Friday, May 30, 2008

Belichick should be at Fenway, not the Garden!


Don't ever run out onto the field at Fenway. Just don't. It's not a good idea with all those Southies with Sports Management degrees pulling the tarps just waiting to knock you on your a$$. The reaction of the crowd is great, and then the groundskeeper/middle linebacker kindly picks up the gentleman's hat and tosses it back to him.

Awesome!!! Go Sox!

Summer Training Thoughts

I just got a new book in the mail today from the college coaches I met in Iowa this winter. I have been waiting two weeks for it to come in, and when it arrived, I ripped it open and literally read the whole thing in an afternoon. It is called "Take the Lead" by Will Freeman, head running coach at Grinell College and Scott Simmons, head running coach at Queens University. Now, I usually re-read books a second time with a pencil/highlighter, and I haven't had a chance to do that yet, but I do want to roll out my ideas for some summer training. I think I am going to just list my thoughts in bullet points, with some being short ideas, and some being long explanations. So, bear with me. (I have a little High Five going on through iTunes, so I might not make any sense.)

1. I was so pleased with our success in training this winter and spring that I want to continue using this model throughout the summer via the WTAFC (Wolverine Track And Field Club). What I learned in Iowa (and was re-iterated in my new favorite training book) was that using the summer to build up huge miles and save your speed work for later is totally wrong. You need to train your aerobic system, your anaerobic threshold system and your anaerobic system ALL YEAR LONG! It makes sense, you are in great shape when you are at Track State meet, why let all your speed go to waste and have to build it up again in the winter/spring? Why not just keep it, in fact, why not build it up more! The problem with this is they work-outs need to be monitored very closely, so that progression does not result in injury, burn-out or even regression. They really just can't be done without a systematic, well thought-out plan.

2. Another great aspect of this type of training is that it is NOT ONLY FOR DISTANCE KIDS! I am encouraging all track athletes to attend. Tell your friends to attend, older siblings in college, CHS alums, younger siblings planning to run for Sierra; the more the merrier. Event discipline does not matter! I know that Coach Maroney will expect his vaulters to be there, and I sincerely hope that athletes that jump, that sprint, that even play other sports and want to get into shape will attend. The base work-outs will be the same for all athletes, but the actual details of them will vary depending on the individual athlete. Coach Simmons calls it "athlete-centered", and it is the only way I know how to coach. I look at the individual athlete and work with them to help them achieve their goals. The opposite of this philosophy, "coach-centered", cannot work if a successful track program is to be built.

3. The tentative schedule for executing this looks like I will see you three days a week this summer. Tuesday morning for Red Rocks, Thursday evening for shorter intervals, Saturday mornings for longer intervals. Of course, all of this can be adjusted quite easily to meet the athletes needs, and no athlete is mandated to attend every single practice. That is the beauty of training. It is intrinsic motivation that makes you train and makes you better. So, if you put your all into it, you will improve. I do very little mandatory stuff, I seem to have pretty good luck by making it fun instead of mandatory. As for races, we will not be doing any five kilometer races as a club during the high school cross-country season. The summer and fall will be primarily for training, with maybe a few shorter one mile community races thrown in to keep it fresh. However, WTAFC would potentially like to do Nike Team Nationals in Arizona in November as a club, or maybe head out to Wisconsin for Foot Locker Nationals the following week. I would also like to try and get a group to go to Simplot Indoor Games in Idaho in February. (It all depends on the athletes goals!) This is very far in the future, however, but it is something to think about. A little closer in the future is our expected first day of training. That would be Tuesday the 17th. meet at CHS early to carpool over to Red Rocks. (More details on that will be forthcoming.)

4. This training falls under an extension of the Wolverine Track And Field Club, a private USATF club that anyone can join. You do need a USATF membership to belong to the club, go here to find out more about that. If you ran winter track with us this past year, you should be all set. (USATF is a very good organization to belong to, it is worth the membership money.) I hope to turn the WTAFC into a full time training operation, similar to Advanced Training Systems (ATS) in Littleton, or the Fort Collins Track Club. I want to train kids to run fast all year, especially in spring track, and the fact that Littleton and Ft. Collins have year-round clubs of their own, and we do not, puts us behind the eight ball big time. We still beat them, but that is a testament to the sheer determination of our kids, not a credit to our training system. That means not only summer training, but well-designed, individualized fall training as well. This training can lead into winter track, then spring season. Running fast is a lifestyle, not something you can just pick up and put down. Our club is technically not affiliated with Chaparral at all, which means kids from other schools, or members of the community can train with us if they wish. Like I mentioned it, is a private USATF certified club.

