New topic

Clay’s Weak 1500 Causes Serious Concerns to the Sport

1 2 
1-20 / 23
Latest post: John Rapacciuolo, June 15, 2011
Viewed 10089 times
Posted: May 17, 2000
Btw Mr Vassallo, why didn't you critize athletes in the past for this? There were some guys like Dan O'Brien or Chris Huffins, who didn't run the 1500m under 5 mins, if they didn't need to.
As its name says deacthlon is ten events and some of the athletes are better jumpers than runners, some are better throwers than jumpers ... decathletes aren't endurance runners.
Speaking of Bryan Clay's attitude I agree with Chad Smith ( "... an athlete who only exemplifies the highest standards of sportsmanship, perseverance, ..." ) I saw him this year and last year in Götzis. Do you remember what he did last year? He continued after an "almost-NM" in long jump (wasn't able to do a big result), injured his rib during javelin throw and nevertheless agonized over the 1500m for his fans.

He knows that he isn't a good 1500m runner but he even knows that he needs to work a lot on this (said this after Götzis meet).
Posted: May 29, 2006
A look at Bryan Clay's last six decathlons, covering the 2004, 2005, and 2006 seasons, reveals 1500-meter decathlon performances that have been mostly weak to the point of embarrassment to himself and to the sport.

What is Clay saying to fans who spend a lot of money and time to see him end his two-day challenge in a whimper — often in dead-last place? Clay has no chance of breaking Sebrle’s world record of 9026 or even Dan O’Brien’s American record of 8891 points, for that matter — if he continues to surrender the decathlon in the final event. In fact, he doesn’t belong competing or deserve the title "world’s greatest athlete" if he reduces the decathlon to an anticlimactic stroll on the track.
Posted: May 31, 2006
Congratulations to Bryan on his victory in Gotzis this past weekend. Keep up the great work.

Mr. Vassallo’s article “Clay’s Weak 1500 Causes Serious Concerns to the sport” struck a nerve with me and offers no merit except to put down one of the greatest decathletes the world has ever seen.

Mr. Vassallo is a fan of numbers as I, but I find his article to be very misguided stating that Bryans 1500 times are and I quote “to the point of embarrassment to himself and to the sport” this is just ridicules and unjust. Bryan is not an embarrassment but the complete opposite. He is a clean athlete with a work ethic like no other. His attitude and willingness to win will propel him to world record and beyond.

Bryan is only 26 years old and has many years left to achieve his ultimate goal. There is no doubt in my mind that he will set the world record in the decathlon surpassing Roman Sebrle and in-turn setting the AR.

As a former decathlete I know what it’s like to compete and train for the decathlon.

Mr Vassallo I’m not sure if you have ever done a decathlon and if so I don’t think you have scored 8820, but I can assure you that it’s not an easy task. So for you to write an article about an athlete who only exemplifies the highest standards of sportsmanship, perseverance, dedication and honor to his country, you sir are a fool.

Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion.

Chad Smith

Posted: May 31, 2006
i'm not very concerned with our sport when brian's winning Gotzis, the world championships, the US championships, and whatever meet he enters. the man has dedicated himself to his work and is the best athlete in the world. he's admirable in what he's doing for the sport!

you can play the numbers game and say that you would've score this or could've scored that if you'd run a good 1500m. but there's a time and a place for doing something big, and i have a good feeling mr. clay will perform when he needs to. and i am not the best 1500m guy in the world as well, heck, i'm not even the best 1500m guy in my state, but believe me, i know from my share of sub-par runs, that you can't just grunt out a pr performance in the 1500m when you don't neccissarily have to.

you can't knock a guy for being unbeleivable in 9 events and mediocre in one.

why doesn't someone who only takes a selective number of jumps or throws during a competition recieve such scrutiny??

just my two cents.

trey hardee
hook 'em

Posted: June 02, 2006
I believe that bryan clay is an awesome athlete and no matter what is runs his 1500 in is embarassing unless he walks it. if you look at his first nine events he really does not have to run that fast in the 1500 to win. this is a big problem in our sport today everyone is so concerned with numbers hey the guy won the decathlon it was not just a 1500 race. he even said himself he is not aiming for any records right now. i also agree with what mr. hardee said it is kinda hard to run when you are so far ahead and you are competing alone. i am also a decathlete and a not so good 1500 guy but when the time comes to run fast i do. i believe bryan is doing an aweome job. and so are you trey. and chad you should really start competing again.

