Coach Goat wrote:
Many girls slow down JR and SR year because they’ve become depleted of iron. They tend to be in the mid-normal range for ferritin coming into high school and then slowly go the wrong way. That is a huge contributing factor in general.
Weight gain obviously is a big deal, but when combined with low iron stores it’s a disaster.
Cases like Tuohy are difficult to navigate appropriately due to the desire of the athlete and those around her to have success. Tuohy was and still is hugely talented. However, it’s a big problem when you don’t have competition as an athlete. In her case it would have been smart to move down in distance during track so she’s no longer winning so easily. That means focusing on the 200-800. That may sound stupid but it would have allowed her to reduce her volume, work on speed for the future and take the spotlight off her. She would still be competitive nationally in the 800 but a win would no longer be guaranteed like in the 800-1500.
When it comes to XC the goal should never have been to win by as much as possible. In fact the goal should have been to win by as little as possible, which helps develop tactics for the future and doesn’t stress the body nearly as much in addition to greatly reducing the stress that comes with the expectation of setting a course record every time out.
It’s very difficult to hold the reigns this tight and I don’t blame anyone involved for getting caught up in the moment.
All that being said, she is far from being done. Her mechanics are excellent, she has a huge aerobic capacity and is extremely motivated. As was mentioned, she had a sinus infection and couldn’t be expected to be at 100%.
Are you really a coach?
Win by as little as possible? Um, for her to slow down to about 70% of what she is capable of to win by as little as possible doesn't teach tactic's, she would just toy with them and blast them the last minute of the race, no challenge. Yes, she should run a variety of races, shorter racing would be beneficial, but the 200? no point to that.