While I certainly carry a lot of respect for 10000m runners of all ages I often question whether it belongs at the collegiate level in Track & Field. I tend to believe that races 800-5000m identify aerobically talented competitors who are dedicated and have anaerobic capacities whereas the result of anything longer is a testament to overall aerobic fitness and thus something one can condition themselves to become requiring little or no natural ability.

To strip down my thinking, in many cases the 10000 is more of an aerobic exercise than it is a competition. That’s not to say it can’t be competitive at the top it’s just in NCAA and Conference Championship competition as well as the many main stream meets it seems fluffy in areas and the results are like a list of participants more than a competitive result. In my opinion there’s nothing all-conference or all-american about being defeated by 30s or more – or in worse instances lapped – on the oval.

This differs from my opinion about the pros at this distance who are typically accomplished 1500-5000m runners from the collegiate level (Rupp, Ritz, Teg) and clearly have a lot of natural ability. The 10000 definitely has a place in Track & Field in the Olympics.

Agree or disagree?


I agree to a certain extent, Somehow they should change how all-american status is given at that event. However I do believe it should be a collegiate event, and the top end of it is pretty strong. This year I can think of several guys that will be running the 10k that are very very good and accomplshed at other distances. To name a few:

Mo Ahmed, Diego Estrada, Kennedy Kithuka, Lawi Lalang(Won PAC12) and these are guys that will be under 28minutes in College. I’m probably even forgetting some but there are some other decent guys like Parker Stinson and Maverick Darling. The top end NCAA 10kers are coming out of college and immediatly threating spots on National teams that is pretty impressive. Just last year Estrada,Ahmed,Levins were at the olympics. CD just missed with 4th at the trials.


I’ll have to respectfully disagree, Zen.

I don’t fully understand why the 5,000 meter qualifies as an event where individuals are “aerobically talented, with anaerobic capacity” while the 10,000m only takes “overall aerobic fitness”. Where do we draw the line there? Is the 8K an aerobic exercise or does it take anaerobic capacity?

Furthermore, being good at D1 10,000m running requires little to no natural ability? Those guys are out there running 100+ mile weeks for the majority of the year - that IS natural ability. Being able to put your body through the rigors of that kind of training requires years of dedication and the ability to survive it.

On the flipside of that, if the 10K IS only work and dedication, shouldn’t we reward the individuals who put themselves through it to excel? If Cam Levins is busting his @ss and running 150 miles a week, he doesn’t deserve to be All-American because the 10K is an “aerobic exercise”?

Alright, I get that some Collegiate 10K’s are weak (especially at the conference level), but isn’t that true of any sport? Look at the NCAA Tournament in basketball, Liberty qualified with a record of 15-20 by winning the Big South Tournament (and getting an auto-qualifier).

I’m just a little baffled at the idea of cutting the 10K… Last year’s NCAA 10K with Levins, Derrick, Lawi, and Puskedra was one of the most exciting events of Championships. I don’t see any reason why the 10K should get cut from D1 athletics.


This. And there are plenty of people (who are plenty dedicated but lack speed and/or the ability to churn out high mileage without getting injured) who to struggle to run one kilometer in under 3 minutes, let alone ten in a row.

I get that on a lower level (which I am around all the time being in a smaller DIII conference), it is not as competitive and the 10k often ends up just showing who is in the best shape and does not require much in the way of racing tactics. Hell in my conference the spread from 1st to 8th (the last all-conference spot) was almost 2:30…the leader lapped everyone except the top 4-5. But you should tell the guy who runs 33-34 minutes to get 7th-8th in the conference 10k that he doesn’t deserve to be all-conference after putting in as much work as he could physically handle (which for most people is less than 100 mile weeks) to improve to get to that level. I get that such an accomplishment is no where near as impressive as getting all-conference in the B1G, PAC-12, etc…but it is still an accomplishment that DOES involve at least some talent.


Zen be honest, you’re either trolling or miss Advante’s threads/posts.:wink: Shirley, you can’t be serious?:confused:


I wasn’t going to respond to this thread because it is idiotic and just plain ignorant but really zen? Jesus… And Fitz who cares how hard people try. Genetics is a large part of this sport whether you like it or not. We don’t reward people for trying, we reward people for being fast. Not everyone is fit to be an all-american.