UPDATE: It seems like the USATF website is not being co-operative. How to fix that, I don't know...

5. This is my most important point. NO ONE is forcing any athletes to run with WTAFC. There are NO repercussions in spring track if kids do not train with the club in the summer or the fall or the winter. (For proof, see Evans, Jazmin. She was our Wolverine Award winner, a crucial part of our track team, and played basketball full time as well.) This is NOT a pre-requisite for any winter track or spring track. WTFAC is simply offering an alternative for kids that want to train with track season in mind. If athletes want to train a different way, they are totally free to do so!!! Bottom line: WTFAC is trying to offer an alternative training philosophy/style for those athletes looking for one.

I hope that this post is not too rambling. If any one has any questions, complaints, or compliments, please feel free to email me so I can explain further.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Time for a Break

The weather is finally turning summer-like, and you all know that that means! Summer training is upon us! However, since we had such an intense and long season of fall/winter/spring training, we all need to take some time off. Regulated time off lets our running muscles grow back, the half-mile hack go away and our brains get mentally ready to train hard again. It is a bad thing to train 52 weeks out of the year, the body needs rest on a weekly basis and the body needs rest on a yearly basis as well. So, here is what I would suggest you do to get ready for the intense summer training I'm designing.

The rest of this week, rest. Don't go for a run, just sit back and unwind from a long season. Enjoy it, you earned it!

Next week, starting May 26th, if you feel like going for a couple easy runs, go for it. If not, then keep resting. You know your body better than anyone else, listen to it. Stay active in other areas. Play some basketball, go for a bike ride, keep busy.

The week after that, starting June 2nd. This is when I would start ramping up your runs. Go for three or four runs this week. Maybe do them on some hilly terrain. Don't overextend yourself, but all of you love running, so do what you love. Don't bring a watch, don't shoot for a time. Just run until your feel that you are done.

The week of June 9th, you really need to start a regular schedule of running. Get to five to six days a week of training. Throw some hills in. Maybe do a fartlek or two. Stay of the pavement as much as you can, run on grass or other soft surfaces. You need to start building your base up, as well as keeping your speed muscles firing. Get back into the routine of training.

You might feel slow, that's OK. The rest now is much more important than keeping speed up. Proper rest now can ward off injury, prevent burn-out, as well as make you more efficient runner overall.

The week of June 16th, we will start with a regimented summer program of Red Rocks, intervals and Texas Runs. More on that later. Until then, however, get some rest in, listen to your body, and once your body says it's ready to go, start getting some training in!

Oh yeah! Don't neglect proper stretching, hydration and diet. Running is a lifestyle, not something you can just pick up and put down!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Reflections on State Meet

What a fantastic weekend at State up in Lakewood. With the kids having been training for this weekend since Veteran's Day all the way back in November, I was eager to have the day finally arrive. So eager, I woke up at 1:00 in the morning with more nervous energy than I have ever felt before. Ugh.

The results were fantastic, Alex came in 9th in the open 800 m boys race, Kirsten came in first in the open 800 m girls race. The team of Derek, Taylor, Patrick and Alex PR-ed huge and came in 5th in the 4 x 800 m race with a time of 8:01.26, shaving 19 seconds off their best time of the season, and the girls 4 x 800 team of Kelli, Melanie, Kirsten and Kateyln won their race with a school record time of 9:21.47. They won by 0.01 seconds, literally Katelyn drove her knee past the Rocky Mtn girl and after the longest seven minutes of my life, the phote finish determined that Chaparral had won the title!

It was a great way to end the high school track season, I was so proud of everyone's preparation and production. The banquet was a lot of fun for me Saturday night, because I knew we had performed up to our potential!


Our State Champion 4 x 800 team, Melanie, Kelli, Kirsten and Katelyn.

Kelli handing off to Melanie at the first hand-off.

Melanie making a perfect exchange with Kirsten.

Kirsten giving the baton to Katelyn for the anchor leg.

The coaches and the All-State boys 4 x 800 team: Laster, Sep, Derek, Alex, Taylor, Patrick, Thomas, Hawk

Alex cruising in the lead pack

Taylor extending the race lead

Patrick flying through his spilt.

Derek finishing in first for the team.

I am so proud of all of our athletes, every single one of them. We trained so hard this year, and I hope you all enjoyed the journey as much as I did! Thanks, thanks, thanks! I can't wait until the first Red Rocks session!

Coach SEP

Sunday, May 18, 2008

State Meet Video

On, they have uploaded many excellent videos from the meet this past weekend. I have embedded them below.

