Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Morning Practices

Getting ready for practice at 5:59 am

This morning, we had a 6 am practice at the track.  It was pitch black, it was cold, and it was early.  The sun hadn't even started to rise yet, and even the cube was dank and damp.  But, practice was being held, and I applaud the following athletes for getting out of bed and coming to practice.  Huge shout-out to Goose, Kaleb, Bacon, Ice, Devin, Evan, Rummler, Durks, Dennis, Swiggy, Whit, ED, Hirsch, Jill and Hanna.  They made it out there, and just dominated 3 x 500m all out.  Bacon was leading the guys through in 59/75, and Hanna was leading the girls through in 70/89.  The first interval was tough, the athletes didn't get out fast enough, but once they learned the pace, they really did extraordinary on the last two.

If I have anything to be disappointed or unhappy about, it was the fact that we have 45 kids on the distance side and we had 33% of that show up for practice.   Where were all the freshman?  What about the juniors?  I know a couple of kids were excused, but still, 30 kids absent?  That's unacceptable.  If you really want to be a champion in track & field in the spring, these practices are the secret.  3 x 500 is what the Littleton girls run, it's what the Rangeview boys do in practice.  There is no secret potion, the key is doing hard work when you don't want to do hard work.

I really expect that there are more athletes there when we have another early morning practice in a few weeks.  Attendance is not mandatory for my needs, it is mandatory for your needs.

Enjoy your weekend make sure you get in an OverDistance run this weekend. See you all on Monday!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Disney Track Meet, March 16th 2013

2009 Disney Track Meet Athletes
(J. Lake, K. Wojan, M. bergen, T. Brost, A. Hertzler, A. Balsiger, A. Grimm,  J.  D'Agostino)
One last post for the evening.

About four years ago, we went to the Disney Track & Field Invitational down in Orlando with a group of kids.  It was small group, but the experience was invaluable.  This Disney meet is tough, but not overly competitive.  The athletes we compete against are one we will never see again, so we go in blind,not knowing anyones flaws or tendencies.   I remember Coach Maroney saying, "The vibe and mojo in that warm-up tent is something you just can't replicate, having our athletes experience that will make State seem that much easier."  It was a bonding experience for the athletes, as well as the coaches.  It was just a great time, and we want to do it again this year.

However, the standards for attending have changed a bit.  Five years ago, anyone who wanted to go could go.  In 2013, the standards are that any athlete who has a electronic mark that would place them 6th or higher at the 2012 meet would be invited.  I crunched a bunch of numbers from the official results website, and these are the following qualifying athletes.

100m G - Olivia Perry
400m B - Alec MacArthur, Ryan Kwiatkowski
400m G - Jill Hanrahan
800m B - Zach Young, Ryan Kwiatkowski, John Bacovin
800m G - Whitney Schultz
1600m B - James Kadolph, Dominic Compoz
3200m B - James Kadolph, Dominic Compoz, Bryce Rich
300H B - Dane Goldwasser
PV B - Nolan Ellis
HJ G - Katrina Bacovin, Olivia Perry, Whitney Schultz
LJ B - Spencer Bills
LJ G - Keanna Anderson, Jenna Lanskey
TJ G - Jenna Lanskey
SP G - Jen Calscionne
DC G - Jen Calscionne

Disclaimer: There are one or two other athletes who have conferred with me about possibly attending.  I have informed them I will email the meet director to see what his thoughts are on this based on their electronic 2012 marks.  I do not know what the response will be, but I can see him having some leeway for athletes who are close to the qualifing mark, in un-laned events, and who are seniors.  At least that's how I would look at it if I was the meet director.  If you think you are close, please talk to me in person about it, and I will give you my thoughts on the situation.

So, first of all, congratulations to the above athletes for achieving the qualifying mark last year.  I count a possibility of 16 athletes, which is a perfect number.  Now, some preliminary logistics.

First and foremost, we are going to compete in a track meet.  We will not be going to Disney World, we will not be going to the beach, we will not be going to GatorLand.  We will fly in, acclimate, compete at a track meet, and fly home.  We are a competitve track team, not a sight seeing tour.  The goal is not only to have a good experience, but to also win the meet.

