This happened a little over a week ago, but I’ll say I was too busy to post it.(really I just forgot, but was reminded when I saw Ghamalians signature/ “I’M A DISTANCE RUNNER WITH AN INFERIORITY COMPLEX” sign.)
So, while watching football, someone mentions how NFL players are so fast, and make the obvious (though to him, mindblowing) connection that many of them were great sprinters in high school and college. For some reason this served as the cue for an insecure xc runner in the room to comment on how lazy sprinters are, and how they don’t have to work as hard or have as much dedication as distance runners do. Upon talking to this runner more, I found out he was a 16:30 xc guy who was a low 10 2 miler in track. So I offered that we do an experiment that would show that sprinting and distance running, while different, both require large amounts of work and dedication to be successful. He agreed, because we were in a room full of people and he didn’t want to look like a ■■■■■.
We agreed to the following:
We would do an average training day for a distance runner, and an average training day for a sprinter, with one day of rest in between. Workouts would be selected by each of us for our respective training days.
Monday was the distance day. The first session was simple; a 5 mile run in the morning. Being a somewhat severe asthmatic, I knew this was going to be awful.
I finished the run, but averaged something like 8:15 pace. He averaged 6:27 pace. I couldn’t keep the pace, so he get’s the point for this one.
Later that day we went on the track, he announced we were doing 6 1000s, goal time of 2:55-3:05. He ran in the goal range every time, my fastest was the last one in 3:21. He wins again.
Wednesday comes around, and it’s my turn. I pick one of my favorite track workouts, 6x150m, goal time of 19 seconds each. On the 5th I hit 20.8, but the other 5 were between 19.0 and 20.0. His first he hit 22, then 21, then he, for some reason, went all out and hit 20.5, then dropped back to 22-23 for the last 3. Point to me. He got frustrated and said speed is something you’re born with, so it wasn’t a fair thing to use to compare. While yeah, some people are naturally faster than others, some are also naturally built to be endurance athletes over performance athletes, so I wasn’t buying it.
Next we went to the weight room, a sprinters version of a long run.
He couldn’t lift 135 on bench more than once, couldn’t do a full squat with anything more than 245, and couldn’t do a Romanian dead-lift for more than 165.
He remarked that I lifted weights regularly so “of course you’re stronger than I am.” I pointed out that it’s pretty similar to how he can maintain a faster pace over longer distances because he works on his aerobic strength as much as I work on my muscular strength.
I’m not sure if he understood, but I hope he got the point of doing all that: both types of events require long hours, hard work, repetition, and dedication.
So, to all you high school sprinters who think all distance runners do is “run all the time and slowly” and for all the high school distance runners who call all sprinters lazy to make themselves feel better, realize any good sprinter spends just as much time building upon their existing speed and strength and any good distance runner spends building upon their muscular and aerobic endurance. If you get to college and you’re still trying to keep the pseudo-war between sprinting and distance alive, you just look like an immature douche.
Let the flaming begin.