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  #11  
Unread 08-02-2011, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by cxw View Post
it’s one where the 10th fastest Kenyan is still faster than the fastest non-Kenyan (in the men’s events).

This needs to East African rather than Kenyan, or specifically include Ethiopians here. You've got Bekele and Gebrselassie here.
I changed it

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Seb Coe at 800m would definitely be a real contender today, so I don't agree that whites can win it. Less likely yes, but still possible.
And yet they aren't and it's really that simple. It's like the arguments I got into over the 100m. Buncha guys saying 'Oh white guys jsut aren't trying as hard.' Nonesense, go to any track team. Plenty of white guys busting their butts. And they can't compete with the West Africans in the short sprints. PERIOD.

But in the middle distances things get funky. 800m isn't true distance, you can get to 1:42 a few different ways. Even a mile can be run in different ways (consider that the first 4 minute mile was done on insanely low volume by Bannister) because you can get to the end of it and finish before you die on the vine without the monster aerobic engine. So you wouldn't expect a group predisposed towards DISTANCE running to be quite as dominant in that funky middle ground. And, as you noted, past 1500m it's East Africans all the way down. Even by 5k it's like 95% aerobic so...

And again, looking at just the Olympics can be deceptive for reasons I'll discuss in Part 2.
  #12  
Unread 08-03-2011, 04:34 AM
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Seb Coe's 800m PB was awesome, he's the 3rd quickest ever, so yes he would be a contender. Noted that it's not true endurance, but the IAAF article you quoted as about Caucasians and Africans for middle and distance running. I don't agree with the middle distance statement that Caucasians can't compete.

There's also Nick Willis over 1500m who's got a 3rd and 4th in the diamond league (plus 2008 olympic silver). Plus the others I've mentioned from the last 30 years.

The Kenyans over the marathon is phenomenal - the Nairobi 2010 marathon had 25th place at 2:17:34.

The olympics have the problem with a country having a quota for event. So if a country has the top 100 athletes but can only send 3, and 1 of these gets an injury/illness then the 101st best in the world gets bronze.
  #13  
Unread 08-03-2011, 07:11 AM
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Part 2
  #14  
Unread 08-03-2011, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by cxw View Post
Seb Coe's 800m PB was awesome, he's the 3rd quickest ever, so yes he would be a contender. Noted that it's not true endurance, but the IAAF article you quoted as about Caucasians and Africans for middle and distance running. I don't agree with the middle distance statement that Caucasians can't compete.

There's also Nick Willis over 1500m who's got a 3rd and 4th in the diamond league (plus 2008 olympic silver). Plus the others I've mentioned from the last 30 years.
Take it up with the article author. This series is already too long and trying to explain such (IMO irrelevant) exceptions is not worth the time or energy. It's like the guys who bring up the single white guy who cracked 10 sec in the 100m as 'proof' of osmething. Yeah, he's 0.4 beyond the best and did what blacks did 30 years ago.

If the Kenyans started dedicating themselves more to the middle distances, they will dominate and and the 2-3 whites you've named won't be on the board anymore. And Seb was a monster talent; occasionally you see those WR's that just stand forever because they are so incredible. The shorter races also tendto be more impervious to a lot of folks breaking through it because there isn't as much wiggle room (i.e. consider improvements in the marathon to the 400 or the 100)

Whatever this is pedantry and ultimately not relevant to my overall thesis.
  #15  
Unread 08-03-2011, 01:18 PM
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here is an auto-regulating aspect to their training; whey they feel good they go hard.
9 paragraphs from the bottom.
  #16  
Unread 08-03-2011, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by lylemcd View Post
Whatever this is pedantry and ultimately not relevant to my overall thesis.
Ok then, I'll leave it at then.

One question which hopefully you'll address in the later articles - why for the lighter weight divisions does the US not do much in weightlifting? The big boys obviously have other sports where they can get stuff out of (even if just a free university education).

