Wariner & Hart

Wariner puts Hart back into retaining world title
By Pirate Irwin (AFP) – 19 hours ago

BERLIN — Jeremy Wariner’s decision to split from legendary coach Clyde Hart may well have cost him the Olympic title last year.

Now Wariner hopes having teamed up with his mentor again that he will avenge his Olympic defeat to LaShawn Merritt and retain his world 400 metres crown.

The 25-year-old enjoyed a dominance over the one lap distance under Hart’s supervision that had previously been enjoyed by another of the coach’s proteges, athletics superstar Michael Johnson.

Two individual world titles and the 2004 Olympic crown came his way as he brooked no opposition until the split with Hart - over money - and the emergence of Merritt combined to see him lose form and his Olympic title in Beijing last year, finishing runner-up but almost a second behind his compatriot.

Hart, who had been on 10percent of Wariner’s earnings but took umbrage when the athlete wanted to reduce it to five percent, admitted to the Dallas News in May that it had not been a pleasant moment.

“Definitely there was some hurt when that happened,” confessed the 75-year-old, who also has women’s 400m number one Sanya Richards in his stable.

“But you’ve got to think everything happens for a reason.”

Now, however, with the wounds healed Wariner is determined to show he is very much back and show Merritt that he is still number one after what he hopes was a temporary blip.

“I want to get back my ranking and defend my title,” said Wariner, who is a two-time Olympic 4x400m relay gold medallist as well as a two-time world champion in the relay.

“I want to show people that last year was just an off year for me, that I didn’t run the way I should have.”

Wariner, whose agent is Johnson, admits it won’t be easy.

“LaShawn’s a great competitor,” he said. “He’s getting better every year. I have to work hard because I know he’s working hard.”

Unlike Wariner, Merritt did compete in the 400m at the US trials - the former having gained a bye into the world championships as the reigning champion - and duly won it, and he hopes to rubberstamp his new status as the man to beat in Berlin.

“Now that I proved I could be number one, I have to keep it,” Merritt said.

"I’m more dedicated. There’s room for improvement … I have to stay hungry, stay humble.

Wariner had insisted his switch to coach Mike Ford wasn’t responsible for his failure to retain the Olympic crown.

“It was just unfortunate things happened. For one, LaShawn Merritt got better,” he said in March.

But since then he has returned to Hart.

“Coach Hart’s just a good fit for me,” Wariner said.

Wariner’s career-best of 43.45sec for the 400m - which made him the third-fastest performer in the history of the event - was set back in 2007.

He said his focus now is on regaining his own best form, rather than on Merritt and their next eventual head-to-head 400m showdown.

“That time will come,” Wariner said. "I’m not worried about that. I’m just worried about getting back to where I was two years ago.[/b]

I wonder what Wariner did, or didn’t do, that caused him to regress.

Here is a very interesting link on Clyde Hart’s training program, written a few years ago. Not sure if this has been posted. Hart’s approach to the 400 meters has been discussed here, and is unorthodox but obviously extremely effective. This article gives some details on his beliefs on 400 meter training.


I like it, thats the key - stay healthy…

Train slower to race faster should read “recruit kids with better genetics and don’t cripple them… to run faster”.

Coach Hart is a gracious man who, in my experience, is very generous with his time. Having said that, this article is shamelessly self-aggrandizing. He has damaged more than his fair share of athletes, including MJ, who forced him to rethink his program and Wariner spent much of 03 injured. I’ve personally seen numerous athletes using this system breakdown at meets.

BTW, there was more to Wariner’s decision to leave Hart than money.

Unless you are a :46 or faster runner, you really can’t hold up and race well under the true Baylor system, because you spend too more time in lactate in the longer effort of 300, 350, 450, 500… I think those athletes that are :46 and faster certainly can gain a lot from the Baylor system.

I’ve been a fan of Hart for years, but he doesn’t seem to think there are any events in track other than the 400m. From what i’ve “heard” that was part of the reason why Jeremy left initially.

Surely the times can be adjusted for different levels of runner. It appears from what I’ve read that Baylor runners train at percentages of their target maximum. Anyone can do that by adjusting the times to suit them.

My only question is, with that much “intermediate” work in the 70-85% range, how do his runners maintain their speed? I think the orthodox answer is that running in that range will shift muscle fibers, and perhaps “teach” the nervous system to run at slower speeds. Yet clearly Hart has no problem harnessing speed in his athletes.

Any thoughts?

I like this quote Mortac. Can anyone familiar with the Baylor way of doing things, enlighten us on how many 45sec Hart gets straight from HS who dont make it? I’ve heard and read the rumours that plenty of the athletes break down due to the training load, but is this just a myth??

Look up Jacob Norman and his ‘progression’ to see how well the system works for short sprinting.

Could we say the opposite on how it worked great for schools like LAX and there short sprinters?

Hart’s system isn’t anything like Lax’s, unless Hart started doing hills and sleds a couple times a week during the fall on top of having a legit strength program.

Don’t know about the strength program but from what I hear there short sprinter’s sprint program is slightly different - more starts, sled work etc etc.

I looked up Jacob Norman on the Baylor website. If this is the same fellow (100 meter specialist), he did not really improve from his junior year of highschool to his last year of college.

11th grade - 10.37 (Texas state champ 100 meters)
Senior Year, 2008 - 10.29
NCAA’s 2008 - hamstring cramp in qualifying round


So it appears whatever system Mr. Norman used did not result in steady improvement past the age of 18. But I should stress there is a lot we don’t know.

I was being sarcastic. He was a freak talent (ran 10.2fat in HS after putting his hand on the ground because of a massive stumble) that was ruined through injuries.

This is the same guy that won, yes won nationals in the 60m as a freshman, running like 6.57 or something, only to be injured every season since then.
there is a long list of guys who don’t make it in this program eventhough they have tremendous talent. did you know Darold Williamson ran 20.xx in the 200m out of high school. look at JT Scheurman now, he ran 10.39 20.7 and 46 low in high school. he has been injured constantly every year at Baylor.

Schuerman’s performance profile was nearly identical to Wariner’s out of high school yet he’s been a bust. Mark Teter was a 46.0 guy who won the Texas state meet 400m in 03 yet he never broke 47.00 while at Baylor.

Keep in mind though that Ford has been coaching the sprints exclusive from Hart for 4 years now. According to people that I have spoken with he has made some additions/alterations to the program. This is an evolutionary process by a new coach and it can’t be easy with his former coach still around. How much can he stray and how do you add speed/power work within the Hart template?

From what I heard it was Wariner’s perception that there needed to be a more balanced approach to the program with more speed oriented sessions throughout the year. Of course he did injure his hamstring while training with Ford in 08.

Not too much actually. It depend on the athlete’s 400m p.b. An athlete’s 200m p.b. is not a factor from what I have observed.

Well, if a 20+ 200 meter runner is training at a 28 pace, then he is training at 60% of his maximum. A less qulified runner, say a 23+, would therefore train at 32 seconds, which is 60% of 23.

Of course, as Charlie has pointed out, a person’s maximum fluctuates dependent upon dozens of variables, so that always must be kept in mind. A set of 28 200 meters may be hard for a 20 athlete at certain points of the season.