Monday, August 10, 2015

V. 5 N. 74 Extreme and Dumb Workouts or Extremely Dumb Workouts

In private emails some of our readers have been sharing  the stupid stuff we did for workouts back in the day.   Certainly a lot less was known about training, and we operated on the whims of coaches not trained in our specific events, or we tried to out do each other when we heard about workouts some other kid did.   I'm encouraging you to share some of those foolish episodes in your careers.  We all did it.   You can post on the comments section below, or you can send me your experiences directly to   Just label your email as 'dumb workouts' so I'll know they are not spam.     Here is the correspondence that gave me the idea for this post.   This weekend I backed out of a 6Km mountain run which is the last leg of the Gutbuster series here on Vancouver Island.


On Sat, Aug 8, 2015 at 11:24 PM, George Brose <> wrote:
Hope you're not waiting with 'baited breath' to learn of the results of the 6km mountain trail run I did today,
 cause I didn't do it.   Daughter Dominique talked me out of it reminding me what a hard time I had on a 10km
 mountain race last fall.  This one is a lot steeper and it's the downhill that had her concerned.  Lots of softball
 and football sized rocks and a test of strength for old knees and quads.  Plus it was pissing here this morning.
   Instead she convinced me to do a 'hike' on another mountain,  This was only 10 miles round trip, but enough
 of a challenge that I took two Aleve's this evening and glad I didn't do the race.   Friday I had a nice bike ride
 almost twenty miles averaging a little over 20 mph plus a stop at the track for a warmup and 3 x200 meters to
 see what kind of a pace I could hold,  48 sec. is the answer to that, so I think I'm coming around with the 
speed again.  But definitely not the mountain stuff.  

Take care,

 I  saw the video on that mountain, so good call to avoid it.
3 x 200 (48) at 72 years of age.  Not bad.  That reminds me of when I ran 10 x 200 (26) with Mike Ryan, my 
best-ever 200 workout.  1 x 200 (48) would be acceptable today.

2:16 PM (19 hours ago)

One night when I did not feel like dancing in bars on Vine St. in Cincinnati my roomate bet me a Larosa pizza
 I could not run 100x100m with a 100m jog. I did it ! But next day I looked like a ruptured duck that had a 
failed hemorrhoid surgery walking to class.

Bruce Kritzler

2:26 PM (19 hours ago)

Reminds me of a pole vaulter telling me about taking part in a Masters' Thesis experiment.
The thesis was testing out the new Puma Brush Spikes (1969) compared to regular spikes.
They only had to run 50x50 in each of the shoes, a week apart. But he said it took the full
week before his legs felt anywhere near normal.

George Brose 

3:25 PM (18 hours ago)

Once back in 1963 or 64 we were running poorly in XC and Jack Daniels' team at Okla City U.  kicked our tea sipping 
asses.   Daniels told our coach, Bill Carroll that  he had his guys train up to being able to run twenty miles before the 
season even started.   Bill decided to play catch up and on a Tuesday he drove our team out on the Interstate in a Jeep
 and an old ammunition trailer  20 miles from the campus.  Left us out on the median and said, 'Head on home boys'.  
No water, old thin soled canvas shoes, most of us no socks.  Eight miles was my longest run prior to that.  Seemed like
 a good idea at the time.  It was late Sept. probably still in the mid 80's.  Cars zipping by above the 80mph speed limit.
  We could see the high rises on the campus from the moment we started.  After about 10 miles it no longer seemed 
like a good idea, but we all made it home.  We weren't right the rest of the season.   I think I slept through my 8:00 am
 class next morning and had to run 50 times up the stadium steps at 5:00 AM the next day as punishment meted out by
 the academic advisor, Porter G. Robertson, cousin or brother to the actor Dale Robertson. His favorite line when talking to
a new freshman was,  "Know what I like about you, boy?   Nothin'.  
  Them were the days.

