the other thing is that our school is so small that pretty much anybody with athletic ability is on the bball team. class sizes of around 60-70
the other thing is that our school is so small that pretty much anybody with athletic ability is on the bball team. class sizes of around 60-70
just got home. I’ll update the week tomorrow.
congrats! saw the results this afternoon. great time against a great field.
Summary for the week
Monday: AM: 1 mile WU + sprint drills + 3 x 50 acceleration + 150 FAST + 6 x 800 @ 95% vVO2 with 3 min walk, jog recovery of 400m. (2:29, 2:32, 2:31, 2:30, 2:28, 2:18). Last 200 of last one in 28. PM. 20 min easy shake out + weight room
Tue: Sprint drill warm up with whole team. 6 x wicket runs, 5 miles easy
Wed: AM 4 miles Easy + weight room. PM. Thunderstorms in area, so just jogged around the gym for 10 min, did sprint drills and then snuck outside for a few striders.
Thu: AM 20 min shake out run. PM 1600m @ 4:50. Just getting points at a dual meet. The meet was supposed to be Wednesday, but we moved it to Thursday when we saw the forecast. If the meet had been Wednesday, we'd have made it more of a workout. He was nervous about running a race 2 days before the big weekend invitational.
Fri: 2 miles easy + 4 x 200 stride outs. (32, 32, 30, 27). Said the 27 felt super relaxed and smooth.
Sat: 2 miles WU + drills + 3 x 50m acceleration + 150 FAST + 800 @ 1:52.64 FTW + 2 mile CD. Threw up during the middle of the milesplit interview. Swore to never do another interview before his cool down again.
Sun: 3 miles very easy.
To answer the questions above
1. We run our own HS invitational (it was actually yesterday). We run a Junior High Invitational as well. Together, those meets bring in $8,000+ for our program every year. Luck has nothing to do with us buying a freelap system
2. We used to play boys soccer in the fall and girls in the spring in Nor Cal, but in order to facilitate a state tournament, we moved them to winter, because that's where So Cal had it. So Cal more or less drives the bus for CA sports.
3. The 200m strides are full recovery (walk back across the infield). For speed type kids, this is actually easier than going out and running more slow miles and leaves them feeling peppy for the next day. We've been running 4-6 x 200 as part of our pre-meet days for over a decade. The key is the kids can't run them much faster than 1600-800 race pace or it becomes a little too hard. They usually do the first one around 1600 pace and the last one around 800 pace.
4. I've played around with the idea of having a pure CNS day. Maybe as we get closer to the big meets I won't feel the need to keep the aerobic volume up so much. He was doing pure CNS days over the winter on off days from soccer, but we've been more concerned with adding aerobic capacity / lactate clearance for the last 8 weeks.
The plan over the next 3-5 weeks is to start to transition to some more 800 specific work. the 6 x 800 last monday was the first step in that transition. Although the paces were closer to 3200 race pace, each rep brought on close to max HR and each rep caused a little lactate build up. That was really the first workout where we repeatedly brought the HR up and pH down. We'll probably do 1-2 more sessions like that to prepare for the more intense 800 specific stuff later on.
We're NOT going to Arcadia. Everyone we talked to yesterday was shocked, but I see no reason to go. The plan was to go deep in the well yesterday, see where we were at, and then throw down a good block of training. The plan is to run well from the end of May to the beginning of July. No need for hours and hours of travel, interrupted sleep routine, the stress of running another high level meet, and the reduced training needed to be sharp for said meet. All the nor cal guys that ran at Stanford last year, then did Arcadia and Mt. SAC over the next few weeks ran like doo doo at state.
I like the idea of those 6x800s at near Max VO2 effort. Those have a greater anaerobic component (especially as the workout progresses) than many believe, and, as you suggest,
are a nice lead-up to the faster 800 specific sessions.
Looks like you've been working to develop abilities both faster (sprint speed) and slower (aerobic development) than his specialty (800). He should have a lot to gain when you get into the 800 specific training.
All the best!
Thank you, that is the hope! The workout this morning was a struggle, 15 mph wind and mid 30's temps. I thought CA was supposed to be warm in the spring!
Yesterday’s dual meet.
6’ in the HJ
52.x in the 400, just running hard enough to win
1:59 in the 800. Didn’t want to run that hard, but the kid from the other school was gutty.
47.6 on the anchor leg of the 4x4!
I was shocked by the time. I almost didn’t believe my own stopwatch work. Then our sprint coach came up to me and showed me his splits, which were almost identical to mine.
he got the stick about 15m down and made that up within the first 120m. We won the relay by 5 seconds. The anchor from the other team, who had PRed in the 1600 and 800 ran 53 ish and was totally an afterthought. It was really fun to watch
the dual meet actually ended in a tie
I really appreciate this thread, CoachB. Thanks for putting all this info out there.
Best of luck this season. I'll be following along from NC.
CoachB, thanks for this thread and all your info on your program and this athlete. Hope your and his season continues to progress well!