B.J. Parish
Posted: June 02, 2006
Here are my reactions to Trey Hardee’s and Chad Smith’s comments.

First, Mr. Hardee: Your season in your final year as a college decathlete has been amazing. At the young age of 22, you have improved your heptathlon score (6,208) by nearly 400 points—third best in the world and best among Americans this year. Your American collegiate decathlon record (8,465) was a leap of more than 400 points over your personal best, and it is currently the second best score in the world for 2006.

For the most part, I agree with you that Bryan Clay has dedicated himself to the sport and has to be considered by anyone’s standard the best decathlete in the world right now. I also understand how difficult the 1,500 meters is for many decathletes. In addition, I side with your position that “someone who only takes a selective number of jumps or throws during a competition (should) receive such scrutiny.” Here’s the simple fact: We all would like to think of the decathlon as a “grueling” event, but the truth is that over 30-36 hours, the decathlete actually competes for only 10 minutes. Plus few decathletes compete in more than four events a year. Compare those statistics to the minutes—no, hours—that basketball or soccer players dedicate to their game.

Let’s face it: A 5:13 time in the 1,500 meters by Clay, who has a PR of 4:38.93, is like 1,500-meter world record holder Hicham El Guerrouj running 4:00.54. Who would tolerate performances like that on a world stage from El Guerrouj? Perhaps Clay could be injured once or exhausted another time—but five of six times over the past three seasons seem like a lack of commitment.

Now, Chad Smith. A review of your record also shows consistency and commitment. I agree with you that Clay has done great work. His speed in the 100 and 110 hurdles is peerless and, as I mentioned in my article, his throws have been amazing. I also acknowledge that I am a fan of numbers. Which decathlon fan is not? Finally, I believe you when you say that as a former decathlete you know what it’s like to compete in and train for the decathlon.

To address your curiosity about whether I have ever competed in a decathlon, the answer is no. This fact should not preclude me from being an informed and opinionated fan. If I am a fool for criticizing Clay, as you assert that I am, then I am likely a fool for lauding Mr. Hardee’s and your achievements.

I take exception to three of your points in particular:
1. I disagree that Clay is, as you put it, “one of the greatest decathletes the world has ever seen”—at least not yet. He simply has not yet put up the numbers of Daley Thompson (two Olympic and one World championships, 3 of the top 25 decathlons ever), Dan O’Brien (one Olympic and three World championships, 5 of the top 25), Tomas Dvorak (three World championships, 4 of the top 25), and Roman Sebrle (one Olympic and two World Indoor championships, 6 of the tops 25). I believe, however, that if Clay stays healthy, he has a chance to surpass them all—but not with those 1,500 meter times.
2. While all interviews of Mr. Clay would confirm your conviction that “he is a clean athlete,” I would not go so far as to say his work ethic is like no other. What about Erki Nool? Dvorak? Sebrle? The incredible Kip Janvrin?
3. You say that Clay, at 26, “has many years left to achieve his ultimate goal.” Actually, based on the schedule that Clay keeps, his time is running out. Since over the past five years he has competed in only three decathlons, we could assume that he plans to compete in 11 more by the time he is 30. Thompson was done at 30, O’Brien at 32, and Nool at 34—and none were rendering their best performances in their last two years. Of course, Clay could be an exception—but he needs to stay healthy and give it his all when he competes.

The bottom line: I have rooted with great anticipation for Clay at the Worlds and at the Hypobank meet — only to see him settle for dead last in 1,500 at Helsinki and next-to-last in Götzis. Mr. Smith, notice that the track stadiums are nearly empty even for world-class track competitions and that fans like me who can’t travel to Helsinki, Götzis, Talence, Osaka, or Beijing have no way of following the decathlon if it were not for live updates from the IAAF or Decathlon 2000. The last thing you should be doing is insulting one of the few avid decathlon fans out there. Instead, we should all come up with ways to build up the sport. We can’t do this in an environment that does not encourage regular competitions from decathletes.

