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    Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

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    Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by Trackaholic on Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:47 pm

    As runners, we are always hounded by the naturally gifted. We log in mile after mile speedwork after speedwork, only to have those "naturally gifted" atheletes take the spotlight as they accomplish times we could only ever reach in our dreams. *cough*fernandez*cough*

    It can be disheartening at times, especially when the realization that goals such as world records, sub 4 miles, and olympic medals may only ever be realized by those with genetics on their side.

    Of course, true runners never let this stop them from running, we continue to train and run. We know there is more to running than records and glory. However, I think I can safely say that there are always those moments when these fantasies creep into our minds, and we see ourselves breaking a county record or smashing a PR. That is arguably half the reason we continue to run day after day after day.

    Now let me get to my point. I think we all know who Brian Sell is or at least heard of him, He stands to the far right of hall and ritz on the websites photo.

    Sell is different from Hall and Ritz though. Hall and Ritz were both great atheletes from the start, taking Highschool Cross Country by storm on a national level and boasting some sick PR's in there early years. They are without doubt very naturally talented runners.

    Sell, on the other hand, Boasts A modest Highschool 3200m pr of 10:06. Not bad, but lets face it, its nowhere near the times Ritz, Hall, puskedra, webb, fernandez, (etc) put up in highschool. Not even in the same ballpark.

    And yet, we see Sell standing proudly next to his fellow olympians today. And my question is, do you believe that Sell proves that with hard work it is possible to make the olympics despite lacking natural talent? Or do you believe that Sell is Naturally talented, and he simply did not work very hard during highschool, masking his potential from the public eye.

    Brian Sell, Hard work, or Talent?
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by Pinthin on Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:15 pm

    Can it be bits of both?

    Maybe high school wasnt his time, I dont know how to explain it..But It could be due to hard work. Maybe someone should ask him how hard he trained in high school, haha. But really..

    btw his mustache is sweeet

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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by funrunner on Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:24 pm

    You make a very good point. I also think it could be his event. The marathon is incredibly different from most other races. I'd imagine that the endless hours of training become a little more evident over longer distances. There are people who run fast times in the 800 to the 10k with little to no training, but I don't think there's anyone who can run a good marathon on pure talent.
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by runner_dude on Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:34 pm

    I think it is a number of things. Firstly, he could just be a later bloomer than others. Secondly, perhaps he didn't work that hard in HS, or had other commitments etc that prevented him from running great times. Thirdly, as funrunner said, the marathon is an entirely different beast then the 2 mile. They are almost as different as the 55m and the 2 mile.

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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by funrunner on Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:37 pm

    Don't get me wrong, I still think he's working with a lot less talent than Hall and Ritz.
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by futureNIKErunner on Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:39 pm

    i think he has talent obviously, but i think he just works really hard
    and i do believe those people that work their butts off can get somewhere too. but they have to work insanely hard.
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by AudienceOfOne on Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:49 pm

    moving this to the pro section....


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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by hxc on Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:51 pm

    He ran 10:00 in higshchool running 15 mpw with a lousy coach. I'd say that's talent.
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by futureNIKErunner on Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:52 pm

    HXC_Runner2012 wrote:He ran 10:00 in higshchool running 15 mpw with a lousy coach. I'd say that's talent.

    yeah that is talent then Shocked
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by AudienceOfOne on Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:55 pm

    ok moved.


    i believe he worked hard in HS, and continued working hard. that's something a lot of mediocre HSers don't do after HS.

    i also believe that the longer the distance, the less talent comes into play. he got better the longer he worked and the longer the distances he ran go.

    so hard work.


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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by AudienceOfOne on Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:56 pm

    HXC_Runner2012 wrote:He ran 10:00 in higshchool running 15 mpw with a lousy coach. I'd say that's talent.
    are you sure? if that's true, hall and ritz could probably still run well under 10 with 15 mpw.


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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by BA_Sadie. on Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:10 pm

    i think its a mixture of both he obviously has talent and that gives him more of an advantage then the average runner but he works very hard with the talent he has...
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by FinishingKick on Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:57 pm

    runner_dude wrote:I think it is a number of things. Firstly, he could just be a later bloomer than others. Secondly, perhaps he didn't work that hard in HS, or had other commitments etc that prevented him from running great times. Thirdly, as funrunner said, the marathon is an entirely different beast then the 2 mile. They are almost as different as the 55m and the 2 mile.
    I was going to say those lol.
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by FinishingKick on Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:57 pm

    HXC_Runner2012 wrote:He ran 10:00 in higshchool running 15 mpw with a lousy coach. I'd say that's talent.
    Source?
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by BagoXC25 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:39 pm

    [slightly off-topic]
    I think we should ban the word "talent" from this forum, because we don't need to be reminded of one of the main excuses runners use when they get beat. There is a big difference between talent, and genetics people. Everyone has a certain gene pattern that allows them to be GREAT in at least one of the events from 100 - ultra marathon. Some people just have to find their event.

