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« NCAA West Regionals thoughts | Main | It's about fitness AND confidence »

November 18, 2008



I agree that alot of it has got to do with the mental aspect, but alot of british or irish or us runners when they line up against bekele know that they are facing a guy who can run faster 5k splits in a 10k than their own personal bests and that geb's half marathon splits in his marathon are faster than all but about 20 plus americans' half marathon personal bests.
The fact is the talent that these African nations have is just down right scary. They are like churning out sub 13 mins runners year after year. How do u compete with that? Do we really lack in the mental aspect against them??


Hi Dom,

You're absolutely right. Stepping on the line against Bekele or Geb today isn't about mental toughness. They are so far ahead of most of our runners physically that the race is all but over. No amount of mental toughness will help you overcome a guy like Bekele, who might be one minute faster than you over 10k and 30 seconds faster over 5k.

What I agree with in Seb Coe's comment is that the talent in the US, Britain, Ireland, etc, is sufficient to be competitive with those guys. The athletes may be fewer and farther between, but they are here. The difference is that the athletes with the most potential do other sports, don't train as hard or as long, or simply have a mental barrier about running the times the Africans are running, because no one else has done it.

Coe, Ovett, Cram, even Webb have shown that in the middle distances, you can be pretty damn competitive if not as good as anyone else in the world even if you come from the US or Britain. It's just a matter of time before someone shows the same to be true for the longer distances.

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