Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Indoor meet discussion

Check out this message thread regarding indoor meets. An interesting read, to say the least.

I share the opinion of Coach Norton from Thompson Valley HS. (a perennial power from up North) that the indoor meets are good to break up winter training, but that they should not be the focus of any HS track athlete. Focus on getting in quality training, not peaking for indoor meets.

I especially like this line:

"We're of the mind that you can't run your best as a highschooler in both February AND May. As such, we'll take May over Feb!"

Very true, Coach, very true!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Nice Little XC Ski

Finally, back on the training train. A long walk this morning with Chloe, then 5km of nordic skiing on my own this afternoon. I only coughed for about an hour after the ski, but I am getting healthier, I can feel it!


Finally Feeling Better

it's been ten days, but I am finally feeling better. Having a baby who goes to daycare twice a week certainly raises the germ level in the house, and I think it got me. You read stories of how pro football teams fight through the flu, but I have no idea how they do it. That stuff knocked me down for almost two weeks, it was just miserable.

But, now I can get back into it again. Easy runs around the neighborhood, lunge routine after every workout, even going to get in some XC skiing up in the mountains. Pretty excited to be able to get out and train again, being cooped up in the house coughing has not been fun.

See you all in a week, keep getting those miles in, the first meets are about two months away now! Check the "updated" training schedule on the right sidebar for details.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cross Training

The weekend is half over, if you took yesterday off, here are some winter cross training ideas. No need to go pound your feet in a right-left-right-left manner over and over on the weekends, it's a little early in the season for that. Instead, do something active that gets your systems going in a different way.

For example:

Alpine skiing
Super long dog walks
Basketball at the rec. center
Lifting weights
Nordic skiing
Ice skating
Mountain biking

I'm sure there are more, let me know in the comments section!


Friday, December 17, 2010


Ugh. I have been fighting this low-level flu since Monday night, and I am really getting tired of it. Not sleeping at all, hacking up all sorts of slimy stuff. No energy, blowing my nose constantly. At night, alternating between shivering & freezing to lying in a film of sweat. Yuk.

Chloe had a little bit of this over the weekend, and she is still fighting it off, and I am hoping Beth has a strong enough immune system to ward this off. It just sucks. It's not debilitating, but just on that line. Grrrrr...

So, it looks like a week off from training (which will help my strained foot) and winter break couldn't have come soon enough.

I hate being sick.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Break Plans

I was very pleased to see the six or seven kids at practice today. That showed me a lot about their dedication and commitment to becoming better runners. I hope everyone involved with Wolverine Track and Field shows that same level of dedication and commitment over winter break. Even though we will not be practicing as an official team, every athlete is expected to make themselves better over this time period. Workouts will be posted right here, on this blog, and I expect you to follow them to the best of your abilities. Please check the blog on a regular schedule, to discover what is expected of you on a day-to-day basis. I understand the holidays can be a very stressful time, but sacrifice is necessary to become a champions, and that sacrifice might have to start right now. That might mean getting up before the sun, that might mean sneaking in double workouts, that might mean training when it is below zero out. I can say this about true winners, they all have had to sacrifice at some point in order to become what they were destined to be.

You have all worked hard to get a head start on your competition, don't relax now and turn that head start into a hole that you have to dig out of!


Winter Break Workouts: Sprinters, Jumpers, Hurdlers

Click on each workout for more details. If you have any questions, please shoot Coach Hawk a text or email him at cory.hawk@dcsdk12.org. Remember: the work you put in NOW will pay HUGE dividends in the Spring! HUGE! Happy Holidays!- Coach Hawk

CHSCA Track Clinic Speaker Line-Up

Below is the speaker line-up for the 2011 CHSCA Track Clinic. I am pretty excited to go, especially after seeing the finalized line-ups!

Friday @ 5:00 pm
Room 1 - Aaron Moser - Coaching the Multi Event Athlete
Room 2 - Sarah Schwald - Strategy & Training for the 800 and 1600
Room 3 - Stuart Lienemann - Building a Program
Room 4 - Loren Landow - Sprints

Friday @ 6:00 pm
Room 1 - Dr. Rick Bettger - Litigation for Coaches
Room 2 - Jay Johnson - Coaching in the 21st Century
Room 3 - Kevin Galbraith - 400 m Training
Room 4 - Jan Johnson - Pole Vault Session 1

Friday @ 7:00 pm
Room 1 - Al Joyner - Triple Jump
Room 2 - Dr. Joe Vigil - Distance Running
Room 3 - Tom Tellez - Sprinting
Room 4 - Jan Johnson - Pole Vault Session 2

Friday @ 8:00 pm
Room 1 - Matt Hemingway - High Jump
Room 2 - Dr. Joe Vigil - Distance Running
Room 3 - Tom Tellez - Sprinting
Room 4 - John Godina - Shot Put

Saturday @ 8:00 am
Room 1 - Al Joyner - Coaching the Paralympic Athlete
Room 2- Sarah Schwald - Distance Running
Room 3 - Dana Pounds - Javelin
Room 4 - Jan Johnson - Pole Vault Session 3

Saturday @ 9:00 am
Room 1 - Hy-Tek Training for Meet Directors
Room 2 - John Godina - Discus
Room 3 - Tom Tellez - Long Jump
Room 4 - Jan Johnson - Pole Vault Session 4

Saturday @ 10:00 am
General Session, Rules Update, General Discussion


Thursday, December 9, 2010

College Recruiting Tweets - By: Jay Johnson (read from bottom to top)


  1. #recruiting Plus, if you say No when you know, the T&F Gods will likely spare you a debilitating overuse injury your freshman year. #karma
  2. #recruiting Why? Because you're impeding the process for the coach (who you like, remember) and the other families she's working with.
  3. #recruiting College coaches lack one piece of data you have; what you can afford. If you can't afford the school you need to say No ASAP.
  4. #recruiting Now, that assumes that the $ is right for your family. If it's not, call coach ASAP, tell her No, move on to the next school.
  5. #recruiting The ideal campus visit is simple - you love campus, team and coaches. You go home, don't over think it, and you commit. The End.