But the lighter divisions? Are these guys pretty good high school American Football players who are called "mighty mouse", but just end up too small and then quit?
  #17  
Unread 08-04-2011, 07:33 AM
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9 paragraphs from the bottom.
Got it, thanks.
  #18  
Unread 08-04-2011, 07:44 AM
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Ok then, I'll leave it at then.

One question which hopefully you'll address in the later articles - why for the lighter weight divisions does the US not do much in weightlifting? The big boys obviously have other sports where they can get stuff out of (even if just a free university education).

But the lighter divisions? Are these guys pretty good high school American Football players who are called "mighty mouse", but just end up too small and then quit?
I hadn't intended to discuss it explicitly, no. But I will address the general issue.

As to the Kenyan sprinter thing, consider that
a. I never said that ALL records were held by Kenyans or that NO whites had won.
b. But for all practical purposes, it might as well be that way

because if you can only name like 2 white guys doing anything in a sport and 99.8% of the records are held by one ethnic group (whatever the percentages work out to), for all PRACTICAL purposes whites might as well give up. I mean, don't get me wrong, reaslitically ANY athlete has a 0.1% chance of reaching the top in the first place.

But when you look at the numbers, the odds of any white not only being in the 0.1% that can be elite but ALSO be in the 0.1% who can beat a Kenyan (in the distances) or West African (in the sprint where it's closer to 0%) are not worth considering. Sure, it's possible. So is walking into a wall and passing through it. Possible is not probable.

One might also argue, given the physiological demands, that the middle distances (perhaps 400-800m that weird middle zone) is the ONE place you wouldn't expect outright African dominance. That is if the West Africans are just built to short sprint (100-200m) and the East Africans the distances (1500m+) the ONE place they might not be best is smack in the middle.

Because, again the 400-800m on the track can be run in bunch of different ways (in the same way that a lot of different swimming programs have produced results because most swimming events are in that weird middle area, 30s-2 minutes). So you get a 200m guy with amazing speed who tacks on some speed endurance. Or an 800m guy with great endurance who improves speed. And you can't say for sure which approach is optimal (wheras, in the 5k, it's a monster aerobic engine no matter how you cut it). You might even argue that it requires either (depending on your perspective)
a. the greatest development of both systems
b. the most mediocre

and if it's B, it's the one place you would expect to see the most variance because a group wired for outright dominance might not be set up for an event requiring balance or mediocrity. Which doesn't change the fact that there are still only a handful of white folks holding records or winning. They exist but they are in the minority.

Even in the German track cycling example, the 4km time trial I mentioned (even takes about 4 minutes, right about the same as the track 1500m), they had one cyclist who didn't have the monster aerobic engine but did his power output with a huge anaerobic effort.

Which points out that you see some weirdness in what ex. physiologists call the mystery zone. About 2-8 minutes event duration and it's hard to say what's optimal for performance and you see more variance than at either extreme. Especially at the lower ends of that. Even by the time you get to 8 minutes (for example rowing) it's pretty much predominantly aerobic. In that 2-4 minute range, oddness happens.

And that's the one counterexample you're focusing on.
  #19  
Unread 08-05-2011, 04:42 AM
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When I wrote “Ok, I’ll leave it at that” – I meant you’ve answered my questions perfectly fine. I did NOT mean “ok, I give up, you don’t get it”. My apologies for the ambiguity in my previous reply.

Your statement about middle sports having a wide variation in successful training is correct.

You encourage people to actually think through training and therefore you get challenged on what you write as opposed to many gurus. So please take my posts in a positive manner.

I hope everything is all fine.
  #20  
Unread 08-05-2011, 06:22 AM
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Part 3

I'm not saying don't think. Taking the statement 'Whites have bascailly no chance of winning an event' (an accurate AND qualified statement) and pointing out two or three exceptions (most from the women's events, others from the middle distances where stuff gets weird) is just pedantic nitpicking that isn't relevant to the overall topic. That's the distinction.
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