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SlipperyPete1340
High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 6:46AM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
So obviously the high school track dual meet system in the United States is a complete sham and it really hurts long-term development for distance runners. Most good coaches are having their kids run dual meets at a more controlled effort. The problem that I'm having with my team is that they get really embarrassed running dual meets at tempo pace when their traditional rivals are beating them! And it's a double whammy, because then they have to see their "slow" times online.

So my question to high school coaches is; what do you say to your kids to get them motivated to tempo a meet?
You are wrong
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 6:51AM - in reply to SlipperyPete1340 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

SlipperyPete1340 wrote:

So obviously the high school track dual meet system in the United States is a complete sham and it really hurts long-term development for distance runners.


You are wrong.


SlipperyPete1340 wrote:
Most good coaches are having their kids run dual meets at a more controlled effort.


Wrong.


SlipperyPete1340 wrote:
The problem that I'm having with my team is that they get really embarrassed running dual meets at tempo pace when their traditional rivals are beating them! And it's a double whammy, because then they have to see their "slow" times online.

So my question to high school coaches is; what do you say to your kids to get them motivated to tempo a meet?


Wrong. You do not do tempo runs in meets. You race.
AMC
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 6:54AM - in reply to SlipperyPete1340 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Simple, don't have them tempo. But use the duel meet as a workout. All your distance runners should be tripling--800, 1600, 3200.
[CITATION NEEDED]
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 7:08AM - in reply to You are wrong Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

You are wrong wrote:

You are wrong.

Wrong.

Wrong. You do not do tempo runs in meets. You race.


[CITATION NEEDED]
Coach K
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 7:25AM - in reply to SlipperyPete1340 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
"You are wrong" is right. Typically I want my kids going all out on race day. They can do a tempo anytime, but meaningful racing only happens on meet day. There is nothing harder than racing and I want my athletes to give a maximum effort at our weekly meet. What's all the training for if not to test oneself on meet day?
commonSensei
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 7:28AM - in reply to Coach K Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Just don't run them in the dual meets. Problem solved.
SlipperyPete1340
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 7:30AM - in reply to You are wrong Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I think most people who have studied distance running would agree that having kids run upwards of 50 races a year is not optimal for their long term development. There's a reason elite level runners only run a few races each season.

And I agree, doing a race as a tempo run sucks. But what else is there to do? We had an invitational on Sunday which far outweighs a dual meet in terms of importance so the kids ran hard there. No way I'm making them run hard again two days later in a meaningless dual meet with the state meet a month away.

@AMC, that is what I typically do. However, there are situations where I don't want them doing a workout in a meet. For example, say they run the 1000 and the 2 mile. There's about an hour break in between those races. Not exactly the best workout. I'd rather tempo run the race and get a better workout in later in the week.
SlipperyPete1340
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 7:33AM - in reply to Coach K Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Coach K, I completely agree with you. In a perfect world, they would only run 5-6 races a season, and those races would be all-out efforts. But we have 14 dual meets/invitationals in the winter season. If we do every race all-out, by the time the state championships come around, they will be completely wiped. Not to mention it will do a number on their spring season.

Thus, I have them do a bunch of these races as sub-maximal efforts, which they hate, I hate, and I get the head coach (I'm the distance coach) and parents complaining about why their kids aren't running faster. In a freaking dual meet in early January.

Anyone who thinks that's a good system for a 16 year old kid's long term development as a distance runner is simply uniformed.
SlipperyPete1340
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 7:35AM - in reply to commonSensei Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
@commonSensei, if I was the head coach and in charge of the program, that's exactly what I would do. The top level kids would sit out the dual meets in favor of doing a workout on most days. Unfortunately, I'm just the lowly distance coach, and the head coach is obsessed with winning dual meets. It sucks.
The Super
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 7:41AM - in reply to You are wrong Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

You are wrong wrote:

Wrong. You do not do tempo runs in meets. You race.


^This
SlipperyPete1340
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 7:52AM - in reply to The Super Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Ok, people don't seem to be getting this, so let me start over.
1) Most high school track teams have 1 dual meet a week for at least 8 weeks, plus invitational meets on weekends.

2) If you ran every race in cross country and track as an all-out effort, top athletes would be running 50-60 all-out efforts a year.

3) As a result, many of the races are done at sub-maximal efforts. I.e. you do a two mile race in Tuesday's meet at tempo pace so you don't trash your legs for Friday's workout.

4) Young runners want to run every race hard. This creates a problem, because if they run every race hard they will be dead by the end of the season.

Can anyone actually explain why they disagree with these points?
T-man
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 7:55AM - in reply to SlipperyPete1340 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

SlipperyPete1340 wrote:

@commonSensei, if I was the head coach and in charge of the program, that's exactly what I would do. The top level kids would sit out the dual meets in favor of doing a workout on most days. Unfortunately, I'm just the lowly distance coach, and the head coach is obsessed with winning dual meets. It sucks.


How do the tempo efforts help the team win meets if they're getting beat by their traditional rivals? If you tempo the race and don't score, you might as well have never been in the meet.
SlipperyPete1340
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 8:09AM - in reply to T-man Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Typically, the top kids will still come in second or third in a dual meet. So they are still getting points, but they will get beat by kids they are clearly better than while doing this.

The way indoor works in my league is that every team in the league runs in the dual meets against each other, you just are scoring points against one team.

