Sunday, January 31, 2010

Final Indoor Meet Results

Below is a picture of the final results from the CHS T & F team today. We raced at the Air Force Academy, I always have great memories of heading down there. The Air Force outdoor track is an Olympic style (long straightaways), rock hard, sky blue monster. It was six years ago that we were there for Regional Championships, and Steven Busch was a freshman and he came within a couple of seconds of snagging the school record in the 3200. He would eventually get it the next year, but fantastic memories like that, combined with the extensive history, gorgeous scenery and great competition make it a welcome trip every year.

Anyways, enough blah blah blah, here are the results, enjoy!

BTW, check the practice schedule in the sidebar, some slight changes due to today's racing.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Lagat 1500 m Race

Just got done watching Bernard Lagat win his record 8th Wannamaker Mile. He ran a great race, he beat a couple of studs from Great Britain and Kenya as well. So, since I am home with Chloe tonight, and she is upstairs sound asleep, I figured I would find some cool YouTube videos to post up on the blog. This one is his 1500 m win at World Championships a couple of years ago, and it shows would-be racers a couple of things about not just running fast, but winning races. Watch the video a few times, see if you can figure out what Lagat does to win this World Championship race.


Coach Sep Dead Lift

No, this isn't really me, but I did find it funny. I hope Coach Whitenack is pushing you guys hard in the weight room, but not to the point this poor chump ends up at!


Nordic Ski Race Video

This video is of Peter Northug, the new Norwegian star XC skier. Nordic skiers in Europe are like basetball players here in America, they are huge rock stars. Anyway, Northug is in red, in the lead, adn the German in black tries to get in position to slingshot him around the curve at about 0:17 into the video. Just watch Northug's reaction to the German, that is how you put the hammer down!!!

h/t Toby Ripson (Twitter handle TplusCplusR)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Spenst on the Steep Hill

Today for Spenst Hill, weather permitting, we are moving the workout to the parking lot hill at CHS. 9 people voted for the P.K.H., and only five voted for the Grandview Access Hill. Even though the P.K.H. is shorter, it is significantly steeper, and any flaws in Spenst technique will be greatly exaggerated.

See you after school today, be prepared to work hard, we are doing Spenst x 6!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Threshold Training (Dense & Wordy)

"The magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomena, result or condition to occur or be manifested"

That is the definition of threshold. In other words, a threshold is a point or level that when you exceed it, something happens. This can be a good or a bad thing, but something happens.

All of you are familiar with threshold. Your teachers all have thresholds of patience, when you push them too far, they get angry. You all have thresholds of pain, when pain gets too intense, you react in a certain way (cry, quiver, etc.) There are many different types of thresholds, and they all differ from person to person, but in distance training, the most important threshold is the one that governs how our running muscles are powered.

For our intents and purposes, there are two types of running: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic running (jogging) burns a different type of fuel, produces a different type of waste, and can be carried out for a much longer time than anaerobic running (sprinting). However, aerobic running is usually much slower and plodding than anaerobic running. At a certain pace, your body automatically switches from powering itself like an aerobic runner to powering itself like an anaerobic runner. The difference between really good runners and not-so-good runners is the running pace or speed at which they switch over between systems.

For example, Runner A might be able to run aerobically at 5:00/mile pace. As soon as Runner A goes at 4:55/mile pace, she is running anaerobically. Then there is Runner B. Runner B runs aerobically at 5:30/mile pace, but as soon as Runner B goes 5:25 pace, she is running anaerobically.

Obviously, Runner A is a better overall runner. Runner A can run more intervals, at a faster pace, for a longer amount of distance, without totally seizing up and collapsing on the track. And if you can run more intervals, at a faster pace, for a longer distance, you are going to continue improving in your race times and become faster and faster. That's the whole goal here, to become faster on race day, right?

Not all is lost for Runner B however. Runner B's level of 5:30/mile pace is not set in stone. It is not genetic, nor is it unalterable. What we do on Mondays is designed to move Runner B's level more towards Runner A's.