I loved these thoughts by Jay on recruiting, they are simple and correct. Follow them, he knows what he's talking about, and he's right.

Thanks Coach Jay!



What a great run yesterday, I was happy to see everyone who was there. If you weren't at practice, read on, my thoughts are consistency apply to everyone!

On those aerobic run days, going fast is not the main point, it's going steady. As you get more and more fit, you cut down on the walking breaks/rest stops and are able to run at a constant steady pace. Consistency is the key to achieving this fitness. If you only run one or two days a week, you won't get fit nearly as quickly as if you train 4-5 days a week. So, even though your legs are hurting from lunges, you have blisters on your feet, and you want to go skiing; but you have schoolwork, and you need to go holiday shopping for your winter track coaches :), make time to get out there and run! Most days, it requires less that an hour a day, so find the time to make your training consistent. Work thought all the aches and pains, and keep working on your aerobic fitness. It will pay off in spring track season, trust me!


P.S. I was so glad to see Coach Jeanie (I called her Janie in an earlier post, sorry!) Boymel with us yesterday. I think she had fun dodging cows with us! Anyway, she has access to the blog now, so look for her words of wisdom cropping up on this site!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Let's go Patriots!

I am so excited for the game tonight! I think Chloe is too. Hope she saves me some pretzels.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thoughts on Steven Busch and Div. II schools

I have pictures of Steven Busch when he was in middle school, running the cross country course at Sierra. He still has the record on it, low 9:00's or so, and no one has come close to it. (Granted, we have changed the source considerably in the years since, but Steve-O still has the record! Which kind of illustrates why XC records are a little silly. But I digress.) He was not a only our top runner then, he was also the undisputed team leader, inspiring his teammates, working hard every day in practice, constantly improving. He was a joy to coach in middle school. The coaching staff at Sierra still talks about him, he is the standard we hold a lot of our athletes to.

When Steven moved up to the high school, I moved up to coaching at the high school. I was lucky enough to coach Steven for two years on the Sierra track, then four years on the Chaparral track. (We joke that he and some of his other classmates are sitting on a gold mine, a book about six years of Sep coaching scarred them for life... inside joke I guess.) Steven was an incredible runner at Chaparral, illustrating the same qualities he had in middle school. He was usually the last to leave practice, he believed in his training and the plan, he did all of the little things to make him better than his competitors. I will never forget breaking down in tears of joy after finding out he hit the automatic qualification time at Hinkley in the two mile. That was a four year quest for Steven, and to reach his goal, in the last race of the regular season was really special. Steven certainly came a long way from his middle school days.

However, he has developed into an even better runner over at Drury under Coach Van Arkel. He certainly wasn't a top 50 runner in the nation when he left CHS, he is that now. Looking at the results of the Colorado kids in the Div. II championships, I can't help but to marvel at the excellent performances of these athletes. I am thinking more and more that Div. I athletics might not be the best place for a lot of our HS athletes. Look at how well these kids run, how well they do in school, and how well they develop into young adults at the "lower" division. I am not knocking the Div. I level, I was lucky enough to compete at that level. (Not very well, but I competed.) What I see these days, however, is the Div. II scene seems to be a lot more conducive to producing well-rounded athletes with a sense of perspective who not only achieve on the playing field, but in all other areas of life to. Maybe this in a huge over-generalization, but I see a lot of Div. I runners transferring to Div. II schools and doing really, really well. Not just in running, but in all areas of life. College is tough, it is a huge transition for people. Finding a place to be able to develop into your true self that is a safe environment is not an easy task. These smaller Div. II schools might be the first place to look.

This fall, just like in the first season of his XC career waaaaay back at Sierra, Steven improved every race, he was a true leader to his teammates, and he was an inspiration to everyone he interacted with. I can say that Steven has convinced me to get back to training again, and if he can get me off the couch, I am sure he was pushing and cajoling his teammates to race their tails off. Steven has changed considerably, but he essentially is the same kid he was in middle school. A little taller, a little faster, maybe a little more worldly, but he is still a leader, a driven competitor, and the hardest worker on the team. Congratulations, Steve-O, you have left your mark on all of us, you're an extraordinary runner, but an even more amazing person. You deserve every accolade you receive, and I feel blessed to have been able to coach you.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Div. II Championships

Quick update,

Steven Busch, a CHS alum, came in 48th at Div. II Nationals, second on his team (Drury) and helped his team to a 14th place finsh. With Drury being ranked 23rd coming into it, 14th place is excellent!

More thoughts and opinions tomorrow.


Thursday, December 2, 2010


I am a big proponent of setting goals. I think having something to shoot for at the end of your journey is important. It helps you get out of bed before the sun comes up to go for a long run, it helps you do one more interval, it helps you suffer for 30 more seconds in the ice bath. Enjoying the training and enjoying the journey is important, but the end-goal is a crucial part of the whole experience.

You all should want to improve your racing throughout this process, but I want to throw out some numbers that you all should be aiming for. You might not achieve these times this year, but I truly think all of you have the capability to achieve them in the future if you dedicate yourselves to it.

Below are the times of the 18th fastest person in 5A Track and Field for 2009 and 2010. Why 18th? The top 18 athletes in each event go on to the State Meet in May. And running at the State Meet is the truly ultimate experience in Colorado Track & Field.

Gender/Event/2009 Time/2010 Time

Women/400 m/60.34/58.39
Women/800 m/ 2:23.45/2:22.05
Women/1600 m/5:20.63/5:18.71
Women/3200 m/11:40.77/11:36.45

Men/400 m/50.32/50.06
Men/800 m/1:58.37/1:58.11
Men/1600 m/4:29.31/4:27.77

Some fast times, for sure, but some attainable times. Print these times out, hang them on your bathroom mirror, or staple them to your notebook. Visualize yourself running those times. The journey to achieve these times starts now. It starts with getting out there and doing the running. It starts with stretching and with good nutrition. You all have a headstart on your competitors due to your participation in winter track, so take advantage of it. What's the silly cliche, "hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard" or something like that. It's a cliche, but it's true. Put in the hard work now, and you will be reaping the benefits later on in the season.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Great First Day


What a great first day of practice, we had a great turn-out of total athletes, a great cross section of track disciplines were present, and we had a surprising number of athletes complete the strength session.

