Chieftan's Championship Quest

I have a few things ESTI for you to think about and to remember when you are looking and or expecting a result. The sayings may not help you the way they have guided me and continue to guide me today.

  1. There are no miracles in sport. = Results don’t just appear. Results are a bi product of time, effort and energy on the part of the coach and the athlete and a great deal goes into this process.
  2. Time must meet chance. = Just wait for it. Your time line does not necessarily coincide with the time lines of the universe. Your athlete is a baby in terms of development and photo starts mess up , electronic timing devises are subject to error and perhaps for what ever reason something might not go exactly right on the day you hope and expect.
    I think one thing is very clear to me. You have done an exceptional job and if no progress is made or collected today a huge success has happened for you and your athlete ( s ) .
    I can’t wait to hear how it goes today for everyone.

Thanks for the words Ange!

Today, my hurdler ran 8.93, reaching his goal of 8.95 (his older bro’s best 60H). He ran great, just didn’t have enough to move on to semi finals. We were both happy for this result. In the 60 dash, he ran another 7.35!!! Every single race was exactly 7.35 this season! He stood up at the start on step 2 and got out poorly of course, but finished really well. Missed semi’s by 0.04! Overall I’m pleased with their performances. I know the sprinter has more in him, just a matter of execution consistently over time.

Just a few years ago (in my Crusader’s Quest) journal, I had a group of fairly average sprinters. I had a blast coaching them, and deep down wanted one to get to the state finals. Now times have changed, and I needed some perspective on why I coach. These guys today helped me understand that in the past few weeks!

You can’t do better than that ESTI. Great job and you are a great model for others working with individuals or groups and I think the work you do with young kids is more valuable than anything. The positive experiences you are giving them can never be taken away and they are in a position to do more about it now than if they were really young.
It’s exciting what you are doing with no budget and no support and just your ideas you have learned. ( obviously you have the learned many lessons well)

Mon March 11

First official day of outdoor practice.
Temp: 48, pouring rain. Absolutely miserable (similar to Oregon weather!)

33 sprinters/hurdlers/jumpers showed today. 11 girls, 22 boys.

I plan on doing concurrent with the bulk of the team focusing on 200m type work. I feel doing so gives me greater flexibility in event selection with kids as needed versus kids ho might be solely event specialists. The change I have used from Concurrent is 3 days a week of specific work outlines in the forum thread, with a mix of acceleration days (tires, push up sprints, med ball throws, etc) mixed in. In between will be easy tempo days with abs and other exercises in the field that we can do based on numbers and equipment available etc.

Today we did 2x(4x150) in approximate 200m time (i.e. 200m time of 28s=150 in 28 sec). Older kids would jog the rest after runs 1 and 3, and walk the rest on 2. About 7 minutes in between sets.

The weather sucked all last week. This week was just plain cold.

Last week we did
Mon: 2x4x150 (rest was jog, walk, jog, set rest)
Tuesday: Tempo
Wed 5x200 in come home pace. I ball park it since I don’t know everyones personal best yet. I’m pretty good at estimating my group. For most this is intensive tempo work and for the older kids, specific work for finishing strong in the 200/400
Thur: tempo
Fri: tempo (scheduled acceleration day on wed, but had to move it to today, then went to tempo when several kids complained of excessive tightness in calf and quads. Obviously most have not done much over winter so this is expected.)
Sat/Sun: Off

Mon: Sprint ladder (modified due to ice on one complete turn) 200, 150, 100, 50, 40, 30, 20
Tues: indoor mat tempo, 2 x 10 x 30 seconds (30 sec rest was one of the ab circuit exercises) one person ran, one person did abs at same time, then switched.
Wed: 2x300+150. Today was cold but with only a few runs, we rested inside the team lockeroom by the track during the set break. Overall great workout considering the temperatures
Thur: tempo
Fri: warm-up and baton work for meet tomorrow
Sat: meet (various distances, 60, 200, 400)

This past week I did modify some a bit for indoor group.
Monday my sprinters and girl hurdlers were in the halls doing short speed work 3x30, 3x40, 3x50 (rep 1, standing, rep 2, block, rep 3 flying 30 with 20m run up) all with full recovery.
Tuesday mat tempo (boy hurdlers did our half space to race pace progression over 3 hurdles instead and used Monday as a tempo day)
Wed: 3x20, 3x30, 2x EFE 20-20-20-,2x FEF 20-20-20 (girl hurdlers did work over 2 hurdles to prep for sat race)
Thursday" tempo (boy hurdlers did one last hurdle workout similar to Tuesday)
Friday": warm up
sat: Race

Saturday March 23 meet report:

Overall great day. I saw continued progress with me #2 hurdler, setting another PR today at 8.85. He started in Jan at 9.20.