NOT where we are staying
The track program would pay for meet registration, meals and ground transportation.  The individual athlete would have to pay for airfare, their share of the hotel room, as well as side expenses, like T-shirts or other Florida nick-nacks.  I have one alumni working on securing hotel rooms at an incredibly low rate.  Not at a fleabag motel either, this hotel chain is very nice.  Big clean rooms, hot continental breakfast  pool, kitchenette.  A hell of a lot nicer than the soon-to-be-condemned dumps I used to stay in on athletic trips.  Right now I do not know what the rate would be for each athletes, but since we would be staying at least three to a room, I am betting on about 20 bucks a night.

Airfare is the other major expense.  Looking on google (man, google can do everything!) right now, the airfare from Denver to Orlando for that weekend in March is about 500 bucks roundtrip.  Now, I have sent an email to the group ticket people at both United and at Delta, trying to figure out a way to get us discounted  group tickets.  (We will fly in as a group, we have learned that is the easiest way to get all athletes, plus all of the equipment, to and from an out-of-state track meet.)  Another option is to not fly out Friday, but to fly out Thursday.  Maybe the added expense of an extra hotel night would be negated by the discount of flying on a Thursday as opposed to a Friday.  That would mean another couple of meals, and an extra missed day of school, but it would guarantee us some quality track time on Friday to prepare for the meet, as well as some rest from flying before competition.  A third option is to just jog to Orlando, but then I think we would be pretty tired for the actual track meet. As of right now, I am not sure of the answers, but once I know who can totally commit, then those hard numbers will help me firm some of these things up.

Way to dress up, gentlemen
Athletes would be registered in the events they have qualified for.  If we have enough athletes, will will certainly do some additional relays.  We will have an administrator from Chaparral, as well as three Chaparral T&F coaches.  These coaches will be doing nightly bed-checks, we will be driving the vans, we will be in charge of all athletes for the duration of the trip. We will bring coolers of food for the athletes to eat at the meet.  We will bring all field equipment that we need (pole vault poles, shot-puts, etc.) and we will have a nice celebratory dinner at a funky Orlando restaurant on Saturday night before we leave.  Athletes must sign a behavior contract drawn up by the track team, as well as have medical and parental permission forms on record.

The athletes listed above are NOT forced to come on this trip.  It is completely voluntary.  I repeat, it is completely voluntary.  The regular meet for that weekend is the ThunderRidge Invite at Parker Stadium, and any varsity athlete that does not go to Florida will compete in that meet here in Colorado.  However, in order to move on with the nuts and bolts of registering athletes, buying plane tickets, securing hotel rooms, renting vans, and making restaurant reservations,  etc. etc, I do need to know who can definitely attend the trip.

I will be holding a parent informational meeting on Monday, December 17th after practice in Coach Bowman's room.  I will have more information on hotel rates, as well as airfare and an exact schedule for our trip at this meeting.  If you plan on attending this Disney Meet, I need to see you and your parents there.  You can make your final commitment at the end of the informational meeting, as I will be asking for checks then to cover the plane tickets and the hotel reservations.  If you cannot attend the meeting, but still want to go to Florida, please email me that so I can have it in writing.

I am super excited about this opportunity.  This is a great meet, great weather, great fun, great experience.  It really changed the course of those athlete's seasons in 2009.  If we have only one athlete, we will still go, but I really hope all 16 can make it.

Of course, email me with any questions.

11/28 Edit: 
I have been in communication with the meet director.  He has told me will will allow seniors that are "competitive" to attend this meet as well.  I think this is great news.  If you are a returning senior to the CHS track & field team, and are interested in going, let's have a conversation about it at winter practice.  I will not  bring athletes who wouldn't benefit from this experience, but I believe that almost all of you would be "competitive" enough to go, if you so choose to.  Same logistical rules would apply, but I think the more seniors we can bring, the better we will compete.

Distance Practice Today

I think that today was one of the better distance practices this program has seen in a long time.  We did 1500 m repeats, thirty seconds slower than present mile race pace.  The goal was for each athlete to do three of them.

What made today special was not just the workout, but the way the athletes executed the workout.  When I announced we were going to do them Kenyan Style, that proclamation was met not with dread, but with cheers and enthusiasm   The athletes were excited to be running these intervals in a manner that made it tougher, but more specific to racing.  That was pretty exciting to experience, especially on a dreary cold 30 degree winter day.

Another incident that made me smile was when I offered the athletes some advice on where to start their intervals on the track, so they could finish them closer to the cube.  Less of a walk to get back to relative warmth.  And, a couple of seniors spoke up and said, "We don't need to get back to the cube, the walk is better for us, it keeps us looser."  Which of course it does, but to have athletes choosing to bypass the easy way out is refreshing, to say the least.  It means they are committed to become better runners, no matter how uncomfortable it might be in the short term.

