Racing is a skill. It’s not something you get thrown into and hope to figure out, it’s a skill that needs evaluated, dissected, and improved upon. In this episode of the Magness & Marcus Podcast On Coaching, we discuss just how to develop the fine art of racing.

Starting with a discussion on why we seem to be doing everything we can to beat any intuitive racing skill development out of our athletes, and venturing over to how the lack of actual racing (in favor of time trials…) is harming our sport. We look at Australia’s attempt at bringing back racing with Nitro Athletics, and the dangers of wrapping our identity with the times we have run.

From there, we turn to how to actually develop racing skills. Should we have tape review sessions like football does? What kind of feedback should we provide? These topics and more are covered in episode 48.

We hope you enjoy,

Steve and Jon



Resources mentioned:

Is it time to ditch the clock in track and field?

Make Good Art. Commencement Speach by Nail Gaiman


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    1. Jean-Paul Albertelli on February 14, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      I have listen to all 48 podcast and the art of racing stands out in my mind as being the best. Congratulations John Marcus you were ON!!

    2. Sebastian on June 2, 2017 at 4:03 am

      Hey guys,

      I just wanted to thank you for this very special episode.

      If you are interested in, I’ll explain why – if not: skip the rest of the text 🙂
      In 2015 i started running road races at the age of 30. Having 3 kids by now I of course am far away from being a professional runner, but i would describe myself as an enthusiastic hobby athlete. I climbed the “distance ladder” up to the half-marathon by now, but this year I went back to run 5k races.
      Because of my background my goals always were based on times as i never thought i would be in the situation to compete against others for the final position (being 10th or 12th is not important for me), but it occured that I raced a 5k on holiday, where i finished 2nd in PB (18:42) but losing the sprint at the end. I thougth about what went wrong and i came up with: about everything. I closed the gap to the leader after about 1km and then did: nohing. I just ran along the same speed, the other guy always on my side/behind me and lost the sprint.
      I thought about it, re listened this episode, thougth about it again.
      Moving some weeks forward, I ran another 5k race. I finished the race 3rd place in 19:24 but I won this 3rd place by racing my opponent and not my time. The situation was quite the same: i was behind for the first 3km and ran up to the 3rd guy. this time, as soon as I reached him, i increased my speed to get a gap between him and myself as I didn’t want to get back in the situation of a sprint at the end again. It worked perfectly! Also it felt much better although I ran way slower and also “just” finished 3rd place. In fact, it also felt better than winning 2 other races where I ran all the way alone due to simply no one being there as fast as me.

      So: thank’s again, I never thought I would be able to use this information practically myself! Kepp up the good work, it’s always a pleasure to listen!


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