Question for Tinman about Training High School Girls
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mikexcoach
 

Question for Tinman about Training High School Girls

by mikexcoach » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:21 pm

Hi Tinman,

I remember about four years ago reading a post of yours about how a team of high school girls cross country team was trained on run-insight.com.  I believe that you had said either you or your wife had coached the team and that they had done very little summer training before the start of the season.  I recall that you outlined the training that was used to build up their mileage as well as an outline of their weekly training/workouts.  If my memory serves me correctly, despite their lack of summer running, the team was successful as the season went on and may have even qualified and/or placed well at the state meet. 

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find that post of yours, and I wondered if you would be able to take a few minutes to re-cap the training that was used for this team.  I am interested in the paces of the distance runs, how quickly mileage was built and high it got, as well as the types of workouts that were used. 

Thanks very much!

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Re: Question for Tinman about Training High School Girls

by Tinman » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:06 pm

Mike -

My wife took over a program at Elmira High School in Oregon, a few years ago. She coached just one year there. It was a tough situation; the kids didn't run over the summer - they were burned out from intense intervals during the previous track season and they had no tradition of training in the summer. One kid, Leon, did run, though. So, my wife and I sat down in late July and figured out what to do. First, we looked at the racing schedule. We agreed that there was no way to train properly by racing twice a week, especially since the kids has no foundation of training going into the season. So, we figured out which races/meets should be eliminated. My wife went to the A.D.and told him she wanted to cancel meets we had decided were a waste of valuable time. The A.D. reluctantly agreed. That was the first, big, step to success. Just one meet per week!

Then, on the first day, the kids ran 1.5-2 miles - the most they had done, save Leon, all summer At the end of the week was a planned 2km time trial, to assess fitness. We marked out a 1km grass-loop. The kids were surprised how slow and unfit they were. The last lap was brutal, since they were un
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Re: Question for Tinman about Training High School Girls

by Tinman » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:11 pm

(continued):

unfit. But, the assessment gave a benchmark, upon which training paces for everything could be determined.

To sum the training for the season:
(1) development of endurance through gradually increasing mileage, all the way until the week of the sectional meet. That week was a stable week, only the day before the meet was a 3-4 mile jog and striders. Otherwise, it was near 40-43 miles for most of the kids. The previous week they hit 42-45 miles, the highest of the season.  The week of state was 35 miles for most kids.
(2) Extensive use of CV intervals - repeat 1k's + 30-second hill reps to follow. This was done every week.
(3) One race per week and one long run.

Over the last 4 weeks the last rep of the CV intervals was faster (about 3km speed).
That's it. The boys team (there were 8 boys on the team) placed 2nd in the second biggest division. Elmira upset several top schools to get to the state meet and then beat several others at the state meet who were previously much better than Elmira.
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Re: Question for Tinman about Training High School Girls

by Tinman » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:15 pm

Note: my wife coached there just 1 season. We moved the next year to Boise, ID, where she couldn't get a full time teaching job to save her life. Imagine that, a teacher for 20 years, a head volleyball coach for 15 years (several state births), head coach for basketball 9 years, and a track coach for 15 years (many kids wen to and placed at the state meet, too). That was when she was teaching and coaching at Orofino HS in Idaho. Her only XC coaching experience resulted in a 2nd place at state. Not bad, I'd say!
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mikexcoach
 

Re: Question for Tinman about Training High School Girls

by mikexcoach » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:06 am

Hi Tinman,

I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to respond to my post.  It is very interesting to me how successful this team was despite the lack of summer training

The concept of CV paced intervals is new to me and I am intrigued by it.  I notice that the most common distances for these intervals seem to be either 1k or 1200 meters.  As a follow-up question, how do you feel about using CV pace for 1 mile repeats every other week, with the 1k or 1200 meter distance on alternating weeks?

Thanks again.
Mike

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Re: Question for Tinman about Training High School Girls

by Tinman » Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:25 pm

1-mile reps at CV pace can work, but you have to do a couple things as a coach. First, you must insist that your runners stay on pace - or slightly slower - but never faster.You'll burn out your kids if they run 1 mile reps faster than CV pace and peak 3-4 weeks before the state meet. Second, you must use longer jog recoveries (a 400m jog for recoveries works well). Third, you must give your kids some buildup workouts of 600m to 1200m reps before doing 1 mile reps at the same pace. If I had a team of 30 kids who didn't train in the summer, I'd start with 400's in high volume at CV pace. Unfit kids might start with 8 reps and fitter kids might start with 12-14 reps. But, I'd quickly lengthen the rep distances and build them to 600's to 1000's (aiming for reps that last 3-4 minutes). IF they were handling the 1000's, I'd move them to 1200's. Unless a kid is able to run repeat 1600's in less or equal to 6:00 at CV pace, I would not let them run repeats of that length/duration.

