peter Snell, etc.

    What do you think? Are current American distance runners too impatient? Are they unwilling to put in the long, slower miles of aerobic running before they can run fast? Or are we (as a generation) just lazier/weaker/wimpier then those from years past?

    I think that it’s a combination of factors. I think the runners at the high/elite end tend to run too much, too fast, too soon. They aren’t willing enough to put in the long hours of base work. Look at what the runners from the past ran on: cinder track, spikes/shoes that don’t even come close to what we have today, no Gatorade/Powerbars/GU. What gives?

    Here’s an interesting interview with Peter Snell on the Runner’s World website with some information about this topic.

    I’ve noticed that the “older” runners (Culpepper, Brown, Hellebuyck) who have been racing a while tend to have more sucess then the young hot shots who owned the Foot Locker race in high school and then get injured in college.

    Any thoughts? Those are just my two cents, and I’d love to hear what other people think.

    Schpeff (Jeff B.)

  • #14037


    The world is a different place than it was back then, people are less inclined to train like they did. We are more concerned about making a living than training. This doesn’t apply to just the elites but across the board. I’ve been running/racing since the mid-70’s. Since that time the overall winning times may be faster but the times from the overall field are MUCH slower. Certainly this has to do with the fact that there are many more races now but even in the big races – like Boston – the times have dropped. There are less Americans breaking 2:30, 2:45, 3:00. And it not just because the quality is more divided. More like distracted. Look around, how many people do you see “seriously training”? Not earlier as many as 20 years ago. Why? People have become lazy. While life is more demanding today, with less free time, people are accustomed to instant gratification. I’m afraid the principals that are the foundation of running success have become passe’. Which only causes me to embrace my sport now more than ever.


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