Forum postsTotal 4 posts found, here are 3 latest posts:
Re: Training tips for young men
Posted: Nov 08, 2010
The problem is not mass, but the athletes lack of technique. I spend my early years of training from 16-20 learning proper technique. I was as skinny as a rail, but could throw pretty good for a guy who was only about 165 pounds (134 discus, 42 shot, 180 javelin) in college.

A huge mistake to start thinking you need to spend hours in the weight room. I was surrounded by guys on the team at Auburn University who could bench, 480 pounds, but could not throw the shot put or discus 43 feet or even 125. Further, they fall in love with the weigh room and if half the hours there were spend on solid technique, they would have been great throwers.

It is ALL about technique, and has very little to do with strength, expecailly when you are 18.

Re: First Decathlon, what can I expect?
Posted: Nov 08, 2010
Sorry nobody responded to you.

As you found the biggest surprise is that 30 minutes between events is not a lot of time, especially if the discus cage is spread out a long distance from the pole vault pit. You are sometimes lucky to get off the ground in the vault if the discus ring is a long way away.

Next, don't be afraid of doing some quality overdistance work. Without, it, your second day from the pole vault out you can expect a lot of mistakes and simple fatigue.

Out of season run 35-40 miles per week, in season run quality 12-15, hard. This will drop your 1500 time, your 400 time will improve, and you won't tire and fade on the second day.

Gary Bastien
Re: young decathlete seeking advise
Posted: Nov 08, 2010
Like the Nike commercials say, Just Do it. I mean really, commit to doing it, and then do the following as a minium. 1. you need to learn to hurdle. Write me and I will help you with that. 2. You need to prepare some for the 400 and 1500. Give yourself 6 weeks for this. Run 3 300 twice per week, walk what you run. Run Three days per week, 3 miles, busting your arse the last 1.5 miles. If you have never pole vaulted, get someone to show you how to stiff pole correctly.

As far as potential, you are much better than I was at your age, you are exactly the same size I was and I was running the 400 in only 56, 100 in 11.6 I was a good pole vaulter going 14 feet., and high jumping 6'2 on average, with one 6'4" mark. The field events don't mean squat for where you are right now. You have all the time in the world to learn them. In the short term, you as good or better than I was and two years later I had won the U.S. Junior championships 7,210 with college implements and hurdles, about 7800 with the new lower hurdles and lighter implements they use today. (why did they ever lower those anyway...totally screwed up the record keeping)

So YES, you have more than enough justification to do a decathlon., just be fit enough to not blow the 1500 and 400. Also, the distance is necessary just not to fade on day two. And, if you run a 4:15-4:20 1500 like I used to, it will not matter if you stink in an event or two.

