Galen Rupp, the talented Olympic silver medalist at 10,000 meters fulfilled his prediction from two weeks ago. Running mid-day, at Boston University's Terrier Invitational, Rupp ran a 3:50 mile! His exact time, 3:50.92 is, in fact, the second fastest all time for U.S. runners and fifth fastest all time indoor mile in the world!
Galen Rupp, Bernard Lagat, U.S. Oly Trials, 2012, 5,000m final,
Rupp, who specializes over 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters outdoors, is coached by Alberto Salazar. Along with Rupps' training partner, Mo Farah, Salazar trains his dynamic duo to be prepared for anything on the global sporting battlefield that is the 5,000 meters (12.5 laps on a 400 meter track) and 10,000 meters (25 laps on a 400 meter track).
Farah, Rupp medal, 2012 London, 10,000 meters,
Rupp's leg speed, which has been one of Coach Salazar's focuses over the decade that Salazar has worked with the young Oregonian, compares favorably with the likes of Haile Gebrslassie and Kenenisa Bekele. In a championship 10,000 meters, the last mile can be close to a four minute mile, with a last 800 meters around 1:52, and a last lap around 50-52 seconds.
Salazar may have learnt some of this from his former coach, Bill Dellinger. Dellinger, the 1964 Olympic bronze medalist at 5,000 meters, was one of our great American coaches. His athletes knew how to kick, and practiced it. "Reinforcing the neuromuscular loop", some may have called that principle.
Salazar forgets very little from his mentor.
But, to the keen observer, one may see some other changes in Galen Rupp. Like Bernard Lagat, Rupp has learnt to hold something back over the last 150 meters, 100 meters, 60 meters. Rupp displayed that skill in his comback over Lagat in the U.S. 5,000 meter final in 2012. For Rupp to be successful in the global sports wars that are the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters, he had to develop a strong kick, from either a kilometer out or, when it really gets hairy, with a straightaway to go, when one is tired, and the need for a quick response is vital.
And Rupp has learnt from the success of Mo Farah. Face it, Farah won two of the most tactical Olympic races or World Championship races EVER. In fact, Farah's tactics were quite similar to those used by Lasse Viren in 1972 and 1976. Farah used tactics to outrun and out sprint his competition. And that is exactly what Galen Rupp aims to do, correction, is doing.
Galen Rupp, 2010 Boston Indoor,
Galen Rupp's focus is to be the best American distance runner of his generation. His Olympic silver medal in London, along with his training partner, Mo Farah's double gold, showed much of the world that runners who were not Kenyan or Ethiopian could actually compete and win at the major distance events.
Alberto Salazar now coaches Galen Rupp, Mo Farah and Matt Centrowitz, along with his newest athlete, high school phenom, Mary Cain. At the exact moment that Galen Rupp was finishing his spectacular mile, Mary Cain was breaking the HS records for 1,500m and mile!
One of the principles of Alberto Salazar is to have his athletes race much of the year. From a mile to the half marathon, Rupp and Farah can be seen racing many distances, callousing them for the important events: national championships and world championships. Make no mistake, Alberto Salazar wants Americans (and Brits) to medal in global competitions. Salazar also knows just how supremely difficult such endeavors are: he leaves nothing to chance. Salazar watches workouts, races, and takes notes; copious notes. In his mind, that is what a coach does. And Alberto Salazar wants his athletes to be prepared, which is exactly what Galen Rupp was today, when he dropped nearly seven seconds from his mile personal best.
Next weekend, Galen Rupp will be running the 3,000 meters against Olympic 5,000m silver medalist Dejan Gebremeskel in the 2013 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. It should be a fantastic race, and do not be suprised if a U.S. record goes!
The next event, the 2013 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, will be held at the Reggie Lewis Center, in Roxbury, MA, on February 2, 2013. For information on tickets, please check www.nbindoorgrandprix.com.
Galen Rupp, Alberto Salazar, Mo Farah, London 2012,