Coaches, please provide feedback on 1,500m Night HP section guidelines

Steve Weiler said 1 week ago
The High Performance guidelines have provided a transparent process for athletes to earn their spot in the 1,500m Night HP sections. Although considerable time and thought has gone into formulating and updating them, I recognize they are not necessarily perfect and welcome feedback on improving them. Let me be absolutely clear: there will be no changes in the current year, the offer here is for coaches and athletes to provide clear feedback and specific suggestions to help improve the guidelines for future years, to the benefit of all.

Please read through the current guidelines before posting your comments:

HP Sections & Seed Time

The cut-off between Open and HP sections is 4:36 (Female) and 3:56 (Male). Open seed times should be 4:36.00/3:56.00 and slower, using real performances or reasonable estimates.

Entry into HP sections requires performances under 4:36 (Female) and 3:56 (Male), including proof of performance, since May 1, 2018. Seeds will be checked automatically online, using the Athletics Canada database and, if necessary, will be checked manually.

Mile conversions will be accepted; please notify the meet director by email if you are using a mile conversion (use Mercier website, linked below).
If using an indoor performance, use the actual 1,500m result; do not use a converted time.

HP Sections - Seed Time Exceptions: In the extraordinary circumstance that an athlete was unable to compete in a 1,500m race since May 1, 2018, but feels they are capable of running under 4:36/3:56, the athlete can 'Mercier' their best performance and add 3-5 seconds as follows:
*3,000m and 5,000m times - convert to 1,500m time and add 3 seconds
*800m and 3,000m Steeplechase - convert to 1,500m time and add 5 seconds

Please notify the meet director by email if you are using a conversion.
Mercier Website: http://jmureika.lmu.build/track/Mercier/window7.html

Requesting slower seed time: Athletes with legitimate HP seed times are allowed to request to be entered at a slower time, ex. if they are returning from injury.
Brant Stachel said 1 week ago
Can you provide feedback on the penalty for 3000m steeple? Why is it 5 seconds and the 5000m is only 3 seconds? I would argue that ability in a 3000m race is much more closely linked to 1500m ability than 5000m, factor in that steeplers tend to be a bit more powerful due to the hurdling and I would think it would be closer to the 3 second penalty that you outline for the 5000m.

From a physiological standpoint I can understand the 5 seconds for 800m, especially on the mens side as we know from the IAAF papers that it tends to be more of a specialists event, versus on the women's side there tends to be more carry over due to the aerobic nature of the events ( longer actual time on feet). However, I feel the 5 second penalty is unfair for steeplers. I do realize its likely a unique case, as I had one this year in Drover, but figured I would ask.
Reply #1
Jeff Haller said 1 week ago
I think that it's reasonable to emit the wording, "In the extraordinary circumstance that an athlete was unable to compete in a 1,500m race since May 1, 2018, but feels they are capable of running under 4:36/3:56". Based on what we've seen from athletes that haven't run the 1500m before (like Robert Heppenstall) at this meet, I think it's realistic to believe that athletes of that caliber can run reasonably close to a Mercier time. I think it's ridiculous that an athlete should have a disadvantage for running a 1500m in a lower level all-comers meet.
Reply #2
Steve Weiler said 1 week ago
The steeple penalty is greater due to the technical aspect of that event, the skill acquisition aspect of which does not directly translate to 1,500m performance. The 3s and 5s numbers were educated guesses. If anyone can provide a well articulated suggestion, based on a large data set, to adjust those #s I would most certainly listen. Bear in mind that entry from any other event should, unquestionably, be more difficult than from an actual 1,500m.

I think it may be helpful to understand the starting point for the HP guidelines, which was directly modeled after the Canadian T&F Championship criteria of the time: run standard, in your specific event, since May 1 of the previous year. If I remember correctly, the move to allow people who hadn't raced a 1,500m to earn HP entry through outstanding performances in other events followed from sub-8:40 steeplechaser(s?) wanting to participate. The intention has always been for 1,500m HP entries to be earned through a 1,500m performance just as championship entry, carding money, and national team selection in the 1,500m event is conducted the vast majority of the time in our sport.
Reply #3
Brant Stachel said 1 week ago

The steeple penalty is greater due to the technical aspect of that event, the skill acquisition aspect of which does not directly translate to 1,500m performance. The 3s and 5s numbers were educated guesses. If anyone can provide a well articulated suggestion, based on a large data set, to adjust those #s I would most certainly listen. Bear in mind that entry from any other event should, unquestionably, be more difficult than from an actual 1,500m.

I think it may be helpful to understand the starting point for the HP guidelines, which was directly modeled after the Canadian T&F Championship criteria of the time: run standard, in your specific event, since May 1 of the previous year. If I remember correctly, the move to allow people who hadn't raced a 1,500m to earn HP entry through outstanding performances in other events followed from sub-8:40 steeplechaser(s?) wanting to participate. The intention has always been for 1,500m HP entries to be earned through a 1,500m performance just as championship entry, carding money, and national team selection in the 1,500m event is conducted the vast majority of the time in our sport.