One last point: the reason I like using 3-4 minutes CV reps is because I can pull a kid from a workout when they appear to be struggling. Letting them run a full 1600 while stuggling isn't good.
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Re: Question for Tinman about Training High School Girls

by ap4305 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:28 pm

[quote="mikexcoach"]
The concept of CV paced intervals is new to me and I am intrigued by it.  I notice that the most common distances for these intervals seem to be either 1k or 1200 meters.  As a follow-up question, how do you feel about using CV pace for 1 mile repeats every other week, with the 1k or 1200 meter distance on alternating weeks?

[/quote]

This question comes up quite a bit from those new to the "Tinman way", so I have kept the below excerpt easily accessible.  Probably Tinman's most thorough explanation for why 1k reps are a 'sweet spot' for CV work.....
----------------

The Tinman method of training uses repeat 1km CV reps as a primary baseline fitness tool. It gets you in shape to do specific race-pace training. I've found that doing longer CV reps isn't really going to do much more in terms of baseline fitness than doing 1km reps. That doesn't mean the 1200s, 1500s, 1600, or 2k reps can't be used - for variety: It means that noticeable improvements in baseline fitness appear to be similar throughout the 1k to 2k range.

What counts is running at CV pace, running a particular volumef of CV, and controlling the recoveries between reps (creating specific training density stimulus). Let me use and example. Jon, 31 minute 10k runner, may run 8 x 1km at CV pace, jog 1 minute between reps or 4 x 2km at CV pace, jog 2 minutes between reps. The overall stimulus is about the same - negligible.

Now, from a pragmatic point of view, if Jon runs 1k reps and finds that he isn't doing well during the workout (he's extra tired, ill, or whatever) it is more likely, experience shows, that he can call it quits and not do much harm - because it is just 1k (3-4 minutes of running). If Jon is running 2k reps, it is a bigger commitment workout, and he is likely to "at least finish the rep." The problem is that particular rep - which is fairly long - can put him in the "hole." The result is not pretty! He experiences a setback that lasts a few days.

Am I saying Jon can't do longer CV reps? Not at all! I am just saying, as a coach, I tend to prescribe 1k CV reps because of three main reasons:

1) They are mentall "doable." They aren' so long that you have to psyche yourself up to do them. Also, as a coach, you can find a nice 1k loop at many parks or on school grounds and monitor 1k reps visually. That's a bonus! You can see when somebody is straining or racing when they should be relaxed and training, instead;

2) If your pacing is awry (say, you've gone too fast) on a rep, the distance of going too fast is not that long, so you won't really have to keep running a long way at the wrong pace. You adjust on the next rep and the workout becomes a success. Mission accomplished!

3) If you are having an "off" day and decide to bail after you complete a rep that isn't going well, you really haven't caused any harm. On the other hand, if the rep is long and you want to finish the rep (a common thing for runners to do), then it is a problem - you've gone to far feeling awful!

I will give longer CV reps to runners who are quite fit, experienced, and having a streak of consistent training. If I know they are stable, then longer CV reps may be prescribed. If someone isn't stable, has been struggling here and there, then I will NOT give them CV reps that are longer than 1k.

Wellpark
 

Re: Question for Tinman about Training High School Girls

by Wellpark » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:32 am

Great response on Tinman's behalf AP.

I tried Tinman's 1K CV session for the first time on Wednesday night.

I am stil adjusting to Tinman training, slowing down the paces is hard and it is still way to early to comment on the benefits and consequences of the change.

However, just as Tinman mentions in the above post, I was tired on Wednesday, slightly 'bonked' due to running too fast the previous night. After 3x1k with 1 minute recoveries, I was able to decide to call it a day.

I raced on Saturday and ran 38:28, close to my PB (38:20) on the same course. Today (Sunday morning) my legs feel fine and I am recovered enough to run again.

In the past I think I would have over trained, taken too much out in training, performed less well in the race, then possible decided to stop running for a day or two to recover or forced myself to continue with the prescribed training schedule that would eventually force me to take a break through injury or illness.

As I say, it is still early days for me, however I am realising that Tinman's approach is helping me to perform without taxing me. I hope this means that I will be more consistent.

I look forward to completing my next CV session, because I am confident about the usefulness and benefit the session will give me. I used to dread the quality work (reps) because of what they took out of me and also because the doubt they created between the coach and myself.

Regards

Wellpark

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