Are you inspired by Alex Vero's ambitions, or slightly insulted?

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  • I'm not insulted either. I think life is far too short to bother getting insulted by some one who is simply aiming high.

    Yes, it's risky going public, but it's his decision, and I wish him well.

    Wish I could run that fast!
  • Fantastic thread - just read it all.

    Setting goals and making them public can spur you on, but gives no guarantee of success. I'm as guilty of announcing questionable goals as anyone.

    I, for one, will not publically state my goals for future races. I'll just do the training, aim for a time, and let people know afterwards if I beat it.

    What am I capable of? No idea. I did a 44:34 10k on a very hot evening after a year of running. I was doing around 30-40 miles per week at the time, and although not particularly overweight was carrying a bit of excess. This suggests I should beat 4 hours for the marathon, but I know it's pointless speculating without the training. After less than 4 years of running, with too many rest periods, I'm not experienced enough to guess yet.
  • Looks like reality has bitten Alex hard - he's had to cut his commitment and lower his sights a little, although he hasn't given up completely - he's updated his website here with the details. 2.30 would still be a hell of an achievement, but I fear his own prediction of injuries will prove accurate.
  • Good to see some self reflection has taken place about time. I still do not believe Vero has the raw speed to take home under 2:30. I watched the videos with hime running 400s in 76(?) and he looked shot to pieces. Speaking as someone who with compared times between Paris(Vero) and Vienna (myself)Marathons this year finished in the 3:10 region perhaps I envy his courage and audacity - I have run a 15:55 5K.
  • ive always said he lacks the raw speed needed for sub 2 30
  • Is he still training? as he's taken his training of his website.
  • I note he ran 73.46 in today's Amsterdam Half Marathon
  • everyone needs somthing to aim for ive only been running for a short time and had times to aim for, one being a gfa time in london im up to 55 miles at the moment did a 22 miler yesterday in 2.48 for my long run. so its looking good so far. last nov i did the cornish marathon across bodmin which is rated as one of the hardest marathons going in 3.22 .

    i dont see him doing sub 2.15 but with the comitment and support hes got he might get to 2.30

  • Having just watched his latest video i have to say im quite impressed with his time at amsterdam time but more importantly with his attitude.

    Good luck to him i say . 

  • Very impressive run at Amsterdam and I'll be intrested to see his documentary when it's out.
  • the thing is we all dont have the time or coaching from top people or the money to go off to specialist training camps , but i would grab the chance if i could and yes it will be a good doc and even the people who slate him will prob watch it i know i will so go alex good luck and enjoy it and prove alot of sceptics wrong .
  • 73.46 is really good - but can that turn into a 2.30 Marathon ? I think thats debatable ?
  • I've just read all of this and Vero's website.  Very interesting it is too.  However, it's pretty clear that he's not an "elite" runner.  73:46 in a half is very good but it's nowhere near elite.  Dan Robinson and Andi Jones were 64:39 and 65:07 at the GNR.  IMHO he's not going to get near those guys...9 mins off a half at that level is a huge amount.  That's the sort of level he's going to have to reach to do a sub 2:15 marathon.

    Good luck to him though - I wish I could go from a 20min 5k down to 16:47 in that period of time - I'm lucky to break 19mins on my level of training!

  • will he still be able to get the documentary produced and aired if he doesnt make the olympic team? surely there are 3 elite male marathon runners who will finish ahead of him in london.

    good luck to him i say. but even if he does achieve his objective i worry about whether any channel will want to show such a doc. do the great british public want to watch a story about this when they could be watching scariest police chases 45 or when dogs go mad 3 etc

  • I don't think he's under the illusion that he will get in the team.
  • whats his new objective then? just to see how far he gets? mind you hes come a long way alread. cant doubt his committment.
  • I think that he has re thought the documentary and is now looking at it as a comparison between the decline of British Marathoning and the rise of the Kenyans et al. Putting himself through the rigours of training is the human interest bit and also gives a bit of an insight into what's involved.

     Good luck to him I say - from the extracts/teasers/trailers that he has shown already I think that it will be an interesting documentary and he has certainly managed to get some interesting interviews and also training done.

    FIN

  • On his website he has the following. 

    The Road to Beijing project aims :-

     1) To produce a documentary exploring the issues involved in the decline of British male marathon running compared to the meteoric rise of the Kenyan and Ethiopian runners who now dominate the world of marathon running.

     2) As a filmmaker and averagely talented runner I have totally immersed myself in the project in an attempt to see how far the average guy could progress in a 2 year period through sheer hard work and dedication.

