Middle Distance Stuff


Symmonds to consider moving up to the 1500m (which I know has been discussed on these boards) and some loaded fields upcoming in Stockhom on February 21st …


“Aman, who last year won the World indoor title, will be confronted in Stockholm by 18-year-old Olympic bronze medallist Timothy Kitum of Kenya, 2010 World indoor champion Abubaker Kaki, and European indoor champion Adam Kszczot.”


“World indoor 1500m champion Abdelaati Iguider will take on Silas Kiplagat, winner of last year’s Diamond Race, World indoor bronze medallist Andrew Osagie, and the surprise European 1500m champion Henrik Ingebrigtsen from neighbouring Norway.”


I don’t see Symmonds moving up to 1500m as a great idea…

He set his 800m PR last year. His 1500m PR is 3:36, which isn’t even the A Standard (albeit it was on 800m training), is not competitive with the current crop of American Milers. He and Soloman are still the top 800m Men in America.

I could see a move up after Sochi, but it doesn’t seem like the right time for a change in distance IMO.


It’s not about him moving up permanently, it’s about him expanding his effective range and using it as a way to expand fitness. Galen Rupp runs some fast under-distance stuff, but it doesn’t mean we’ll see him in the 1500m come USAs.


If that’s the case, it makes sense. It sounds like he’s planning on moving up permanently at some point, but he said he expects to focus on the 800 for Moscow. I agree, he ran his 800 PR this year (and it’s blazing fast time that no one in their right mind would have predicted to give him a fifth place finish), he’s still the 5-time defending US 800 Champion (regardless of how many tenths of a second Soloman beat him by in London), and he’s a serious medal threat in Moscow, so it seems to me the 800 should definitely be his focus this year. He did consider doubling at the Trials last year, so maybe we will see him in the 1500 at USAs this year, and the jump definitely makes sense at some point, but at this point, given where he stands in the 800, not focusing on it for at least the next year or two would be kinda crazy. My guess is he’ll slowly transition and by Rio he’ll be either a pure miler or he’ll be equally focused on both.


I don’t think he’ll ever be a specialized 1500m runner, but I think he could be a 3:32-3:33 guy. He’s never been a guy with 400m speed, he’s obviously run good 800’s, and he’s run 3:36 in May for a 1500m so I’d be willing to guess he could run 3:33 closing pretty well if he actually decided to branch out of his comfort zone.


Symmonds will never run 3:32 or 33

he is very blocky in body type , a very good runner, one of the best 800 runners, but he sits back always, it is tougher to just move up than folks think

Otherwise Wariner who is a prototype 800 body should have already moved up

Doesn’t just work like that


Section 2
1 Patrick Rono SO Arkansas 1:47.66
2 Elijah Greer JR Oregon 1:48.42
3 Anthony Lieghio SR Arkansas 1:48.56
4 Anthonio Mascoll SO South Plains 1:49.29
5 Tomas Squella FR Arkansas 1:49.46
6 James Gilreath adidas 1:50.06


3 more Collegians at sub 4, getting tough to make that NCAA meet

1 Riley Masters SR Unattached 3:56.25
2 Chris Gowell adidas/RougeAC 3:57.85
3 Ryan McNiff adidas 3:59.11
4 Chris Fallon Ohio State 3:59.37
5 Frezer Legesse SR Oklahoma 3:59.83

sorry only two


I agree with your assessment/s. He doesn’t have a milers frame. Would have like to have seen Wariner try a few 800’s while he was in his prime. But I doubt either one of them has the endurance to be successful moving up.


Difficult to imagine Symmonds running 3:33.0 in anything other than a fast field that simply hoovers him along. In tactical race he could be competitive, but the 1500m is simply not an event he should run frequently. I do agree with Cory about the effectiveness of racing the over-distance. May help in his bread n butter event (800m).

Wariner would be no more successful in the move to 800m. Some guys have one event in which they are truly great.


Doesn’t this describe pretty much everyone in the world at this point? Not many guys capable of soloing sub-3:33 at any point in history, let alone in the post-Wild West era of EPO use.


Though I’m not necessarily advocating him changing 100% to the 1500m, people saying that “symmonds cant do the 15 because of his bulky frame” is a bogus argument. It’s not like he’s stuck with all that upper body mass, he got it doing 800m strength work, and while he’ll always be broad for his frame, he can just STOP doing that and slim down.