In the girls 4x200, 2 distance girls ran solid 28 splits. Last year my girls 4x200 ran 28-27s towards end of the year. One of those girls ran a 28 as well.

In the girls 4x400, my grade 9/10 team from the spring is all back. 2 girls ran today, 2 seconds off their outdoor PR. Very exciting, considering one girl has only trained hard 2 weeks.

The boys 4x200 was good as well. Two guys ran mid 23s indoors. Last year they PRd at high 22s. One was switched out due to a bit of tightness, but he is surely capable of same times, and the top hurdler is capable of breaking 22 this year. I think they have a chance to medal at state finals.

The boys 4x400 was great as well. Kids ran near PRs. We are in need of a 4x400 team, with only one member returning (the hurdler who ran 48-49 splits last year for us at anchor, and has 300h PB of 38.1). 2 kids ran 55-56 range. One has only done short to long work all winter. Very impressed with times so far. We are off 17 days for training. A lot to get done! Excitement builds for the season ahead. We may not win a championship this year, but seeing kids hit PRs and run well is just as rewarding for me as a coach.

One last note, my long jumper from last year PRd today jumped 20-1.5" taking 3rd. His best last year was low 19s. He spent most winter in weight room and has great pop off the board. His flight mechanics and landing is not great, but throughout 6 jumps, improved his landing a bunch, improving over a 12" from this first jump.

Monday March 25
Indoor group: tire 3x30m

3x30 (stand, block, 20+30fly), 3x40, 3x50 (all sets stand block fly)

Hurdlers did 3 starts to 2H

Rest of group did 3x3x30 tire sprints, then 3x30 standing sprints.

Long sprinters did 2x3x300 at come home 400 pace (very tough!)

It’s exciting reading your progress as a coach. It’s a large commitment working with young people.

Thanks Ange!

This year will be interesting. The cold weather has caused many kids to stop coming to practice. As the coach, it was a tough call deciding to go outside or stay inside. Knowing we run in poor conditions, I went with being outside (except for a few days). I’ve had several kids come down with quad tightness/pulls.

I run into a logistical issue. The school gets out at 210pm. I can’t get to the track until 330 with my teaching job. Starting this week, several days a week we have to be off the track by 430 as they have soccer games, lacrosse games etc. I usually have the older kids warm up at 3pm and be ready for me at 330. With the weather, many kids are not preparing right. Also, this group of kids as a group is never on time. I struggle with things like this. I have to crack down and get the group in order.

I have about 6 girls who will make up my varsity group. I have to decide how much to spread them out in meets. Individually, they are average. As a relay, they will do much better.

The meet schedule on weekends is mainly invitational style (heats, semis finals in 100 200 110h/100h, and then 4x1, 4x2, 4x4, 300H, 400). They aren’t fast enough to advance in the rounds in the weekend races, so I think those meets will be about 2 events in relays, and save the Tuesday conference meets for multiple races. With so few kids, this reminds me of my first year coaching with only a dozen boys and about 6 were varsity level.

Wed March 27

Temp was a cool 45.

We had a team meeting about paperwork, spring break plans etc. By the time we were done, it was 4pm and at 430 was a soccer game. The kids who warmed up at 3pm were certainly cold now. Since so many were tight and sore, we did a 10 minute easy jog and then did about 20 minutes using microstretching technique for various stretches on muscles being complained about. Many felt better when we finished.

Thursday Mar 28 50F !!! Great weather today.

The group did 300+4x60, 250+3x60, 200+2x60, and 150+60. Overall great effort.

The indoor S-L group did 80, 100, 120, 150, all in great times for them. They were in running shoes, not spikes, and still ran fairly fast times.

Since the last post, we had spring break workouts. The theme was crappy weather. Mainly cold with lots of wind. We were able to get a few decent workouts in that week.

When we got back, more cold weather and our first outdoor meet on Thursday. The weather was terrible for the meet. The team was weak and we got away without any issues.
Friday was essentially recovery tempo and lots of stretching.

Last week we had a meet on Tuesday, so Monday was field event prep, baton checks and lots of stretching. The meet was tough. Our boys lost their first meet since 2010. We lost by 1 point! The girls rolled and moved to 2-0 in conference. Wednesday was tempo…sets of ( 1+2+3++). Thursday was high quality day but we had thunderstorms and had to run in the hallway. The 400 specialists did 4x60+150 for 2 sets. The 100/200 group did blocks, accels, EFE and 2x60 full recovery.

