Chieftan's Championship Quest

Saturday Meet results

We set 3 more school records. Boys Shuttle hurdles, Co Ed 1200-600-600-1200, and the girls 100-200-300-600.

The boys won the meet, our first invitational win in a long time. Last year we were runner up at this meet.

Some great performances even under heavy training load. I was very happy with the results given the conditions.

Monday May 7: Pre-meet

Tuesday: Last dual meet of the season. Boys and girls both have a chance for the league championship. If the girls win I believe it’s a tie, and the boys would win outright.

This saturday is our last weekend invitational meet, which is regional format (prelims, semis in 100, 110H/100H, 200), and the typical standard races.

For many this is the last hard week of the season. A few are going to train through regionals to prep for state finals. These kids are way out in front of their event and doing tapering over 3 weeks is not easy. The only draw back is a risk of time being placed in a slower heat at state finals.

The boys won the meet, but it wasn’t pretty. My 4x100 and 4x200 teams both lost. We have not lost a dual meet all year. The 4x100 we were just beat at the line and the 4x200 was a complete disaster, with the first leg jogging, and then the second leg lined up wrong.

Being a home meet and having to run the finish line, it’s hard to get kids doing what they need to do. The weather was nice and most kids were there for social fun. Glad we won and came away all healthy. Many kids are feeling it right now. We have until May 18 to recover for regionals. There is a meet saturday but we may only run selected events.

With 75% of the team now done with their season, I can get more hands on with everyone.

The girls lost a tough meet. The other team is very deep in all events. Girls were jogging 530 1600m backwards encouraging their teammates to break 530. This was the most points we scored on this team in a few years.

I had many technical issues since I last posted! So much to say. Here is quick recap:

Spring high school season ended with the team winning the county, division dual meet title, and division meet for the boys. We had 8 kids qualify for state finals, a school record.

My hurdler took 4th in the 110s. He technically won the 300mH, but was later DQd for “intentiionally hitting” the last hurdle. Such disappointment. Deep down he and I know he was the state champ.

He has attracted some attention of Big 10 schools, which is great.

My boys 4x800 team took 8th at state finals, setting a school record and medaling, a goal we set back in the previous season after a disappointing 10th in 2011. I specifically trained 3 of the 4 runners using KK’s program to improve their speed. They all ran XC and had little leg speed. Our goal was to run 50 second 400s to reach enough speed reserve to run 155-157. We rarely ran more than 600s, and this was done once a month. I like doing things successfully using non-traditional beliefs! The result was the boys running 157, 159, 200. We came up a little short of their goals but still good.

I approached the team and asked about doing USATF Junior Olympic circuit. They agreed. IF all went as planned, they should have medaled at nationals.

The state meet and regional meets were won easily. Due to limited entries, they just needed to finish the race. They made nationals and were in the fast heat (thankfully).

At nationals, this was the first meet the boys had to run a 800m prelim in the morning and the relay later on (usually relay was first, then 800 later). The meet was delayed 5 hours from the scheduled time, yes 5 hours! The 800 was scheduled for 11am, they ran around 430. They were stuck in check in from 930am until they finished their race. Meet policy didn’t allow me back there or them to leave. Such stupidity.

The relay was set for 530 and ran at 11pm. They ended up getting 7th, earning All-American and medaling, goals accomplished! The time was not great, but we also had issues training over the summer due to all the activities going with it.

I also took the girls cross country job. I will update this more when I get some more time. I have some interesting results to share so far!!!

I’m still coaching XC and things are going well. 4 more weeks to our season. During which, I am planning the sprint workouts for this winter indoor season! Just watched Charlie’s SPP video for motivation and re-education. I have 1 million ideas in my head, and usually the simplest is best.

This year my girls team looks to become dominant. The boys will have a few good individuals but not the overall depth in events as past 2 years. Coaching XC for girls, I should get several good runners out to help our distance group (2 runners returning from last season, 1 graduated and 2 quit). Having a good 1600/3200 runners who can interchange, and a mix of 800/1600 types (which I do) helps a ton. I have depth at 200/400. I have a few who will specialize in 100m and long jump.

The 200/400 group will most likely follow KK’s format Ive used in the past. The 100m LJ group a s-L. The hurdler from last year who was top 5 in both events has expressed interest in 110s and we will start with s-l this winter. A few will go long to short having run xc and will have no issues doing 600s fast, since we do alot of intervals weekly (20x200, 3x(600, 400, 300, 200); and 6 x 1000.)

