Final Surge Podcast Episode 73: Alan Webb

In Episode 73 of the Final Surge Podcast, we welcome Olympian and American Mile Record Holder Alan Webb. We speak to Alan about his new coaching business and his coaching philosophy. In addition, we chat about his thoughts on the mile, ask some training questions, discuss his past injuries and his life since retirement from professional running.

Welcome to Episode 73 of the Final Surge Podcast. We have had some great runners on this podcast. Neely Spence Gracey, Nick Willis, Nick Symmonds, Dathan Ritzehein, Kim Conley and more, but maybe none has had a bigger influence on the running scene, especially the American running scene, like today's guest. Today we welcome American Mile Record Holder, Alan Webb. Alan retired from running in 2014 and has not been seen much around the running community since then, but that is about to change. Alan is part of a group starting a new coaching service called RunDoyen. We talk to Alan about the goals of the business and how you, or anyone else can get personalized coaching from him and other professional runners. We also spend a little time talking about his training and the state of American middle distance running. Please remember to share this podcast on social media.

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Before we get to some questions about your career, let's find out what you have been up to for the last three years. How is the truck repair business?

  • Business has been great

There is a new site and Twitter account popping up called RunDoyen. It has listed yourself, Tara Welling, Ryan Vail, Aaron Braun, Jessica Tonn and more. A tweet said you are launching a new concept that reinvents the way the running community connects. Can you tell us what this project is?

  • Coaching site, schedule time with one of the coaches
  • Video chat
  • Final Surge training logs
  • Message board system
  • Access to professional runners

Will it be a monthly membership service?

  • Purchase Time
  • Purchase Training Plans
  • No monthly fee, packages that are over the course of a training block

What type of training plans are you offering?

  • Mile to marathon
  • Not limiting to one distance, offering variety

If someone is interested in working with you in a mile program, what is the timeframe?

  • Customized to individual
  • Would prefer more time 2-3-6 months to develop
  • Looking to build relationships long-term

What was it about this idea that got you excited to get involved in it?

  • Easy to use packaged online system
  • Can help people around world to work with different people

What else can people expect?

  • Drills, strength training, other things integrated into the training plan
  • Communication between athlete and coach on daily basis
  • Athlete tells us what is going on so we can make adjustments

What type of feedback are you looking for with communications from your clients?

  • What actually got done
  • How you are feeling, how run went
  • Any questions they have for the coaches
  • Video appointments for communications too

Are nutrition and physical therapist you have listed on site included?

  • Different packages
  • Can schedule time with other specialists

These are well-known professionals, what type of client you will be working with?

  • We are all looking for variety
  • More geared towards non-professionals
  • People looking to improve

We know your work ethic and how hard you hit it on your workout days. What is your coaching philosophy?

  • There are times you need to hit it hard, but also time for recovery
  • Recovery balance is important
  • Recovery helps keep you healthy

Will you personally be working with someone who wants to run a longer distance like a marathon?

  • Yes, looking forward to it

When you ran you were known as someone who liked to hit the weight room and hit workouts hard. Was that something specific to Alan Webb or would you incorporate this into your athletes you are working with too?

  • That was specific to me
  • More important for me as a miler than a marathon runner
  • Strength training is important, but specific to athlete
  • Amount/intensity needs to adjust to event/athlete

We had Jonathan Marcus on recently and talked about some of your workouts, will be dusting off your training logs to bring some of those back?

  • Some of it for sure
  • Will be adapted to the athlete/event
  • Some of the basic workouts are great, fun, tough

One of the workouts was a shorter 100's do you remember what your paces were?

  • 400-800 goal race pace
  • Really fast going hard
  • Hardened to faster pace to take edge off the mile

Do you have all your old running logs?

  • Lost some, but have many of them
  • A few high school years have a few lost
  • Have quite a bit

It has been three years since you retired if you could paint a picture of what that time has looked like?

  • Tore ALC so personal running has taken a dive
  • 2 and 5 year old are handfuls, but going great
  • Wife Julia getting ready to run her first marathon

Do you have any running goals for the future?

  • Would love to run a marathon
  • Would be just to get through it
  • Nick Symmonds is my inspiration
  • Have to get ACL fixed first

You are arguably the greatest US middle distance runner of all time. So when you looked at retiring, why truck repair?

  • Good growth market
  • Enjoyed learning a new skill and been fun

I want to ask you about the mile. When Steve Scott set it, it stood for 25 years before you broke it in 2007. And now it has been another decade and no one has touched it. Why do you think this has been so hard to break?

  • It is a fast time
  • Have to be on and everything go right
  • To stay at the level is difficult, tough to get there

You ran 3:46, that is a well respected time. Is American middle distance running progressing the way it should be?

  • Yes, we are progressing the right direction
  • We are getting medals in major championship races
  • We are seeing on a consistent basis success in big races
  • Big pipeline coming up
  • High School runners are now breaking 4 minutes on a regular basis

What do you think has been the biggest reason for the resurgence?

  • Internet makes it easier to be a track fan

What advice do you have for young high school runners?

  • Persevere and don't worry about people running faster
  • Different runners develop at different ages

You had times in your career that you were plagued by injuries. Looking back at it now is there anything you think you would have done differently?

  • Would have added in more recovery
  • Would have been a little more conservative in workouts
  • Better perspective

The Final Surge... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite endurance/running book? - Perfect Mile
Current trainers you are wearing? - Nike Structure Triax
Favorite race? - American Mile Record
Favorite meal or recovery drink? - Spaghetti
Your favorite workout - 800's, 8 x 800

Resources:
RunDoyen on Twitter
RunDoyen Website
Alan Webb on Twitter
Alan Webb American Record Mile Race

 


Team Final Surge

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