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  #31  
Old 08-30-17, 09:27 PM
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PantherVOR PantherVOR is offline
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Strategy discussion for CC.... who'd've thunk it!
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  #32  
Old 08-31-17, 06:55 AM
psycho_dad psycho_dad is offline
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A coach knows what #1 is doing. That's usually an easy thing to see and figure. 3 -7 is much more difficult to figure. 1 - 5 gap is a real good tool to use. It just makes sense that looking at gaps and tightening them up is good. The coach uses it to evaluate work outs etc. It's naturally easier to run with or near teammates, so tightening up gaps is a good indication of the team running as a team and focusing. The progress of the team should just naturally tighten up as the season goes on. There are exceptions, but slower runners have more room to improve, so the gap between them and the runners ahead of them should close as they train more. If not, something needs to be adjusted.
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  #33  
Old 08-31-17, 07:06 AM
apeg apeg is offline
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I know this is a general discussion but since Horter was brought up earlier, it should be noted that Lakota East's 2-7 runners improve impressively every year. When Horter can race 2 minutes faster than they can, I'm not sure his slowing down in a race helps too much, but they must be doing something right in practice since all the kids, Horter included, drop time pretty well season after season.
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  #34  
Old 08-31-17, 07:59 AM
psycho_dad psycho_dad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apeg View Post
I know this is a general discussion but since Horter was brought up earlier, it should be noted that Lakota East's 2-7 runners improve impressively every year. When Horter can race 2 minutes faster than they can, I'm not sure his slowing down in a race helps too much, but they must be doing something right in practice since all the kids, Horter included, drop time pretty well season after season.
Football team has a quarterback that can throw the ball better than anyone else. He can throw for 300 yards a game every game. However, they lose every game. The offense and team as a whole is better and wins more games when he throws for 150 yards and runs more. You have to let him throw for 300 right. Just have to. If that QB was really head and shoulders above the next QB on the team, but he didn't have good receivers to throw to. Put him at receiver and the back up QB can win games. You keep him at QB right. He is the best QB after all. The objective is to have the best QB.

Why is acceptable and even encouraged for teams to not do what is best for team winning in CC? Winning a race by a minute and a half when your team does not win makes no sense and would not be tolerated in other sports. running with teammates as long you can and only winning by 5 sec absolutely can help the team.
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  #35  
Old 08-31-17, 10:12 AM
mathking mathking is offline
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My own experience, and a lot of time spent looking at data, tells me that 1-5 gap isn't really a great way to evaluate teams. On the average (and please remember that any discussion about on the average says very little about specific cases) what I look for is the 4-8 spread, and in particular 5 and 6. When these runners are close it generally means they are pushing each other in races and in practice. If you have at least one runner not in the top 7 that is close, everyone has some added incentive to push. Also, I think psychodad's point about margin of victory is really, really important. Really good runners don't have to win by huge margins all the time. And it probably is better for them to run easier sometimes, and potentially helping teammates, win by smaller margins or maybe even put themselves in a position where they have to practice coming from behind at the end, and end up less fatigued by the race.
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  #36  
Old 08-31-17, 10:54 AM
Running Man 101 Running Man 101 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_dad View Post
Football team has a quarterback that can throw the ball better than anyone else. He can throw for 300 yards a game every game. However, they lose every game. The offense and team as a whole is better and wins more games when he throws for 150 yards and runs more. You have to let him throw for 300 right. Just have to. If that QB was really head and shoulders above the next QB on the team, but he didn't have good receivers to throw to. Put him at receiver and the back up QB can win games. You keep him at QB right. He is the best QB after all. The objective is to have the best QB.

Why is acceptable and even encouraged for teams to not do what is best for team winning in CC? Winning a race by a minute and a half when your team does not win makes no sense and would not be tolerated in other sports. running with teammates as long you can and only winning by 5 sec absolutely can help the team.
Think some of this is misplaced logic. If the #1 runner slowing down will deliver team championships in the post-season, then it makes complete sense to have them do so. If the kid can win a state title and have his team finish 10th, instead of 8th, the kid should win a state title.