    For example, Ryan Hall thought he was a miler up until he was almost done with college. He ran 4:01 in high school so that is why he pursued that route. But when he started to do marathons, he realized that is where he shines.

    I never blame anything on talent, good or bad. Sometimes it is just harder choke down the fact that someone outworked you fair and square.

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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by hxc on Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:50 pm

    FK wrote:
    HXC_Runner2012 wrote:He ran 10:00 in higshchool running 15 mpw with a lousy coach. I'd say that's talent.
    Source?

    One of the announcers mentioned it during the OTs, and it also says it on the Hanson-Brooks Distance Project site, which I can't seem to find.

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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by hxc on Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:52 pm

    BagoXC25 wrote:[slightly off-topic]
    I think we should ban the word "talent" from this forum, because we don't need to be reminded of one of the main excuses runners use when they get beat. There is a big difference between talent, and genetics people. Everyone has a certain gene pattern that allows them to be GREAT in at least one of the events from 100 - ultra marathon. Some people just have to find their event.

    For example, Ryan Hall thought he was a miler up until he was almost done with college. He ran 4:01 in high school so that is why he pursued that route. But when he started to do marathons, he realized that is where he shines.

    I never blame anything on talent, good or bad. Sometimes it is just harder choke down the fact that someone outworked you fair and square.
    +234523, Great post.

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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by funrunner on Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:21 pm

    BagoXC25 wrote:[slightly off-topic]
    I think we should ban the word "talent" from this forum, because we don't need to be reminded of one of the main excuses runners use when they get beat. There is a big difference between talent, and genetics people. Everyone has a certain gene pattern that allows them to be GREAT in at least one of the events from 100 - ultra marathon. Some people just have to find their event.

    For example, Ryan Hall thought he was a miler up until he was almost done with college. He ran 4:01 in high school so that is why he pursued that route. But when he started to do marathons, he realized that is where he shines.

    I never blame anything on talent, good or bad. Sometimes it is just harder choke down the fact that someone outworked you fair and square.
    I've got to agree with you, although we can't ban a word as common as talent. I used others' natural talent as an excuse for being slow for years. Then I decided I was being a pussy. Of course I still have a friend on my XC team who runs like 10 mpw and has a 16:30ish 5k and that frustrates me a little.

    And if Sell was running 10:0x on 15 mpw, then that changes the entire story. I'd like to see your source on that.
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by Running With Scissors on Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:08 am

    I think the biggest thing that seperates the normal runners from the pros is their bodies can take more. If they can run 100+ weeks with out getting injuried they are going to be good.


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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by Trackaholic on Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:28 am

    BagoXC25 wrote:[slightly off-topic]
    I think we should ban the word "talent" from this forum, because we don't need to be reminded of one of the main excuses runners use when they get beat. There is a big difference between talent, and genetics people. Everyone has a certain gene pattern that allows them to be GREAT in at least one of the events from 100 - ultra marathon. Some people just have to find their event.

    For example, Ryan Hall thought he was a miler up until he was almost done with college. He ran 4:01 in high school so that is why he pursued that route. But when he started to do marathons, he realized that is where he shines.

    I never blame anything on talent, good or bad. Sometimes it is just harder choke down the fact that someone outworked you fair and square.

    No, not everyone is garnered towards an event. It is not a matter of finding an event that suits you. Some people really ARE restricted by their genes from ever achieving a certain speed. There are people who could never run a sub 4 mile no matter how hard they worked.

    So what if a guy cant sprint? does that automatically mean he must be a really good distance runner? No, it just means he does not have the muscle fibers for sprinting. at the same time, he could also lack the cardiovascular system for endurance/distance.

    So no. not everyone has a secret event that they have to find that they can excel at, some people really are just doomed to mediocrity. world record holders are people who have all the genetics on their side, all the oppurtunity, and all the free time to train.

    "talent" is a very real concept. Genetics are a grim reality. "talent" explains why only 4 people have ever gone under 4 minutes to the mile in highschool. talent explains why there are freshman running 4:33 miles (fernande did on one week of track training as a frosh, no prior training) talent explains why there are freshman who run 4:24 for the mile, talent explains why there are junior high kids running under 2 in the 800. talent explains why there are freshman running 9:18's for the 3200m. Talent explains why a HS senior can run a sub 13:44 5k.