The last example of dedication to running was when two groups, through no direction from me, decided to do an additional 1500 m interval.  The number to stop at was three, but these two groups went above and beyond, and decided to do four of them.  That, ladies and gentlemen  is what separates really good runners from legendary runners.  The conscious decision to suffer through another cold painful interval is a hard one to make.  That training cube was nice and warm, but in order to achieve glory in May, one must choose to suffer in December.  To have the two lead groups do that sets the example of how to work hard and push yourself beyond your perceived limits.

We had a lot of great performances today, 2 guys going under 5:00 in the mile time trial, one of them breaking 5:00 for the first time ever.  Having a freshman in the top mens and a freshwoman in the top womens group not just holding their own, but pushing the pace.  Watching young athletes that have never run a Kenyan run before easily pick up the concept and just dominate the sh*t out of it.  But, it has been a while since we have a had a whole team mentality that points towards working harder than anyone else, without complaint, because one chooses to do so of their own free will.   I know from experience that these are the teams that can endure the long cold winter of tough training and reap the rewards in the warm days of spring.  Great job today, Wolverines!


Sprinters Show Up!

Mike Powell, in the middle of his record setting long jump of 29' 4.5"
As pleased as I was with the turn-out of the distance runners the past month, I was even more pleased to see all the sprinter faces today.  I was admittedly worried about how we would stack up in the sprints this year, with the graduation of so many excellent seniors, but today dispelled any reservations I might have had.

With 13 athletes (and counting) now committed to working on the sprints during the long cold winter months, we are sure to be deeper and stronger on that side than anyone could have imagined.  Coach Harris (who now has publishing privileges on this blog, so watch out!) will be working with the sprinters on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the field coaches will be able to work with you all on Thursdays.

It wasn't too long ago that this winter track program consisted of 15 distance kids, suffering through long runs in the blizzards.  We are growing by leaps and bounds, and that will translate to spring success, I'm sure!


Sunday, November 25, 2012


With December rapidly approaching, the sun is going to set a lot sooner than we are used to.  The sun will set tonight in Denver at 4:38 pm, and it is going to get earlier and earlier until the end of December.

When the sun sets in Colorado, it gets cold quick.  All that heat reflects off the Earth and with no clouds to hold it in, sweaty athletes start shivering right away.  While it might be 68 degrees at 3:15 and we can train with short shorts and no shirt, in a little over an hour the temperature can drop twenty degrees!

It is very important that athletes bring enough clothes to be able to train in these colder temps.  Shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt will not cut it.  At the end of practice, we will not go inside to do our strength work.  Sit-ups, cannonball cooldown, push-up pyramids.  They will all be done outside on the football field, so you must have clothes to put on to keep warm.

Starting Monday, please throw in a sweatshirt and some sweatpants into your track bag.  You can throw them on that the end of the running portion of practice to stay warm through the strength portion.

From here on out, it is only going to get colder before it gets warmer, so please be prepared!


Monday Practice

For practice tomorrow, we will be doing some long VO2 max intervals.  These are tough, make sure you eat a good dinner tonight and stay hydrated from now all the way through practice.  Wear your in-between shoes, these longer intervals are perfect those lightweight shoes.

If you are one of the guys just starting up with us from NXR, wear your mile time trial shoes, as that is what you guys will be undertaking.

Sprinters, bring your spikes, I got a feeling Harris is going to run you into the ground!

As for coaches, we will be wearing our coaching shorts, so don't worry about us.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Saturday

I hope all of you reading this had a great Thanksgiving filled with family, food, and some good time spent running.  I got in a great six mile run through the woods, and my sore hamstring felt great.  Today, it was 90 minutes in the pool, watching Chloe swim and splashing around with Reid.  Tomorrow, not sure what I am going to do, but I have a suggestion for all the Gulo Gulo track kids, repeat 200s!

Head on over to the track, and after a through warm-up and stretch (that includes nice slow form drills as well as lunges) get your fast shoes tied on.  I want you to do ten repat 200's and all-out speed.  Your form should be perfect, you should not be hunched over, and I want fast light steps.  Picture yourself as Alyson Felix out there, that will make you faster.