Gary Bastien

CommentsTotal 7 comments found, here are 3 latest:
Henry, I since found out Beach's 7499 was not with college implements, but with the IAAF weights. Meaning, he threw the 12 pound shot first, then picked up the IAAF shot (which was only 13.75 pounds, NOT 16 pounds) Same with the IAAF discus, not as heavy as the 2 kilo college discus. Something else I just found out, Beach's age. Do you realize that he was a red shirted freshman this year and he turns 21 in July? I was 21 my senior year in college, as would be most other former junior champions. Think about that, he will turn 25 less than a month after graduating college. The fact is he was a very old 18 in high school, 18 years and 11 plus months actually. In an event where maturity is everything consider this. Much is made that as a freshman at Duke he just too second at the NCAA meet. Fact is, he is the age of most seniors in college. He is doing much better than I thought he would, but I have to tell you, getting stomped by 1000 points by Ashton Eaton and having three other athletes at the USATF drop out who would have easily beat him proves my point. At age 21, he is going to have a hell of a time competting with these super sprinter, long jumper throwers of today. And he is NOT a true freshman and was not a true junior athlete who broke the REAL junior records that were set with college implements. Compare apples to apples. Beach was a VERY old senior in high school, essentially 19, and got to use high school implements and hurdles, if he had not, his scores would have been put in their proper perspective. Imagine the same thing happening in the shot put with Michaeld Carter when the threw the 12 pound shot 81 feet. People would have gone nuts to say that this high school kid is threw further than Brian Oldfield. No. Though Carter was very good, as was beach, the track world did not proclam Michael as the new American record hold by simply throwing out the 16 pound shot performers. But the decathlon world did exactly this with beach. Giving him a pass in the high hurdles, discus and shot with dinky implements and then calling him the new record holder. Lordy. Curtis really has improved this year, more than I had ever guess. However, the kid is 21 now, the age of most seniors, not freshmen in college. Let's keep grounded in reality folks, which is the REAL super star is Ashton Eaton...a full, 1200 points higher than beach at the USATF meet in 2011, just as I have said he would be all along. YEST curtis, you are a great decathlete., but want to schock the world, do it in the 800 or even the 1500. The new decathlon is now determined by one thing, the fastest sprinter who can long jump, throw and hurdle. All things equal which they are on the national and international level. (meaning all good decathletes CAN do ALL the events well) the fast Ashton Eaton types with make the u.s. decathlon team. Not scrawny Beach types. I know, I was one of the scrawny ones in the 80s...I had an outside chance then. Today? NO WAY.
Hi John, great to see you here...I would hardly call you medicre though...John, I retired in 1985, I never knew until I read here you broke your back. Amazing. Did you miss the pit or what? Didn't know you trained with Daley. Great guy. I ran against him indoors in 84 at a Pentathlon, he was training with John Christ then. I was thrilled to meet him, treated me like we had been buddys for years. Very nice guy.

My son, Steven is 17 and as you know I was a good 1500 guy, but like you said, had to run 35 miles a week in the fall and very fast 5k three days a week during the season to pull off my 4:20 something and paid a price in the throws for it. The other reason I ran so much was back then, we rarely had two pits at a meet. If you remember, only at the Olympic trials in 1984 did we have such a luxury. The two pit system today though has TOTALLY changed the event. Up until about 1984 with only one set of pits in the high jump, long jump and pole vault, we had second days that were typically 13 to 18 hours long. Today, with two pits, that day is as short as six hours. TOTALLY changing the event. My son is doing well at age 17 in the decathlon but is even smaller than you and I were (maybe not you your first two years in were one skinny dude (but could still throw well) but I wanted to find a way to have him run less overdistance, so I am going to try this 1200 thing you mentioned.

I used to run the extra mileage because with a two day decathlon back then taking in excess of 30 hours, I felt I needed it just to "hang on" for the event. If I were running today with only a 12 hour decathlon over two days I would not do ANY of the overdistance I used to do.

One thing guys can try, and this helped me in 1985, my last year before I retired was this. If you remember, I was stuck in the 400 in the decathlon for my entire career at like 50.1. But I finally got out of that by doing this. I would run say, 5 x 300 full recovery. But at the end of practice two days per week I would form run 10 x200 meters in 30 seconds., with only a fast jog across the infield inbetween. Eventually those 30 seconds turned into 26 even 25 seconds with no effort. The thing was, I was no longer doing the long over distance but I finally would run 49.0 AND still manage a 4:24 or 25 1500. My javelin, discus and shot improved. I went from 177 to about 183. I was at the end of my career an and my jumping ability diminished, but I was actually running the best 400 times of my life.

Never forget when we roomed at Syracuse together., that was a hoot, same with Olympic training center. Wish I'd a held on and trained through 1988 with you, but I needed to go get a real job.

Great to see you here John. I still tell Bob Roggy stories and how he was the stud of all studs. What a speciman he was. We'll never forget Bob will we.

Gary Bastien
Decathlon, 78-85
Eastern Michigan University
Auburn University Grad.
Number 29, Garrett Armstrong was busted for steroids on this performance. You really should not post it as a legitimate score. I knew something was up when he dropped from 11.3 100 and 50.5 100 meters and from 7,100 or less a majority of career to 8,300. Lordy.