I really concentrate on my 3-8 runners. My #5 is often is the difference and I like my 6,7 runners right behind them to force more points on the primary competition. #8 runner is important because someone usually is hurt late in the season.
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  #37  
Old 08-31-17, 01:27 PM
yj_runfan yj_runfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Running Man 101 View Post
Think some of this is misplaced logic. If the #1 runner slowing down will deliver team championships in the post-season, then it makes complete sense to have them do so. If the kid can win a state title and have his team finish 10th, instead of 8th, the kid should win a state title.

I really concentrate on my 3-8 runners. My #5 is often is the difference and I like my 6,7 runners right behind them to force more points on the primary competition. #8 runner is important because someone usually is hurt late in the season.
I bet his teammates would agree.
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  #38  
Old 08-31-17, 01:44 PM
psycho_dad psycho_dad is offline
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It's not about just performance at the state meet. It's the preparation to get to the state meet. Again, that's only 10% of the teams. And, it's only the nature of the state meet pitting the top 16-20 teams at one time. What about District and Regionals? Do you feel the same that #1 should concentrate on an individual win when he/she only has to finish top 16 to move on and the team needs to be top 4 for all of them to move on? Would moving up from 6th to 4th be worth the number 1 finishing 4th instead of 1st?
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  #39  
Old 08-31-17, 03:07 PM
yj_runfan yj_runfan is offline
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We can play what-if all day. How about the runner that stays back with his teammates but they still finish 5th. Top runner could have easily qualified as an individual but finishes 17th and misses state. I would really feel great to be his coach.
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  #40  
Old 08-31-17, 08:25 PM
mathking mathking is offline
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St. Xavier's 37 second 1-7 split tonight

I most likely wouldn't have a kid who could win try to run slower at the state meet. On the other hand I have had runners who would absolutely have started a race more slowly in order to pull a teammate along. I have a kid decide to let another teams athlete win a district race in order to pull a teammate along to a qualifying spot. But this whole thread of the conversation started with the idea that maybe a top runner could benefit his or her team at an early season meet by holding back occasionally and helping teammates to an early season meet. I think that yes, this might be true. I think psychodad at least thinks that is true. I will go farther and say that I think that it is foolish for a runner to try to win every race by a maximal amount. At a race like the preseason OHSAA it might make sense, top level competition and a course you will see later. But sometimes running easier can still give your team a low score. Arguing that sometimes running slower to help teammates improve might be a good idea isn't arguing that should be done in every race all the time.
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  #41  
Old 08-31-17, 09:16 PM
psycho_dad psycho_dad is offline
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Yap, all that.
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  #42  
Old 09-01-17, 08:05 AM
CC Track Fan CC Track Fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathking View Post
I most likely wouldn't have a kid who could win try to run slower at the state meet. On the other hand I have had runners who would absolutely have started a race more slowly in order to pull a teammate along. I have a kid decide to let another teams athlete win a district race in order to pull a teammate along to a qualifying spot. But this whole thread of the conversation started with the idea that maybe a top runner could benefit his or her team at an early season meet by holding back occasionally and helping teammates to an early season meet. I think that yes, this might be true. I think psychodad at least thinks that is true. I will go farther and say that I think that it is foolish for a runner to try to win every race by a maximal amount. At a race like the preseason OHSAA it might make sense, top level competition and a course you will see later. But sometimes running easier can still give your team a low score. Arguing that sometimes running slower to help teammates improve might be a good idea isn't arguing that should be done in every race all the time.
I don't disagree with any of this but my question is how much do you think a runner can help a teammate by pacing them. I can see a where a freshman/inexperienced runner it would be helpful but if the teams number 2 and 3 are Jr or Sr I would hope they can run their best race competing against the other teams and not needing a pace setter.

When I was racing the race it was more enjoyable have a teammate with me but not sure it help me go faster.

By the way this has been a very interesting discussion so thanks all that have contributed.
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  #43  
Old 09-01-17, 08:58 AM
mathking mathking is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC Track Fan View Post
I don't disagree with any of this but my question is how much do you think a runner can help a teammate by pacing them. I can see a where a freshman/inexperienced runner it would be helpful but if the teams number 2 and 3 are Jr or Sr I would hope they can run their best race competing against the other teams and not needing a pace setter.

