Coach Bob Larsen has more than 50 years of coaching excellence.
As one of the most recognized distance coaches in America he is considered to be one of the best of all time.
He has had more success at every level of the sport than perhaps anyone else including high school, community college, the collegiate level, club team and elite runners. Coach Larsen spent the bulk of his career at UCLA and was very successful during his 21 year tenure.
As the track Coach Larsen guided his team to 2 NCAA team championships and nine top-ten finishes. He was also NCAA coach of the year four different times at UCLA and recruited American elite runner Meb Keflezighi to UCLA in 1994 which started a nearly 20 year coaching relationship.
Larson started Team Running USA in 2001; a post collegiate group based out of Mammoth Lakes, CA which has become the Mammoth Track Club and has resulted in 12 Olympians, 3 Major Marathon wins, 12 World Cross Country medals, 1 world record, 23 National records, 64 National Championships, 2 #1 World rankings and 2 Olympic medals.
In short, it is the most accomplished distance running group in the United States.
They train both elite and everyday runners alike. He coached the 2004 USA Olympic Marathon teams which brought the first Marathon medals to the United States in nearly a quarter century with Deena Kastor taking Bronze in the Women’s event and Meb taking Silver in the Men’s event.
He was also just inducted to the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in December 2013 in the coach’s category recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of his career.
He is best known for his ability to take unknown athletes and many that were considered to have little to no athletic talent and develop them into champions – and to do it humbly.
In this episode. Coach Bob reflects on his entire career with many coaching and running nuggets including:
- His unlikely path into coaching
- What he has seen in his 50 years of coaching that holds true still today
- What we have gotten away from that we might be well served considering again
- How Bob coached American distance runners back into int’l competition after absence
- His proven training methodology – and you can use it
- The training and progression of elite runner and Olympic medalist Meb Keflezighi
- His thoughts on why other athletes are not able to maintain the consistency Meb has
- His sage advice to Meb before the Olympic Marathon in Athens that led to a medal
- His race strategy for out running your competition, even if they are better on paper
- How to put altitude training to work for you
- Reflections on his induction into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame
- The importance of mechanics and being efficient
We also chat about the upcoming documentary of his life that is slated to be released later this year City Slickers Can’t Stay With Me
Balanced training over a long period of time trumps extremes – Coach Bob Larsen
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Tips to maintain a long term focus as Coach Bob discusses.
Links Mentioned in the Show