    Last edited by Trackaholic on Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by Trackaholic on Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:30 am

    Running With Scissors wrote:I think the biggest thing that seperates the normal runners from the pros is their bodies can take more. If they can run 100+ weeks with out getting injuried they are going to be good.

    not neccesarily, just because you run high mileage doesnt make you a good runner. I speak to a college XC runner alot and he says there are people running 120+ mpw and getting their asses kicked by guys running 60-70 range.

    high mileage does not undisputably equal fast times. trust me.
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by RUNxxWILD07 on Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:02 am

    Trackaholic wrote:

    not neccesarily, just because you run high mileage doesnt make you a good runner. I speak to a college XC runner alot and he says there are people running 120+ mpw and getting their asses kicked by guys running 60-70 range.

    high mileage does not undisputably equal fast times. trust me.


    +3413421541
    i think it can equal fast times. if you are doing the miles right. if you are just doing crap miles to raise your mileage, then no, prolly wont help.
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by BagoXC25 on Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:55 pm

    "Talent" does not account to me not doing track and XC for 4 years, and that's why the high school sub-4 number isn't 5 : ).

    If there really is such a thing as talent, tell me then why I couldn't run under 7:00 in the mile 3 months before I ran a 19:30 5k, which also was one year before I ran 16:17 for 3 miles. People say I have "talent", but they don't know what I go through every single day to get to where I am. I have NEVER missed a single run or workout that was planned. For instance, last night I was going to run at 8:00 p.m. until a lightning storm struck. So what did I do? I drove 20 minutes out to the YMCA 1 hour before it closes so I could get my run in that day, because I have yet to miss a run for any reason. I don't know anyone that is as dedicate or as hard working as I am. That sounds egotistical, but its also true.

    And German ran his 8th grade season too, and played soccer his whole life. We have 2 soccer players who ran around 2:00 in the 800 thier first season on track. Thats not talent, that is conditioning. German is also said to be a super hard worker. He ran 6 days a week, 12 sessions a week during the season. That is work.
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by Trackaholic on Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:23 pm

    wow, bagoxc, no offense, but are you seriously saying that there is no such thing as talent, and that anybody could be a world record holder or gold medalist olympian if they simply work there ass off? Im sorry buddy, it does'nt work that way. any elite runner will tell you that while hard work is a huge factor (I never said it wasnt), genetics is an even bigger one.

    in fact, its not speculation, any physiologist with a bachelors degree can tell you this with firm conviction. The human body is an extremely complex mechanism, and all the factors that lend toward trully great running potential are not present in everyone. Its just a fact of life. for instance, the composition of our muscle fibers is different in everyone and is determined by our genes. NO AMOUNT OF TRAINING CAN REVERSE THE COMPOSITION OF YOUR MUSCLE FIBERS.

    If you are born 60% fast twitch, you will die 60% fast twitch.

    saying that genetics is a delusion and that anyone can be a great runner if they work hard enough is nonsense and is in itself a delusion. Everyone is born with limits to how fast we can run, you may train all your life with the best coach, nutritionist, anything you can think of. but if your body was not built for running fast, you will never exceed those limits set at birth no matter how hard you try.
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    Re: Brian Sell-Talent or Hard work?

    Post by AudienceOfOne on Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:24 pm

    BagoXC25 wrote:"Talent" does not account to me not doing track and XC for 4 years, and that's why the high school sub-4 number isn't 5 : ).

    If there really is such a thing as talent, tell me then why I couldn't run under 7:00 in the mile 3 months before I ran a 19:30 5k, which also was one year before I ran 16:17 for 3 miles. People say I have "talent", but they don't know what I go through every single day to get to where I am. I have NEVER missed a single run or workout that was planned. For instance, last night I was going to run at 8:00 p.m. until a lightning storm struck. So what did I do? I drove 20 minutes out to the YMCA 1 hour before it closes so I could get my run in that day, because I have yet to miss a run for any reason. I don't know anyone that is as dedicate or as hard working as I am. That sounds egotistical, but its also true.

    And German ran his 8th grade season too, and played soccer his whole life. We have 2 soccer players who ran around 2:00 in the 800 thier first season on track. Thats not talent, that is conditioning. German is also said to be a super hard worker. He ran 6 days a week, 12 sessions a week during the season. That is work.

    in his time on RW, i only agreed with something sPine said once. he said, "being good and saying you have no talent is just another form of self-glorification".


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