Philip Vassallo
Posted: June 03, 2006
There is no way you compared El Guerrouj's 1500 to Clay's 1500 because that guy has probably never competed in ten events ever before he ran the 1500 and as far as only competing for ten minutes all together you must forget about all of the warm-ups but that is beside the point i have played just about every sport competitively. the decathlon is by far the hardest sport or event i have ever competed in. even though i am not a well known decathlete i appreciate anyone who is a true fan of the decathlon
Posted: June 03, 2006

We hear all sportscasters and decathletes themselves saying that the decathlon is not so much a competition against an opponent as it is against the clock and measuring tape. If that's so, then I should have every reason to expect a decathlete to compete against his own PRs.

My point is simple: If El Guerrouj consistently ran 1,500-meters in 4:00, I would be an extremely disappointed fan. Check out Janvrin's 1,500-meter performances over his 22-year career or Nool's 17-year career on these pages if you want to see a measure of consistency. Yes, you'll see bad times, weak distances and heights, and no marks in their performances; however, these incidents are atypical for them. Clay is making his 5:00+ 1,500 meter runs a habit—and we all know that he can do far better. As for the right time and place to break a world record, the time to break it is always now. You may never have tomorrow. Rafer Johnson and Jurgen Hingsen broke the record three times each, and Daley Thompson broke it four times.

Of course, the decathlon is a sport that requires great and diverse skill. Throwing a But the endurance claim is overrated. A better measure of endurance is Bill Toomey’s consistent performances during nine decathlons in six months leading to his world record-breaking feat in 1969. If only decathletes had leagues in which teams competed against each other regularly throughout the season, say a round robin section followed by an elimination section like the World Cup, then we have a true test of endurance and we might raise more interest in the sport.

Posted: June 03, 2006

OK, you’re right. I should criticize O’Brien and Huffins for the same reason—and privately I have. If O’Brien had replicated his 1990, 1991, and 1992 decathlon 1,500 meter runs in the 1994 and 1998 Goodwill Games and in the 1996 U.S. Championships, then he’d have a better personal record and still have the top ten combined decathlon scores in history. Huffins was, by far, consistently worse. Thos 1,500 meter times were embarrassing for a man of his ability. He finally got this right in the Sydney Olympics to compensate for his disappointing javelin, which cost him the gold medal. He mustered up whatever he could and finally ran a good 1,500, which earned him bronze. But that impressive run made we wonder, what was this guy up to those past five years? My point is that a decathlete ALWAYS needs to run his best at the 1,500. It should never be an issue of “this is not the time.”

Of course, nearly all the elite decathletes are better sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers and throwers then they are middle-distance runners. I am aware than Clay’s PR sprints and hurdles fall within 89-94 percent of the world record, his PR jumps come to 83-90 percent of the world records, his PR throws represent 70-75 percent of the world records, and his PR 1,500 time figures to 65 percent of the world record. That is staggering talent—especially considering his height and weight. I agree that his 7,961-point performance in Gotzis 2005 was gutsy. But his 1,500 runs should not consistently be 50-55 percent of the world record.

Yes, I read the quote from Clay. Here it is, as reported by the IAAF: “If I put some training in the final event I can improve the record. I set the plan with my coach to break the record at the World Championships in Osaka. If the record comes earlier, it’s okay, but my big goal is Osaka. First of all I want to be as consistent as possible.” You heard it yourself: “If I put in some training” and “I set the plan with my coach to break the record at the World Championships in Osaka.” That sounds to me like a baseball player not trying hard to break a record until he plays before his home crowd. That’s what I call not trying your best; you decide for yourself.

I am a big Clay fan and want someone respectful like him to be the world and Olympic champion. But he is talking about competing in no more than three meets this year. Why not the Drake or Azusa Relays in April? Multistars in early May? Arles this weekend? I want to see more of him—and he’s good enough to get better each meet. He should not make himself scarce.
Posted: June 03, 2006
"""I am a big Clay fan and want someone respectful like him to be the world and Olympic champion. But he is talking about competing in no more than three meets this year. Why not the Drake or Azusa Relays in April? Multistars in early May? Arles this weekend? I want to see more of him—and he’s good enough to get better each meet. He should not make himself scarce."""

you've obviously never competed in more than 4 decathlons in a year, much less two within a months time. they take a toll on your body. why do you think the scores for the last dec of the year are considerably lower than gotzis or WC/OG scores?? people get tired, it's hard to peak 3 times and training wears you down.