Congratulations go out to:

Bryce Rich
Nate Purdue
Ryan Kwiatowksi
Hanna Barringer
Whitney Schultz
Cy Ferguson
Devan Foster
Evan Roberts
and Jonny Bacovin!

We will do this exact same workout again, at the end of the winter season, and hopefully we get a significant number of athletes completing our "Simple Monks" routine.

Remember, when chopping water and carrying wood, chop water and carry wood.



This winter season, we are going back to basics. For the first six weeks of training, we will be trying to accomplish one thing, and one thing only. Getting as many miles under our feet as we can.

We will be progressively increasing our mileage, about 5% per week, in order to reach our goal of a solid aerobic base by the beginning of February. We are not shooting for 100 miles per week, but we are going to be able to consistently run for 60-75 minutes at a time.

Running lots of miles accomplishes many things. I blogged about this four years ago, you can re-read it if you want. But, in the time since that initial blog post, I have learned a few things about what I used to call LSD. (Long Slow Distance)

First of all, it shouldn't be automatically long, or automatically slow. It should start off at a distance that taxes you, then you should slowly increase that distance so it keeps taxing you. The pace should not always be super slow, nor should it always be super fast. The pace should change with the terrain, the weather, your overall fitness level, even with how you are feeling minute to minute. These runs should be fun, meaning if you want to pick up the pace a bit, go for it. And if you are feeling a little sluggish, don't be afraid to shuffle a mile to get warmed up.

Let your body tell you how fast to go. Don't be concerned with paces or miles or anything like that. Go out and just run. Have fun with it. Know that the time spent running now will help guard against injury and sickness, help prevent fatigue, enable you to do a greater number of intervals with shorter recovery, and allow you to get that top speed that much faster.

My old ski coach used to say, "You gotta go slow to go fast." and that applies here. Intervals, tempo runs, plyometrics. All that will come later. Build your foundation of aerobic miles now, so you can tolerate and utilize all of those speed and strength workouts.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bullet Points Galore

Good evening everyone, lots of quick thoughts, in no particular order.

*Keagan ran today in Wisconsin, he ran a 15:45, for 40th place, at the Footlocker Midwest Regionals. I am assuming it was freezing cold, so any time under 16:00 minutes is a great time. Good work Keagan, you deserve some time off, take it!

*Been up in the mountains for the holiday, getting in lots of XC skiing. Let me tell you, pulling a 23 lb human being behind you in a sled is not easy work. Wow my thighs are sore!

*The CHS coaches are meeting Monday night, gona finalize all of the winter track plans. I do know that the distance kids will be meeting twice a week(Monday and Wednesday), with training plans individually desgined for all. We will not go to any winter meets as a club, but you are more than welcome to go to any of the meets on your own. You will have to be a member of USATF (for insurance purposes) and there will be a nominal fee to join the club. We are hoping to start by the beginning of next week, so stay tuned!

*I classic skied over 12km today on my own this afternoon, I was laboring. My thighs were sore as soon as I was done, that's how I know it was a good workout. As I was finishing up, I saw the University of Denver nordic team heading out for a workout. I asked one girl what they were doing, and she politley replied, "Oh, just an easy hour and a half." (In skiing, training is measured by time, not by distance, for obvious reasons) I thought to myself, an hour and a half?!? After they skied this morning? I did some quick math, and at their T-day camp, they conservatively got in 15 hours of training in 4.5 days. Unbelievable. I guess that is why they are national championship contenders every year.

*And those D.U. skiers are awesome to watch. They just jump on their skis, a couple of hops, and they are already cruising along three times as fast as I can go. Maybe I used to be like that, but not anymore. Slow, chunky and winded, that's me. :)

*Beth got me this Garmin watch for Father's Day this spring, and I must say, it is the best girt I have gotten in recent memory. I have it set for running workouts, cycling/rollerskiing workouts, and skiing workouts. The best thing about it is for my skiing workouts, it gives me my "speed zone" I am usually in "squirrel" zone, but I occasionally go up to "greyhound". Nice. Ia m addicted to it, I am constantly tweaking it and using it to post workouts. It totally helps with my motivation, that and my iPod; I don't know how I lived without them.

*We have a new middle distance coach on the CHS staff, and I have been working very closely with her the past couple of weeks to set us up for some big time success this spring. He name is Janie Boymel, and she used to coach at Platte Canyon HS. She is a great coach, a great person, and will be a huge addition to our coaching staff. I am eager to work with her with all of the athletes, that's for sure!

*I hope you all had a great turkey day, and I hope all of you have been accumulating as many miles as you can. Heck, even I have gotten a good amount of miles in. My plan for the distance kids for the first six weeks of winter track is miles, miles, miles, and it certainly is easier to do that if you are already used to it. If not, no worries, we will get you up to speed quickly. (Track pun, you caught that, right?)

*That's all for now, ladies and gentlemen, gonna go relax on the couch with an adult beverage. I might not be as fast as those Pioneers, but I can at least enjoy a beer post-workout. I am pretty sure they cannot. :) :)


Monday, November 8, 2010

Congrats Keagan

This was just brought to my attention, but over the weekend, Keagan Vargo was named to the Colorado All-State Cross Country team!

This is an incredible honor, and I know Keagan deserves it. He has worked hard all season long to turn himself into an elite runner and being All-State is something he should be proud of.

Great job Keagan, congratulations!


Drury Running News

Over the weekend, we had two alums continue their fall racing seasons.

Over at Drury University, the Panthers competed in their regional championships. Katelyn Wojan ran in the women's race (a 6km, weird) and finished in 45th place with a time of 23:56 Those are sub-6:30 miles, excellent job Wojan!

