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 The Making Of Deena Kastor
Submitted by Rickshaw :: Thu Oct 20, 2005 2:56 pm
Deena Kastor's bronze medal marathon finish in the 100+ degree heat of Athens was one of the 2004 Olympics' most memorable moments. Kastor wasn't always such a dominating athlete, however. Her collegiate career was good but not exceptional, and her early training was sub-par for someone hoping to compete on the international level. Kastor's coach Joe Vigil has written a fascinating article detailing her 10 year transformation from another face in the crowd to an Olympic medalist. It's an intriguing story of discipline, planning and sports science. If you've ever wondered just what the pros suffer through in order to reach new heights, read on.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: The Making Of Deena Kastor Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:26 pm 

It's amazing to think that Kastor was only running 40-50 miles per week as a post-collegiate athlete. Vigil's explanation of the way her VO2 MAX increased right along with the increases in her weekly training volume are eye-opening. We should probably all focus on building up our own weekly mileage totals before we even start worrying about other training details.

I hadn't realized that living and training at altitude was so vital. Sure, I knew there was a connection, but I didn't realize that it was effectively impossible to compete at the top levels of the sport if you lived at sea level. That doesn't bode well for me either, down here at the bottom level of the sport... :-)

Watching Kastor's Olympic marathon race was definitely the most captivating running event I've ever witnessed. It was unbearably hot and humid, and she started off quite slowly. In the early miles she was way back in the pack, and the TV commentators were certain that she'd blown it. They didn't even mention her, really. But then slowly she began passing one fatigued runner after another, and everyone got excited. Kastor didn't realize that Paula Radcliffe had dropped out, and wasn't even sure what place she was in as she approached the finish. When she entered the olympic stadium and heard the announcer call her name and say "third place", her teary face told the story of her emotions. It was definitely a race I won't soon forget.


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