what's wrong with setting a goal? you cannot multi-task training THAT much. you cannot train hard for a good 1500/400 without compromising something else becuase of the mileage and pounding your body would take. there is macro-periodization for this exact reason. brian, i'm sure, knows where he is for his training and is planning on doing the endurance work next year and be fitter than he's ever been. it seems to me he took last year as a technical year, this year as an explosive/ power year (which he has yet to peak), and next year with me strength/endurance...

i wouldn't put it past him to break it this year though!!

just my guess.

trey hardee
hook 'em
Posted: June 03, 2006

You are a world-class decathlete, as I’ve already mentioned, so I highly value your opinion on this point. I also would not be surprised at a world record by Bryan Clay this year—but he would have to accomplish it with a respectable 1,500, based on his own standards, as I’m sure you would agree.

When you say, “You’ve obviously never competed in more than 4 decathlons in a year, much less two within a month’s time,” you are attacking me and not my position. Comparing me to Clay is like comparing your boxing ability to Lennox Lewis’s, or Chad Smith’s striking and ball handling ability to Ronaldo’s. But now that you’ve made me the issue, I will prove my point by making myself the comparison to Clay. I last competed in track and field, for family and economic reasons, at age 14 in 1968. The distances of my throws (10 shot, 30 discus, 45 javelin) were many meters shorter than Clay’s, the distance and heights of my jumps (6 long , 1.6 high, 3 vault) were many centimeters shorter than Clay’s, and my sprints and hurdles (11.6 100, 55.0 400, 17.5 hurdles) were many seconds slower than Clay’s. But as mediocre as I was, even for a 14-year boy, I ran the 1,500 in 5:00. And, believe me, a 1,500-meter time of 5:00 is mediocre, even for a 14-year old boy. Case closed.

Posted: June 03, 2006

i wasn't intentially trying to attack you. i was just commenting on how you would like to see more of the decathlon and see bryan do many more decs a year, but sometimes it just isn't possible. if we are to make careers out of this we need to bugdet or efforts. if i did a 5-7 decathlons a year for 4-5 years in a row, i'd be done. my body would litterally shut down. we can't take that pounding and can ill afford to over exert ourselves on a yearly basis. so for the long run, monetarily (sp?) speaking, it behooves decs to limit the number of events in which we enter and compete during the course of the season. that was the point i was trying to make. i was not trying to compare you to anyone, just trying to help you understand why won't see people doing that sort of thing week in and week out.

hook 'em
Posted: June 03, 2006
Well, I have never actually posted to any track websites at any time, but this thread seems to have some people fired up and I thought I might add my two cents. I know that this is posted to all, but I guess I am mostly formulating my thoughts as letter to Philip.

I am a decathlete/coach who found his way to the track late in life after competing in every other “mainstream” sport in high school and college. Since college I have taken up residence among the background noise of the US decathlon…providing a backdrop upon which the 8000+ scores of others look impressive. And I am happy in this role as I love this sport and those who compete it. Here are some thoughts….

Decathletes develop friendships that are unique to other sports. We compete against one another…but as you have noted, in many ways, we compete with each other and against the books. It is a sport of low notoriety, seldom any fans in the stands (that aren’t related by blood), and thankless hours on the track training for said low profile meets. So a bond is formed decathlete to decathlete that is unique. Bryan is an athlete that is respected and liked by those around him. He works very hard at his craft, he has made good decisions about how to become the best, he is a fierce competitor, he has done it clean, and he has not developed the ego that one would expect from a world leader in the sport. In fact, he loves to share knowledge and advice with those around him, and is first and foremost a family man who puts his wife and new son Jacob #1.

So when strong words of criticism are voiced against Bryan, it is not a surprise to me that many would stand up in defense. Statements like, “an embarrassment to himself and the sport.” and “doesn’t belong competing.”, might be a little over the top and I would certainly disagree with you. However, I would also like to thank you for caring enough to be critical. There are times when I prepare for the 400 or 1500 and look up into the stands and wonder if anyone but my wife and mom really care how I run this. So I can appreciate that there is someone out there who pays enough attention to expect a little more from me. This month in Indianapolis, that knowledge will certainly motivate me during the third lap of the 1500 when I have to make that decision. All decathletes should know what I mean by the 3rd lap decision (maybe more on that later).

