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.
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?
- 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
Q: How has your training philosophy developed over the years and in what direction do you see it evolving in the future?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.