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Jeff Duncan's success

Posted: Sat May 14, 2011 12:53 pm
by Tinman
Jeff ran a 9:36 pr 3200m race last night at the Loucks Games.  Fantastic! Just two years ago he was trying to break 11 minutes for 3200m. Way to go Jeff!

Re: Jeff Duncan's success

Posted: Sat May 14, 2011 5:09 pm
by bullseye
Awesome. Great running. Congratulations to athlete and coach!

Re: Jeff Duncan's success

Posted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:06 pm
by ksrunr
Great time Jeff.  And I'll bet he goes faster yet!!

Re: Jeff Duncan's success

Posted: Sat May 14, 2011 11:08 pm
by Tinman
It should be noted that Jeff has done almost all training alone. He is at a school that has no program. That's why I have been able to offer Jeff training advice and feedback. To Jeff's credit, he is smart, dedicated, and he demonstrates wisdom by listening to his elders. He gets advice from me, his uncle Andrew Duncan; and then he applies what he learns. He's the ultimate example of someone who showed little promise, on the surface, for distance running 3 years ago, but through his dedication to training, and to training correctly, which often times doesn't bring rapid but short-term results, he has proved that you can be successful if you want it bad enough to train for it, day after day for a long time. I am most impressed with the fact that he has run double-day mileage for the last couple of years. It has transformed him! It's not easy doing that in New York in the winter!

Kudos to Jeff!

By the way, he is a brilliant student. Next year he is attending Haverford University. He'll be running under coach Tom Donnelly, one of the best coaches in America. I happen to know about how Tom coaches because I saw the training plan that he created for Karl Paranya, who ran sub-4 for the mile in college (at a D3 college, that is). The approach Tom takes is akin to mine. There is no overkill with hard interval workouts. Tom spaces out the workouts much like I do. He also balances distance work and appropriate stamina work, before integrating higher quality work. For example, Paranya ran 90 miles per week during most of the off-season and winter, and then peaked at about 65-70 miles for the last couple of weeks before winning D3 nationals and later before running at the USATF national meet. Tom's runners have made very good progress as student-athletes, over the years.

I think Jeff will fit perfectly with the Haverford team and approach to training. Jeff won't be hammered into the ground like he would at other schools. Yet, as I told his uncle Drew (Andrew Duncan), Jeff would succeed in college even if he attended a less stellar program and coach. Why? Jeff has learned through experience over the last 3 years that he can succeed by applying wise training principles, dedicating himself to to double-day running, and keeping the steady path to success, rather than going ballistic with high-intensity workouts, which is so often the method employed by athletes who want fast results. Jeff would succeed on a team that has everybody injured, ill, or burned out, because he wouldn't fall into the trap of keeping up with the Jones' on the team who race day after day.

Anyway, I am very happy for Jeff, and I can't wait to see how he does in the future. I expect him to make Haverford's National team for xc next fall. He has to keep working on his strength and endurance, though, before that happens.


Re: Jeff Duncan's success

Posted: Sat May 14, 2011 11:37 pm
by ap4305
Very wise college choice!  We got to witness Donnelly's brilliance while working at another university in the region.  Many of the All Americans that Donnelly has nurtured were not spectacular runners in high school.  If you just looked at 800m/1600m/3200m high school times, you probably couldn't distinguish their recruiting classes from less accomplished teams.  It's also a beautiful campus with an abundance of grass fields and access to trails.  Be prepared to work hard in the classroom! Haverford is an extremely tough school but an excellent learning environment.  One of the articles I linked below is about how they won Nationals in XC and got a Rhodes Scholar in the same week. 

After all these years, Donnelly finally started to get some national press in the NY Times. ... rford.html ... rford.html

Re: Jeff Duncan's success

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:46 am
by BoilerTom90
Congrats to Jeff, and to his coach!! That's a pretty amazing amount of improvement, despite not having the support system of a solid team around him.  Couple that with being Harvard bound it's even more impressive!