A Brief Interview With ZapFitness' Peter Rea

December 23, 2009
Press Release From "The Distance Summit"
Scott Simmons

ZapFitness' elite coach Pete Rea will join other successful coaches, including  Brad Hudson, Nike legend Jeff Johnson, Jordan Hasay's prep coach Mando Sisqueros, at the Super Distance Summit in held January 2-3rd 2010 in Charlotte, NC. Pete talks about the summit, www.distancesummit.com, and his approach to coaching.

Q: A lot of professional coaches are very guarded with their training and their training philosophies. You, however, always give interviews and speak quite frequently. Of course, this can lead to criticism. Why are you so open and do you think it makes you a better coach?
Answer - I have always believed the best way for our nation to improve in the distance events is for coaches to share information. Sharing information and asking questions of other coaches had indeed made me a better coach.
Q: How has your training philosophy developed over the years and in what direction do you see it evolving in the future?
Answer - Most of my early influences in coaching came from Andy Palmer, Peter Pfitzinger, Bruce Bickford and Randy Thomas - the so-called Boston mafia from the early 1980s. These guys took the principles Arthur Lydiard developed in the late 1950s and 1960s and tweaked it to their styles as athletes and to their athletes they coached. My philosophies are similar. I believe in a long term process of adaptation to an increased aerobic workload over years and years. How to properly improve economy and its partner anaerobic conditioning is the area I am currently "evolving" through.
Q: The Super Summit replaces the National Distance Running Summit. Why did you accept the offer to speak there in Charlotte in January?
Answer - Selfishly, I decided to come because I want to learn from Mando and Charlie as well as Jeff, Brad and Scott - some of the best minds in the sport with years of experience. I also am hoping I might be able to impart one or two nuggets of information which can allow them to be more effective with their athletes.
Q: You will be joined by a pretty accomplished list of coaches in Charlotte including legend Jeff Johnson, Brad Hudson, Scott Raczko, York High School’s Charlie Kern and Mando Siqueiros. Have you benefited from any of their ideas or insights?
Answer - I have probably benefited the most from Scott. I enjoy watching other coaches as a student of the sport, and I have always been greatly impressed with his quiet intensity. Athletes are drawn to him, and his successes speak for themselves. I have also taken a great deal from Brad, who seems to understand the role of long term development as well as any coach I know.
Q: What are your overall goals for your group Zap Fitness and where would you say you are on the road to achieving them?
Answer - We created ZAP Fitness for two purposes: to afford young talented runners the opportunity to pursue running full time and realize their potential in a supportive environment - and secondly to have an impact on a sport which was waning in depth in the late 1990s. So far my wife Zika and I have been very pleased, although not content mind you, with our athletes' development. Since '03 five of our ZAP athletes have qualified for the Senior Men's World XC Team and 16 have qualified for the Olympic Trials in events from the 1,500m to the marathon - including two men who made the '08 5,000m final in Eugene. We are more excited than ever for 2012 and beyond.





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