Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The legs feed the wolf

The other day, while watching a soccer match,  I was having a conversation with Sam Lauris, Technical Director for FC Sol, a soccer club in San Marcos.  Sam was talking about an expression one of his coaches, a man from Minnesota, used to say during training: "the legs feed the wolf."

Apparently, as the spring thaw comes, the caribou migrate north to give birth, find food and escape heat and insects.  As the wolf eats the caribou, it too must go north. But the wolves without the legs to follow, fall by the wayside, starve and die.

I love the expression, both for soccer players, especially strikers, as well as runners.  If you want to score, wear down your opponent with repeated attacks, until finally you break them and score, feeding the team.  With a little bit of googling, I came across this quote attributed to Herb Brooks, coach of the U.S. Men's Hockey Team who beat Russia in the 1980 Olympics, from the movie Miracle:.

Herb Brooks: Red line, back. Blue line, back. Far blue line, back. Far red line, back. And you have 45 seconds to do it. Get used to this drill. You'll be doing it *a lot*. Why? Because the legs feed the wolf, gentlemen. I can't promise you we'll be the best team at Lake Placid next February. But we will be the best conditioned. That I can promise you.

The next time you're out running, imagine you are a wolf, running for your dinner and your life, perhaps you'll find a bit more energy.

San Elijo Hills Running Club

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