I think regardless of the skill set that a steepler requires one must be fit enough to run the paces ( also if you watch many of the top African steeples- they suck at steepling ;) ), and on average a good steepler can run about 25-30 sec faster than their flat 3k time. That said I don't think you'll ever have a "large" data set on this. but i think rationally its way easier to argue that a 3k steeple is much closer to 5k ability than 800m ability. Hence I'm not quite sure why it's penalized the same as the 800m. Once again I don't think you can actually pull any data from this, to prove or disprove the point.

From a physiological standpoint I think it's safe to argue that the 1500m and 3k steeple are much closer than the 800m/1500m especially on the mens side- paraphrasing from the IAAF papers, but the men have less natural doubles *800/1500m) of this event due to the greater different in physiological demands. versus women are closer due to the longer time/ aerobic component.
Reply #4
Brant Stachel said 1 week ago

I think regardless of the skill set that a steepler requires one must be fit enough to run the paces ( also if you watch many of the top African steeples- they suck at steepling ;) ), and on average a good steepler can run about 25-30 sec faster than their flat 3k time. That said I don't think you'll ever have a "large" data set on this. but i think rationally its way easier to argue that a 3k steeple is much closer to 5k ability than 800m ability. Hence I'm not quite sure why it's penalized the same as the 800m. Once again I don't think you can actually pull any data from this, to prove or disprove the point.

From a physiological standpoint I think it's safe to argue that the 1500m and 3k steeple are much closer than the 800m/1500m especially on the mens side- paraphrasing from the IAAF papers, but the men have less natural doubles *800/1500m) of this event due to the greater different in physiological demands. versus women are closer due to the longer time/ aerobic component.



I would recommend moving the 3000m steeple penalty from 5 seconds to 3 seconds to better match the energy demands, pacing/ ability relative to physiological event specificity, as i think it differs greatly from the 800- 1500m conversions.
Reply #5
Steve Weiler said 1 week ago
Thanks Brant. I will reiterate the starting point - that the vast majority (potentially all) HP entries should be based off of 1,500m performances. As I posted on social media from my personal accounts, using men as an example, the top Open section is an excellent opportunity to run 3:51-3:55, though it's up to them to get after the pace, as they did in 2017. Think of it this way: the seed time exceptions are NOT meant for 1,500m debutantes who might run 3:51-3:55 - but might also run 3:57-4:01 - they are meant for debutantes who might run 3:50 or faster, but might also 'only' run ~3:52-3:56.

You may have noticed Maeliss Trapeau making her debut 1,500m this weekend. She is seeded at 4:35.00 and has run 2:04.82 for 800m. Her coach has requested a much slower seed than the +5s penalty (requesting slower seeds is allowed), which will prevent her from being mistakenly (in the coach's opinion) placed in too fast a section. Now, that is just one athlete, and she may very well obliterate expectations in her debut, but any objective analysis of this topic must acknowledge and account for such athletes.

A quick review of the seed time exceptions:
HP Sections - Seed Time Exceptions: In the extraordinary circumstance that an athlete was unable to compete in a 1,500m race since May 1, 2018, but feels they are capable of running under 4:36/3:56, the athlete can 'Mercier' their best performance and add 3-5 seconds as follows:
*3,000m and 5,000m times - convert to 1,500m time and add 3 seconds
*800m and 3,000m Steeplechase - convert to 1,500m time and add 5 seconds

Your suggestion to move the 3,000m steeple to 3s would put it on par with the flat 3,000m, which obviously can't and won't happen. However, if you wish, you can certainly make the argument that the 5,000m be moved to 5s (aligning with 3,000m steeplechase) and the 800m be given a >5s conversion penalty, as this outcome would fit with the reasoning you've presented here. Having the topic brought up and thinking about potential adjustments, my inclination is unreservedly to shift everything to a larger (4-5s minimum) conversion penalty - aligning with my comments above about the top Open section - should coaches want a change to be made.
Reply #6
Steve Boyd said 6 days ago
I think you should allow athletes to use the conversion from another event even when they have run a 1500 within the past year, if their converted time is faster-- which will often be the case when that athlete is NOT a 1500m specialist.

Example: Were Mo Ahmed to ask for seeding in a 1500, would it be entirely reasonable to require him to use a time from the (perhaps) one (probably early season) 1500 he ran the whole previous year, versus a converted time (with the penalty added) from one of the 5-6 high-level 5ks he ran during the same time period? I don't think you would find many meet directors who would deny him this privilege-- and not just because he is who he is. They would want him to be in the section that best reflected his 1500m ability on his best day.

It seems to me a bit fussy to always and in every case prefer a 1500m time in the case of athletes who are not 1500 specialist-- which is probably going to be significant percentage of athletes at 1500m Night from year to year.
Reply #7
Steve Weiler said 6 days ago
I would certainly be willing to consider allowing athletes who did run a 1,500m within the time frame to use a performance from another event with a conversion that included a significantly stiffer conversion penalty than those currently posted; no coach has ever proposed this, so please be the first to suggest a reasonable stiffer conversion for such a scenario.
Reply #8

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