There's a new thread that just got started on when and how mid distance runners should work on developing their speed, and then what they need to do to maintain it. However it's more focused on the college level. What are your thoughts on these questions as they relate to high school mid distance athletes?
Really impressed by this kids speed. Even more impressed by you not running in Arcadia. There's no rush. Keep up the great work. Very interesting how kids train nowadays.
Thanks Guys. I'll do an early post for the weekly recap. Today is the first day of our spring break and the wife and I are going down to visit our son on the Central Coast. My guys are on their own for the next couple of days.
Monday: AM 1 mile WU, sprint drills, 3 x 50 acceleration, 1 x 150 very fast (17.5....19-20 for the rest of the team), 4 x 800 @ 95% vVO2 with 3 min recovery. I had 4-6 on the menu, but everyone was struggling, so we bagged it at the low end of the range. PM. 30 minutes easy + Weights
Tue: Sprint warm up with whole team + 3 miles easy + 4 x 200 smooth.
Wed: Dual meet vs. league rival. HJ 6'. 400 open 52.33 (easy. This will likely be the time he goes out in for our state meet. Because that's the way the state meet always goes). 800 @ 1:59.05 (didn't have it won until about 150 to go, where he was able to really back off. Otherwise, it would have been 1:56, if he'd run hard to the line). 47.6 on the relay
Thur: Day off
Fri: AM will be full WU + 3 x 30m fly with freelap + weights. PM easy run by feel
Sat: I gave the kids some freedom on this. It's going to be something aerobic but not too hard. We're on vacation so I want them to use their own initiative and do stuff that they like. My guy seems to like the low end 5 min threshold intervals at 80ish percent vVO2. He'll probably do those in the morning and then a shake out in the afternoon.
Sun: 30 ish minutes easy.
Monday's workout was a real struggle and I was worried about the accumulated fatigue for all of my kids. They've been popping PRs like crazy lately and I was afraid that it was all starting to catch up with them. Plus, it was 7:00 AM, mid 30s with a really strong wind. I guess I shouldn't have worried too much. My kids ran pretty good on Wednesday. My top guys didn't need to PR to win, but my miler was able to close in 28 seconds to hold off a spirited challenge, my #3 800 guy was able to outkick someone to snatch a point and the bulk of my kids further down the depth chart set really big PRs. So, the day off on Thursday was well earned.
The dual meet had a huge bearing on the destiny of the league title. It ended in a tie. We thought we had the win. We'd put my guy into the HJ, because last year he cleared 6'0" in practice just goofing around. We thought he won it, but as it turns out the official interpreted the tie breaking rules wrong, and my guy tied with the kid from the other school at 6'. So, we split the points 4-4 instead of us getting 5 and them getting 3. This made the overall score 68-68. We didn't discover the error until after the fact. Otherwise we would have jumped off. I'm glad we didn't. Last year, we played around with the High Jump. After clearing 6' in practice, he had one day of full high jump practice and his calf started hurting, so we stopped jumping. Glad we didn't have to put him back on the apron this week for too much time.
I've got a pretty burly week planned out next week. We don't have any meets for the next 12 days and any meets of importance for the next 15 days and it's an even 4 weeks until our league finals. Nothing is finalized yet, but we'll do our first true Specific Endurance session next Wednesday. I'm thinking that we're going to do 3 x 800 @ 90% of PR speed. For him that will be 2:03. We'll take as much recovery as needed. I've given kids 15-18 minutes recovery for this session in the past.
My thoughts on speed development have been in a state of evolution for the past 6-8 years or so. Here's a few random thoughts
I used to be 100% against very short sprints. I considered it a wasted day. I still don't use the very short max speed sprints in total isolation. There will always be some sort of weight session or easy run or easy double in the afternoon.
I've been pretty influenced by John O'Malley of Sandburg HS in Illinois. Boulder Running Clinics posted some pretty good youtube videos of one of his presentations a number of years ago. When I watched those, it was the beginning of an evolution in my way of thinking about developing speed in runners. One of his mantras is: "Every Day, Our Feet Are Moving Fast". The way I interpret this is NOT that we need to sprint everyday, rather that every day, we incorporate some sort of drill or run that reinforces the mechanics that kids will need at high speed. Some of the stuff we do:
2-3 times a week we do a "Feed the Cats" style warm up. I coach the hell out of this because it's super important to do the drills right. It ends with a 30m sprint from a standing start
Before every interval workout or tempo session, we run a different series of explosive sprint warm up drills and do 3 x 50m with a jog back recovery. The first one is at 70% top effort, the next at 80% and the final at 90%. So, once again they are touching near maximum speed in a fairly low stress manner.
Before every race or very hard workout, we run 1 x 150 almost all out. We do this 10-15 min prior to race time, but before workouts it's about 3 minutes before the first rep.
We do various wicket drills at least once a week, often more. These really force athletes to run with better mechanics
We run sprints or easy sprints up our stadium ramp (35 ish meters). The focus is on mechanics, although we haven't done this much lately.
During cross, we'll do agility ladders at least once a week
We were doing the BFS dot drill 1-2 times per week during cross, but it was beating up my kids shins.