For your rest, I want you to walk/easy shuffle 300 meters.  (Not just 200.)  This extra rest will accomplish two things, it will force you to run all areas of the track, and it will make your tenth 200 just as fast as your first.  So yes, believe it or not, I want more rest between these fast 200's, thank me later when you are chasing down kids in the mile when spring track rolls around.

Enjoy the rest of your break, take an active rest day Sunday, and get ready for a week of really hard training come Monday.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Classy Quarter

While the distance kids have been training for about a month now, the sprinting side of the team has yet to begin.  However, that wait is almost over, as the target date of Nov. 26th is rapidly approaching.  That is when Coach Harris will begin the sprinting specific practices.  These practices are for any athlete who is interested int he 100, 200, hurdles, vaulting, horizontal jumping or vertical jumping.  Coach Harris will be handling sprint specific practices two days a week.  Monday and Wednesday*.  The field event coaches will be handling an additional practice one day a week, and those days are dependent upon your chosen field event.  For this season, the coaching staff has decided that all sprinters/hurdlers will do at least one field event as well.  (And vice versa, all field event athletes will do one sprinting event.)   All field event coaches want you sprinting, lifting and sprinting all winter.  That will form the base for your field event practices. This cross-over will also build depth in our program, and allow us to score more points at meets.

So, if you are presently singed up with the Gulo Gulo track club, and you fancy yourself a sprinter, show up Monday as usual, but be prepared to work with Coach Harris.  If you have not yet singed up for Gulo Gulo track, all of the details are available at the link on the right sidebar.  Make sure you have the paperwork filled out completely.  Make sure you have a valid USATF number for insurance purposes.  Make sure you have a check for 75 bucks to CHS T&F.  (We are starting a month late, shouldn't the fee be less? Nope, you are getting an extra practice once a week, so it evens itself out.)  Bring all of this to me on Monday. If you are missing any of these components, you cannot practice with the team. Any questions, of course, shoot me an email.

Hopefully with a solid summer winter of sprinting, weights, and drills, you can complete the "classy quarter".  See you all Monday!


*Wednesday could change, but Monday sprint practice is for sure.

Video and commentary courtesy of the lovely @corrinarc

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Training Thoughts & Plans

What a great workout Monday was.  It is a pretty standard workout, tempo pace repeats, but I changed it up a bit to try and freshen it up.  Instead of repeats kilometers, we did repeat 1500's.  We increased the rest slightly, and set the watches to go off at 500 m intervals for pacing purposes.  The athletes ran between three and six of these repats, for a total of between 25 and 35 minutes of running at tempopace.

What I was so pleased to see was the breakthrough achieved by some athletes.  Tempo running can be a grind, it can be boring.  It is at a slow pace, and going in cir les around that track can really start to suck.  But, when one "breaks through" and just starts cranking out laps, without looking at the watch, just running by feel, it really is magical.  You feel like you could maintain that pace for hours, that the running is effortless, and any hardship you experienced earlier in thew workout has suddenly vanished. Quite a few athletes experienced this yesterday, and for such a young team, that is really fantastic.

I am sure the creative run went well this afternoon, so here are some details on tomorrow's workout.

The seniors have decided to meet at 10 in the morning, at the track, in fast shoes.  They will be overseeing 8 x flying 60's.  These are just like last week.  A twenty meter acceleration from a three point stance (that's one hand and two feet), into a all-out, overspeed  just flying, 40 meter dash.  Do them on a curve, on the straight, it does not matter to me.   Just do them as fast as you possibly can.  Get those arms churning, get those feet up off the ground as quickly as you can. Drive those legs with power.   However, make sure you walk back slowly, and have PLENTY of rest in-between these. I do not want you running them tired, but I want them run after your are fully rested.

Make sure you get in a really good warm-up and stretch before this workout.  You need to stretch like the sprinters do, with lots of form drills and stretching  and not rushing through that.  (Even you, Zach!)  This is a workout where you can easily pull something, so be careful and be smart.  After the flying 60's, I suggest a simple push-up pyramid, starting from ten and heading down.

Rollerskiing in Franconia Notch (illegal now)
As for Thursday, I suggest either one of the statewide Turkey Trot races or an 90+ OverDistance run.  Both will be perfect for you, as they will really stress your body.  Go to the Turkey Trot race in Parker as a family, start that tradition up.  Or, have a family member be the sag wagon support on your long run, stopping ahead of you every few miles to make sure you have water and fuel.  Thanksgiving is a day to spent with families, so enlist your family to help you train!  Some of my most memorable workouts were when my dad would follow me on the bike.  I was rollerskiing, he was behind me smoking a cigar.  He just loved it when passerby would refer to him as "Coach", man he would get a kick out of that!