Here is my thought on the 1500 as it relates to Bryan Clay. Much of the debate has centered upon whether or not he is lazy and unmotivated in the event. I would like to submit that maybe it is fear that plays a stronger role. Fear of the unknown, fear of pain, fear of many things actually. When I look across the landscape of the US decathlon over the past 10 years I see a clear delineation in 1500 time between those with a distance background and those without. Sprinters who have converted to the Dec (Clay, O’brien, Huffins) are decidedly worse. But I do not believe that this is because of ability or even training…I believe it is due to experience and knowledge. When you have a distance background, (Janvrin, McMullen, Jenner) you understand the limits of your body…or lack thereof. Fear is eliminated and you are free to attack the event, knowing that you body will not cramp up and shut down. While I would agree that the 1500 still has a range of natural/genetic potential, I believe that almost all National caliber decathletes are capable of running a 4:40…at any time. This of course assumes that they no longer fear it. I am not saying that you need a distance background to run the 1500. In fact, I believe that 400M training gives you all the conditioning that you need to run a fast mile. What I do not know is how to teach someone to not fear the 1500 without distance experience.

Sidenote: In Clay’s defense, if you look at the top 10 performances of all time in each event and compared it to the overall score of that dec, you will notice a somewhat glaring discrepancy. While every other event has at least half of the scores over 8000, the 1500M does not have a single 8000+ score. Any thoughts on that?

Also, you also stated that the Decathlon is not grueling as we only compete for 10 minutes. I understand what you are saying as an outside observer to the event, and I must say that I have often marveled with my wife at how little of the two days is actually spent competing. However, here is the reality of the dec from the horse’s mouth, and I know all you decs out there will agree. All attempts and performances in the decathlon are 100% maximal effort…which requires the body to be 100% prepared…which results in the need to be “warmed up” and ready to go for two days straight. That is the challenge and the grueling aspect of the dec. By the time you step to the line for the 1500 you have practically been in constant motion for two days and it is hard to find the physical and mental capacity to run the race. So I would disagree that it is not grueling…I believe that it is, just not in the traditional team sport sense.

In closing I would also like to state for the record that it is quite difficult to manage more than 3 decs a year for the average human. I am sure that there are those (Janvrin, Janvrin, JANVRIN) who can handle the higher volumes…but since he is actually from another planet and we are from Earth, I must digress. It is not the grueling part of the dec that makes the number possible small, but rather the damage that is done to the body during the 100% efforts. Joints, muscles, tendons, and bones have to heal and this usually takes about a month minimum, sometimes more. Do multiple decs to close together and you spiral into some dangerous territory for injury.

Thanks for reading,

Posted: June 03, 2006
Thanks for the thoughtful comments, Trey. Your response got to me to think of what a great idea it would be for you and other competitive decathletes to announce their schedules on Decathlon2000 so that fans like me can keep a more focused eye on the action. Janek, could you run a Forum just for decathletes to post their plans, results, etc.?

Trey, all the best to you and Donovan Kilmartin with the NCAA Championships next week! I hope you come in 1-2!
Posted: June 04, 2006
joe, good stuff, see you indy!!

phil, that would be pretty cool to see how everyone views his training and how they plan on peaking for whatever meet, etc.

donovan and i are pretty psyched about this weekend, we're both in great 400m shape (knock on wood) and he's been putting up some amazing marks during our technical sessions. he's been consistantly jumping 6-9 to 6-10 in practice and before a month ago, his practice pr was around 6-4, so he's ready to bomb 7ft it seems!! and he finally broke 50.0 sec for his 300m (1min rest)-100m workout. (i think it was 49-low) and he's never cracked 51sec before. should be fun and relaxed next week.


trey hardee
hook 'em
Posted: June 04, 2006
Joe, what you wrote is the stuff of an excellent article on the decathlon—in both content and spirit. You could reshape it into a piece for publication of great interest in any of the track and field periodicals. I appreciate the insight, especially your comment, “I would like to submit that maybe it is fear that plays a stronger role. Fear of the unknown, fear of pain, fear of many things actually.” You reminded me of how I broke my school age-group record in the high jump only in practice but did poorly in competitions: fear. It also made me realize how I did break my school age-group record in the long jump and did well in competitions: fearless. If I had become a decathlete, I would have had to overcome that fear.

