Jeff Benjamin and Frank Shorter, photo by Jeff Benjamin
Frank Shorter does not get the respect that is due him. In 1972, Frank Shorter won the gold medal in Munich, sixty four years after the last American won the Olympic marathon (Thomas Hicks, 1904, 1908). In 1976, he took the silver, in a race against Waldemar Cierpinksi, who had been train to run in Shorter’s body space and break him at his mental game.
The late John Jerome said it best of Frank Shorter in Mariah Magazine (now Outside) in 1978, ” by putting 26 five minute miles, one after another, in Munich, Frank Shorter invented running…”.
Shorter got altitude training before most. He could race from 2 miles to 10,000m, with the best. His workouts were, well, insane.
Jeff Benjamin sent this piece from Frank Shorter, one of America’s finest.
Awaiting The Baton In The Relay Exchange Zone – Profiles Of Athletes, Coaches & Legends During The War Against Corona
Profile # 14
OLYMPIC Marathon Gold Medalist & Running Legend Frank Shorter
By Jeff Benjamin
1) What advice can you give to runners, -especially youth, high school, collegiate- who are challenged during this time as well?
“For all runners, from high school on up, IF you are allowed outside to exercise, I would very, very strongly suggest you run alone, although girls and women should be very much careful and aware- a partner, 6 feet apart would be a very good idea. The added mental effort to stay 6 feet apart from even one other person (much less from all members of a group) would be annoying to say the least, and for me 6 feet means 6 FEET FOR EVERYONE! For myself the question is moot.
As I read our lockdown rules for Boulder County I can only be outside with family members or persons who are in my household AND no other group gathering is allowed outside…period. PLEASE read the rules for your particular area.
I guess this is easy to for me to say because ever since I left Florida in 1974 and no longer ran my easy runs with Jack Bacheler, 70% of my running has always been alone. In Colorado I did sometimes run my easy runs with others but have pretty much always done my interval training alone, save when Pre (Steve Prefontaine) and I would train on the track together while traveling together and running Internationally.
I’ve always thought “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” was a myth anyway.
So, rather than socialize, ramp up your visualization.
“Please be Safe!”
2) How is your daily training routine doing and how challenging has it been for you in this environment?
“With all pools closed, I’m not able to swim for 40 minutes twice a week like I normally do, but the rest of my training schedule is pretty much the same. I just do it at home rather than at Rally Sport, my gym of 20 years. Every day In the morning I ride a bike indoors for about an hour. In the afternoon I run outside ALONE 2-3 times a week for 50 minutes around a lake by my house. 2-3 times per week I’ll walk alone rather than run.
After that, on alternate days, I’ll do either weight training (I have a full weight bench set up) or planks and sit ups for core strength. I try to stretch every day.”
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