Wilfred Schnier

5:14 PM (16 hours ago)

   Not so smart but still quite a workout.  Hats off to you and your effort and your pizza.
   In my second year of T&F, I was trying to peak at the end of the season and understood I needed speed work.  I was 
at Franklin Park in Columbus with a shot putter and planned to run 10 x 100 (not 100 x 100).  I gave him a 50 yd. lead 
and tried to catch him.  Well, that was not possible.  Little by little I whittled his lead down to where it would be just 
about a tie, but each of the 100s was all out.  That was on Sunday and our big race with rival Otterbein was on 
Tuesday.  On Monday I could hardly walk and on Tuesday during the day it was better but not much better.  By race
time I had never been more confident but never more rigid.  I was as flexible as the presidents on Mt. Rushmore.   
 Nevertheless, it workout out pretty well inasmuch as I won the race and set a track record.  Fortunately, I never made 
that mistake again.    Bill

Bruce Kritzler

9:58 PM (11 hours ago)

100x100 = 50 laps if done on the track, about 12.5 miles. Is that your longest workout ever? I hope you didn't wear 

training techniques for beer mile

Whether this qualifies for idiocy or stupidity, I'm not sure.  No one has died running a beer mile.
Maybe the distance should be upped or should I say urped?   One 'p' or two in 'urped'  'urpped'?

I will add this workout without naming names.
A friend in Ohio will do a 12 hours shift as an ER doctor and then she will finish it off with a twenty miler.  I think that she has done some crazier ones than that, but I'll let her tell us.  She also got trampled by a horse and ended up with a crushed sternum and walked back several miles to a road to get help.  But I think that is survival not stupidity.

Back to Back 220's

Back in the mid 60s at Oklahoma U.  Billy Calhoun of Dayton, OH was a two time indoor 440 yard champ.  He may have shared the title once with Theron Lewis.   Billy was the first guy to break 50 sec. on OU's notoriously cold indoor track "Pneumonia Downs" with a 48.6.    Talk about stud.

Billy never ran in the NCAA outdoors, because he returned home to work at the GM plant in Dayton to support his family.  

He was not shy about hard workouts on the track.   One day we timed him at 9.9 seconds for  100 yards on our slow soft cinders.  This was from a stand up position without the benefit of blocks.  He then went on to do a set of 'back to back'  220s.  This was done by running a 220 flat out in the neighborhood of 22 sec. or better.  As soon as the runner stopped he went straight back to the line and did another.  We're talking less than 15 seconds rest.  Usually that ended the workout.


skwilli said...

Other than my aforementioned 24-Hour Relay!!! At Penn State in the late 70s there were many hard workouts that I didn't particularly like. The 1 1/2 mile repeats on Julian Pike (a mountain) were not a favorite. But the absolute worst was what was essentially a tempo workout on the 10K XC course. The top guys would surge and relax. Us "non-top" guys would try to catch up, and almost make it back until the next surge started. On and on until you were running flat-out for the whole 10K course. Often I had a better time on Wednesday during the workout than I did on Saturday at the meet. But then I was an idiot...

George Brose said...

Another of my brilliant idiocies back in the mid 60's was 'less weight, the faster you can run.' So I stopped drinking water after workouts. There was no such thing as water during workouts. I take that back. In the winters in our unheated indoor facility we had hot tea available. Anyway, I dropped my weight from 155 pounds, from an already very lean person down to 149 pounds. But on the third day I could no longer walk out to the track. I put two and two together and started back on the water and was better in no time. So much for experimenting. George Brose

skwilli said...

I weighed "120" in our yearbook until Junior year. (not quite double that now!) That was a lie. It was really 118, but Coach Groves would not allow that to be in his brochure. And I didn't drink anything in a marathon until my fourth one. Like, I said, I'm an idiot.

Phil said...

Over christmas break once when icy out. I watched Wizard of Oz movie on TV while jogging in place on my moms couch in socks. My achilles tendons looked like slim jims for days:(

Roy Mason/ George Brose said...

Your poor mother

V 8 N. 43 Book Review "My Marathon, Reflections on a Gold Medal Life" by Frank Shorter and John Brant

To read an autobiography of someone who was a contemporary, though miles above one's own abilities in the sport of long distance runni...