Saturday was out first outdoor invite meet. Weather was very cold in morning. I had kids put on heat cream before warm up. Most had long tights to race in. The competition at this meet was strong in sprint events. Our league is really weak and this meet had teams from other counties who traditionally are much stronger in all events. I had two girls make the 100m finals, 2 boys made semis and 1 made finals in the 100. The hurdler was the 110H in a state best time of 14.1 hand time into a headwind. The boys 4x100 had bad exchanges and still ran a season equaling best time of 44.1 The goal is 43.0, a school record. The girls 4x100 equaled last years season best putting them #10 all-time in our schools history. Only 1 in that group is a senior! The girls 4x400 nearly equaled their season best from last year, running 4:19 (vs 4:16 in '12). This group is 2 juniors and 2 sophomores. They won the meet in the 4x400 against quality competition. A boy 300H equaled his PR from last season as well.

I was very pleased with the results this soon. However, it was bitter sweet as several kids have had issues since and are a tad beat up going into tomorrow (Saturday’s) meet against the toughest team in the league this year. The meet day was changed and as a result, a few key runners won’t be there and a few boys are hurt and won’t run.

We have a meet scheduled Saturday but I am likely going to pull out of meet and just do recovery all week.

Last week Thursday was a beautiful day in the 60s and sunny. The kids did easy tempo runs. One 4x400 girl who had to miss the meet Wednesday did 200+150 (planned 200+200 but had grade 7-8 track meet going on so had to modify), rest 20 minutes, 200+200. This is part of KK’s transition. She ran race pace 200 in 30 second, backed up with 23 second 150 all out. Second set was tempo 200 in 38 seconds and then a full out 200 in 30.5 This girl has run relay splits of 65 and open times in mid 65s.

Friday the younger kids did some resisted sprints, short block starts.

I decided to run only a select few kids in the race Saturday. On the boys, two sprints ran the 200. Both made to semis, one to finals. One did S-L and was able to make finals getting in 3 quality 200s. The girls 4x400 team (minus the girl mentioned above) only ran this event. This group is the strongest event on the girls team. I was expecting them to run with a few faster teams and push them. The entry time was messed up and we ended up in the slow heat. Last weekend they ran 419. Saturday, they ran 410. Exchanges were so much better and we did a few 50m run outs at race pace about 5-10 minutes prior to race. Every girl hit their opening 100m pace and 200m paces. A coaching goal I’ve had at this school is to get a sub 60 second runner. In the relay, the lead leg ran 60.5 and the anchor 61.0. The other 2 were 66 and 63 splits. I was very excited about this and look forward to seeing where we can go.

Today the weather was incredible…70F!!

The girls ran incredible. In the 100m, two girls finally legit broke 13 seconds. Last week they both did but times were very sketchy. Today was confirmation of that effort. In the 4x200, I made a change to put a faster girl in. They went from 1:53.9 to 1:49.0! Huge improvement. Sub 1:50 is potential for state finals with some more improvement. Will take sub 1:46 most likely to make it.

In the open 400, the girl mentioned above ran 63.5 a new PR. She split 15-30-63.5. Another girl split 15-30-61.3 (a new PR). Both finished very strong.

In the 200, the 61 second girl ran 27.0, a 1 second PR. Other girls ran PR times as well. The girls won the meet and moved to 4-0. One more win and they are league champs!

The boys I rested quite a few kids and ran selected events. The runners from this weekend ran more great 200m times (22.9 & 23.4). 100m times were ok at 11.3, 11.4.

I ran JV kids in varsity relays and the 4x200 won and the boys 4x100 lost but had a 10 m lead into last leg before getting caught by a much faster kid.

The 300H ran another PR, low 43 seconds. His splits are 13 second to 100m, 20 second to touchdown on H4 (150m).

Overall very pleased with the results. More good weather to come this week.

good job Esti.

We finished a slightly modified GPP the week of April 5.

Week of April 8: Meet Thursday (most had to run 3-4 events) Going into that week I think we just did tempo as the weather was bad. Friday was easy tempo, weekend off.

Week of April 15: Mon easy tempo

Tue: meet 3-4 events (ranging from 100-400s)

D usually runs 100, 4x100, and 1-2 of the 200, 400 or 4x200.

B does 4x200, 400, 200, 4x400 if needed, usually don’t though

J is same as Bri

Q does LJ, 100, 4x100, and alternates between pole vault and 4x200 and 200.

M does 4x100, LJ, 4x200, and sometimes 200 if needed.

Wed easy tempo

Thurdsay: planned 4x80+200 but had to go indoors. Indoors did 4x60+120, 2 sets.