  • but above that it states its his attempt to qualify for the olympics. its his website so i imagine he controls the content. we need clarification from the man himself. alex, are you out there?

  • Yes I agree it does contradict itself but I'm pretty sure he means the later of the two.
  • I don't have a problem with people setting themselves difficult targets.  In fact I believe that setting your sights on something which takes you outside you comfort zone is how you improve in anything, not just running.

    Even if he does not achieve his aim he will have improved his performance significantly by trying,

    Unfortunately most people do not venture outside what they perceive as their 'known limits' so will never achieve their potential.  I include myself in this category.

    I push myself in my training for running but if I was to apply the same philosophy to work, cycling, swimming or anything else I choose to do I know that I could achieve more than I think I can.

    This is based on my experiences in recovering from a severe head injury.  I did not expect to run marathons/ultras nor be working 5 days a week, but I am, by pushing myself beyond what I think are my limits.  I have not stopped yet, although I will be stopping at a 5 day working week.image

    To read more about my pholisophy on this see http://www.colinwatts.co.uk/recovery/philosophy.htm for a webpage on my philosophy to recovery.

     Colin

  • Alex is ranked 387 for half marathon and 887 for marathon this year on the powerof10 website.  A fair ways to go!  I know a fair few of the guys ranked above him and they would think I was taking the p1ss if I asked them if they were thinking of qualifying for Beijing.

    I'm also not so sure I like the "decline of the british marathon" thing though.  I think it's extremely important that we are very positive and supportive of our potential competitors.  For that reason I think/hope his documentary will never be aired.

    I also think he's not qualified to make comments like that either.  Fair enough if he was a former Olympic/Worlds athlete.  He's no more qualifed than I am.

  • I think it's pretty obvious that there has been a decline in british distance running. I don't think you have to be a former athlete to be able to say that. The facts speak for themselves.
  • there has clearly been a decline in british marathon running - anyone can see that. And even if he has no chance of making the olympics i think that the doc would be great watching for a lot of people.
  • I cant see the problem in him trying. At least he has the nerve to go public with it.He has went out on a limb and should be praised for it rather than criticised.

     Also when you go his website he has losts of useful links, especially the power of 10 site . It was very interesting to see where you have to be to get on the rankings. Although I am a long way off it gives me something to aim for if you are interested in achieving those sort of goals. Its something I would never have found otherwise.

    I hope he makes it and if he doesn't I will still think alot of him for what he has tried to acheive.    

  • yep agree with you Ian. better to have tried and failed than never have tried in the first place

    I'm a shoot for the moon type, maybe i won't get there but i might get further than i thought if i just played safe

    Good luck to him.

  • Re the decline in marathon running - the figures speak for themselves:

    1985 -  102 UK runners ran under 2:20
    2007 - 2:25 marathon gets you into the top 10 ranked UK runners

    I for one am looking forward to the docu.

    FIN

  • FINgers agreed there has been a drop in standards, but your 2007 stats are wrong and misleading:

    - The year isn't out yet - Tomas Abyu ran 2:10 this morning at Dublin.

    - So many British men run their marathon at London in years like 2007 which experience freak weather for the one race the rankings for the whole year will be adversely affected. Top 20 is probably nearer the mark these days.

  • Agreed that the year isn't out and there will be more results to come, for example Dublin today, but I disagree that the figures are wrong. As at 09:30 this morning the UK Power of 10 rankings showed a 2:25 marathon would get you into the top 10 for the year. So a 2:25 would get you in the top 10 in 2007 but 2:20 in 1985 may not even sneak you into the top 100. Top 20 by the end of the year may be a fair estimate though, what with the Autumn marathons just happening now.

    Power of 10

    Not sure where the selectors stand on weather affected times though - if the qualifying time is set at say 2:15 and the weather is hot and people don't make it, would the time be adjusted to suit or would they just say - those were the conditions, tough. Not sure on that one.

    FIN

  • The selection rule is if you don't have the time, you don't go. Simple as that, however the selectors can take into account whatever they like (previous form, fitness, conditions on the day of trials race). 

    I would expect Abyu, Robinson and Brown to be taken to Beijing.

    At London this year I passed 10+ better brits walking off the course after calling it a day. I thought I was in about 2:27 shape and ended up with 2:32. I decided I was going to finish no matter what. But for those with a half chance of running a qualifying time there was no point carrying on once the wheels came off so early in the weather. The fact that 8th was 2:08 and 9th 2:14 says it all, as lots of top runners called it a day. Therefore using the 2007 rankings to date in isolation is misleading, and even come year end 2007 is likely to be a blip thanks to the weather in London on 22nd April.

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