Saturday, August 29, 2009

12:56 for Ritz!

Olympics Day 16 - AthleticsDathan Ritenhein, fresh off of his big 27:22 PR in the 10,000 meter run at the World Championships, broke the American record in the 5,000 Friday night in Zurich with a stunning 12:56.27. (results)

In case you haven't been following his career, Ritz has been marathon training the last few years under Brad Hudson. He made the US Olympic team and finished a commendable 9th in Beijing. Just a couple of months ago he switched over to Alberto Salazar's group, and has now turned in 2 fabulous races in a row.

Clearly Salazar cannot take all of the credit- Dathan was is great shape prior to the move, and had a huge aerobic base behind him. All he needed was some sharpening, and the timing of his coaching change was perfect (sounds to me a lot like Ritz is following the Lydiard training bible by accident).

My question is this- how fast would Dathan run in a marathon say, October. I have to believe that a 12:56 5K indicates a much higher level of fitness for Ritz at all distances including the marathon. If it were me, I'd be looking for a fast course like Chicago and see what happens. I have a hunch Salazar will be more patient and shut him down for the season. Too bad.

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