Sorry, that's a local joke. But they're building a dynasty over there.
Sorry, that's a local joke. But they're building a dynasty over there.
Pretty good week. He followed up the 1:51 county record from Saturday with a 47.85 county record in the 400 on Wednesday
M: AM 4 easy OYO, PM Sprint WU with team. 6 x wicket run, 4 x 30m power bound, 1 x 50m full go from a standing start. Lift
T: AM 5 miles easy. PM. Sprint WU with team + 4 x 200 smooth with last one at target 800 pace. 1 mile CD
W: AM Off. PM League Dual Meet. 400 @ 47.85, 200 @ 23.13 (slight headwind), 4 x 4 @ 52 ish.
Thu: 7.2 miles easy @ 57 minutes
Fri: 2 miles WU + drills x 3 x 50 acceleration + 3 x 40 yard dash, full go, full recovery, tailwind, fastest at 4.46 (this was fun, because our football team was out on the field and my distance guys were putting up sub 5 second 4 yard dashes all over the place (something that few of the FB guys can actually do)
Sat: 1 mile WU: 2 x 800 @ 2:27 (3 min recovery) change to spikes, 3 x 2 x 200. 3 seconds between reps, 5 min between sets. The goal was to run the second 200 of each set at 800 goal pace. (25.7, 30.0 - 25.0, 26.7 - 24.7, 26.3). 1 mile CD. Ate breakfast then raked pits all day at our Jr High Invitational
Sun: 3 miles easy
I talked to him at the end of the Jr. High Meet and he said he was feeling pretty wiped. I told him to take Sunday off, but he said he was going to get an easy 3 today, so I'm assuming he did. He admitted that he's been staying up too late and needed to rectify that situation. Most of the year, my varsity guys have been really good about getting to bed early, but with classes winding down for the year and no morning practice last week, I think some of them have been taking the opportunity for extended Fortnite sessions. Plus, raking pits all day in the hot sun will wipe you out.
The Saturday session was pretty tough and is the last hard workout we'll do for quite a while. He's going to run a lot of races over the next 2 weeks, so everything we do will be totally supplementary as far as training goes. Mostly just drills and easy runs and maybe an occasional fartlek or threshold interval session to keep the aerobic power from eroding too much. He still needs to stay aerobically strong for another 2 months
Congrats to both of you - obviously he’s a great talent but the training also is quite good and you seem to be “attuned”, I guess, to the individual needs
One question though - was it 30 seconds or 3?
LOL. 30 seconds between reps
Week in Review
Monday, 5/1 : 1 mile WU + drills + 3 x 50 acceleration + 5 x 5 min @ 80-85% vVO2, 1 min recovery. Averaged around 5:45 pace. Was feeling a little tired
Tuesday, 5/2: 3 miles easy + drills + 3 x 50 acceleration + 4 x 400, 2 min recovery, 67 average
Wed, 5/3: 3 miles easy + drills + 3 x 50 acceleration + 4 x 200, smooth and light, pretty much full recovery.
Thursday, 5/4: League Finals, just running to score points. 400 @ 51.99 (1st), 800 @ 2:02 (1st) 200 @ 22.85 into a stiff wind (1st). 4x4 anchor 47.9 (2nd). He got the stick more than 50m down and closed to within one second. Our boys won the team title by 3.5 points
Friday, 5/5: Scheduled as a day off, but he didn't have school in the morning and wanted to get an easy run in. 4 miles easy
Saturday, 5/6: 60-70 min easy on the schedule
Sunday, 5/7: We're going to see how he feels after today's run. Probably some sort of easy fartlek.
Now we have some decisions to make. We didn't run a 4x8 at our league finals. Our league decided not to hold the event and just advance teams based on times they'd run earlier in the year. So, we're trying to figure out what to do with him moving into the post season. Our 4x8 team has an outside shot at advancing to CA's first ever State Championship for the 4x8, but he'd have to run the relay on the same day as our 800 prelim at the section masters meet, then he'd have to come back the next day and run the finals of the 800. There's no doubt in my mind that he can do it, but I and the rest of the staff needs to consider whether it will take too much gas out of the tank for state the following week. I think it probably won't bother him at all, but want to be circumspect about it nonetheless.