Also a gamble is weather for the winter. We run on a hard marble floor. doing 16x60s is not pleasant. In the past I’ve cut sets in half. Temps outside may be too cold to run fast 60s. Going outside in cold we have soft turf fields, but if it snows or ices, indoors we go.

The plan is to tempo on grass til ground freezes, then go to bike/mat tempo most of winter to save legs. Our school does not have a pool anymore. Pool workouts will be too frustrating to organize and get kids rides to the pool in our school district.

More details to come.

This fall I started coaching the girls cross country teams. I had very little programming background but I stumbled on Alberto Salazar’s 5K program he uses with Rupp and Farah. I will post briefly cause I need more time to outline things, but interestingly, he uses an alternate day approach of “speed” work in the form of short intervals, medium intervals, and long intervals (1000-1600m). They also do 1 long run a week and once every 10-14 days do a tempo run (run at threshold for 4-6 miles; not CF’s tempo). In between are recovery runs. Recently I have seen them doing 1-2 recovery runs on these days and often do them on underwater treadmills.

I do not have underwater treadmills! But I will get into things more later.

So far with 3 weeks of season left, nearly everyone has set a personal record. We ran into an overracing issues mid season and had to ride bikes for an entire week, and girls nearly PR’d again off of that. It’s a simple program and I like what it does. The girls love it and no one ever complains. We also do yoga the day before a race, going through sun salutation sequences.

I gotta go for now, but will update more later.

Congrats on your success ESTI. I’m not all that familiar with AS’s training with Farah and Rupp but what you describe sounds similar to the Horwill 5 pace system used by Coe and with high school athletes by Scott Christensen and Lyle Knudson. I have read some of Salazar’s interviews from a few years back and he mentioned that in retrospect if he could have changed aspects of his own training he’d have definitely moved away from his high mileage approach to a more balanced program with a much greater speed emphasis than he ever had used with himself. I have now had a few move up from sprints to 800m so I’ve had to pick up a bit of mid distance information, programming though I still tend to be more comfortable to a speed based approach. This will be the first year I will use some intensive tempo with my athletes though as a high int. day (the only way CF would have agreed with such I’m sure) with extensive tempo or cont. recovery runs of short to moderate duration (20-35’) but I will always keep elements of speed in the program. The most important aspect I believe I’ve learned for both sprints and 800m in recent years is that that it’s completely fine and no compromise to use longer cycles in order to include all of what is deemed important and that the athlete won’t necessarily lose the training qualities particularly when they have extensive training backgrounds, i.e. use a 2 week cycle then repeat even if not the same session but at least the same theme.

Last winter 3 of my 800 guys came off xc season into KK’s program for a 12 week gpp and ran within 3-5 seconds of their PRs, indoors! The second GPP I went out to 600 for depletion runs (600+300 etc). I may have cut aerobic work too much too soon too.

For additional notes visit

For xc, I started girls off inJune doing 20 min runs 3-4 days weekly. 1 day turned into a long run where we peaked at 80 minutes towards end of september (4 weeks from major meets). One day turned into fartleks I picked up from Finn, who wrote “running with the kenyans.” He was open to sharing and stated in his visit, 5k types did either 20 sets of 1 min hard 1 min easy, or 17 sets of 2 min hard 1 min easy. The easy isn’t really easy either.

7 weeks from regional meet, we started salazars intervals. We did 2 week cycles 3 times. the cycle would be Tues 2x10x200, thursday 5-6x1000, race sat, then tues 2x10x200, Thursday 3-4x(600,400,300,200), race sat. I considered the races threshold runs as most resources I found consider 5k to be a pure vo2 distance. We overraced early and in the first week of oct were on bikes to heal shin splints from tight calves.

Last tuesday 10/2/2012 we had a league race. wed was recovery. Thursday 20-1-1 kenyans, friday long run (60 min). weekend optional runs.

Monday (today) 10x400, tuesday 12-2-1 kenyans. wed easy run or bike. thursdy 5-6x1200. friday easy run, sat race.

I will update the plan in the coming weeks

this week my sprinters started up training. I will be using 3 programs this winter. short2long, long to short, and KK’s template for 12 week gpp. more info to come soon…

Saturday Oct 13. Our county XC race. It was cold and raining (40F).

The course was wet with taller grass than normal. The girls didn’t complain much and out of the 14 girls who ran today, 12 set at least a season best time, if not a personal record. It was really fun to see them so excited to be healthy and running fast!

Thursday this week on a windy day, we did 5x1600 with 3 minutes rest. The girls hit their times which are predictors. Some girls ran those times today, some are very close!

