I imagine reading about endurance athletes today is like reading about religious saints in ancient times. A mix of the mystical and masochistic, people denying themselves usual human comforts in an effort to push themselves to some superhuman level. Hearing about coaching in endurance running echoes stories of golf coaching: many biomechanical theories about optimal form, none having won anything near unanimous acclaim, mixed in with a generous dose of the mystical and psychological.
Two companion pieces worth reading on on Alberto Salazar coaching Dathan Ritzenhein and the future of U.S. running: CNNSI interview with Salazar, and a great Jennifer Kahn profile on Salazar and Ritzenhein in the New Yorker this week.
Count me curious as to how Ritzenhein does tomorrow in the NY Marathon.