Here’s my thought on your unarguably accurate sidenote about the generally weak 1,500 meter- performance of the premier decathletes. I have always known this fact, but I really don’t care about their relatively slow times—as long as that’s the best they can do. As an example, use Janvrin’s developmental and peak performance levels throughout his 22-year, 90+ decathlon career. His high-jump heights are not among the best in decathlon history, but he performed consistently. His 1,500-meter times are among the best in decathlon history, and he performed consistently. This is the main reason that Janvrin’s decathlon career is beyond reproach and the man himself is so respected among his peers. I don’t care whether he never won a world championship or Olympic medal. (He was, of course, a US and a Pan Am Games champion, and he won a mind-boggling 15 Drake Relays decathlons.) What I do care about is that he did his level best in all ten events whenever he stepped on that track—regardless of who showed up. By the way, Janvrin achieved most of his accolades while handling the full-time pressures of working as a college athletics coach. Joe, all the best in Indianapolis!

Thanks, Trey. Those training observations about Kilmartin are exactly what I’ve been looking for about him ever since I followed his peerless high school career, when he broke the national indoor pentathlon and outdoor decathlon records for high schoolers. Now, I’d like to learn more about your training regimen and observations on your performances. Such comments would generate greater interest in the sport.

Janek, that last entry by Trey Hardee is precisely what fans like me do not get enough of. Those comments belong in a Decathlete's Journal section on Decathlon2000. I'd bet that such a section would fill up quickly.

Posted: Jan 14, 2009
hola janekÑ

pues asi es, como usyted dice , que eso de correr o mejor dicho caminar en la carrera de 1 500 metros del decthlon, le resta brillantes y motivacion a cualquier competicion y mas cuando se trata de los mounstruos por llamarlos de alguna manera.

pero eso no es nuevo, los decatletas por lo general son un poco perezosos para esta prueba teniendo buenos parametros de resistencia. solo veran correr de verdad los que estan en la lucha por las medallas de plata y bronce, o buscando su mejor resultado o un record de cualquier nivel, porque el que esta seguro en el oro , lo unico que hace es sacar cuenta con cuanto puede ganar y el mejor registro de los rivales, y listo.

muchas veces tienen en cuenta no sufrir lesiones o no desgastarse mucho por estar cerca de su competencia fundamental.

pero tenemos que recordar que no fuimos nosotros los que pusimos las reglas , sino hubieramos puesto una tabla de puntuacion donde la ventaja por cada segundo fuera mucho mayor y eso los obligaria a esforzarse,.

lamentablemente es asi


Posted: June 03, 2011
From training through competition the decathlon is often about trade offs. The final number is the most accurate measure we have of how the athlete has managed the trade offs.
IP: 208.201....
Posted: June 06, 2011
To: Decathlon Competitors

From: John Sayre (Former Decathlete)

RE: Open letter to Decathletes; RE: The Decathlon 1500 dilemma!

I’m concerned at the lack of proper 1500m preparation by decathletes.
(Note that I used the word preparation, not training.)

• Training for the 1500m is detrimental to the other nine events…
• Preparing is not detrimental. Let me explain…

The decathletes inability to run sub 4:30.00 is entirely mental at the national level. Anyone that can run under 50 sec. for 400m has the physiological ability to run below 4:30. Running the first 800m slower than 2:30 is disgraceful. The third lap is crucial, and this is where most Decathletes fail. By the way, I believe no one ever died running a 1500!

My suggestion is to replace any distance running, or interval training, with a very simple, very successful preparation of your mind.
(since the ability is always there this is not viewed as a workout, since you can already do it)

Begin with an 800m at race pace. Each week, add 100m (at race pace) until you are completing a 1200m at race pace once a week.
(ie. If you fail at 1100m, stay there until you succeed, and then move to 1200m.)

I would run this preparation workout at anytime of the day or week, trying not to go more than a week between doing it. I also found that I was able to fully recover within a half hour and even use it as a glorified warm up for other training sessions. Play with it, do it when it rains, do it at 6am, if you can do it anytime, anywhere, any conditions, you will own it, and your competitors will sense this at the starting line as you are the one smiling. The race will be over before it begins, this is where Daley Thompson was a “true master”, he beat you before it started, you never knew it!