Girls 3200 m Relay

Boys 3200 m Relay

They don't have either of the 800 m Dash races, but I will keep checking back to see if they publish some more!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Track Banquet

The annual end-of-season track banquet is this Saturday at 6:30 pm at the high school. If you are a member of the track team, you get in and get all the festivities, food and fun for free! If you are a parent, or a sibling, there is a nominal fee that goes towards the team budget. I hope to see everyone there, varsity athletes and JV athletes, as it is a very, very fantastic way to spend an evening!


Uniform Turn-In

Calling all CHS track athletes!

If you are not racing this weekend, you need to trun in your uniform to Coach Hawk ASAP! Swing by his room anytime and make sure he gets it. He has been sitting in the cage every day after school waiting for both JV and Varsity athletes to turn in their equipment!

From our standpoint, the uniforms are very expensive and we care about them a great deal. They are property of CHS, not the athlete, and they need to be returned. Even if you are a senior. (Hopefully the seniors will realize that wearing their HS gear after they graduate is muy lame-o, so they don;t need to keep it.)

From your standpoint, I would hope that returning what is not yours yours would fall under the "right thing to do" category. So, turn in your equipment today!


Sunday, May 11, 2008

State Qualifier List

I am so proud of everyone's performance on Friday and Saturday. We prepared as best as we could and we got a lot of people "one more week of practice" It was a long, hard season, but we can't lose focus now. Below is a list of people who have a shot to do something very, very special. I can't wait to work with them starting Monday! The meet is at JeffCo Stadium, a very fast track, with a lot of history. Get ready to make some of your own!!

Girls 4 X 800
Kirsten, Kelli, Melanie, Katelyn with Caroline and Kelsey D. as alternates
Saturday 10:15 am

Boys 4 X 800
Alex, Derek, Taylor, Patrick with Shane and Kevin as alternates
Saturday 10:30 am

Girls Open 800
Friday 3:35 pm

Boys Open 800
Friday 3:50 pm

Sprint Medley
Jazmin, Kelsey G, Alexis and Amanda with Jordan and Karlie as alternates
Friday 9:40 am for prelims, Saturday 10:00 am for finals

Triple Jump
Paige and Kelsey G.
Friday 9:30 am

Long Jump
Kelsey G.
Saturday 12:30 pm

Friday 12:30 pm

Saturday 12:30 pm

Pole Vault
Saturday 11:30 for weigh-ins

High Jump & Long Jump
Saturday 12:30 pm / Friday 12:30 pm

Monday, May 5, 2008

4 Ways to Deal with Race-related Fatigue

Someone sent me this article from the world wide web on how to combat the inevitable fatigue experienced in racing. I read them over a few times, and they make a lot of sense. We are going to talk more in-depth about these topics this week, but here they are:





Good cues to remember while running!


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Regionals Schedule

Below is the link for the Regional Championships schedule.

This is our most important meet of the year. If you achieve the pre-qual time for an event, you go to State. If you come in top three in your event, you earn a ticket to State as well. We are running great, when the weather co-operates, so let's hope for some nice weather for Friday and Saturday, cause we always run fast at this venue!

Regional Schedule
(Sorry about the weird formatting, but the info is all correct.)

Alumni Update

The collegiate track season is coming to an end, and we have many alums who ran really, really well this spring. We have one who is a collegiate champion though.

Steven Busch won the Great Lakes Valley Conference 3000 m steeplechase in 9:27 to become conference champion!
He also PR-ed in the 5000 m, running a 15:16 and coming in 5th. Awesome Job Steven, we are all wicked proud of you!

But Steve-O, just to keep you from getting a big ego, I want to see you to Red Rocks this summer. Gotta keep working hard to keep running fast!

Any other alums who are running well? Shoot me an email and let me know!

Uncle Leonhard

During one of the wind gusts that almost blew us over on Friday afternoon, DLaker asked me if I had a famous relative who was a dog-sledder. I most certainly did, I replied. Uncle Leonhard was the man who saved the town of Nome Alaska in the 1920's by bring them diphtheria serum via dogsled. It was a relay, but while most drivers did something like 50 miles, Leonhard did 340 or so. He was a hero to Alaskans, and he started up his own sled dog breed, Seppala Siberian Huskies, which is the picture in the upper left corner of the blog. He was so famous he toured the United States for a while, doing exhibition races and introducing people to the sport of sled dog racing.

He even won a silver medal in the 1932 Olympics for sled dog racing, although it was just a demonstration sport. (Although it is pretty cool a Seppala has won an Olympic medal!)

I have been lucky enough to go on a couple dogsled rides, and even at half speed, those dogs can really take you for a ride!