Steven Busch competed on the men's side, and with a 7th place finish, garnered Grand Valley All Conference honors! Way to go Steven, that's fantastic! Steven ran the five mile course in 25:18, at 5:06 a mile. Impressive work, Steve-O!

The Panthers race in a couple weeks in Lousiville, for their Regional Championships, wish them luck!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Winter Track

As I am sure most of you know, the Chaparral Winter Track & Field program starts up in late November/early December. The coaches will be meeting a couple of times this month to figure out exactly what it will look like, so until then, this is your training "assignment".

If you ran XC, take two weeks off from the time your last competition ended. Relax, rest, don't run, get your muscles and brain re-charged. It's a long track season, two weeks off now will make you better the last two weeks in May.

Once those two weeks are done, just get out there and run. Get lots of miles under your belt. No speed work, no tempo work, no strength work. Miles, miles, miles and more miles. See if you can run a little further or a little longer every day. Don't worry about running fast, worry about how many minutes running you can accumulate between now and December.

The more time spent running in November means the easier time you will have doing intervals and recovering from those intervals come April, trust me.

So, until then, happy running, enjoy yourself, and start getting psyched for a uber-successful track season!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Percent Back Data

The actual data results from the State Meet have finally been posted!

I have the percent back data if anyone wants it. If you are interested, shoot me an email, and I will email you the numbers.

Or, you can always figure it out on your own.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Regional Championship Analysis

Regional Championships were held yesterday, and both the CHS teams did pretty well yesterday. The boys came in second overall, qualifying for State, and the girls team came in 7th in their region.

Above is the percent back sheet, and here's a huge shout-out to the the one athlete who improved from League Championships to Regional Championships.

J. Kadolph: 7.45 to 6.58, that is improvement two weeks in a row, (he got faster from Titan Invite to League Champs as well), so awesome job James!!

A lot of athletes were close to improvement, they might have only regressed by a couple of hundredths of percentage points. The competition is getting tougher, but that is they way any championship season goes. You gotta improve along with your competition if you are going to do some damage at the State meet. I think this boys team can do that damage, they got one more week of hard training and then we'll see what happens!


P,.S. As usual, for primary source material, head on over to co.milesplit.com!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Denver Marathon Highlights

A couple of shout-outs from the Denver Marathon, which ran through downtown D-town today.

Coach Hawk ran the half marathon version of the race, running a great time of 1:47, for about 8:15 miles. Great job Coach Hawk!

And most of us know the winner of the race, Mike Aish. He works at B.R.C. and is always willing to help out us much slower runners reach our goals. Congrats Mike, running a 2;30 at altitude, that's a great win!

Weekly CHS Alumi News

Couple of quick updates on the college scene....

Alex Balsiger ran with the Colorado State University JV runners at Wash. Park this weekend, heard he ran a 27:32 for five miles. Not bad for not racing all season, not bad at all.

Katelyn Wojan tried to compete for Drury this weekend, but a creaky knee made her coach shut her down. I believe Coach Van Arkel knows best, he is making sure Katelyn is ready for championship season.

And good ol' Steven Busch ran this weekend for Drury as well, running a 10km in 31:51, a new personal record. His comment was, "I can improve on that, easily." Wow, sprinkle in a little speedwork, and will he go under 31:00?? I certainly hope so!


Friday, October 15, 2010

CHS XC League Championship Results

The CHS harriers ran their League Championships yesterday, and we have a League Champion! Keagan Vargo was the first place finisher in the boys race, by over 13 seconds. Nate Purdue also dropped a top ten finish, which is really great. But, let's look at the percent backs, which is what I think really tells the story.

Here is the %-back from the Titan Invite compared to two weeks later, here at the League Champs.

Vargo: -0.53 to -0.95 Improvement!
Purdue: 5.21 to 3.10 Improvement!
Kadolph: 7.7 to 7.45 Improvement!
Anderson: 7.97 to 8.82
Ingram: 9.2 to 10.95
Ferguson: 10.66 to 11.97
Harris: 11.00 to 11.90

Foster: 6:02 to 6.84
Ferguson: 10.6 to 7.14 Improvement!
Heard: 9.12 to 10.88
Nyiro: 15.59 to 13.96 Improvement!

If I may offer a little commentary here, the boys team yesterday came in third overall with 101 points, (and the girls came in 6th) which I think is a little bit of a disappointment for that boys team. I think they are better than that, but if you look at the numbers, it is up to those 4, 5, 6, & 7th place runners to push that team up into the higher place spots. The 4-7 runners did not improve from two weeks ago to today. Maybe that has something to do with training through this race, or maybe other factors I am not aware of within the team. (Not saying anything is going on, just saying I am not in the inner XC circle!!) But, this data shows that you can have two guys in the top ten, three in the top twenty, and you will not succeed as a team unless your slower guys race lights out. That has been, and always will be the key to XC; it's not the top guys, it's the 4-7 guys that make the difference in a race. I think if those 4-7 boys put in a fantastic solid week of training, then watch out, Colorado, CHS at State is going to do some damage!


P.S. Here is the %-back sheet, as usual, head over to Coach Versaw's page for the primary source material.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Falcon Invite Percent Backs

Here are the percent back results for the latest race, the Falcon Invite. (I'm a little late, I admit, due to weddings and such this weekend.) As usual head over to Colorado milesplit.com for the primary source material from Coach Versaw.

But, overall, it looks like a lot of the JV kids stepped up pretty well running against some tough competition. These varsity competitions are more about racing, it's about preparing for your race, getting mentally ready to run the best race you an, and learning tactics that will help you eventually win some races. The more experience the younger kids can get at this level, the better.

Can't wait till next week at League, I wish everyone great luck! And I heard a nasty rumor that Alex Balsiger will be running a race at Washington Park Saturday morning with his CSU mates. Run fast, Bals!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Collegiate Results

A quick post on some recent CHS alum racing news.

Ryan Bull ran in the Rocky Mtn. Shoot-Out up in Boulder this weekend. Over the difficult 8 km course, Ryan ran a very solid 30:14, which improves upon his 8 km time by 40 seconds! Wow!

