Coaching Question

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Jeff_D
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Coaching Question

Post by Jeff_D » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:01 am

So i've recently been asked by a friend to help her with her training. She is a collegiate JR with the following PRs

400m 57
800m 2:11
1500m 4:28
6k XC 22:30 @ D1 SE regionals ~100th

Her strength in my mind is her biggest weakness. she has had little stamina training and infrequently does things like 1000s at CV or tempo running. However, she is clearly still speed-oriented. She has a background running about 45-55 mpw. most easy days are done at like 7:30/mile (clearly too fast) and she usually does 6 miles with a 10 mile long run. No doubles.

So do i advise her to improve her training?

My thoughts-
1) add in a tempo run a week, start at 3 miles at 6:30 pace and see how that goes and work up to 4-5 miles at 6:20, eventually. with some 200s at the end at mile RP
2) if she is racing that can be her second workout
3) add in 3-4 double runs of 2-4 miles to bring her volume up to around 60 mpw

Would doing CV reps be a better way to improve fitness for this athlete since her endurance is lacking?

jKerska
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Re: Coaching Question

Post by jKerska » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:50 pm

CV is going to better for someone with that sort of muscle fiber composition. Workouts like 6x800, 5x1000, 4x1200 at CV all followed with 3-4x200 @ mile-800 pace. Also starting workouts @ CV but cutting down each rep towards mV02 is also excellent (see:Gags 800m stuff). 

The risk you run with tempo work is that it's unnatural for us fast twich types. She will run too hard and it can be seriously detrimental. Our best 800m guy can never finish a threshold workout b/c doesn't understand what threshold feels like (4th year senior).

During track season we try to hit it pretty hard on Tuesday, do something small on Thursday and turn race day into a longer workout. How much you can do on Thursday is partially determined by mileage load and recoverability. Our fast 800m guy can pound hill repeats on Thursday and clean clocks on Saturday. I run better with just doing a few strides thursday but then follow a 1500m race with 20 minutes of threshold work.

As to the doubles, do not have her double 4x per week. Start with 2 doubles of 3 miles each on, do them on her hard workout days.

There is a formula I'm pretty sure works for most people:
1) double on your two workout days
2) run a long run of 90 minutes
3) run 60 min. easy days for 3 easy days
4) have one day of 30-45 minutes tops

Simple ain't easy.

monica
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Re: Coaching Question

Post by monica » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:41 pm

jKerska wrote: CV is going to better for someone with that sort of muscle fiber composition.
How about someone who's probably best at distances of 3000m or so? I'm not a sprinter type, I feel I'm most suited for this sort of distance, longer than middle distance but not too long.

There is a formula I'm pretty sure works for most people:
1) double on your two workout days
2) run a long run of 90 minutes
3) run 60 min. easy days for 3 easy days
4) have one day of 30-45 minutes tops

Simple ain't easy.
How easy for easy days? I guess it all depends on fitness level too? I find 5 training days per week works for me in terms of it being very effective at the level I'm currently at. 2 workout days, 2 easy short days and 1 long run

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Re: Coaching Question

Post by dkggpeters » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:13 pm

[quote="monica"]
How about someone who's probably best at distances of 3000m or so? I'm not a sprinter type, I feel I'm most suited for this sort of distance, longer than middle distance but not too long.
[/quote]

Look at posts last year for cross country in which a lot of stellar performances were done by using CV reps rather then fast paced running.  There is a good post I believe about a female high school whom won the NJ State title for the mile and she ran a lot of CV reps.

CV reps will pay big dividends for all race distances from 800m up to the Marathon.

runthe8
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Re: Coaching Question

Post by runthe8 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:14 pm

My high school son who has run 9:25 for 3200 indoors (last week!) and 15:09 for 5K cross country has had a lot of success with CV 1000's and 3-4 mile tempo runs (after big warm ups and followed by big cooldowns that is.  His mileage is between 50-55 mpw).  He does more CV work than tempo, though.  I would say he is probably best at the 3200 to 5K distance compared to the middle distances (4:23 1600 and 2:02 800).  I listen to others talk about the workouts their athletes are doing and I kind of get nervous sometimes because we wonder if we are "undertraining" him since he never really runs anything that is super hard for him.  But it sure seems to be working. 

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Re: Coaching Question

Post by dkggpeters » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:37 pm

And I will say that 9:25 for 3,200m and 15:07 for 5k Xcntry is very good.  What grade is your son in?

runthe8
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Re: Coaching Question

Post by runthe8 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:51 am

He is a sophomore.

dkggpeters
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Re: Coaching Question

Post by dkggpeters » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:43 am

Very impressive.  Looks like he has the ability to go sub 9 in the 3,200 in HS.  Puts him in a very select few.

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Re: Coaching Question

Post by runthe8 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:32 pm

It has been fun to watch him fall in love with a sport he swore he would never do.  He would like to break 9:00 this year  ::)  I think that is a bit ambitious but I have to admire his drive and dedication!  We have had a hellacious stretch of horrible weather here in northern VA and the kid has not missed a day of training, other than a couple days when he had a little bit of a posterior tibialis problem thanks to forcing himself to run faster than he should have on a tempo run on lumpy frozen ground. 

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Re: Coaching Question

Post by dkggpeters » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:36 pm

I know what you mean about the weather.  I am in NE Ohio and just finished up another negative windchill run.  Every night for the past week has had negative temps.  I won't do any quality in this type of weather as the risk of injury is just to great.  I bring it indoors on the TM.