The upcoming 2 weeks look like this
5/9: Divisional Trials. 400, 800, 200 and either 4x8 finals or 4x4 trials
5/11: Divisional Finals, 400, 800, 200 and 4x4 finals if we choose not to put him in the 4x8 on 4/9
5/19: Masters Trials: 4x8 (maybe), 800m trials, 4 x 4 (maybe). We're dropping the open 4 and open 2 at this point. The top 400 dude in CA is running 45.9. Xai Ricks didn't run the 800 at his league finals, so the 800 field at state will be wide open.
5/20: Masters Finals: 800m finals, 4 x 4 finals (unlikely)
The real question moving forward is how much do we race him and do we prioritize the individual or the team? The guys on the 4x8 are all his friends and I'm sure that deep down, he wants to have one last shot to be successful with these guys that he's spent the last 4 years working alongside. Team wise, we won our league title and have a very good shot to win the divisional title as well. At the divisional level, he won't see anyone better than he's already beaten at our league meet, so next week, he can run pretty easy. It will get way more tricky at the masters level. However, he's still 4 seconds better in the 800 than the #2 guy in our section, so I don't worry about his ability to win that meet even doubling back from the 4x8
Both our 4x4 and 4x8 can advance to the masters level without him on the team, but neither can win at the divisional level without him.
I would vote to prioritize the team, but as way to prioritize Joseph and his friends overall high school experience, especially if they've been friends even before high school.
Let's be honest, you've very intelligently held back his aerobic volume to just enough so that he'll keep improving. He's going to hit a new level at BYU and run times that will make other college coaches wonder how they didn't even recruit a clear top talent in CA that was being held back. Point being, his greatest individual accolades are yet to come.
I'm a bit shocked Xai's coaches tossed the 800 aside. It's literally his best event and along with Joseph I felt he was one of the top two favorites.
I tend to agree with prioritizing the team. Relays are more fun. It usually seems more rewarding for the kids when they win a relay than when they win an individual event.
I was surprised but it also wasn't shocking. I feel like Long Beach Poly typically looks at the big picture more than anything else. I'm gonna assume he will focus on the 800 next year with the national record in mind. Obea Moore did something similar in high school - 800/400 focus every other year.
With that said, I'm sure the most likely reason why they dropped it was because Ricks is going to be an important part of the 4x800 and 4x400, and having him at full capacity is gonna be of tantamount importance considering LBP are going in as the favorites for the state championship, and winning both relays while running against Wilson and Buchanan in the 4x800 and Granada Hills in the 4x400 is going to be central to winning the team championship. Doing 400, 4x800, 4x400 would be less draining than 800, 4x800, 4x400, or god forbid 400, 800, 4x400, 4x800. Also, LBP will probably have 2 other guys in the 800 final anyway.
Anyway, best of luck coach B. I hope I see him at the top of the podium at clovis in a few weeks!
This is all true, but its a shame ricks is not running the 800 because he could have gone into the 1:46s if he peaked correctly.
Tonight’s divisional meet for our section.
51.98 for 400. 1st
1:56 low. 1st
22.9 into a wind. 1st
47.33 relay split. Ran down the entire field, won the race, and got DQ for stepping backwards out of the zone before taking the stick.
first race was at 6:30 ish and the last race was at 8:45.
similar schedule on Tuesday with slower times.
we’re going to drop everything next week except for the 800. He may go back onto our 4x8 relay, but also he might not go back on the relay.
This week's training (with last sunday's session updated)
Sun: 1 mile WU + Drills + 3 x 50 acceleration + 20 min threshold (6:05 average) + 4 x 200 smooth, untimed, probably around 29-30
Mon 5/8: 5 miles easy + 6 x wicket run
Tue 5/9: Divisional prelim meet. 400 - 52 low, 800 2:03, 200 - 23.2 into a strong wind, 4 x 4 49.9 + various warm up and cool down jogs.
Wed - 5/10, 2 miles easy + warm up drills + 3 x 50 accelerations
Thu - 5/11, Divisional finals meet. 400 @ 51.98, 800 @ 1:56.06, 200 @ 22.90 into a wind, 4 x 400 @ 47.33.
Fri - 5/12, 30 min very easy
Sat - 1 mile WU + drills + 3 x 50 acceleration + threshold intervals of 8,6,4,2 minutes, 1 minute break between reps. total distance 5025. Felt like doo doo. Spiked up then did 4 x 400 @ hypothetical 1600 pace, with 2 min recovery. (65.9, 63.4, 64.8, 56.7). First rep looked pretty awkward. It's a pace he doesn't touch on that often. Plus, he was still tired from Thursday. We talked about the fact that when he's a little tired, he gets really lopey with his stride, so he focused on cleaning that up on the last 3 reps and looked a lot better
Sun: This will be a day off.