In Chicago, in howling wind, blowing sand, and overall brutal conditions, Steven Busch ran a eight kilometers in 25:39 to snag a top 20 in the race and be the second runner on the Drury men's team. Katelyn Wojan, after a particularly stirring pep talk from her teammate, ran her five kilometer race in 19:44 to be the third Drury Panther to cross the line.

Excellent work everyone, those are some really great results. And if there are any other alums out there competing, shoot me a text message, I want to hear about how you are doing!


EDIT: Go to Coach Whitenack's excellent blog for more alum news!

Titan Invite Data

The CHS XC team went down to the Springs yesterday to run in the Titan Thunder Invite. On the right is the latest chart of the finishing times, places and percent backs. Of course, you can get all the primary source information from Coach Versaw's wonderful and detailed Milesplit.com page, as well as a short little article, and a great picture gallery.

I want to say right now, I would love to have Mr. Anderson & Mr. Harris come run for the CHS track team in the spring. Consider this a formal invitation gentlemen, I know you love baseball, but both of you guys are very talented runners and you would help out the track team immensely with your running skill. To paraphrase Lebron, bring your talents to the CHS track!

Even though it takes a little bit more time than I always figure, I really enjoy crunching the number for the JV kids who run. If you look at the successful programs in track and XC, (Ft. Collins, TCA, Battle Mtn.) they all have very deep and talented JV squads. Look at the JV girls race, I think Ft. Collins took the top three spots, that is amazing. I think the key to long term success in track/XC is to always work on developing your JV runners, making sure they are valued, and to avoid a break in the pipeline from the middle school to the varsity level . I know that is one thing I plan on becoming better at as a track coach, as we need to build for the long haul, not just one year at a time.

Having just said that about the JV runners, I want to now focus a few varsity kids. I figure they have run three races so far, at the highest levels. Now we can start seeing if they are getting better compared to the leaders as the year progresses. That is what %-back measures, how close you are to winning the race (which is always the ultimate goal). The three races I am looking at are New Mexico, Liberty Bell and Titan Invite. Here is the data.

Vargo: 1.16 / -3.2 / -0.53
Purdue: 5.5 / 4.2 / 5.21
Kadolph: 9.4 / 8.7 / 7.7
Ingram: 10 / 13.1 /9.2
Ferguson: 12.1 /11.6 /10.66
Rich: 12.2 / NA / 11.66
Anderson: NA / 10 /7.97

Foster: 7.2 / 12.4 / 6.02
Heard: 8.2 / 9.6 / 9.12
Ferguson: 12.4 / 14.6 / 10.60
Mansfield: 12.5 / 15 / 12.51
Nyiro: 14 / 15.3 / 15.59

I am very psyched to see kids consistently improving over the course of the season so far. Runners like Kadolph, Ferguson, Rich, Anderson, all those guys have been getting better and better compared to top flight competition. That is excellent. And to see Foster, Ferguson and Mansfield come back and get those %-backs low again, that is a job well done. It's hard to be consistent from race to race, week in and week out. And when you are already a top-flight runner, it is hard to keep improving, to keep dropping that %-back. It can be done however, it just takes a lot of discipline and dedication, which I know you all have tons of.

So, have a great week of training everyone, I am eager to see what the coming weeks bring in terms of fast racing.


P.S. And best wishes to Bills, I heard he fell victim to a stress fracture. I know he will bounce back stronger than ever for track season though, he is a tough, tough runner.

Monday, September 27, 2010

CHS Results @ Rock Canyon Invite

Below are is the percent back data for the CHS race this weekend at Rock Canyon. It looks like the top boys did not race, which I think is a great idea. That allows Purdue, Bills, Vargo, and the other guys to get a week off, therefore giving the younger kids a chance to gain some varsity experience.

On my clickable chart, you have the name of the racer, their actual race time, then right underneath it, how far back from the leaders they were. We had another negative %-back, with Miss Devan Foster winning the girls race, being 3/4 of a percentage point faster than the average of the leaders! Way to go Devan!

If you want to see the actual results, go to Alan Versaw's page at Milesplit, he has the original file.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Percent Back Thoughts

So, if TAnderson in the last race was 10% back of the leaders, how does that relate to training?

We know that if *races* 10% faster, then he will be on the podium, but how does this translate during the week?

Does he do 10% faster intervals? (Instead of a 60s/400m, he runs a 54s/400m?)
Or does he do 10% more intervals? (Instead of ten intervals, 11 intervals?)
Or does he run 10% longer? (Instead of a kilometer repeat in 2:00, he does an 11oom repeat in 2:00? Or, he runs for 11 miles on his long run instead of 10? Or he runs for 1:22 instead of an hour-fifteen?)
Or maybe he should reduce the rest between any type of interval by 10%. (Instead of 3 minutes rest, he only gets 2:40?)

Hmmmmm..... how to get 10% faster??


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Liberty Bell Results (updated)

Below are the results for the CHS XC team at Liberty Bell yesterday.

But first, major congratulations go out to Keagan Vargo, 2010 Liberty Bell Division 1 Champion!

Division 1A:
Vargo : 1st : 15:35 : -3.2%
Purdue : 18th : 16:20 : 4.2%
Kadolph : 48th : 17:08 : 8.7%
Anderson : 68th : 17:23 : 10.0%
Ferguson : 86th : 17:41 : 11.6%
Bills : 89th : 17:42 : 11.6%
Ingram : 106th : 18:00 : 13.1%

Heard : 35th : 20:05 : 9.6%
Foster : 66th : 20:43 : 12.4%
Hirsch : 78th : 21:02 : 13.7%
Ferguson : 87th : 21:16 : 14.6%
Mansfield : 93rd : 21:22 : 15.0%
Nyiro : 95th : 21:26 : 15.3%
Corlett : 105th : 21:51 : 16.9%

Division 1B:
Rich : 18th : 17:58 : 7.5%
Richards : 29th : 18:21 : 9.7%
Harris : 30th : 18:24 : 9.8%
Kade : 31st : 18:25 : 9.8%
Bacovin : 33rd : 18:26 : 9.9%
Kwiatokwski : 39th : 18:36 : 10.6%
Young : 77th : 19:27 : 14.6%

Nelson : 23rd : 21:12 : 4.9%
Nyiro : 26th : 21:22 : 4.9%
Neilson : 42nd : 21:41 : 7.0%
Hedges : 44th : 21:52 : 7.8%
Huff : 45th : 21:56 : 8.0%
Lundell : 60th : 22:49 : 11.6%

Great job, CHS harriers!