By running at a pace below your aerobic/anaerobic switching level (or your lactic threshold), you actually train your body to not switch over to the anaerobic phase until you go a little faster. You can condition your body to hold off on that internal automatic switch for a little while longer. You teach your body to run at a faster pace powering itself aerobically. Which means you don't seize up as quickly, you don't feel the "burn" as quickly, and you can do more and faster training, thereby getting faster for race day. So, over time, Runner B, through deliberate and careful training, can actually push their level (lactic threshold) to a faster pace. Instead of making the switch at 5:50/mile pace, they can train themselves to internally hold off until they are running 5:15/mile or 5:00/mile or even 4:45 mile pace. It just takes discipline and patience and faith in the program. And then Runner B will kick Runner A's ass on race day! :) :)

The most important part to all of this is training at or below this level (or lactic threshold). If you train above the threshold, if you run faster than the pace at which you "switch", then you are causing your body to run anaerobically. If you remember the definition, a threshold is the point at which you cause a change. The change is going from aerobic to anaerobic. If you cross the lactic threshold on Mondays, if you run faster than you should, you cause your body to run anaerobically. And you don't want to do that. You can't teach your body to hold off on your automatic system switch if you cross the threshold on Monday. Your body will not react in the way you want it to if you go beyond that threshold . It will not learn to get rid of lactic acid efficiently, it will not learn to utilize oxygen more productively, it will not learn to move blood more effectively. When training on Mondays, you have to get right up to this level, but not above it. You can push your teachers patience just enough, but not go too far. You want to go right up to your teacher's tolerance threshold, and in training, you want to go right up to the lactic threshold. But in both instances, you don't want to go too far.

In our program, Monday practices are designed to teach the body to go faster without switching over to anaerobic. We want to teach our bodies "to endure higher intensity for a greater period of time. " (J. Daniels, Daniel's Running Formula, 1999) Going too fast on these kilometer repeats is not doing the body systems any good. Going a second or two slow is optimal, as you are still getting all the benefits, but you are not risking crossing the lactic threshold and wasting the interval. I thought today was a great day for that; as a group, all of us were running right on those times, and getting maximal benefit from these workouts. We will not only feel these benefits on race day, but also on Wednesday, Saturdays, and every other day of training. We will be able to train harder, longer and faster throughout the week, and that will propel us to becoming better racers!

However, it does not happen over night. Through a long season, we will make those gains, but it takes deliberate focused practice every day to achieve the maximal benefit. This afternoon was a great start to that. Congrats! And of course, if you have any questions/comments/observations, let me know in the comments section!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Medeema Park 43's in Pictures

Good afternoon.

Here are some pictures from yesterday's interval workout at Medeema Park, over by Coach Whitenack's house.

We did some stretching to start, ran through the intervals, then had a delicious post-workout meal at Einstein's Bagels.

We had about a dozen athletes there, hope to see a lot more next time!


Some yoga stretching after our warm-up jog.

Coach Whitenack leading the team through the stretching.

More side lunge stretching, the sun is barely up over the horizon!

The team rounding the first turn, with Lena and Otis in close pursuit.

Heading down the backstretch, about to run up the big hill.

Brenden and Josh sprinting down towards the finish marks.

With a short recovery, these intervals get really difficult really fast!

Otis is lining up Katelyn, Brenden and Josh for their 4th interval.

All done, picking up the cones!

MLK Indoor Meet

Our final indoor meet of the season is going to be this Sunday (1/31) down at the Air Force Academy, in the Cadet Fieldhouse. This is a very important meet, as it sets up our training for the month of February.

The order of high school events, with a tentative time schedule, is as follows:

9:00 60 H
9:45 Mile
10:30 High Jump
11:00 400 m
12:15 60 m Prelims
Lunch Break (YUM!)
1:30 Long Jump
1:30 Shot Put
2:00 60 m Finals
2:15 800 m
3:00 Triple Jump
3:30 200 m
4:30 4 x 300 Relay

Each event is six dollars for pre-registration, and the coaches will need your entry fees in an envelope along with your chosen events written on the envelope by Wednesday, at the end of Spenst Hill practice.

I will be attending the meet through the 800 m, so I encourage all distance athletes to run both the mile race and the 800 m race. We need to be able to run two races well during the outdoor spring season, so we might as well start practicing that now.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me, talk to me at practice, or send me a telegram. :)


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Morning Interval Data

Here is the data for 1/23/10, the Saturday morning interval session we completed.

In two weeks, we will do this again. For those that were here this week, we expect improvement. For those that did not make it, we expect participation!

Matty Ice: 917 x 1
HBarringer: 928 x 1
Jonny Bacon: 1009 x 1
Alec R: 1014 x 1
TBrost: 1037 x 1
Mark I: 1121 x 1
RBull: 1093 x 2
JLaker: 1121 x 3
KDub: 954 x 5
Company: 1121 x 5

This is an excellent start. As I said at practice, this is a very tough workout, and it is not ever going to be easy. A few athletes commented that it is more of a mental workout, you have to want to get to you mark, and I agree. With the short rest, the varying terrain, and the longer distance, these intervals are like no others. However, improvement is progression, and progression leads to a fitter athlete and faster times.