If a decathlete can run (most importantly has run) a 1200m at race pace once a week they’ve got the event wrapped!

By the way guys that’s only:

800m – 2:24
900m – 2:42
1000m – 3:00
1100m – 3:18
1200m – 3:36

The last 300m of the 1500m is “gimmie” if you are a competitor. Run it in 50 – 54 for 4:26 – 4:30!

Eliminate the “wish-full thinking” guys, do the preparation, KNOW the result. It’s a decathlon, not nine events!

It’s all in your head.


John Sayre - 1985 National Decathlon Champ

Q & A

so i should do this 1200m every week all year round?
[John's Reply...] If you do, you’ll be invincible in the 1500! The main thing is to follow the progression, until you feel you are able to run a 1500 under 4:30, then run the 1200 as often as you need to, to maintain that level. Trying to improve from 4:28 down to 4:18 may be impractical, as the point increase in the 1500 at that level, may cost too much from your other, more important ballistic training. Anyone that can run a 50 second 400 should be able to run a 4:30 1500.

how many weeks before my main competition should i stop doing it?
[John's Reply...] Run the last one 8 – 10 days out from day one of the competition.

so should i quit the usual 1 x/ week 5- 6km runs?
[John's Reply...] Going for runs I feel has no purpose, unless you enjoy them and it relaxes you. Some say that it helps with general endurance, which is crap, as training several hours a day does that. A Decathlete should train 100% for explosive power and sprint speed. The 1500 is always inside you, you need to train your fear of it!

before what kind of training should i do the 1200m ? before a speed training, hurdles training, jump training, throwing training, streght training?
[John's Reply...] If I had to say, it should not matter much, after 20 – 30 minutes recovery, you should be ready for any training. Remember, 2:26 for 800m is not a huge stretch, and that means you’ll only be uncomfortable for the last 30 – 45 seconds. If you follow the progression, it will not be a factor. I liked doing it at “off” times best, ie. After training, early morning, etc. Not always as a warm up, but it is a great warm up. If I had to choose, I would not do it prior to a big sprint day or when trying for big jumps performances in training.

basicly i should do like this: do a general warm up, do the 1200m, wait 20 - 30 minutes to recover, and continue with the planned workout(e.g. a speed training, hurdles training, jump training, throwing training, streght training)
[John's Reply...] Yes, you’ll surprise yourself!

But don’t just go out and try a 1200M! Have a little patience, start with an 800, 900, or 1000M, find success in the effort, THEN go the extra 100m next time. If you are really into it, do the 1200, rest 60 seconds, then sprint a 200M (this would definitely change the recovery time, but you could do this every 10 days, after you have run several 1200’s at goal pace)
IP: 169.200....
Posted: June 06, 2011
Is it a serious concern when a decathletes doesn't break 17m in the shot put?

Over the weekend Ashton Eaton ran a 13.35 in the 110H. That's a great time. It's very close to the world record in the 110H. A decathlete would have to run the 100m in 9.93 to get as proportionally close to the world record in the 100m as Ashton has gotten to the 110H world record. But, things aren't that straight forward are they?

A decathlete has no physiological barrier to running fast hurdles. A little extra weight is often a good thing for a hurdler, helps them stay low on the hurdles and maintain balance should they hit the hurdles.

The hurdles are also an event with less deviation in form. In the 100m a sprinter can use different stride patterns to achieve a time. In the hurdles most everyone is using 8 steps to the hurdle and 3 steps in between hurdles. In the decathlon or the open hurdles the idea is the same.

The idea is, I think obviously, not the same in the shot put. There are physiological differences between shot putters and decathletes. There are also differences between milers and decathletes.

There seems to be a common thought that a decathlete should run a 4:40 1500m. Well 4:40 is asking a lot of a decathlete. A decathlete running a 4:40 1500m would be proportional to a decathlete shot putting 17.10; if both goals are derived from percentages off of the current world records.

Are decathletes that don't break 17m in the shot put not putting the proper time into the shot put? Or should we trust the athlete, especially given their track records of success in the decathlon, that they've chosen the proper priorities.
IP: 208.201....
Posts from the same IP: John Rapacciuolo

1 2 
1-20 / 23
Your rights:
Viewing: allowed
Posting: denied (allowed for registered users only)