For many years I have watched Middle Distance races and I have noticed something special that exists in some of the Elite. It is particularly evident in athletes such as Wilson Kipketer, Hicham El Guerrouge and Sebastian Coe.
In assessing what makes them different, it can be identified that these athletes have apparent Special Abilities in two areas:
1. An incredible appearance of “Ease of Speed” at race paces. They seem to be able to run effortlessly in the middle stages of their races. All are not large athletes yet they have been able to cruise with apparent efficiency at race pace. This is also accompanied by a superior ability to accelerate and ‘change gears’ at paces near maximum.
2. They are able to maintain a very high level of their most effective running form for the entire duration of their races. They do not collapse into a poor running position in the final straight.
I believe these two special abilities can be developed using a range of methods in any athlete. The variety of ways that athletes can improve the special abilities listed above will be discussed in this paper with some practical suggestions.