So, see you all at Meedema Park, 8:00 am, in two weeks!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Snow on Spenst??

With no precipitation in the past few days, it looks like Spenst Hill will be dry enough to be able to do our workout on it today. Even though I love Neale Pursuits, I really heart hills! How could it get any better, a nice howling wind and some blowing snow. That makes plyometric work really good for the soul!

We have the choice of two hills, either the parking lot hill, or the Grandview access hill.

Which one do you athletes prefer to do the Spenst workout on? The short steep parking lot hill, or the long gradual Grandview hill?

Let me know in the poll on the sidebar on the left.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sprinters/Jumpers/Throwers Workout 1/18/10

Worlds Greatest Stretch x6@ (@=each leg/side)
Side lunge to squat x6@
Inverted Hamstring x6@
Hip crossover x6@
Plank lying opposites x6@
4pt start to 10m sprint x6@

3 x 3 x 160 (90%) 3min/8min

The workout consists of 3 sets of 3 reps for 160 meters @ 90% intensity with 3 minutes between reps and 8 minutes between sets. An example of this workout for someone that ran a 12 second 100m would look like the following:
160 meters approximately 19.2 seconds
Rest 3min
160 meters approximately 19.2 seconds
Rest 3min
160 meters approximately 19.2 seconds
Rest 8min
160 meters approximately 19.2 seconds
Rest 3min
160 meters approximately 19.2 seconds
Rest 3min
160 meters approximately 19.2 seconds
Rest 8min
Set 3
160 meters approximately 19.2 seconds
Rest 3min
160 meters approximately 19.2 seconds
Rest 3min
160 meters approximately 19.2 seconds
Rest 8min
Figure your time using the running calculator (posted below). You will have to scroll to the bottom of the page that pops up and click on "Edit this page". That should bring up a new window that you can modify, but please leave it as you found it! Follow the directions on the spreadsheet. And without further delay:

Please post

1. Times ran
2. Questions or comments.

See you in Coach Hawk's room on Tuesday

Posted by: Coach Neale & Coach Whitenack

Sunday, January 17, 2010

CHS Swim & Dive Team "Sink or Swim" Meet

Every winter, the CHS Swim & Dive team puts on a fundraiser/competition at Grandview HS. It is their "Sink or Swim" meet, which pits CHS boys athletics teams against the CHS girls swim & dive team in a variety of relay races, dive-offs, and other really fun stuff. The boys track team was invited again this year, and I think we should make a big showing.

If you are running winter track for us (and you are a guy), please make plans to attend this Thursday night the 21st. The free pizza, (yes, I said free pizza) starts at six, and the competition starts at seven. I am not sure if I will be able to attend, but I encourage all of our boys to make the trip up to Grandview HS out on Arapahoe Rd. and help support the CHS girls swim & dive team. This is a great way to do the whole school spirit thing! :)

Bring a bathing suit and towel, as you will get wet, and please, NO RUNNING in the halls, we don't need any stitches in knees this year!!!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

MLK Weekend Plan (Distance Kids)

Good morning everyone,

I tried to send this to all the distance kids via text message yesterday morning, but some of you might not have gotten it.

As the sidebar says, yesterday was an easy active recovery day. 15 min. easy run, just to keep the muscles loose.

Today, Saturday, is a long over distance run. The pace should be easy, but not a walk, and you should push yourself by making it a loooooong run. Do not add to the difficulty by running fast, add to the stress by running an extra mile or two. Some great places in Parker to do this are out by Josh Lake's house, (those hilly dirt roads are ideal), Castlewood Canyon (be careful of some icy spots) or along the Cherry Creek Path (on the dirt, not the concrete). Just make sure you stretch really well afterwards, and get good and hydrated before you head out.

Sunday is an easy aerobic run, no more that 45 minutes, and Monday we will meet at the CHS track at 3:00 in the afternoon for some gold intervals.

Enjoy your long weekend, see you Monday!


Monday, January 11, 2010


Any of you guys sore from Saturday?

I always thought it was the lactic acid, but I guess my old knowledge has now been updated.


Indoor Meet Results

Above is a copy of my results sheet, culled from my stopwatch, Coach Whitenack's stopwatch, and the official results sheet sent to us by the meet hosts. I tried to get as many accurate times as I could, but I am sure I missed a few. For that I apologize, but there will be plenty more meets to come.

Personally, I think the results are great, and even though I sound like a broken record this time of year, the fact that we have done zero speed work and zero technique work and are still achieving these great marks is very promising!