And in other news, alums Katelyn Wojan and Steven Busch raced this morning. Katelyn ran her inaugural university 5 kilometer course in 19:23, and Steven ran the university 5 mile course in 25:35. Excellent work from the alums.


EDIT: Just got word that Ryan Bull, for the Colorado School of Mines, just ran a 30:53 in his inaugural five mile university race. Congrats Ryan!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Middle School Cross Country Banquet

(Coach Thornton and I "dropping some knowledge" on the 7th grade ladies before the race.)

I just got home from the middle school cross country banquet, and I need to tell everyone what a successful year the athletes had.

The 7th grade boys won their district division, with Jack D, James B. Sean R. and Nick F. all coming in the top ten in the district varsity race. The 7th grade open race had Tanner F. and Tanner S. coming in 1-2, so even out 8th & 9th guys on the team were super strong.

The 7th grade girls came in third, and we had an individual district varisty champion in Kat K, plus top tens from Megan G. and Erin G. As for the open race, we scored four girls in the top ten, Kaylee H., Emma R. Erika C. and Meridith N. Amazing job ladies!

The 8th graders also fared very well, with Dominic C. coming in 9th in the boys varsity race, and the ladies improving throughout the year to finsih in the top five as a team.

I was wicked happy with all the improvement shown throughout the year, both from the 7th and 8th graders. I am also very excited to coach all of you next year, either at the high school, or one more year at the middle school.

Congratulations Sierra Eagles, superb job this year!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Percent Back

A statistic I like to use when comparing cross country runners and skiers is called "percent back". Percent back measures how far off the podium you were in any given race. It also tells you how much you would have to improve to be with the leaders.

The calculation is simple. Take the top three finishers in any given race, and average their times. Then divide the average time by the racers time. Subtract that number from 1, and there you go.

For example, in the latest CHS XC race, the top three boys ran an average time of 945 seconds (15:45). Keagan ran a time of 956 seconds (15:56).

Dividing 945 by 956 gives you 0.9884 and subtracting that number from 1 equals 0.0116. That is a percentage of 1.16% back.

So, if Keagan runs 1.16% faster, which is 11 seconds quicker, he comes in the top three. He would have run a 15:44, which would have gotten him second place.

I like this formula, because it neutralizes the weather, the hills, the footing, the course, every variable on a XC course. You can look at this from race to race to race, and see how well you are doing in comparison to your competitors. You see how close you are to actually winning the race, which is the goal. Times are important, but if you run a "slower" time on a harder course, and get a lower percent back to the leaders, that is a better accomplishment that running a "faster" time on an easy course, and getting blown away by the competition.

Below are the percent backs for the CHS varsity racers this weekend. Traditionally, anything under 5% is an excellent percent back.

Vargo - 1.16%
Purdue - 5.50%
Kadolph -9.40%
Ingram - 10.0%
Bills - 10.3%
Ferguson - 12.1%
Rich - 12.2%

Foster - 7.2%
Heard - 8.2%
Ferguson - 12.4%
Mansfield - 12.5%
Nyiro - 14.0%
Barringer - 16.3%

Again, great job everyone!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Teh CHS XC team went down to New Mexico this weekend, running in the Lobo Invitational. Below are the great results from the team!

K. Vargo- 5th - 15:56
N. Purdue - 20th - 16:40
J. Kadolph - 46th - 17:23
M. Ingram - 48th - 17:30
J. Bills - 53rd - 17:33
C. Ferguson - 78th - 17:54
B. Rich - 79th - 17:55

D. Foster - 20th - 20:03
J. Heard - 24th - 20:16
S. Ferguson - 47th - 21:14
J. Mansfield - 29th - 21:17
J. Nyiro - 63rd - 21:38
H. Barringer - 86th -22:23

Excellent job by everyone, hope you all keep running fast and we see you out for the track team in the spring!


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Night Thoughts

Triathlon on TV is sooooooooo freakin' boring. Figure it is good background noise to blog to.

Got back from vacationing on Shelter Island (the island between the north and south forks of Long Island NY) a couple days ago, and I got quite a bit of running in. I ran with the Shelter Island Running Club, which consists of any high school athlete who summers on the island. They were nice enough to have me, and I got to know all of the guys pretty well, as we suffered through a checkpoint workout of two one mile repeats, and then two half mile repeats.

I think I ran OK, but there was one runner, Tyler Cardillo from Florida who the week before dropped a 15:44 in a road race 5k. He was a very talented, very polite boy, and when I asked him what is favorite workout was, he talked about progressive runs, which are essentially what we call Kenyan runs. It was pretty cool to hear him talking about them, as he does them a mile at a time, for 5-6 miles, but it is the same principle we use when we do them for 800's.

Update: triathlon is still boring.

So, with my school starting next week, I know most of you are preparing to go (or go back to) college and run, or get ready for the HS XC season. I hope lots of you have gotten lots of miles under your belt. Time spent running has no substitute for success in racing. Whatever the distance, 800 meters to 10,000 meters, the only way you can hope to improve is to have a huge base under your proverbial belt. If you many miles have passed under your shoes, or your watch has a huge number on it, then you are all set. You will be able to handle the intervals, handle the tempo runs, and be able to recover quickly so you can do it all over again. Good luck to all of you, I know you will all do well, and I will be stalking your results over the internet!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dehydration Experience

Yesterday I went for a classic rollerski through the neighborhoods around my house. I waited until Chloe was down for her nap, which came a little later at 11:00 am. It was already 90+ degrees at the time, but I figured it wasn't too bad. I slammed two or three big glasses of water before I left, and figured I was good to go.

