State XC

Featuring TheRunZone?s resident coach Tinman. All participants are welcome to post and reply to topics in this section whether you?re looking for advice, or sharing your own coaching experience.

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Old Guy

State XC

Post by Old Guy » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:38 pm

I just to pile on the bandwagon with kudos to Tinman's training methods.

I took a young team (1 senior, 1 junior, 3 soph, and 2 freshmen) and used the CV tempo workouts all year with them. Started them in August with 800s, moved up to 1000s in September, and 1200s this month. I also got them all to run more miles, especially over the summer. We did none of the speed workouts that the other teams were using. I had explained the workouts to everyone back in the spring, and everyone bought into them. Never had a problem with people going faster than prescribed in workouts. If someone looked bad in a workout, I would pull them immediately.

We might have been a little undertrained, but we put our top 7 on the line. Other teams were missing their top guys to injuries or the flu.

In short, this young team finished 2nd as a team. My top 5 finished, 3, 7, 11, 12, and 30. We ran on this course 4 weeks ago. My top guy ran 30 seconds faster on a course made real sloppy by two weeks of constant rain.

Thanks again for publicly sharing some of your secrets. They really helped us as we never have finished higher than 7th as a team.

Jeff_D

State XC

Post by Jeff_D » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:58 pm

Old Guy,

Congrats! thats fantastic. That was a tough looking texas meet! i combed the results and your team is definitely proof that the tinman system is no doubt the best one out there! thats a solid team and we all look for a strong return next year to possibly top 4A! it looks do-able with the strength of your team. Is that the end of your season? or are you going to some more invitationals?

You run a very tight pack and do a fantastic job! was your top finisher the senior on the team? Also, if its no trouble could you give us a breakdown of your training? I understand its standard tinman stuff but how do you structure their summer/season? for example: mileage, weekly schedule, how far long runs are, etc.

Thanks and best of luck!

Jeff

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State XC

Post by ap4305 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:06 pm

[QUOTE=Old Guy;8366] I had explained the workouts to everyone back in the spring, and everyone bought into them. Never had a problem with people going faster than prescribed in workouts. [/QUOTE]

This is probably the most impressive (and difficult) part. It's no surprise to any of us here that a team coached under a Tinman system would have great success. However, the best system means nothing if the athletes don't buy into it. Those of us out of school with the freedom to choose our coaches sometimes take it for granted that scholastic athletes basically have a training plan forced upon them. Patience is a hard sell for most high schoolers and you deserve major credit for gaining the respect and support of your team.
Allan Phillips
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IG: @thekettlebelldoc

Tinman
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State XC

Post by Tinman » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:23 am

OG -

Congratulations to you and your team!! I am happy to have been a part of your success; it's the reason I reply to questions and post about training methods - so that coaches like you are able to positively influence and direct young runners to the right path.

Training well is about balance, consistency, and patience. It's also about knowing how to do the right things well, rather than doing things right. There's a subtle but important difference. It's sort of like using the best ingredients to cook a meal; it's makes a difference in taste, compared to using subpar ingredients. A steak is not a steak!

Your part in the team's success is no doubt due to your thoughtful decisions, capacity to keep runners motivated without extremes, and good teaching.

Keep going strong!

Tinman
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State XC

Post by TexNav » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:50 pm

I can say that the 5 months Tom was helping me before deploying, I dont think I ever once felt like my nerves were completely sapped from consistently repeating weeks which included a CV and Tempo run each week. My plan was mixed up every couple of months for a bit, but it was only for about 3 weeks. Otherwise it was those basics. I finally succumbed to the fatigue of being deployed, my training is fairly inconsistent, and don't have the energy for but perhaps 1 workout per week right now. But I did notice that over leave, I started to get back in the groove easier than times before as well, as opposed to when I used to try too many hard intervals. I guess I just had better development and a foundation in place.

Awesome job !

Old Guy

State XC

Post by Old Guy » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:35 am

First off, to answer a quick question: The order of finish for my top 5 was:

Junior
Senior
Sophomore
Sophomore
Freshman

The freshman ran a 10:52 3200m in 8th grade, but I had trouble getting him to buy into the program. He did little running over the summer and found lots of excuses for not doing workouts this fall. If he had a solid summer/fall of training, we might very well have won the state meet.