Friday is easy, a nice relaxing, rejuvenating 45 minute run.

Saturday is more sprinting, but more details to come on that later in the week.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone.  I know what I am thankful for; a loving supportive family, wonderful athletes who work hard every day, and fantastic friends who make me laugh and smile.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Week Training

There are multiple mini-updates for this week of training coming, but here is big picture idea to take home.  With only two days of school, I will only hold an official practice once (Monday).  It is up to you, the individual, to take care of the rest of your training   The workouts are not complicated, but you must have the self-discipline to carry them out yourself.  I have learned trying to hold practice over Thanksgiving week is next to impossible, so the workouts will be prescribed to you and for your own benefit, you must run them on your own.  If at all possible, try to set workout times up with a friend, having that training partner makes the workouts so much better!

Check the right sidebar to get a general idea of what is going on, and check back via this blog often throughout he week to get more specific instructions.

See you all tomorrow at the track for tempo kilos!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Nike Cross Southwest

Today we had a strong contingent of boys race down in new Mexico at the Nike Cross Southwest race.  While I was not there, (I was on top of Green Mtn having a mild coronary,) there results of the boys can be accessed here.

Since I was not in New Mexico, I don't have a strong feeling of who raced well, and where the key points of the course were, but lookng at the general results, I can see two things that apply to our boys team:

Two of our close rivals, Cherry Creek and Mtn. Vista, have very strong XC squads, and they carried that strength into the XC post-season.  I have never put much stock into the XC post-season, I always start looking towards track season once Halloween passes us by.  But, the results put up by these 2 rivals make me do a double take.  A big double take.

Cherry Creek and Mtn. Vista are goo.  They are very good. Results don't lie. But, we can take these guys down in the spring, we just need to do one very simple thing.  Be as dedicated to track as we possibly can starting the Monday after Thanksgiving.  No breaks, no blowing off practice. No injuries, no excuses.  Manage your time, make track your lifestyle, make it something you live for.  Every day, run as hard as we can, and try and beat our teammates into the ground.  If we do not waver from the goal of state meet up in JeffCo, I think we can beat these guys.  We have so much firepower in so many events, we just need to make sure we work as hard as we can, every day, so we can maximize our talents.  No egos, no putting yourself above the team, just sweat, blood and guts, and we can make a huge splash in May.

Believe in it.  Y'all had a great XC season, and I am proud of you, but it is time to rest, and move on to bigger and better things.

Coach SEP.

Green Mtn. TT Results & Pics

Looking west from the summit
What a great day over in Morrison for the Gulo Gulo track club.  We ran the inaugural Green Mtn. Uphill Time Trial this morning, and I would say it was a smashing success.

Looking east from the summit
Here are some stats on the course we ran.  The race was 100% trail running, exactly 2.1 miles long.  We ran from the Hayden Trail/Green Mtn. lower junction to the cairn at the height of Green Mountain along the Hayden Trail. We gained 683 feet in elevation, the majority of that in the first half of the course.  The start was at an elevation in excess of 6100 feet, which is not normal for us training in Parker.  We navigated 8 major switchbacks along the way. The weather was gorgeous, bluebird skies with temps in the 60's or so.  We had one coach starting the athletes every 15 seconds, and one coach at the top with jackets recording the finishing times.  (Next year, that coach might take a helicopter to the top, running up with a full backpack of jackets is not as fun as it sound!)  The course was pretty rocky and technical for the first 2/3, but then smoothed out into a jeep road the last 33%.  The real kicker was a pretty significant hill with less than 300m to go, which everyone seemed to notice. :)

Here are the official results:

Austin D. - 17:25 - 1st place

Johnny - 17:37 - 2nd place
Landon - 17:57 - 3rd place

Alex - 18:30 - 4th place

James - 19:12 - 5th place

Ciara - 20:10 - 6th place

Hanna - 20:37 - 7th place
Whitney - 20:47 - 8th place
Erika - 23:08 - 9th place
Austin S. - 23:46 - 10th place

Daniel - 23:46 - 11th place

Jenna - 24:31 - 12th place
Coach Sep - 24:52 - 13th place
Jordan - 24:45 - 14th place
Corrina - 26:19 - 15th place

Kelly - 26:57 - 16th place

What I was proud of:
1. The effort put forth by all the runners.  All of them were hand-on-knees, bent over, gasping for breath at the top of the hill.  Excellent effort, that is awesome.