Now, I should know about dehydration, I have experienced it first hand in a clinical setting. Back in college, my ski coach was very good friends with the head kinesiology professor. So, whenever Dr. Kenefick needed "subjects" for his studies, he had plenty of fit, driven athletes from the ski team.

The study I remember the most was running on a treadmill on Friday afternoon, for three weeks. The first time, you ran at your normal body weight. The treadmill was steadily sped up and the incline was increased, until you were literally shot off the back. They took blood samples, CO2 samples, etc. etc. The following week, you had to go in hyperhydrated, which is when you drank so much water your stomach hurts and you feel bloated and fat. Same procedure, run till you drop. The third week was the worst, you had to show up Friday dehydrated. That meant getting in a rubber suit and doing some crazy extreme gym workout on Thursday, until you lost 7% of your body weight. I remember being about 155 lbs in college, and for this experiment, I was down to 142 or so. Friday afternoon, same thing, get on the treadmill and stagger through a running workout. (I am pretty sure I got spit of the back of the treadmill quite quickly.)

The worst part about this was not the running, but it was Thursday night before the testing. Being in a dehydrated state all night long was miserable agony, and it just about broke me. I was lying in my dorm room, just dreaming abut water, but I couldn't have any. I wish I had remembered how horrible I felt, how much I suffered, before I got out on the rollerskis with no water yesterday. I was cruising pretty good, but at about 25 minutes, I started to get thirsty, really thirsty. I skied past a guy hosing down his driveway, and asked him for a drink.

"You should've brought water" he said.

"But I didn't, so can I please have a drink." I replied curtly.

A couple of big gulps and I was on my way, but my thirst was not satiated for long. A few minutes later, my knees started to ache big time. When I am running, my knees ache a lot, but usually not rollerskiing. Then, the dry mouth and spitting. It seemed like every five strides I was trying to spit to keep my mouth wet. Yuk. Finally, my chest started to cramp. Not just a side stitch, but my whole chest was cramping up. It hurt to expand my lungs, it hurt to do any twisting motion, or any double poling motion. I was pretty uncomfortable, to say the least. Knowing I was in trouble, the light at the end of the tunnel was I was finally back in my neighborhood, only two short hills away from home.

Focusing on my technique, and trying to not think about how thirsty I was, I skied past the elementary school. then up the final hill to my house. By the time I got home, I was soaked through. My helmet was dripping, my T-shirt was drenched, my gloves and shoes were sopping. I stumbled out of my skis, and teetered into the house. But, before I had a drink of anything, I got on the bathroom scale. I wanted to see just how much weight I had lost. And the number said 3.5 pounds lost, in a single hour long workout. Whoa. Suffice to say, I had about ten giant glasses of Gatorade after that.

What's the moral of this long and convoluted story? Well, don't get dehydrated. Figure out a way to bring water with you; figure out a way to avoid training in 90 F heat; (although dehydration is just as prevalent in the wintertime as well); and if you do get dehydrated, focus on your technique and slowly stumble your way home. You gotta train in the summer, but you gotta train smart.


Monday, July 12, 2010

End Radio Silence

Coming out of my summer hibernation for a few minutes...

It has been very refreshing to take some time away from the track scene the past six weeks, but I admit, I do miss it quite a bit. I have been pretty busy, not with specific track stuff, but with training and athletics in general. Just to clear things up, I am not going to do any private coaching this fall. In fact, I closed out the Walnut Hills Track Club checking account just last Thursday. I will be coaching middle school as usual, but after that, I want to go watch some HS XC races, compete in a few road races, and not have organized practice. I am enjoying this break, and my family is too, of not having a coaching schedule. What does that mean for the winter and the following spring? Hard to tell right now. I know we lost two great coaches to other schools, and we wish them all the best, but now the remaining coaches have to pick up the slack. Those solutions and those scenarios will figure themselves out once school starts though. Coaches have moved on before and we have always found a way to provide the best track experience possible. It is your job to keep up your training. Summertime is a time for milage, hills and more milage. You do your job, and we will do ours.

Speaking of training, this summer, I have gotten back on the rollerskis, and have been immersing myself into the nordic ski culture. There are a series of cross country ski races in Grand County this winter, and I want to compete and do well in them. So, I have been hammering the pavement a couple of times a week. I have forgotten how much fun roller skiing can be, whether it is around the Tech Center, or when we can get up to the mountains and I can cruise around.

I have also been running, even though my seven year old orthotics have finally worn out. (Thanks to Dr. Farrett and the B.R.C. for helping me get that problem fixed. If you have structural issues with your running, and you don't go see Dr. Farrett, you're cheating yourself!) I got a new Garmin watch for Father's day, logging into my training logs on runkeeper.com, been having a blast pushing Chloe around Wash. Park doing tempo intervals, and dusted off the old bike to get some distance work in when the knee was not cooperating. (The TdF every morning seems to inspire me to get out there and ride.)

Why all the training? Warrior Dash. Coach Whitenack and I are going head-to-head this year, with Coach Laster also competing in the heats the day before. I intend on destroying both of them. That's my goal, what's yours?


Sunday, May 23, 2010

2010 End of Season Data

Here is all of the distance team data from the 2010 season.
The updated CHS Distance Records sheet.

The Season Bests for the CHS Distance Women.

The Season Best List for the CHS Distance Relays.

The Season Bests for the CHS Distance Men.


P.S. Kudos to Coach Whitenack, he joins an exclusive club of CHS coaches to get two (2) seperate athletes on the state meet podium! Coach Maroney in 2007 got two on the pole vault podium, and Coach Whitenack this year got two on the high jump podium. Excellent job!