A 9:25 this early in the season for a Soph0more is really good.  He will probably go sub 9:10 regardless.  He has plenty of time to go sub 9.  It could still be possible that he may if he stays healthy.

runthe8
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Re: Coaching Question

Post by runthe8 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:24 am

My brother-in- law coaches track and XC at Brunswick HS in OH.  A normal winter there is bad enough, but this one...I can't imagine what those kids are doing for practice.  We are probably taking Drew to the U of Akron indoor invitational next week to get another race in.  He can't race here in Virginia because our county doesn't have indoor track and our state sanctioning rules won't allow him to compete.

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Re: Coaching Question

Post by dkggpeters » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:56 am

Your brother-in-law lives about 10 minutes away from me.  I live in Copley which is 15 min west of Akron and 30 minutes south of Cleveland.  It is really hard to get quality in when there is a lot of snow and ice on the track and roads.  Not to mention that the legs just don't want to turnover when you get around 0 degrees.

We have a couple of indoor tracks here but I have never run on one.  I am a transplant from southern Calif.  We had the same sanctioning rules when I was in high school.  We couldn't even run a 10K because getting the crappy cotton shirt was a violation of the AAU.  We had to register under a fictitious name.  Regardless, it is still early and probably better that he doesn't race much right now as he will get a ton of racing in when the track season starts.

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Re: Coaching Question

Post by runthe8 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:02 am

Yes, the no indoor track season is a mixed blessing- no danger of over-racing, that's for sure! Those who are motivated can use the time wisely in training.  However, as a coach at a school with a weak track program for the last several years (hopefully changing this with a shake-up in the coaching staff  :) ) it is frustrating because I don't have as much contact with the kids and can't require that they show up and practice over the winter.  Many are doing nothing or just jogging 2-3 miles 4 days a week.  Come spring track season, they are so far behind the kids who have had indoor track as a competitive season that they never catch up.  This year, my son was the first individual state champion in cross country that our county has EVER had...pretty sad.  By the time our county kids are seniors, they have a full year less of running experience under their belts than kids who run 3 seasons a year, assuming they started as freshmen.  It makes a difference.

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Re: Coaching Question

Post by Lyle » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:07 am

Run the 8, I have been following you because my son is a year younger but running the same lines as your son, just not quite as fast yet. Iowa has been a brutal winter for training this year. He finished 18th at state last fall as a freshman. He has been just adding miles this winter so far but I limit it to 40 miles due to his age. Dont want to overstress him.

We do more longer workouts as well, I love 1000s, and the other day we just did 4x800 in 230 pace. This was his first workout this year.  I want that pace to be comfortable for now. He has 6 weeks until his first meet so no need to crank out 400s.

Hard with kids as they think they need to run fast (400s or 200s) to feel that speed. They seem to struggle with longer (slower) runs like the CV workouts. We just started adding longer tempo runs on our long run. I know I make the coach nervous that I am working on his speed already. I just figure it is more for the 2 mile race than the mile or 800 that he will probably end up in as well.

We are shooting for sub 10 in the 3200 and sub 440 in mile. He thinks he can go faster and probably will but gotta have a goal to start with. I figure for a 9th grader that will be pretty decent. Good luck to your son and keep me posted on how he does.

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Re: Coaching Question

Post by runthe8 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:14 am

Lyle- Good luck to your son this year!  Sounds like he is doing really great for a freshman and his goals for the year are really solid. As a high school coach, I would be BEYOND thrilled to have a freshman boy break 10 minutes in the 2 mile.  That has only happened twice in my coaching career!  I am pretty sure my freshman son, Noah, will do this this year which will make 3 times. fact, I am pretty happy when freshmen break 11 minutes in the 3200 and 5 minutes in the 1600!

I think Drew's mileage as a freshman was in the 40 mile range as well, and then in the summer between 9th and 10th we started building it up a bit.  During cross country this past fall, most of his weeks were between 50 and 56 miles per week.  He stayed healthy and felt good all the time at this level.  We have also been lucky in that Drew does not seem to have that "if I run as fast as I can all the time I will be better" mentality that so many high school boys seem to have.  Honestly, as a freshman, he ran much of his mileage in the 8 minute per mile range (and even slower in the summer before 9th grade).  Now, he is running about 6:45-7:00 on his easy runs, and when we do CV work, he tries to hit the times and not go faster.  If he feels really good, he may be under by a few seconds, but he is always in the ballpark. I always encouraged him to run his recovery jogs faster if he felt really good and keep the reps at close to CV pace. As the cross country season got closer to the championship season, I would let him run his last CV rep as hard as he liked.

For track, I have added in some small amounts of faster things to work on his speed and so he feels more coordinated running quickly.  We have added wicket drills over small hurdles (Ron Grigg talks about these in his 400-800 program, not that Drew is 400-800, but I think he needs to work on his speed a bit).  All of my kids think these are really fun!  Much of the top competition in our state are middle distance oriented kids who have run very well in cross country, but have jets too!  He beats them pretty handily in cross country, but I am a little worried about the track.  Drew will have to race these guys this spring, many of whom are sub 1:57 in the 800 and sub 4:20 for 1600.

Drew is racing this weekend in Ohio, actually at Ohio State instead of Akron, and hopes to run a good 1600 (or mile, can't remember what they offer) this weekend.  I will report back...

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