To answer the training question, it was unbelievably simple:

I provided them with a calendar with the months of June, July, and August on them. I started them off with 30 minutes/day w/ a long run of 40 minutes. I told them that I wanted them moving for a minimum of 30 or 40 minutes, and I didn't care if they ran, walked, or crawled it. In years past, I had trouble getting anyone to do anything, and it showed by the time we got to state. We were still training to run 5K; this year, we were training to race 5K.

I increased the daily runs by 5 minutes and the long runs by 10 minutes each week. Every 3 weeks would be a step back for recovery, especially in the Texas summer. The senior on the team was instrumental in getting the guys to all meet at the school pretty much daily to run together. That probably helped a ton.

Some obviously ran more than the minimum, and that was great. At the end of June, they ran a mile time-trial wherever they happened to be. For example, one kid was on vacation in Colorado, so he ran his there. My top runner had run a 4:39 1600 during track. Without doing anything more than just putting in a bunch of miles, he managed to match that 4:39.

Using the times from the time-trial, I extrapolated out what each person should be doing for 800m. Once a week, they would hop on the track for 800m w/ a 1-minute rest. They learned in a hurry how painful it was to go too fast on the early ones.

When school started in August, I put them through one final session of 800s just to see where everyone was at. I then moved them up to 1000m repeats. Around the end of September, I moved the top 7 up to 1200m repeats.

By the time school started, most of the guys were running about 45 minutes/day with a 1:00 to 1:10 long run. A couple of the guys had extended the long run out to a max 1:30, but they only did it a couple of times.

We just kept the same program through the fall. The only difference was that they raced XC races on the weekends. We did not run them through sets of 400s or turn the longer repeats into MaxVO2 workouts; we let the races take care of that.

We managed to stay injury free. If the guys didn't look right in workouts, I would pull them. That gave the kids the confidence to know that they could stop a workout it something was wrong instead of pushing through and getting really injured. My senior pulled himself from a run 1 block in one day and didn't run for a couple of days due to a sore knee. He was fine the rest of the season. One of my sophomores pulled himself from a workout as he wasn't feeling well. It turned out that he had swine flu. After 2 weeks rest, he finished 12th at state. Pushing through might have ended his season. It's way better to be 10% undertrained than 1% overtrained. The guys were always eager to run. The state meet was like letting a bunch of caged animals loose.

Real simple, but successful training does not have to be rocket science.

CarolinaBob

Old Guy_good stuff

Post by CarolinaBob » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:01 am

Thanks for CC training insight. I have a few more questions.

Did you try and get your top 7 to hit 45-60 min of running every day or did you try and set weekly mileage goals or have any type of mileage progression over the season.

Also, how many miles of CV training did you build up to 3-5 miles? Did you put any race pace stuff at the end of CV workouts like Tinman suggests?

How did you handle Championship Season? Did you cut back much?

thanks
Bob

Kevin3310

State XC

Post by Kevin3310 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:32 pm

I have a question too, When racing weekly (Which I'm assuming you did) did you do a tempo, cv intervals, and the race every week?

Old Guy

State XC

Post by Old Guy » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:48 pm

I wanted my top guys to get at least 35-45 minutes during the week and at least a 60-minute long run each week once we hit the racing season. Since they had been running all summer, I didn't worry about progressing the miles or the volume of CV repeats.

I kept the CV repeats around 3 miles. I increased the distance of the repeats from 800m to 1000m to 1200m. We ran early in the morning right before school. The workouts took long enough that we didn't have time to do the speed stuff at the end. Thus, we never ran faster than race pace.

We cut back slightly the week of State. Instead of 4 * 1200m on Wednesday, we only did 3 * 1200. We kept everything else the same.

Our weekly schedule was like this:

Monday: medium-effort run through hills
Tuesday: longish run - easy
Wednesday: CV intervals
Thursday: easy run
Friday: easy
Saturday: Race
Sunday: off or long (depending on experience of runner)

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State XC

Post by Tinman » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:43 pm

OG -

You did it right! Most coaches don't grasp one key principle: a 5k race is a very hard effort - at or just below Vo2 max. And, it takes about 4 days, on average, to recover from a 5k race run a full effort. Therefore, running a race on Saturday, a hard/fast workout on Tuesday and Thursday only burns-out runners. They can never fully recover. At first they improve (early in the season) because their nervous system and leg strength quickly respond to high intensity training. But, after 3-4 weeks there's a good chance they will become chronically fatigued, and so improvement either halts, barely goes up, or erodes.