Summer Plans

A lot of atheltes have been asking what they should do for training over the summer. My suggestion, whether you are coming back to CHS or moving onto the next level, is simple. MILES. Miles and miles and miles. The more aerobic running you can get under your belt this summer, the better you will be able to handle the intervals in the fall. Maybe do some light hill repeats, or some easy tempo repeats once a week, but varied aerobic running will best serve you for your fall campaign.

My summer will be spent with my wife and daughter, riding bikes, heading up to the mountains, brewing beer, working in the yard. I will not be doing regular Red Rocks sessions this summer, but you are more than welcome to attack that on your own. I hope all of you have a great summer, please keep in touch, and I am grateful to each and every one of you. In fact, I would like to thank you all personally for a wonderful and fulfilling track season.

Thanks Nate.
Thanks Keagan.
Thanks Ryan.
Thanks Justin.
Thanks Brenden.
Thanks Jonny.
Thanks Josh.
Thanks Alec.
Thanks James.
Thanks Cam.
Thanks Bryce.
Thank Ryan.
Thanks Katelyn.
Thanks Caroline.
Thanks Kendall.
Thanks Jordan.
Thanks Anna.
Thanks Charlie.
Thanks Matty.
Thanks Steven.
Thanks Janey.
Thanks Chelsea.
Thanks Janelle.
Thanks Brian.
Thanks Patches.
Thanks Travis
Thanks Zach.
Thanks Caleb.
Thanks Boomer.
Thanks Karlie.
Thanks Michelle.
Thanks Hanna.
Thanks Matt.
Thanks Liz.
Thanks Ashley.

Have a great summer everyone, take a couple weeks off, then get back on the running train. Don't force any structured intervals or anything like that, just go out and run on the trails for the sheer joy of it.


Saturday's Racing & Banquet

We didn't have much racing on Saturday, only Keagan in the 1600. The weather was blistering hot, with severe swirling winds, severe enough to mandate all team tents be taken down. Keagan had a great start in the mile, but as the paced picked up and the pack splintered, he came through the finish in 4:36, not his best, but a very admirable time under those conditions.

I also want to give a huge shout out to all the parents and volunteers who helped make the banquet a great success. I know it is a ton of work, and I want to sincerely thank everyone who helped. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday's Racing

We had three major races yesterday, to start off the day, Travis B. PR-ed in the 300 hurdles, coming in tenth in the state. He missed finals by a hair, but he raced a great race, he was clean over all the hurdles, and as they say, you can never do better than your best. Awesome job Trav, way to represent!

The second race of the day was the opne 800. Nate P. raced this one, in a stacked field, and came in a shade below 1:59. It was super tough race, plus Nate was running on a bum ankle that he told no one about. I am very proud of Nate, he is only a junior, and I think he gained some valuable experience in that race. The open 800 is a sprint, that is not in lanes, so there is a lot of "rubbing and racing" ! Nate did an excellent job, and he represented CHS extremely well.

It wouldn't surprise me if they go to prelims for the 800 next year. If you watch it, it really is a brutal race with 18 kids in it. There is more elbowing and fighting for position than anything else, and by the time you get your position, you have only 75 meters left and you are exhausted. Something like two heats of 9 kids, with the top two automatically qualifying to finals, and the next best five times, or something like that. I think 18 is too many kids for that race, cutting it in half would make for a true test of 800 racing ability.

The last race of the day was the women's 4 x 200, and with three girls going under 26.0 seconds, they came in 8th overall in the State, a huge accomplishment. With a great starting leg by Emily S. superb running i the middle with Katelyn W. and Brandis H. and a great anchor leg out of Alexis G., the girls were less than one second off the school record. Fantastic! Great work ladies!

Today is the last day of competition, with Keagan V. gunning to shock some people in the mile. It's going to be a hot one, which plays right in Keagan's wheelhouse. See you at the meet!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Excellent Races - Thursday Edition

We had two great races on the distance side yesterday, Caroline shattering the school record and coming in 12th with a time of 11:30 in the two mile, and Keagan getting onto the podium with an 8th place finish and a new school record of 9:34 in the two mile. Those were two wonderful, well executed races that were works of art to watch!

Also, the girls 4 x 200 team qualified for finals, and the boys 4 x 800 team made the podium, with an 8th place finish that was kick-started by Ryan Bull's scintillating lead leg of 2:00 flat! Awesome job everyone, looks like another gorgeous day today, so let's keep racing fast!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Hey all anonymous people,

If you have a question about the blog, the distance team, the awards, the line-ups, anything like that, please just email me. Posting silly anonymous crap in the comments is immature and detrimental to the team as a whole. Just shoot me an email, and I will be glad to try and explain our thought process.

I know I have tons of enemies, I know that I ruffle lots of feathers, I know that I make decisions that might not be that popular. But you know what, everything I do, from June to May, is to try and make kids better runners. If you don't like how I do it, then ignore me. Don't try and slam me or my athletes, from behind an anonymous curtain, so you can feel better. Start your own blog, start your own training club, or even better, get your lazy butt off the couch and do some actual coaching and giving back to the running community, instead of trying to bring it down.

Grow up, get a life, get off the internet, and realize that all the coaches and athletes on this track team work their tails off and should not be insulted in such a fashion.


Monday, May 17, 2010

State Qualifiers

Here are the 2010 CHS State Qualifiers.

Sprint Medley:

Sant, Hughes, Grimm, Larsen Alt: Vazquez & Yeager

4 x 200 m Girls:

Sant, Wojan, Hughes, Grimm Alt: Vazquez & Yeager

4 x 800 m Boys:

Bull, Bills, Vargo, Purdue Alts: Burt & Richards

4 x 100 Girls:

Sant, Follett, Hughes, Grimm Alt: Edginton

4 x 100 Boys:

McHenry, Petty, Henry, Whipple Alt: Ray

Discus Boys:


Discus Girls:


Shotput Girls:


100 Hurdles:


300 Hurdles Boys:


Pole Vault Girls:


High Jump Girls:

Follett, Bacovin

Triple Jump Girls:


3200 Girls:


3200 Boys:


800 Boys:


1600 Boys:


For a complete schedule, please click here.