Friday easy tempo

Saturday: meet I have two girls running 100s. Both ran near PRs in poor conditions. Then we ran a 4x100 in a near season record. The 4x400 ran a season best with two girls running 61 splits, the fastest in the past two seasons with this group of 4. They ran 4:19

Week of april 22:

Monday: (100m specialists did a few resisted sprints and block starts to 20-30m; 200/400 did 3x100 at race pace on turn), then all did 4x150 with the alternate jog recoveries.

Tuesday easy tempo

Wed: meet 3-4 events

Thursday :most of team did tempo, one girl missed the meet and would miss Saturday meet, so she did modified 2x200+200 workout. J did race pace 200 (29.0, 65 sec PR) in 30 sec, 90 sec rest, full out 150 in 23 sec. 20 minute rest. Tempo 200 in 40, then full out 200 in 30.

Friday easy tempo for all

Saturday: 1 race, 4x400. The girls ran 4:10. 60.5 (d) opening leg, 63(Me) 2nd, 65(Q first time running 400) 3rd, and 61 (b) 4th.

Week of april 29

Monday: 12 x 100 tempo easy pace.

Tuesday (TODAY) meet

100m girls ran 12.7 (d) and 12.9 (Q) (huge PRs from 13.0 and 13.1)

200m girl ran 27.0 (B) (previous pr of 28.1)

400m girls (b) 61.5, (J) 63.5

4x200, B ran sub 27 split and d lead with 26.5 leg. I was at the 200m zone to time it exactly.

Sat May 5 Temp: 70s and sunny!

Best weather all year. The boys 4x200 set a meet and school record running 1:30.4. The 4x100 (same 4 kids) ran 43.7, season best, but had 3 poor exchanges. A lot of room to improve for sure!

The girls 4x400 ran 4:07! Lead off was low 60, 2nd was 63 (with a poor cut in angle cost her probably 10-15m extra to run), 3rd was 65 and high 58 anchor. Based on last years results, 407 would get top 10 in the state. Pretty exciting considering this whole group will return next season.

There was a lot more PRs in other relays and events. Overall great meet, the kids were really excited and I feel as if they still feel good. Last year at this meet we won the meet but nearly every kid felt terrible from aches and pains the short season brings.

Our last dual meet is Tuesday. We have another invite on Saturday and then 6 days to prep for regionals. I’ve been reading the Lactate threshold threads the past few days trying to review that info, as nearly the entire team has done KK’s concurrent set up with some modifications I had to make. This has been the best season in terms of time improvement in so many events.

I have found the short to long set up for one kid has led to a few plateaus. Improvement has been slow. I’m figuring some back off time should freshen him up for regionals in 12 days from now.

It’s been two weeks since last post.

The girls won the division! The meet was filled with huge season best and PRs. The boys had a semi-rest meet not running a full schedule as the division championship was not possible for us. Later that week, we had one final invititational meet. I rested most of the kids. The boys only ran the 4x100 to work on race speed exchanges. The goal is to run sub 43 at regionals. They ended up running 43.4 with a bad final exchange.

On the girls side, I had run offs in the 200m and 400m for the final relay spots. The girls in their competitive spirit began to harass other girls involved. Needless to say I had to intervene, but won’t talk more about it here.

After the meet, a “taper” of sorts was followed.

The girls were very nervous all week. Not having been in pressure meets where advancing counts, I stuck with Charlie’s theme of “Do what you have always done.” I had to even share Ben’s 87’ rome interview story! I decided to run only 2 girls in individual events and hope they would qualify on time, as it was clear they wouldn’t advance on place. At regionals In the 100m, the girl ran 12.7 but needed 12.5! In the 400, one girl ran 60.0 (nearly reaching my goal of a sub 60 girl), but needed 59.6 to advance. The other girl ran a 61.2 with issues in her leg at the 250m. In the girls 4x200 relay at regionals, we were in good position to challenge for top 2 spot but I butted in, yelled for the 4th runner to go, but it was too early and she took the baton turning around outside of the zone and got DQd. I felt absolutely terrible, essentially not listening to my advice to the kids. I have never done this all year, why would I do it this meet?? I felt terrible for the senior girl who had given up another relay to join this one in hopes of going to state finals. The girls were all very emotional after.

The girls 4x400, the most promising event for the girls, had issues mentioned above. As a “punishment” of sorts, I seeded them in the slow heat. Another strong team entered as a “no mark” putting them in the slow heat (I don’t know why they did). The ran 4:06, making the automatic qualifying mark. The fast heat eneded up with the winning team at 4:10! My girl ran 4:08 and advanced. So the slow heat teams advanced.

