There was a recent post by Let’s Run, a website I love.  It’s one of the few sites I check everyday.  It’s all about running and racing.  The guys that run it do an amazing job and they are both runners and have some impressive personal bests in their own running career.

It was interesting what they posted this week and I wanted to comment on it.  Gerry Lindgren is a runner with an amazing history

here’s a part of it from the Seattle Times 

The argument for Lindgren is a simple one. At one time, he held national high-school records in the 1,500 meters, 3,000 meters, mile, 2 miles and 3 miles. And he didn’t just break these records. He shattered them with a running style that wasn’t smooth or fast, but frighteningly consistent. Lindgren the machine.

He broke the national 2-mile record by more than a minute, and it took 15 years before someone came along and topped it. His high-school 5,000-meter record stood for more than 40 years. He lapped Ryun, beat Prefontaine when nobody else could, and bested Mills, who went on to the Olympic glory that eluded Lindgren.

Let me repeat part of this, Gerry Lindgren beat the high school 2 mile national record by 1 full minute!

so when Let’s Run made this comment I felt inspired to write my comment.

here’s their comment

We’ve often thought that it’s very difficult for a great runner to be a great coach. Obviously there are some great runners that are great coaches but they normally have to go through a lot of ‘on the job training.’ A great runner is more often than not a genetic freak so many of them don’t learn while competing how to train properly. They are so talented they can get away with mistakes in training, and then when they start coaching, they teach those mistakes to their athletes.

In that light, please ignore the advice given out by Gerry Lindgren last week. Here is the advice he gave out last week on Facebook to guys and girls expected to finish in the middle of the pack guy at NCAAs on how they can win the race:

So, Next week in Terre Haute is the big race, yes? Would you like to know a move that a middle-of-the-pack runner could use to win the whole thing?? Can you run with the front runners through just HALF of the race? After the half way point, everyone will be tired. Trust me, I know! After the half, sprint! Not just a gentle pick up but and all-out-end-of-the-race-final-100-meters super sprint. Pass everybody and jet into the lead. Sprint like crazy (which everyone else will think you are) for at least a quarter mile. At that point you will be either well away from everyone or with just a few surprised runners who were stupid enough to go with your sprint. They will fade. Trust me. I know! Keep going. Relax a bit but keep your leg turnover constant. In no time the finish will be just a quarter mile away and YOU will be the only one. Sprint in to victory and try to act surprised like you didn’t know you are the best.

We’re all for not limiting yourself in a race and not expecting to lose, but the simple fact of the matter is middle-of-the-pack guys don’t win cross country races in the modern era. It’s a bell curve.

Here’s my take on it

Heart, spirit, inspiration.  With running or anything else in life worth doing, the unseen, the invisible, the thing many don’t consider is spirit. The heart of running is about spirit; transcending; going beyond.  It was and is impossible to break a 2 mile record by 1 minute.  It was done by Gerry Lindgren.

To say something is impossible is interesting.  Many things have been called impossible.  the human spirit doesn’t play by the rules of the finite; by what is possible.

Who would have told a kid you can’t break a record by 1 full minute?  I say go with spirit.  Don’t let anyone tell you, it is impossible.

Ralph Havens

Bellingham, Wa


Ralph Havens  Bellingham Physical Therapy and worldwide via Phone & Skype

Ralph Havens
Bellingham Physical Therapy and worldwide via Phone & Skype



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