We’ve always speculated his 1500m potential, and he’s run some fantastic times compared to his peers in the 1500. Kaki is the only one that comes to mind that could be a stellar 15 guy immediately, he ran 3:31 in Monaco a couple years back in that super fast rabbited affair.

I’m not saying Symmonds could run 3:31, but in the right race he could get pretty far down there. And especially in the way 1500m finals tend to be run, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were up in the mix. His 800m kick which he either times juuuuuust right or juuuuuust wrong could be devastating in a 1500.


Fair point. I agree. Guess I was trying to say that Symmonds is not a guy with the kind of 1500m chops to go out and win a race in 3:33.0, but COULD be a guy to run that mark getting pulled along in a race with better guys.

He’s a terrific 800m guy, and one that I always enjoy watching. Some 800 guys are truly great at that event only, and cannot move up to 1500 effectively. You and I could probably come up with a list. Gray comes to mind. KD another. Moving up an evemt is often a good thing, but may not be an option for some guys.

Not saying Symmonds should avoid the event, just that he is best suited at the 800m. Always felt the same way about Wariner staying in the 400m. Greer may be another of those 800 types. Time will tell on that.


As time marches the American Sub Four Club is getting larger by the week.
To indicate the relative uniqueness at the time of an athletes first sub4 I’m thinking we need to honor the guys who did it when 3:59x was a medal earning time in most meets.
First 100 Club, First 200 Club, 300 , 400,Last Century sub Four Club, Nifty Fifty, First Fourhundred, Sub Four in the First Fifty Years Club, First 240 under 240…

The alliterative First Four Hundred ? I like the Nifty Fifty too


viren…is…a…ninja with a nice 600m PR


I hear what everyone is saying with Wariner and the 800 compared to Symmonds and the 1500, but I don’t think they quite match up – the 400 is a true-blue sprint, and aside from when KD wears powercats in it, the 800 is much closer to mid-d than pure sprinting, so Wariner would not only be switching events but event categories, and while 800 to 1500 is definitely a big jump (especially with 1500 guys, like Lagat in his younger days, who also run sub 13 for a 5k), it’s still in the same relative category of mid-d, so it seems to me that Symmonds moving up wouldn’t be quite as big a jump as it would be/would have been for Wariner.


Agree with you totally. A bigger jump for Wariner, and one he could not make (effectively). Still, not a good move for Symmonds either. That said, Symmonds could probably run one helluva 1000m.


I look at it using the WiT lengthofparagraph rule.
You know how to run one lap like a sprinter you have to learn how to run the second lap as a mid-distance runner- then learn to mix and match the speed in both to come out with the shortest result.
You know how to run two laps like a sprintendurance middle distance guy now you have to learn how split those two quarters and insert two laps in between. Again you must find the balance of speed and endurance that permits you to quickly cover the middle two laps with enough relaxation to permit you to run the last quarter as a sprint endurance guy. Then you have to mix and match the paces of these four laps to come out with the shortest time.
800>1500 is a longer 'graph therefore harder.:wink:

IMO off he goes on his rant–Everyone running HS today should shift two events longer. Legit born fast folks are fast early- you can not teach speed you can optimized it you can make the athlete more efficient using natural speed but you can not train someone to be faster than he naturally is. If you are not running 10.5 in HS you’re a halfmiler and if you are not running 1:52 you are a two miler. Every one runs XC!!!


Symmonds has gone 3:56 in a full mile, and he wasn’t a terrible XC runner when he was in college. Not good enough to pull him away from the 800, but good enough to be able to say “Yeah, I have the cardio to handle a decent 1500”.

Everything that I’ve read says he runs 70-80 miles per week or so. I know that’s not much more than a lot of college teams (or even as much as some, really), but he with the amount of strength work he does to keep his legs fast for good 400 speed that’s a pretty solid amount of cardio to run a decent 1500 when you’re already a 3:56 guy. I have no idea what Centro is doing, but I cant imagine it’s too much more than that.

The 800m record will probably always belong to a 400/800m guy in reality. No one who’s a 1500/5k runner will have the leg speed to run sub 24’s for the 400 and sub 26’s for the 800. But I don’t think Symmonds is going to be breaking any world records, I think he’s just going to go down as a one of the best 800/mile runners in America, retire, drink beer and fish his life away and be perfectly fine with it.


Symmonds ran 2:16.35 back in 2010. He trails only Wohlhuter, Krumm, Lagat and Tom Byers on the all time US list.