Most of the work is done. A few more races to go. A few girls are in “race and rest” mode and a few others will do some specific workouts I feel they need.

Following the last post of mine, our team had 2 more Saturday races (league championship and regionals). The league championship was very flat and some girls ran well, some did good, but not PRs. At regionals, most girls had the mindset it was a slower course etc. Turned out nearly all of them PR/Season best it! I nearly was in tears to know it was over and to see how far they had come since I first met with them in June.

I can’t post the image on here but here is the link to each girl’s season progress

The date that is blank was a meet I decided to not run in because the girls were starting to complain about calf issues, and the next race was important for the team.

Quite a few yellow boxes in that final week. Well done!


Thanks Chris! That is something I am quite proud about. Planning was executed quite well. The lonely gal who struggled all year had ITB issues and fought every race. She was a senior and didn’t want to miss any races. I plan on using a similar format for my girls 800-3200 runners this winter and spring.

This winter and spring I will not be overseeing the training of the girls. I am quite nervous on several levels. I will, however, be involved in organizing their strength training throughout the winter, and most likely, throughout the spring as well.

A few of my female 400m runners started running, but I realized they had knee pain prior to starting the program, we quickly stopped training after a week and are now spending time fixing up some of the issues I found. They will do bike rides for endurance for now and strength train twice a week. This is a situation where I can do more, but I am tied with time conflicts. I have a program for my hurdlers (which varies slightly for each of them), a program for my sprinters, and another for the 400m girls. When I only have 90 minutes available, this is less than ideal, but certainly a real situation for many coaches.

I’m confident things will work out in the end, but the 400m girls will probably not run any indoor meets unless they see serious progress in the strength workouts, since a big cause of their pain is weakness in the hips and quads.

More details to come over time!

Are you planning to attend the USTFCCCA Convention in Orlando later this month?


Training is going well. Hurdlers are focusing on execution to the first hurdle for the next few weeks, continuing their SE and max speed work as well with repeat 60s and EFE, FEFs. My boy sprinter (the others are MIA), is doing very well and is on pace to run sub 7 so far.

The distance girls are in a mileage block and we have added strength training 2x weekly.

I have a few others that are working around prior injuries, such as knee pain. They are biking, and working on strengthening the legs.

So far so good. I am a happy coach!


Just an update separate from the 110H journal. MY sprinter had been doing 30m electronic block starts in the 4.2 range, predictable to 7.30 FAT in competition. Thursday, 1/3/13, he ran 7.35 FAT. He qualified for indoor state finals in his first meet, a huge goal for him. I think he can still go sub 7. Emphasis has been only to 40m in workouts. His starts in practice are fairly consistent. I’ve noticed other sprint based clubs progress very little over the course of indoors. My guys historically have done really well progressing.

I have 3 hurdlers doing indoor. My #2 ran 9.14 and qualified for indoor state finals as well. The #3 is within 0.2 of qualifying.

Overall progress is really good in the sprint side. Distance runners are really young and really slow this year. We have been incredibly strong past 2 seasons but with weak field events and only strength in hurdles and sprints and relays, we are going to struggle against a lot of teams on the boys side.

On the girls side, a hurdler is close to qualifying. Last year she was out #4. The other 3 girls , 2 playing basketball, and 1 is AWOL. She has improved a ton so far and look forward to more improvements in her. The distance girls are doing ok. They are now working with the other coach doing mostly mileage (against my advice to her) and have done some fun races indoors.

Monday 1/7/13

Today everyone was not feeling energetic. He did a few standing 30s, block 30s, and some hurdle work using Ange’s suggestion of lower and pushed in over 2 hurdles. We then did some standing run through working on a shuffling stride. This is new to me and to him. I’m thinking I might have overcoached it today.

Not much else to report. Looking forward to next meet on Jan 21 to see his progress.

When you see a pattern " everyone was not feeling energetic" usually it’s a message. It’s tough to ignore a larger group sample if most or all are looking and or feeling similarly.
Introducing something new on a day when they are not 100 percent is likely to give you mixed feelings, results and or feedback from what you might expect.
You did not over coach .
You are learning and finding your way and doing an excellent job.

This is a situation where I am trying to force things to happen at a time when they are not ready, and if we don’t get it done I feel we are behind schedule. I struggle with this. I realized the races would have a impact beyond one day, and they did. The next workout will be Thursday, 1 week later. I feel it was a “wasted” week, but in reality, it probably isn’t.