So they run against their rivals every week, and they get annoyed losing to them while tempoing.
Indoor?
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 8:47AM - in reply to SlipperyPete1340 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You have indoor duel meets? I'm really sorry, that sounds terrible. We run at most 4 meets indoors and have several kids that don't race at all.

I get into the same issue with XC we have 3 mid week jamborees. My top 2 girls win the league by 30 seconds anyway so I usually have them pace some of my slower kids for 2 miles(generally close to tempo pace) then let them loose the 3rd mile and my top girl always gets back to first and my 2nd usually gets back to 2nd.

Sure at first they aren't pumped about this but I've used these methods to convince them.

1. Explain to them that this is what's best long term and that it doesn't matter if we run 18:20 in mid September if we still run 18:20 in November(state meet), much rather do stuff to helps us improve and run 18:05 there.

2. Encourage them that they get to race most of the weekend races and they will have extra energy for these which are more prestigious and will have more competition.

3. They really like being able to help their team mates, so getting to run a couple miles with other girls and help them PR.

In track I avoid racing kids in duel meets in less it is the 1 or 2 that we will have to try to win. Generally we can win with sprinters and field events(who need the work). Sometimes will do a speed day for distance 4x8, 400, 800, 4x4.

Now this all works cause I am the head coach and am also pretty thick skinned and don't care what parents say or think. Your going to have parents complain a ton and some will understand when you explain it to them, but there will be a few bad ones that don't and they will try to make trouble. Good luck with them, the only thing that makes them better is their kid graduating. The funny thing is they always start off by saying "I don't want to be that parent." which is always a precursor for turning into "that parent". If your head coach isn't ok with it and you've already explained it to them and had a conversation about it I'd assume your SOL then.
SlipperyPete1340
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 9:01AM - in reply to Indoor? Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Thank you for the thoughtful reply, glad that someone understands what I'm talking about! I like the idea of having the top runners pace their teammates, I definitely will try that in our dual meet tomorrow.

This is only my second year coaching so having parents yelling at me is still a bit jarring, my sense is that after a few years I'll get used to it.

I don't even really blame the parents; it's mostly out of ignorance. In basketball or football, you're trained to go all-out, all-the-time. It's a nice idea, but there's simply no way a 17 year old can run that many meets all out without hurting his chances for long-term success.
HELPFUL GUY HERE
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 9:05AM - in reply to Indoor? Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
DONT SIGN UP FOR INVITATIONALS ON THE WEEKEND WHEN YOU KNOW YOU HAVE A DUAL MEET EVERY WEEK. IF YOU HAVE A DUAL MEET EVERY WEEK THEN DONT SIGN UP FOR ANY INVITATIONALS.
SlipperyPete1340
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 9:11AM - in reply to HELPFUL GUY HERE Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Again, I am not the head coach and am trying to work within the confines of a system that is deeply flawed (I like to think of myself as the Jimmy McNulty of my particular school). The athletic director (who's a big hockey guy) likes to schedule as many meets as possible. I do hold them out of some invitationals, but
1) Invitationals usually lead to faster times, since they attract runners from across the state.

2) They are a good preview of what the divisional and state meets will look like.
hill city
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 9:25AM - in reply to SlipperyPete1340 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Use what you have...

Monday: 45 minutes + 4-6x10 sec hill sprints + Lifting
Tuesday: 400m race + 4-5 miles AT + 4x100 strides
Thursday: 60 minutes easy
Friday: 4x1 mile @ LT pace + Lifting
Saturday: 40 minutes Easy
Sunday: 3200m @ invitational

Monday: 80-90 min. Long Run
Tueday: 800m Race + 4x400m
Wednesday: Recovery Running
Thursday: 45 min Easy + Lifting
Friday: Hill Repetitions 6x3 min
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: Mile race

Throw some doubles in there and you have some solid mileage.

We don't have indoor track where I coach, but I would love an indoor season. It's a long, cold snowy winter and motivation can be tough for high schoolers training on their own.
SlipperyPete1340
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 9:40AM - in reply to hill city Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Hmm, good suggestions. As much as possible, I like to use the winter as a base-building season and I try to avoid running anaerobically as much as possible for the people training to run fast 2 miles and miles in the spring. This is what I have for the next two weeks for my top runners:

Week 8
Monday: Easy run and strides.
Tuesday: Dual Meet, race 2 mile, 1000 @tempo pace.
Wednesday: Mini-Long Run
Thursday: Recovery Run.
Friday: Easy run and strides.
Saturday: 6-8x1000 Meter Cruise Intervals.
Sunday: Long Run

Week 9
Monday: Easy run and strides.
Tuesday: Dual meet, race Mile, 1000 @2 mile pace
Wednesday: Mini-long run.
Thursday: Recovery Run
Friday: Fartlek Run.
Saturday: Easy run and strides.
Sunday: Race Two Mile (all-out)

So it's not radically different from what you posted. We did a few weeks of hills earlier in the season, but I have gone away from it in favor of cruise intervals, mainly because we can get a lot more mileage when doing them.
Graeme McDowell
RE: High School Coaches, How Do You Get Your Kids To Tempo Run Dual Meets Without Being Embarrassed? 1/15/2013 9:50AM - in reply to SlipperyPete1340 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I see your point and a lot of good suggestions have been made. I do think the trend to not want to race has gone way too far. In our area we had two teams tempo the league meet in cross to train properly for the more important meets and ultimately the state meet. Well, both teams didn't make it to state so I am not sure what they were training for...maybe the local turkey trot. The two teams that decided to actually race the league meet placed very high at state. Some times coaches over think these things.
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