When I was racing the race it was more enjoyable have a teammate with me but not sure it help me go faster.

By the way this has been a very interesting discussion so thanks all that have contributed.
There is actually empirical evidence that running together can make you run faster. More precisely that it can help both (all) the runners finish in a better place in the race. The Kenyans were pioneers of this. It is hard to get a measurement of how much faster/better because you can't run successive experiments under the same conditions. Nonetheless, lots of people who have written about racing tactics stress the benefits of team racing.

In my experience, my better runners tend to have a better sense of pace. When I am trying to get an athlete to make a change in their race strategy they are more likely to do what I am asking if a teammate can start them out with close to the correct pace and/or position in the race. This is particularly true if say the number two or three runner is actually pretty good with a decent amount of experience. Convincing such athletes to try something different, such as going out faster in a better position in the race, can be difficult. The "But what if I go too fast and die" factor can be a problem. Some of that worry can be allayed by running with a teammate and letting that teammate set the pace. I also think that for very good runners, the runners who win most of their races, holding back at the start of a race can help them artificially set up conditions they might not otherwise experience until late in the season.
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  #44  
Old 09-01-17, 09:40 AM
CC Track Fan CC Track Fan is offline
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I completely agree if someone is going to try a different race strategy a teammate can be a big help pacing them. Racing with someone will make you faster and having a teammate with you is better than not. Maybe where I vary slightly from you for many runners competitors can give nearly all the same performance boast as having a teammate can. Particularly if I know that teammate is going to leave me behind a mile or two into the race.

I think we can also agree that just like one training philosophy isn't best for every runner the same racing philosophy isn't best for everyone.
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  #45  
Old 09-01-17, 10:31 AM
honorsports honorsports is offline
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It's our understanding that St. Xavier has 168 boys in grades 9-12 on the cross country team. If you check the PrimeTime results for the JV meet, St. Xavier had over 100 kids who finished the race.
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  #46  
Old 09-01-17, 10:41 AM
Seek Up Seek Up is offline
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Originally Posted by honorsports View Post
It's our understanding that St. Xavier has 168 boys in grades 9-12 on the cross country team. If you check the PrimeTime results for the JV meet, St. Xavier had over 100 kids who finished the race.
That sounds a little high. Are you willing/interested in disclosing your source?
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  #47  
Old 09-01-17, 10:54 AM
Rohbino Rohbino is offline
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Originally Posted by Seek Up View Post
That sounds a little high. Are you willing/interested in disclosing your source?
Here is the roster. I counted 136. Still very impressive. The school has an enrollment of 1600+ boys.
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  #48  
Old 09-01-17, 10:57 AM
mathking mathking is offline
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Originally Posted by CC Track Fan View Post
I completely agree if someone is going to try a different race strategy a teammate can be a big help pacing them. Racing with someone will make you faster and having a teammate with you is better than not. Maybe where I vary slightly from you for many runners competitors can give nearly all the same performance boast as having a teammate can. Particularly if I know that teammate is going to leave me behind a mile or two into the race.

I think we can also agree that just like one training philosophy isn't best for every runner the same racing philosophy isn't best for everyone.
I don't disagree that opponents can be as good at giving you the boost. I frequently tell kids to run with specific opponents, in fact. The difference is that I can have some control, as a coach, over what that teammate does to start the race. So if I want to try a particular strategy for a runner it is easier to make that happen. Again, this is not an argument that a good number one runner should do this all, or even most of the time. Just that this strategy can make sense some of the time.
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  #49  
Old 09-01-17, 12:53 PM
honorsports honorsports is offline
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Originally Posted by Seek Up View Post
That sounds a little high. Are you willing/interested in disclosing your source?
I heard it second hand. Someone who talked to the father of a St. Xavier runner who was one of the top finishers in the JV race said it, and it was relayed to me by the guy who talked to the father of the St. Xavier runner who is a freshman.
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  #50  
Old 09-01-17, 01:00 PM
yj_runfan yj_runfan is offline
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They knew they were going to win the meet and decided to run together.
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