The boys side, the hurdler ran fantastic, 13.7, 37.4, anchored the 4x200 and lead off the 4x100. All 4 events won in meet records. The relays should be in the top 8 in the state getting us in the fast heat. The boys team won the regional meet, allowing us to compete in a week in the team state finals (separate from regular state finals). Although I have a few boys going to regular states in events, this meet will be great relay situation running against a few of the top teams in the state and gives them a chance to run under pressure, as all year we have won by over 15m most meets. Overall, most boys events were season bests or PRs. I couldn’t be happier for them. Lots of exciting things coming up in the next few days. More posts to come.

At regionals

State finals went great! Our 4x200 team took 4th place, earning All-State honors and setting yet another school record. The 4x1 had one exchange where the#2 ran iup on #3 quickly. 2nd leg had a huge tail wind. I debated having #3 change his steps but decided to leave them the same. It’s easy to look back in hindsight, but I still think the decision to not change was right. They took 9th place, missing all-state and 8th place by 0.01 seconds!! All the boys are graduating and future prospects are slim. The up and coming sprinter on the boys side are very young and all play football so I have to deal with that madness for 2 more track seasons before they are track only.

The girls 4x400 ran incredible running 4:03.00 and set a new school record. They ran in the slow heat based on seed times from regionals. They won the heat but took 11th overall. I can’t complain since they ran a season best time. In the open 400, B, ran a season best 59.60 (FAT) and officially I have now coached a sub 60 girls 400m! =) She is a junior and being able to stay healthy should have a nice senior year. She’s made 2 seconds improvements each season for the past 2 (63, 61, 59). She has not been able to train except during track season, so I find this pretty remarkable considering. She plans to run the summer circuit here and I will update.

A new season has begun! We are currently in week 2 of “outdoor” but have to date been outdoors 3 days due to low temps, poor conditions etc.

I had a group of kids start training in September. We did weightroom workouts for 6 weeks before starting running. It was a bunch of workouts I used to use with my team sport athletes. We did jump rope, various balance exercises for foot/hip strength, general weight room exercises, ab work. This year the group did the concurrent GPP outlined in the forum. One girl was coming off an accidental Achilles tendon tear from the summer. She dropped a glass and the shard bounced up and sliced her tendon, not fully, but enough to cause major issues for several months. She did a modified short to long approach.

Once GPP ended, the weather turned terrible and we were stuck in the hallways again all winter. We did lose some of the fitness a 200/400 runner would have, but overall, the group ran PR’s in the 60m and 200m indoors. My senior hurdler (not the same as last year), was top 15 in the state in 60mH and looked to be top 8 at indoor state finals, but being a teenager, made a few bad decisions, and hurt his knee 5 days before playing basketball. My group had the most qualifiers for the indoor state meet than any previous year. I am excited for their progress outdoors now.

I’m open to questions, so please ask away, as I didn’t get into too many details in this post.

Now to outdoor, week 1 was:

Sat: Long hills
sun: basement tempo
Mon 2x(4x150)
tue: basement tempo
Wed: tempo
Thur: 3x(5x60+120)
Fri: tempo
Sat: long hills
sun off

Monday: 2x(4x60)
Tuesday outdoors 2x10x100 tempo, plus circuits of abs, hurdle walks, medball throws for height and distance.

The track has a lot of snow and I spent 2 hours removing most of the home straightaway. We have 300m available for 2 lanes all the way around. Good enough for what I need them to do.

Wednesday I had family emergency, missed practice, and the plans were a mess. They ended up doing 3x150 at 90% effort. Weather was rainy and cool. I meant to have returning kids do 300+150 but in the hectic stress I was dealing with, forgot to message the coach the plan for them.

Thursday was 8x200 tempo.

Friday was 3x200 (2 min rest/ 5 min rest) 2x200 (2 min rest). The kids racing saturday did tempo 200s Friday.

Saturday 2 hurdlers raced. The boy was a sure top 5 and had mental breakdown in race, getting DQd. The girl was nervous but ran a solid time for her. Overall I was happy. My top girl sprinters were all out of town for a school student council conference and will have missed 5 days of training, and all are going on spring break, and will miss another 7-9 days. I’m very disappointed they will have missed 2 weeks out of their 5 week prep period but such is the life of a high school coach.

Weather will suck again this week until Thursday and Friday.

I plan on doing 2 separate workouts for the boys and girls. The boys are not going to do well on a concurrent set up. The girls need to get fit quick. More details to come as soon as I can get back to post.