2. The guts shown by all athletes   This was not an easy workout.  I did it, and I admit power walking a few sections.  I challenge anybody to do that course in the times we achieved and not be hurting afterwards.  To undertake that requires a high amount of intestinal fortitude, which these have athletes have a lot of.

3. The overall times.  We had distance kids breaking 20 minutes.  We had sprinters breaking 25 mintues  This was all uphill, for over two miles, on less than desirable terrain.  To run that fast is very impressive, my congratulations go out to all of you!  I did the exact course you all did, and it was not easy.  Brutal would be a good word to describe it, so congrats!

What I was not happy with:
I do not want to end this blog post in a down note, so all I will say is this.  We have over 55 athletes registered for the Gulo Gulo winter track club.  A few of them had to work, and texted me.  A few of them were injured, and texted me.  A few of them were in Arizona, and texted me.  But still, the majority of the athletes who signed up to run this winter did not show up today.   That is dis-heartening, to say the least.  I have always said, I will coach the kids that show up, and not worry about the kids that aren't there. But, if you cannot make it to winter track practice, whether it is on a Wednesday or a Saturday, and you miss your goal by 1/10 of a second in the spring, you have no one to blame but yourself.  Champions are made when no one is watching.  Every day you come to winter track practice makes you that much faster and stronger in the spring.  If you are serious about running and about achieving your goals and about becoming a Wolverine champion, you will start coming to winter track on a regular consistent basis.  The program is designed for 100% attendance rate from each athlete.  Skipping a day here or there hurts no one but yourself.  I expect to see higher numbers from here on out, for every practice we have.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Green Mountain Time Trial

I have been eager to start up a traditional uphill time trial for our program, but one thing or another has always gotten in the way.  I am trying again, though, and I think this time it will stick.  The hill I have chosen is closer to Parker, it is not a super long trail, and this hill will be able to be revisited over spring break, so see how our fitness has progressed.

Green Mountain, Morrison CO
This big workout falls on Saturday.  I want to do the uphill time trial on Green Mountain.  The DU ski team does this workout, I am unclear as to which trail they ascend Green Mtn. on, but I want to see how our athletes fare on this.  (Probably not as good as elite collegiate athletes, but who knows!)

The plan for this workout is as follows.

Meet at Wildlife Experience at 7:00 on Saturday morning. It is not a mandatory workout, but this is an important workout, and I hope you can be there on time.  Please bring plenty of water, extra clothes and snacks.  There are no facilities at Green Mtn. and this will be a long morning.

We'll drive C-470 over to the Green Mountain Rec. Center. This is about 30 miles or so, and we will turn off at the Alameda Pkwy Exit.  The Rec. Center is a couple of miles east of C-470.  We will need to carpool over and back, so the more athletes that can drive, the easier this will be.  Parents are more than welcome to come, as we might need the drivers.  Also, the more support we have for this difficult workout, the better the athletes will perform.

Hayden Trail in Summer
Once we arrive at the Hayden Trailhead, I will head up the hill with as many sweatshirts and jackets as possible after Coach Harris and I sync our watches.  After ten minutes, the first athlete will head up the trail,  Every 15 seconds after that, another athlete will go, until everyone has left the start.  When the athletes reach the top three kilometers later, I will be there waiting to write down their time.  This is true racing, by yourself, learning how to push your body to the max without going overboard.  There will be people in the distance to chase, and people out-of-sight chasing you, so the mental aspect of this cannot be overstated.   Racing a time trial makes you a better racer.  The "race against the clock" really tells me a lot about your physical and mental make-up.

At the top, hopefully it will be nice weather and beautiful views.  You will grab a warm jacket from me, then back down to Coach Harris, knowing you put in an excellent day's work.  Once everyone is back down the hill, we can all head just up the street for Starbucks and snacks, before heading back to the Wildlife Experience.

How long will we be?  I really don't know.  If we leave at seven, I am guessing we will be back by 11:00???  But I am not sure.  I guess that is what cell phones are for these days, huh? :)

I am really looking forward to this, I think it is going to be an epic day.  We have an easy week this week, so make sure you are rested up and ready to go for the inaugural CHAP Green Mtn. Time Trial!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Sprints, sprints, sprints!

