Monday, 24 February 2014

14 Minutes

I would love to be now going on to say that 14 minutes was my new PB for 5000m, but alas, no.  That is still nothing but a dream (the best I ever managed for 5000m is 15.03).

No, 14 minutes is the title of the latest book I have been reading. An autobiography by Alberto Salazar and the 14 minutes in question, is the length of time that his heart stopped beating following a heart attack in 2007!

This autobiography is an engrossing read. From his family history:  His father was a friend of Fidel Castro and fought alongside Castro and Che Guevara, prior to falling out with them and escaping to America;  His determination to become the greatest Marathon runner in history;  His faith, Salazar is a staunch Catholic;  His battles against injury;  His approach to coaching; And of course, the near fatal heart attack of 2007.

The book was written during the period, shortly after Mo Farah joined his training group but before the 2012 Olympics.

 However, while talking about Galen Rupp and the marathon he states that he has advised Rupp to hold off on the marathon.  Saying "Once you run a marathon you can't return to the track with the same consistent short-distance speed that you exhibited before running 26.2."

Interestingly, another running legend Haile Gebrselassie in last weeks Athletics Weekly, while discussing this year's London Marathon suggests that he feels it is too early for Mo Farah to run the marathon as he still has potential for improving his times and possibly a world record on the track.

Another observation that Salazar makes is more general, but I am sure it is one that every runner can relate to.  When comparing runners and why they keep on going, as compared with those who do other sports, Salazar says "a runner of any calibre almost never outlives the need to run.  Once you get hooked - once the day comes when you suffer more by not running than by running - you're stuck with it."

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