I know all of this stuff has made us faster as a team and I don't think we've had to sacrifice any aerobic development to do the work listed above. I've never had a kid close a 1600 in 28 before. I'd never dreamed that I'd have 10 kids go under 60 on the 10th rep of a 10 x 400 workout during cross (that happened in the 2021 season)
If anything, the constant focus on speed in a low stress manner has allowed us to be more aggressive in our aerobic development. Since we're constantly chipping away at the speed work, we can spend most of the rest of our hard workouts doing threshold intervals and tempo runs or a higher volume of easy mileage. If we seldom have to back off before or after a hard, race specific speed workout, we seldom have to sacrifice the stuff that will make us strong aerobically
Incorporating Feed The Cats principles into 800 training, as O'Malley has done, and as I have done for a few years, is the "special sauce" that I feel alleviates the potential stress of overtraining while actually enhancing the key element missing from conventional distance training: pure speed and technique. Good job on implementing this for your kids (I really am impressed with your kids running under 60 in that 10x400 session, although that is not FTC per se; you obviously are doing something right).
Excuse my laziness, would you mind expanding on the Feed the Cats style warmup? I'm vaguely familiar with FTC training: high intensity, frequent progress measurement, etc. I just skimmed a few of Holler's videos for the first time in a while and he didn't get too into the details of drills from what I saw.
Pretty good week. We're on spring break now and don't have a block of 2 weeks with no meets, so we've upped the volume a bit and started a few specific workouts
I can update the end of last week.
Thu (4/6) Day off
Fri (4/7): AM 1 mile WU + drills + 4 x 30m fly, full recovery times pretty slow. 3.33 was the fastest. He was probably still fatigued from Wednesday's meet. The NS can take some time to reset. (I wasn't there, and for some reason they set the cones up into a headwind, which hindered the times as well). PM 30 minutes easy + weights
Sat (4/8): 1 mile WU Sprint Drills, 3 x 50 + 5 x 5 min threshold intervals, 1 minute recovery. First 4 were 5:35-5:40 ish pace. Last one was 5:23 pace. The last one was a little too hard.
Sun (4/9): 4 miles easy
Mon 4/10: AM 30 min easy. PM 1 mile WU + drills + 3 x 50 + 5 x 300 @ 1600 date pace, 90 seconds recovery (times were kind of all over the place, because he really doesn't run the 1600 and his actual date pace is pretty slow relative to his 800, averaged around 50 seconds + 5 x 200 @ 800m goal pace (27.5, 28.3, 27.7, 26.8, 25.4) 90-120 seconds recovery
Tue 4/11: 4 miles easy
Wed: (4/12) AM 1 mile WU + drills + 3 x 50 + 3 x 800 with 15 min recovery (2:04, 2:05, 2:04). PM. I gave him the option to do a 20 min shakeout or take it off. Not sure what he did. He probably let himself into the weight room to lift. It was on the schedule, but the kids were tired after the AM workout.
Today was the first session where I really expected him to go deeply anaerobic.
We're going to try for a 400/800 double at a fairly large invitational in a week and a half and there will only be 25 minutes between events. The 400 will be first. I felt like this was a good day to have him run really hard in a workout to see if he'll have the recovery capacity to pull it off. If it goes well, we may try it at our Section meet as well. At the meet in a couple of weeks, we'll be looking for sub 49 for the open 400 and then see what he can come back with for the 800
Monday's goal was to run a little bit of race pace stuff, but do short enough reps and take enough rest where it wouldn't be too challenging.
Wow youre an amazing coach, really wish we had a coach like you at our school
Second portion of the week not so good.
Thu: Ran the Golden Gate Bridge in SF. It's around 5 miles if you start at the bottom of the hill in the Presidio. Probably spent the rest of the day walking around the city
Fri: Was supposed to do 3 x 10m fly and lift in the morning and a shakeout in the afternoon. Went on a spur of the moment hiking trip in Yosemite. Ran 4 miles when he got home, and then tried 3 x 150 in trainers. Legs were poo poo. Ran 17.5, 18.2, 18.7. He did this of his own accord. I was at school with the team in the morning and he texted that he was going hiking. I assumed that would be it for the day.
Sat: Was supposed to be 7 x 5 min threshold in 5:40-5:45. He only managed 5 of them, slowing throughout. The last one was slower than 6:00 pace. Says he's feeling a bit sick.
Sun: I'm having him take the day off (probably would have been a day off anyway). Told him to go buy a tube of airborne and sleep as much as possible
Too much driving and doing stuff mixed in with a very heavy training week. Spring break is awesome because kids get to relax a little, but when they're training to be really good and trying to do fun hikes and trips to the city all in a couple of days.....not so good.
Just wanted to give a shout out to Riley McCown. Australian Champion
Nice Work Riley!
My guy has been a little down this week. He got a bit sick at the end of spring break and has a little lingering cough.
Wednesday Dual, workout with a uniform: 200 @ 22.85, 3200 @ 11:18, 4x4 split of 53.x. all races back to back to back. Not to bad for him feeling "sub optimal" in his words.