(This is only an excerpt from the story — for full version, please visit my Patreon site here)
Long time before the word, human was chased by clockless wildlife.
The fear made his dreams short and violent, and many of his nights sleepless.
But while the sun was decomposing the carcasses, and the moon putting the satiated beasts to sleep, 
in delirium, the brain of the human snake grew. 
And suddenly, the fire was all in his name.
Because, as the legend goes, the human began to speak in poetry.
But it was not his speed, his strength, or his ruthlessness, which disturbed the grass on the horizonless steps.
What made the human the victor in the mythology was his running endurance, and his patience. 
And so, from now on, the hunter would learn from his ancestors the most important lesson: 
to run slowly, and as long as it took to catch up with the beast. 
And only when his prey was tired and confused, the hunter would deliver his deadly blow.    

Obviously, the boys had no concept of warming-up before the race. It was on Wednesday, one gray day in the early fall of 1972. The 1200 meters-long running race was about to take place at Olkusz’s track and field stadium. My name is Chelski, and I was the head coach of one of the town’s two running clubs. There were four of us standing that day near the track’s fence, talking, and watching as the group of young boys was readying itself for the race. Except for one of them, all boys were just standing and conversing with each other. Their physical education teachers, who were now talking to me, were apparently unable to communicate to their young students the importance of warming up their bodies before the strenuous physical excretion. The 1200-meter race involved covering three, 400-meters long, track laps. 
The three teachers, who laughed and joked, taught physical education in our town’s elementary schools. There was also Jurek, a pupil of mine, and an experienced sprinter. He had been training with me for at least three years now. Jurek knew the ropes. It was him who noticed the boy who was jogging on the grass, close to the starting line.
Look at Staldek, said Jurek, he knows what to do before the race. Staldek had been training in the other running club, not mine, for at least a year. I was looking at the experienced boy, who was leaning on the track’s metal fence slowly stretching the back of his legs, and I felt bad for the other young runners. Skaldek then went on the track and ran three, 50 meters long, lively sessions. We call them accelerations. Everything in an organized training has a proper name and is thus considered a part of a serious runner’s workout. There was no doubt in my mind that other boys preparing for the race would become easy prey for Skaldek. He knew it.  

An athletic training is like a mosaic made of individual workouts executed by the runners to help them achieve best possible performance in a race. In warm-up before a race, the runners should begin by jogging for about 20 minutes. Then, they should spend 10 minutes stretching their upper and lower extremities. The stretching ought to be followed by ten 50-to-80 meters long accelerations which should be run at the speed which approaches the pace at which the runners will race. The entire warm-up should take about an hour and stop ten to fifteen minutes before the race. In these last few minutes before the competition, the runners should just walk or jog at a very easy pace, do just enough to keep their bodies warm. All runners’ bodies are different — they are all made from a different clay — and, to achieve best performance, each runner needs slightly varied physical stimulations, or workouts. Coaches are the artists who manipulate the different pieces of the mosaic, arranging the pieces into the final artwork, which results in a runner’s training plans. Each runner’s workout is a personal mythology. With time, runners age; for their training to be still effective, they will need a different mythology. 
(This is only an excerpt from the story — for full version, please visit my Patreon site here)​​​​​​​
Back to Top