bill dellinger: long distance runner, magician, THE coach – notes

July 23, 2020

(This is an appreciation post for that incredible young man, Sachin Tiwari of the ‘measured tone’ – the indefatigable runner, conqueror of the baikal lake & himalayan runs, teacher, experimenter, farmer – & for the imperturbable calmness that he exudes…)

(View from Sachin’s farm near Wardha)

(Sachin’s farm getting readied for Cotton – circa May 2020)

(Baikal Ice Marathon – On the ‘frozen’ the largest freshwater sea/lake – all photos from the young man’s post)

(Marathon starting point on Baikal lake)

(Young man at the starting point)

Young man also maintains a short-form blog – check it out…


…I used to be fond of running, running long distances, running with my pupils – but not with a view to running Marathons, clearing them, competition etc – though I have done a ‘full marathon’ once (literally collapsed at the end, because I did not practice long distance running at all, before that!) and one ‘good’ half marathon, in those begone days of my generally wasted youth.

I have run mostly as an individual and always barefoot. I have experienced the ‘runner’s high’ quite a few times. Running is flying, yes – the Loneliness of the Long-distance Runner notwithstanding, Sillitoe of me.

Even now, I can run very reasonable distances – but I always remember one of my many idols of youth: The great Bill Dellinger.

And his advice: ‘moderation.’

Especially after I nearly broke my neck while trying all kinds of stunts with my Son (who is 15yrs young!) including multiple somersaults on the Trampoline, a few months back.

I should be respectful to my age. And, to my body. Yes.

But, this post is about Bill Dellinger – one of my youthhood idols, who has remained an idol even as of now…


In a  nutshell, not only was Bill a great runner, he was also an incredible coach, from whom we can all learn our life’s much needed lessons or ‘anchoring principles’ if you will; in a succinct manner and of course, it is all Practiced Wisdom. Humbling.

Of course, Bill managed to reach Bronze levels in Olympics – but he coached gems. He was the western equivalent of a Dronacharya. Or may be a milder version of Banzo. But, he was clear about his objectives and the internally & externally consistent ways through which objectives could be consistently reached.

A short, 20- min video of him here. The Magician. Please watch. It is a noisy documentary, not meditative – but nonetheless, is good.

Here is Bill’s ‘five principles’ programme (his coaching anchors) which I have tried to adapt and use as much as possible in my life – with, I must say, very reasonable results – from circa 1985 or thereabouts.

The following snippets have been taken from a fine book: Mastery : interviews with 30 remarkable people – by Ames, Joan Evelyn (1997) – borrowed from a library.

Five principles – Adaptability, Progression, Moderation, Variation & Callusing – yes, they are applicable to ‘anything & everything in life as well!’







‘Moderation’ in longform posting needs to be taken into account too – though this post is much shorter than the usual 1000+ word posts.

Also, my finger-tips have become callused, yes.


9 Responses to “bill dellinger: long distance runner, magician, THE coach – notes”

  1. K.Muthuramakrishnan Says:

    very good write up on training and coaching. It is useful not only in sports, but also in all other training. nice to have introduction of a good trainer.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Care to comment on the latest post of Aravindan Kannaiyyan talking abt Gahndi, Hinduism, Karunandihi?

    • Um. NO.

      1. Your comment is NOT relevant to the topic of the post.

      2. AK is IRRELEVANT to any scholarly, or even an informed discussion. It is a pity, but he is a post-modern posterior opening (PMPO); he has effectively put a ceiling on his capabilities. His choice.

      3. Am not interested in wasting my time anymore with the likes of him & assorted semil-literates. Of course they have a right to their views. But I do not want to exercise my right to receive my wisdom from them. So do NOT send me screenshots of what he said, EVER. I have deleted your mail. (this is the first time I am doing it – but you seem to habitually specialize in sending me his horseshit right after it is shat by him.

      Thanks. And, please refrain from providing such url/pointers/screenshot to me. Please. If you can’t, please get lost.


  3. Prabhu Says:

    Good writeup.
    I have always observed, the lesser you use bracketed words in your articles, more seamless is the reading experience.

    • (oh thanks! (good observation (though there is a fundamental difference between brackets (which also could be used as engineering/design elements for support (and also in famed (=popular) tamil culture (as a term referring to flirting)) and parentheses (for encapsulating information which is relevant to (which are not used for engineering) the information shared, but as an annotation)))

      (LISP(IS GREAT))

      ps: hope (the brackets) are balanced. (unlike yours truly) (ha!)

  4. Rajmohan Says:

    5 Principles are amazing. We need more articles like this

  5. tiwarisac Says:

    Thank you R for the generous words, really. It would be an honour to share some days and walks in Wardha and around the farm with you. I hope to see that time soon enough.
    I am only trying to live without regrets. More importantly, I am trying to live hands-on, doing things myself, exploring and learning along the course, as you often talk about. Reading your perspective and ideas on subjects is valuable for me.

மேற்கண்ட பதிவு (அல்லது பின்னூட்டங்கள்) குறித்து (விருப்பமிருந்தால்) உரையாடலாமே...

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