So, with this meet behind us, now is the time to settle in and get a good solid month of training underneath our belts. Meets are fun, but they are a lot more fun when you have done the work to get ready for them.

See you after school!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Meet Schedule Changes for the Spring

A couple of modifications on our meet schedule have been posted.

One: The Intra-squad scrimmage is a day earlier, due to field reservation and usage. We are now going to scrimmage on Friday afternoon on the 26th of February. These scrimmage results will determine who competes in the League Relays the following week. That will be a very busy week for us, first day of practice and all the paperwork that comes with it, and first "real" competition of the spring season!

Two: The Disney Track & Field Showcase meet has been canceled for 2010, all varsity athletes will be heading to the ThunderRidge scrimmage on the 13th of March.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Marathon Finish

Not sure what to make of this....

Steven B. sent me this link, I was riveted watching it. I loved it!

Not sure if this is a case of super bad form, or high level determination.

You be the judge!

Last Year at this Time

In Jan. 09, we attended the indoor meet at the Air Force Academy. This meet was actually 10 days later than the one we are heading to tomorrow, but I thought I would throw some results out at y'all. It was a 1600 m race, but I have converted the times down to 1500 m, what we are racing tomorrow.

JL - 4:42
KV - 4:43
NP - 4:49
BB - 4:49
CHe - 5:00
MI - 5:09
RB - 5:15
KW - 5:25
CHi - 5:27

I think those are some excellent times, but I also think all of you are in much better shape that you were a year ago. Even though we have not done any real speed work so far, I think you can all be better than those times Saturday. That should be your goal, to be run faster than you did one year ago, now that you have one more year of experience and milage under your legs. For those of you I don't have '09 data on, you should try and stay with people you have been running with all week, that would be a good goal for you.

Everyone running the 1500 tomorrow has XC background, of some form. So, don't be afraid of the distance, the 1500 really is a short race and you will knock it out in a super fast time!

Have a great active rest day today, get a good night's sleep, and see you tomorrow in Golden bright and early!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snowshoe Race

Is there any interest is heading up to the mountains to do a snowshoe race?

If athletes want to go, I am thinking it would be a lot of fun, I might even compete!!

Check it out here!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

First Indoor Meet of 2010

I hung out with Coach Hawk yesterday, and we worked on prepping some stuff for the meet this upcoming Saturday. We will go over the details at practice, but here they are in written form.

There are two USATF meets this Saturday, one in Boulder and one in Golden. We have decided to attend the one in Golden, at the Colorado School of Mines fieldhouse. So, even though I might have told some people we are in Boulder this weekend, we are actually in Golden.

The order of the running events is as follows:
Start at 9:00
60 m Hurdles
60 m Dash
1500 m Run
400 m Dash
800 m Run
200 m Dash
3000 m Run
4 x 400 Relay

The order of the field events is so complicated I truly can't understand it. (Remember, I am just a simple distance coach!) However, I know they will start the field events at 8:30, and keep a rolling schedule throughout. I am sure more details will be posted at the meet.

There are seven overall classes, based on age, and we will be competing near the end of each event, as high school kids are in the older classes.

The entry fee is five dollars per event. Since we did not take any extra money for that with your club registration this year, the athlete is responsible for each entry fee. You may sign up for 4 events maximum, including field events and relays. The coaches will be registering you online prior to the meet, so your event choices and your money is due to Coach Hawk by Thursday, January 7th at the start of practice. If you miss that deadline, you can still compete, but day-of-race registration is 8 dollars, and a whole lot of hassle. :)

Uniforms should be something that you are comfortable racing in. You may wear singlets from other clubs or T-shirts from other races, that is fine. We encourage you to wear something with Chaparral on it, but the choice is up to you. There is no strict team uniform rule, other than the lack of jewelry and other typical CHSAA rules.

Speaking for the distance kids, I am "strongly encouraging" all you to sign up for the 1500 m race. This race will give the coaching staff the best available data on you in which to base your January training around. You may do the half mile, the quarter mile, or the 3000 m as well, but the 1500 should be the race you base your day around. I will not be able to hang around after the 1500 m race, but you are not restricted from racing those later races in addition to the 1500 m. Remember, it is a loooooooong season, and you just got off of three weeks of unstructured training. We have plenty of chances to race lots more times, so let's try and jump into the season with some restraint.

One last thing, I updated the left sidebar with the weekly practice schedules, the yearly meet schedule and my twitter feed. Hopefully these help with general communication for everyone. And, if you are on Twitter, follow ColoradoSep, I will be using that as well throughout the season.

Thanks for reading, enjoy your last day off before school starts!