We had a lot of happy winter track kids today.  The majority of the winter track team is comprised of distance kids right now, and today we did 8 x 60 m out of the blocks today.  For distance kids, running short sprints with lots of rest was something they had neer really done before, especially in November   The kids had to get to top speed in 20 m, then maintain it for 40 m.  It was actually a lot of fun. It got competitive, with freshman races and senior races, with lots of testosterone exhibited by lots of hooting and hollering.

I was pleasantly surprised with the foot-speed of some of our kids, but Coach Harris was more concerned with the rate of acceleration of some of our kids.  He was stressing that we need to get to top speed as quick as we can.  20 meters might seem like not a lot of time to get to top speed, but in races like the 400, the 800 and even the mile, 20 meters can make the difference between being in the lead pack and being spit out the back.  This requires getting that foot up off the ground as soon as possible, having quick arms, and not slamming the ground, but rather lightly scratching it.  That is something we are going to continue to work on through the winter.  We have the fitness to maintain top speed throughout the race, but in order to win races, we need to get to that top speed faster than everyone else.

Overall, it was a very good practice today.  Easy run tomorrow, with tempo kilos on Wednesday.  And the inaugural Green Mtn. Time Trial will be on Saturday, more details to come later in the week.


P.S.  I got most everyone taken care of for ordering winter running tights today at practice.  If you want a pair, please let me know by Tuesday afternoon. I want to get that order in as soon as possible.  They are 30 bucks, and are super awesome!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Changing it up

Over the course of my coaching career, my training ideas have evolved quite a bit.  I admit, I am always looking for something new, something better, something that will mesh with the athletes I have now to allow them to reach their potential.

There are lots of factors that go into figuring out how to train each groups of kids from year to year.  Training age, dedication levels, familiarity with the my coaching style, cross country success, etc etc.

This year, we have a lot of seniors.  All of these seniors have run for me for at least 4 years.  All of them had successful cross country seasons, (some of them suffering more than others).  I think track racing has changed, especially at the championship level.  The winner of the race is not always the fastest kid anymore.  It is who can survive the first 75% of the race, with all the bumping, shoving, grabbing; and come out with a huge last 25% kick that is fastest of them all.  I have also decided to go back to the idea of building great track milers, especially since all of these kids handled 3.1 miles of racing all autumn long.

In years past, we have gone hard day/easy day, we have gone all base training until January 1, we have tried to have multiple peaks, we have tried to peak once.  Because this crop of athletes is truly unique, however, this season we are going on a Seppala Block System (SBS).  This is different than traditional block training systems, which is 3-5 super hard days in a row, then 3-5 days off.  SBS athletes are going to train hard for two consecutive weeks with lots of speed work, lots of hill work, lots of general strength and lots of VO2 max work.  Then SBS calls for a easy week with one hill day, one medium day, and the rest easy days.  After that easy week, back to the consecutive hard weeks, where the training load will have increased from the prior double weeks.  Essentially, it is two hard weeks, one easy week, two hard weeks, one easy week.  (I am sure this is not a totally original thought, but if it is not, I don't know who to give credit to.)

Today marked the end of the two week intense period.  We did long orange intervals, an overdistance run, mucho hills, 450 m repeats, a ton of tempo intervals, flying sprints, and many, many 200's.  I thought it went very well.  We were lucky with the weather (except for today), and I think we worked to the best of our abilities and got in some excellent training.  This upcoming week will be easy.  We have a hard uphill time trial on Saturday, but other than that, I think the week looks pretty easy.  Check the sidebar for details, take an easy walk with your dog tomorrow, and be ready for a great practice on Monday.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

MId-Week Update

Gonna keep this kind of short, just quick hits from the inner sanctions of my brain.

Excellent practice on Wednesday, we ran three miles over to Sierra, we did mucho hills up Pine Lane Hill on the Sierra XC course, then we slogged back to CHS.  Some athletes did up to 14 hills!  When the hills are 400 m long, that is impressive.  A long day, getting done at 5:00, but a very good deposit in the training bank.  Would grade it an "A"

Great turn-out at spike night on Wednesday.  Last year, we had one kid, this year, over 12!  For a winter track club, that is fantastic, I am so glad that so many kids got better trainign shoes.  We are going to do a ton of training this winter, so good shoes are a must.

Easy day today, tempo kilo repeats, up to seven.  Not a hard workout, but not a super easy one.  For the first tempo repeat workout of the year, I would give it an "A" as well.