This was a VERY heavy week. 3 weeks prior to the state meet, so I was OK with the heavy workload. The 2 days leading into the trials were much more than we would do leading into a meet that we knew would be tough for him. I told him to view the trials as a workout. He was pretty tired at the trials, but looked way fresher/better in finals. Not just that the times were faster, but his demeanor was better, better mood, etc...
He almost got dq'ed in the 800. His buddy from another school was in the race and they agreed that my guy would take it out in 57 so the other guy could PR (go sub 1:58). The were a little slow at the 400 but picked it up and got on pace. With 200 to go, my guy started to pull away, so he started looking back and slowing down and shouting encouragement to his friend. He was also waving his arm in a motion like, "come on up here with me". An official didn't like that at all and thought he was taunting the other kid. The other kid PR'ed. My guy didn't get DQ'ed.
My guy DID get our team DQ'ed in the 4x4. As runners were coming to the end of the 3rd leg, our guy started passing a couple of the other teams, so the anchor runners on the line started shuffling around to jockey for position. My guy stepped backward out of the zone (apparently), then stepped back in to get the stick. The official judged that he had started his acceleration forward to make the exchange from outside of the zone and DQ'ed us. No matter, we had the team title already won by 30 points and my guy blasted by the rest of the field like he was on a scooter and they were walking. Our 4x4 team was disappointed not to advance, but not that disappointed, because they know who really won and either want to start football practice next week OR they have the 4x8 next week.
The next week will be significantly easier, but we will still stick with some aerobic concept type of stuff.
Yesterday's session was SOLID
3 x 800 with 400 recovery jog (2:25, 2:25, 2:30)
3x400 with 2 min recovery (65, 65, 64)
3x 200 with a walk back across the infield (27.6, 26.9, 25.2)
Today was 6 in the AM + a warm up and wicket running in the afternoon.
Kind of a blase effort at our section masters meet. 1:53.4 FTW
5/15: Mon. AM 3 miles shake out. PM 1 mile WU + Drills + 5 x 50 acceleration (last 3 at 90% top effort). + weights
5/16: AM. 3 x 800 + 3x400 + 3 x 200. 2MWU, 1 MCD. PM Off
5/17: AM 6 miles easy, PM warm up + wickets + weights
5/18: AM Off, PM 3 miles easy + 4 x 200 untimed, smoothe.
5/19: 1:58.x to win his heat
5/20: 1:53.4 to win the section meet. Went out in 54 ish and then faded. Verbally, he said he wanted to run fast, but that's mostly (I think) because I told him I wanted him to shoot for a fast time. In reality, he wasn't really feeling it.
Mentally, he wasn't on his game on Saturday. His dad pointed out how our section has to run more rounds than anyone else. (even more rounds than the Southern Section, which is 3 times as big as us). I think that shifted the whole mindset from, "here's a chance to repeat as section champion and put up a good time that will scare all the southern boys" to, "this is just one more BS round that I have to put up with". After the race, he said he felt really good. According to Strava, he did his fastest cool down of the year. Normally, he struggles to shuffle any faster than 8:00 pace after a hard race. After Saturday's race, he was going 7:20 pace on the CD and said he felt great.
Went back and took a look at what we did, training wise, in the last few weeks of the season last year, vs. this year. We're doing way more stuff right now than we did last year. Next week, will be a true taper. After State, he'll probably take a couple of days off and then prepare for NON and USA U20 (He still needs the sub 1:51.50 for U20, however)
i have no doubt he will get that sub 1:51.50 at states. good luck in clovis!
Thanks. I think he’s fine also.
you can’t PR every time. I told him that it was good that he got his “bad race out of the way”.
if you can call running within 1.5 seconds of your PR, unchallenged, under windy conditions, a bad race.
Thanks again for this thread, keeping it going and updated, and all the details. Congrats and best to your guy as he continues to navigate the post season. I know there are many coaches who have enjoyed reading this and have gotten a lot out of it.
You haven't discussed much about your approach, or your guy's approach, to the actual racing of the 800. I'm willing to bet a lot of us would be very interested in adding that aspect to this discussion.
What were his 200 and 400 splits like in his better and best races?
Has he, and have you, tried different racing and pacing strategies for the 800?