A high school kid can handle the following for 4 months in a row:

1 weekly long run at a moderate pace + striders

1 CV interval workout that isn't too long + striders or short hills

1 race or hard interval workout (can be long hill reps or a hard tempo run, which lasts longer than a race).

The remainder of the days should be slow-paced distance workout. A few easy striders here or there is fine, too.

It's a recipe that works, and it won't destroy runners. You may have a couple of kids fall slightly short of reaching their potential in any 1 season, but overall the benefits of this consistent approach will pay huge dividends.

In addition to developing most high school runners to a high level, by the end of each racing season, the above approach prevents mental burn-out. Kids don't feel like resting at the end of the season, which is much different than the traditional outcome. IN a traditional, run hard often approach, kids want to rest a least 2 weeks, and often can't get revved up about training for 6-8 weeks. They loose precious ground. They build very little base, often, because they don't get their base going before the bad, cold weather hits. IN the approach I recommend kids are back to base training withina week or two of the end of the season and have plenty of "miles in the bank" by time Christmas rolls around.

Regards,

Tinman
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CarolinaBob

Thanks

Post by CarolinaBob » Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:42 pm

Thanks for Feedback!

If I am reading you correct, you are suggesting the following:

1 Long Run 60-90 min
1 race or hard interval run-5k pace or faster
1 CV pace run-3-6 miles worth

Question-for CC next season-How does this look?

Over 14 weeks
-Top 7 Boys
Progress weekly mileage-25-55
Progress LR-60-90 min
Tempo or CV run once a week or mix - w/800-1600 at faster than race pace at end
1 race a week
All other runs 30-45 min

What are your ideas abt Track-I have to train 800-3200 meter runners
DEC/Jan
I am thinking abt 2-3x2 mile tempos on grass
-one track meet week
16x100 or 8x200 at 800 goal pace w/ 100 walk rest
60-70 min Long Run

Feb/March
one race a week
CV pace work-3-4 miles-3 miles for 800 and 4 for 1600/3200guys
800 meter pace work for 800 specialist-5x300 or 4x400
1600/3200 specialist-? could use advice
60-70 min long run for all

April/May
one race a week
800 specialist 3x500 or 2x600
1600/3200 specialist-goal race pace work
45-60 min run-800 guys-45-1600/3200-60 min

Do think-800 meter guys need CV work in April/May?

Do you think we should use races as speed work/race pace work and use CV work along w/200's at end for 1600/3200 guys?

Sorry, so long, I got carried away!

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State XC

Post by Tinman » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:57 pm

I believe that most high school coaches have a big problem: too many track meets on the school's schedule. In such cases, it's best to perform combo workouts during the racing season, in which CV, race-pace, and speedwork are combined - all in one workout.

Example:

2 miles warm up + 4 x 1km at CV (jog 200m) + 4 x 400m at 1600m pace (jog 400m) + 4 x 150m at 800m pace (jog 250m) + 1-2 miles cool down.

Otherwise, Carolina Bob, your training plan will work fine.

Regards,

Tinman
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CarolinaBob

State XC

Post by CarolinaBob » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:12 pm

Thanks for feedback!!!

Old Guy

State XC

Post by Old Guy » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:32 pm

[QUOTE=Tinman;8482]OG -

In addition to developing most high school runners to a high level, by the end of each racing season, the above approach prevents mental burn-out. Kids don't feel like resting at the end of the season, which is much different than the traditional outcome. IN a traditional, run hard often approach, kids want to rest a least 2 weeks, and often can't get revved up about training for 6-8 weeks. They loose precious ground. They build very little base, often, because they don't get their base going before the bad, cold weather hits. IN the approach I recommend kids are back to base training withina week or two of the end of the season and have plenty of "miles in the bank" by time Christmas rolls around.

Regards,

Tinman[/QUOTE]

I actually have to force my guys to take a little downtime after their season. In the case of my top runners, they are running Footlocker Regionals for the experience. I am forcing them to take the following two weeks off. It works well as they have semester finals during that period. They can concentrate on their studies and then start building back up again over the Christmas holidays. I want them a little undertrained; it keeps them hungry.

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