I am not trying to troll at all. I was being 110% sincere and actually attempting to open up a decent debate. The worst I’ve seen thus far out of all the conference meets is the Horizon League 10000m finals on the girls side:


35:01.55 wins it, 39:41.44 takes sixth for the final all-conference position. In other conferences eighth scores. That thought applied to this case would mean 40:59.60 would be all-conference.

That is a lot of time in between first and sixth. A lot!


This is true, that is a huge spread. But the 10k still seems to be pretty deep at the NCAA meet, especially on the men’s side this year. The women’s will also have a pretty solid top end in Saina, hasay, Goenthals and several others I can’t think of. Some of the last all American spots can be grabbed by athletes that might not be able to get em at 5k but that’s why they are 10kers.


Oh I understand that completely. I was responding to Zen’s claim that being good at the 10k requires “little to no natural ability.”


You need natural ability to run a 10 k at that level. Natural ability could also be considered as the ability to withstand the higher mileage training without sustaining injuries but still the top 10kers in the NCAA are in most cases the top 5kers.


Don’t look at the MEAC results…


I think the main reason you see such large gaps between 10k finishers, is not nearly as many people compete in the 10k as say the 1500. I’m one of two guys on my school team, and from what I gather, most collegiate teams have no more than 8 or 10 guys/girls who do it. The more people in general running an event, the more competition in each race. Also you have to keep things in perspective. A person who runs a 1500 1 second slower per lap will be less than 4 seconds behind, while a person who runs 1 second slower per lap in a 10k will be 25 seconds behind. So time builds up very easily in the longer events.


This is an excellent perspective. A different way for me to look at things and casually nod.

This part, however, encroaches on my thinking. There aren’t as many people competing provoking the question why? which you also then kind of answer. How many of those 1500 and 5000 specialists could hop in that 10000 and place high? Why don’t they?

A case in point in my opinion is the Big Ten Women’s 10000. I don’t mean to pick on the women but their results somewhat amplify what I am thinking about in the 10000. The [URL=“http://results.pttiming.com/liveresults/2013/big10/Results7-1.htm”]5000 two days later was incredibly deep. Plenty of those girls could have done the 10000 and run under 34:30? Which, again, is provoking the question why? It’s almost a game for college coaches as the points in the 10000 were basically up for grabs. They were ‘cheap’ in terms of ability but also risky in the sense that it is taxing on the athlete from an injury and future performance perspective. Rhetorical, of course, but Who do we have that we can do without for the rest of the meet and can capture team points in this race?

That’s what makes me believe that this is a diluted event in conference competition.


^^^ even though they might of been easy points it is still 10km of hard running on a track (or pretty hard running for the top girls). Even some point hungry college coaches has enough sense not to make their athletes double the 10k unless they want to I guess.

This is a pretty essential part of the season they are trying to get points at conference while peaking for regionals/nationals, so the few workouts they put in need to be good. Running a 10k on the track is going to fatigue you especially a double and even more so if you don’t normally run them. That’s probably the reason coaches don’t try to get those points.


This is stupid. Why the hell do we even run xc if it’s just an aerobic activity?


I wasn’t talking about xc mainly because everyone including the Bayer’s, Creese’s and Villanova studs run cross country. It’s one giant race whereas track people get to pick and choose events.


There is also the fact that a lot of girls just don’t want to do the 10k at all. 35+ minutes of hard running on the track is not very appealing to most, even if it means you can be all conference/score points/whatever. Most men’s conference meets do not have this problem of huge spreads since enough guys are willing to do it (and enough coaches hungry for every single point to make their guys do it) combined with the fact that conference 10ks are often tactical (see Big East last year). Plus it is a lot easier to force a guy to run something he doesn’t want to than to force a girl to, at least that’s what I’ve seen (maybe our women’s team is just lazy…:rolleyes:).


Plus there’s the fact that 10km on a track is rough on your body. A 10km isn’t like 5km in the sense that you could hop into one every 2-3 weeks. There’s a reason you usually don’t see people run more than 3-4 10km’s in a year, and it’s because the toll each one takes on your body can be fairly large. So you tend to have to plan your season around which specific 10km’s you want to run. And when Regionals and Nationals are just around the corner, you tend not to want to waste the energy/put yourself through that kind of damage just for some conference points.


Those guys aren’t very good at cross country. But they have tons of talent so they should be able to run a good 10k right???


Very good point. You look at Derrick last year, he ran the 1500 at his conference meet.