As a speed based athlete, what is your overall philosophy regarding how he should approach the 800? And how do you view "pacing" of the 800 vs. a "just go hard and hang on" strategy?
As is the case with training, the 800 is the fulcrum point of the mid distance events when it comes to how to actually race it best as well. I think an in depth discussion of this would be of great interest to all who have followed your excellent thread.
Our approach to the actual races:
Try to prepare for all possible scenarios and then choose the best strategy on race day based on how the athlete is feeling.
For example, last year, when he PR'ed from 1:58 to 1:56, he went hard from the gun and tried (unsuccessfully) to run away from a more endurance based athlete who was a pretty good miler. The race was a big positive split, but it was a PR.
2 weeks later, he lowered his PR to 1:54 at Stanford. I don't have the exact splits, but he was pretty far back in the field with 600 to go. He caught a number of guys on the last turn and then made a strong run at the top 3 guys on the home straight.
At the state meet prelims, he was something like the #3 or #4 seed in his heat. The leader went out kind of conservative and Joe hung around to split 56-56 to chop his PR down to 1:52.45.
The following night at state finals, the race went out really hard and he was just shelled off the back before the first 200 was over. He was able to come back through the shrapnel a little bit at the end to place 8th (which was later upgraded to 7th due to a DQ ahead of him)
Going into this year, our mindset has been to prepare for a very fast opening 200-250 before settling down to race. There are a few very competent 400m guys in the meet, so we think that it's going to be a "fly and die" type of race in the final. We've thrown in plenty of fast 150's and 200's starting on a 1 turn stagger, practicing getting out hard and then breaking for the pole
This year, his best 2 races have been pretty much run from the front.
At Stanford this year, he sat in the field for the first 300, but took over after that and just pretty much ran flat out as long as he could. He died with 150 to go and ended up only splitting 30 seconds for the last 200.
At Sacramento Meet of Champions, he was on the front the whole way and more or less just ran his race. He split 55.x-56.x to go 1:51.96. The first 400 splits were 26-29 to come through in the low 55. There was a tailwind on the back straight and a kid from Reno came up on his shoulder at 500, so he went pretty hard on the 3rd 200 for a 27.x. He closed in 28.x into a fairly stiff wind. We understand that for him, the best scenario is 2 second positive split.
Ideally, he can go 54-56 to get into the mid 1:50's. But the race will largely dictate the pacing.
I'd guess just about everyone that makes the final will be looking to get out in the top-3. Of course not everybody will and you'll see several guys use all their bullets in the first 400.
The thing about the 800 is that space always opens up eventually.
It might be good for Joseph to see that even if he doesn't get out towards the front, he can still win so long as he stays relaxed and doesn't make dumb moves due to panicking.
The kid from Cathedral looks like the biggest threat to him, but I honestly think your guy could win from the front or back.
Ambodai is dangerous. 46.7 4x400 split at masters.
Yes, Liggins is dangerous. 46.7 on a split is impressive to be sure....but I'll take Joe's 47.3 on the 8th race in 3 days.
It's funny, Joe's dad and I talked about how the door has opened up without Xai Ricks or any of the three NP boys who have faster times this year. But, even without those guys, CA still has 9 of the top 50 fastest guys in the country and I'm sure that we'll see some PR's popped at the state meet. It should be the most competitive state final in the country
Joe has seen Wottle's race many times, but I'll probably send him the link again.
Mon: 2 mile WU + drills + 3 x 50 acceleration + 1600 @ 5:12 + 800 @ 2:17 + 800 @ 2:15 + 800 CD. for some reason, he came down to school and did this workout at one in the afternoon while the temps were on their way to 95 for the day. He said it felt a little rough, but the sun was at its zenith and it was pretty hot already.
Tue: 3 miles easy + drills + 3 x 50 + 2 x 150 (race start simulation) + 3 x 300 @ GP (averaged mid 41's). 800 CD
Wed: 5 min jog + restorative weight circuit
Thu: 2 miles WU + drills + 3 x 50 + 150 race start simulation @ 17.2. I told him to accelerate really hard, as if he knew he needed to be up front at the break. He was shocked when he heard his time. He said it felt super easy. This is the same warm up we used before every race this season and the same one he'll use before the race tomorrow night.
We're going to load up the van for Fresno at around 1:00 tomorrow so we can get there in plenty of time to check into the hotel and relax before we head to the meet.