Now, we'll see how tomorrow morning goes.  450 m repeats at six in the morning, finishing up the week strong.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Repeats

Today, with perfect weather conditions, the team did 3 x  five minute repeats at a pretty fast clip.  The pace today was only about 6-8 seconds per lap slower than their mile time trial pace, so I would grade this an an extremely taxing workout.  The rest/recovery period was about the same as the running interval, maybe a little less.  What was so great about today was that almost everyone in attendance today did 3 five minute repats!  Pretty impressive.  I told the athletes I would have been happy with two, but three would be far exceeding my expectations.  Some people who popped out to me were were Ryan K, Ciera D,, and Molly C,.  That does not diminish the achievements of all the other athletes however, it just speaks to my nearsightedness.

Like I said, I thought everyone ran really, really well.  Plus, we had about eight kids knock out awesome mile time trials in their first real speedwork of the winter season.  I was pleasantly surprised at the "commitment to excellence" that was exhibited today.  And your reward????

6 am practice on Friday, 450 m repeats.  Take advantage of your sleep-in day tomorrow. :)  See you Wednesday for hills.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Week 2 Plans

DTR in the fall, minus the snow fences
Sorry I have been out of touch recently, Beth and I caught some type of stomach bug/food poisoning and we were down for the count from late Thursday night to early Saturday morning.  Even today, Sunday, we are both trying to catch five minute power naps whenever the kids let us.  I did trek up to Devils' Thumb Ranch, but hiking all over scouting out snow fence locations for five hours almost killed me!  The only good news is neither Chloe nor Reid caught it, so we were spared that whole ordeal.  So, with each of us five pounds lighter, onto the plan for week 2!

The training schedule is up on the side, after conferring with the seniors, we are gonna keep the intensity and speed at a high level this week, but try to build in an extra rest day next way for recovery. I am flirting with the idea of two weeks hard, one week easy, but we will see how the body reacts seven days from now.

A couple of logistical issues.
One:  If you you have not paid your fees, or turned in a valid USATF number, or given me an emergency contact phone number then you cannot practice with the team.  Monday the 5th is the last day to take care of that, unless prior arrangements have beenmade.  No exceptions to that rule.  If you are not sure as to your status with the club, email me ( and I will get back to you after Chloe and Reid go to sleep tonight.

Two: Shoe night at Boulder Running Company is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday night after practice.  Hope to see lots of athletes there.  I will be asking for a rough count of kids attending Monday at practice.

Three: Cold weather running tights are available for purchase.  For only 30 bucks, you can get some sweet Gulu Gulo winter running tights.  Dark red, with a new logo on them, you pay 2/3 the cost, the club will pick up the rest, and you will have winter running gear for the rest of your life!  I will try and get a count of numbers and sizes to send to BRC on Monday, plus I will have a actual picture of what they will look like.

See you all tomorrow, ready for some hard long intervals!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

End of Week Plans

Devil's Thumb Ranch
I heard from the senior captains that there were about twenty people at practice today and everyone ran great.  That is awesome.  We are starting in on these 200's earlier than usual, but i really think it will be good for us ove the long haul.

On-Your-Own EZ aerobic run.  No official practice. No captains practice  (Although I'm sure there will be an unofficial group of kids going for a run after school.)  Get an easy 30-45 minutes in on your own, just to some miles under your belt and keep the legs loose.

Also, Coach Able will be running the weight room at 4:45 on Friday, everyone is more than welcome to join her!

Captain's will be at the track at 9:00.  The workout is flying 30's.  Same warm-up as today, but then move into the short sprints.  I want a running start, about 15 meters, into 30 meters as quick and fast as you can go.  Take full rest, then do another one. Do ten total.  Make sure you are running fast, but stay relaxed. Don't tense up. Keep the arms driving and the hips up.  This is a different kind of workout for us, it works on our top-end speed.  After ten sets, do a cool down lap, then lunges and go home.

I would love to be there, but I have been invited to help design snow fencing and other various nordic trail improvements up at Devil's Thumb Ranch on Saturday.  I am honored that hey asked me to offer my assistance, and even more psyched they are hooking me up with a season's pass for it!

Day off. Relax. You earned it.

See you Monday,

Halloween Pictures

The line of the day yesterday was when Johnny Bacon asked me, "We can eat Reece's Peanut Butter Cups tonight, right coach?  Peanut butter has lots of protein in it??"  Oh Johnny....... :)

And with that, my two favorite trick o'treaters:

Chloe the cat, and Reid the skunk, in costumes made by my mom