Monday, January 30

Snell vs Moens, Quantity vs quality

Strange choice of picture by Running Times for their recent article on Olympic champion Peter Snell, which was really more propaganda for the Lydiard method, aka build a huge aerobic base – bash your brains out trying to hit 100 miles a week – before you do anything else.

The picture shows Snell winning the 800m at Rome in 1960. A triumph for quantity first? Well kind of.
But the story behind the picture tells a different story. Snell ran 1.46.3. But hang on, right there in second place is Roger Moens of Belgium – he ran 1.46.5. So only two-hundreths of a second in it. Snell, 22, running in his first Olympics. Trained by Lydiatd with 100-mile weeks and 22-mile long runs. Moens, 30 years old – that is 8 (EIGHT) years older, ran his first Olympics in 1952. He broke the world 800-metre record in 1955 (when Snell was 17). Snell took that record – but it took him until 1962 to do it.

So we have the new kid on the block, aged 22, beating a 30-year-old. And here’s the kicker – Moens’ training was virtually the exact opposite of Snell’s. His was a quality first, or quality not quantity approach. He was trained by Woldemar Gerschler, one of the fathers of interval training.

So, all credit to Snell, but really, NOT a good example to support the article’s premise.

No comments: