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Track - it's a real thing

Discussion in 'Coaches Corner' started by Rick Burlesons Yam Bag, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

    Rick Burlesons Yam Bag Internet Cowboy, Turbo Accelerator Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Sorry to be "that guy", but does anyone have any knowledge of middle distance/long distance running, particularly at the HS level? Puberty caused my son to lose about 40 lbs and he went from being a middle of the pack slogger in running to someone who seems to be quite capable. He decided to drop water polo, which had him in amazing shape, and is willing to train for track to keep up his conditioning (in addition to wrestling stuff and football stuff, which tie him up for 3-4 days a week in the first half of summer.

    I'm trying to figure out what distances he should be thinking about somewhat seriously and from there any thoughts on good resources for training plans.

    Thanks all.
     
  2. mt8thsw9th

    mt8thsw9th anti-SoSHal SoSH Member

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    I ran cross country in high school and I found that training in the summer wearing just a speedo generally improved stamina and reduced friction. Let me know if this helps.
     
  3. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    Our High School Cross Country Coach's page - CLICK HERE - Summer workout and lots more
    He's a 35 year veteran coach who keeps up with current stuff - retired teacher - literally all he does is coach XC and Track
     
  4. notfar

    notfar Well-Known Member Lifetime Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Probably figuring out what race he wants most to compete in is the first step. The training is totally different if you are running cross country or the 800 or whatever.
     
  5. B H Kim

    B H Kim Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Is he looking at cross country, or just track? My daughter ran cross country and 1600/3200 meters in outdoor track as a freshman last year. She went into the fall cross-country season with minimal training over the summer and it took her a while to get into really competitive running shape. This year, the cross country coach has set out a summer weekly running target of 35 to 45 miles/week. She's been running about 6-8 miles a day 6 days a week so far this summer. She, along with most of the top runners on the team will be going to cross-country camp for a week before cross country practice starts in August, and the camp recommends that they be running at least 35 miles/week leading up to the camp.

    EDIT: Not a lot of detail, but here's an article from our community paper in which our high school cross country/track coach talks about how he thinks runners should build up their endurance over the summer and during the fall cross country season.
     
    #5 B H Kim, Jul 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  6. Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

    Rick Burlesons Yam Bag Internet Cowboy, Turbo Accelerator Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I laughed out loud.
     
  7. Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

    Rick Burlesons Yam Bag Internet Cowboy, Turbo Accelerator Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Thank you for this.
     
  8. Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

    Rick Burlesons Yam Bag Internet Cowboy, Turbo Accelerator Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    He wants to run track, but is not sure of what distance. Without training and wearing Vans he ran a mile in gym that would have been competitive at the varsity level. My dad was a 200m sprinter who had a track scholarship, I hate running more than anything, so I am not sure where to begin to figure out where, between 800 and 5000m, he should focus. He won't do cross country because he is a teenaged shithead.

    Right now he is just randomly running 3-7 miles 3-4 days in a row, then takin a rest day. But I am going to read through the various resources shared here to see if we can do better.
     
  9. doc

    doc Member SoSH Member

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  10. PaulinMyrBch

    PaulinMyrBch Don't touch his dog food Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Once he gets hooked up with either at the school level, the coach will likely push him into the other if he is only running track. From a strictly parent standpoint, if I could choose one it would be cross country. The local meets take about an hour and the larger regional meets, while they take up several hours, are fun to watch from a standpoint of watching other schools/runners. Track on the other hand, is a headache from a parent standpoint. In SC, my son would run the 1 and 2 mile, which meant he'd run one race at 5:45 and the other at 9:00 on the same night. If the meet was an away meet we were stuck. Couldn't miss either, but those are damn boring races if there is only 8-10 runners. Once they spread out it looks as if everyone is just training. Cross country on the other hand is pretty exciting. Plus with track you're at a track past dark in March with 20 mph winds waiting for the kid to run 8 laps. My son ran both 3 years and CC only senior year. I didn't complain when he decided he wan't going to run track.

    If you son happens to run 400/800, all bets are off. Without a doubt, the funnest event to watch at a track meet is the 4x400. It's usually last and if you're kid is in it, you'll be jacked. So that is worth the wait.
     
  11. Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

    Rick Burlesons Yam Bag Internet Cowboy, Turbo Accelerator Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I assumed this was kind of the case. Cross country conflicts with football and he is convinced that he is on the cusp of becoming a shutdown corner (he is not. Like "Throw Lucas the Ball!!" Level not. But the football coach is a great guy and it keeps my son out of trouble. Plus, boys that age really need to get their heads beaten in a little). But given the torture his wrestling career has been in terms of 8 hour days for 72 seconds of activity, I have zero doubt that he will lean towards whatever sucks the most for me.O
     
  12. Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

    Rick Burlesons Yam Bag Internet Cowboy, Turbo Accelerator Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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  13. PaulinMyrBch

    PaulinMyrBch Don't touch his dog food Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Missed the part about football. As a parent I really enjoyed cross country. Doesn't look like you'll get that lucky.
     
  14. Mloaf71

    Mloaf71 lurker

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    I ran everything between 1500 - 5k and cross country in HS and College. Specialized in the 800. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk.
     
  15. rbeaud

    rbeaud Member SoSH Member

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    Our son currently runs XC and mid distance for track. I've got a tiered XC program his coaches give out in the spring (if you like). Starts easy at the lowest level. It is focused on getting in miles or building up for newbies (8 minute run for the first day!). This is good for developing a running base and form through repetition. Unlike Heinie's link, no workouts. So he would get the fitness without any work to fine tune speed. It would certainly keep and possibly improve his fitness if he chooses the higher mileage plans.

    As to picking a distance for track, it varies with the athlete. Our kid does well enough to run 400m (occasionally) thru to 5k. Some kids don't do well in 800m to mile yet shine at 3200/2M or vice versa. This despite that all of them ran Varsity XC which is generally 3M-5k. There will be some variation in race specificity training more/less intervals at faster/slower pace depending on the distance.

    I would guess his background will give him good efficiency for breathing. Maintaining a fast pace with leg turnover seems to be where the swimmer types lag during XC. In CT, you can run multiple 5k's per weekend if you like. There are 10k's and mile events too, though far less numerous. I would suggest having him sign up for a road race to get a feel for distance racing. My belief is it helped our son with pacing to race (not run) from an early age (10 YO). If he finishes in the 17's or better...well, he better be a good football player. One thing I appreciate about running, the clock doesn't lie. So making the team and performing in an event is completely transparent.

    I hope your son enjoys the experience!
     
  16. Gubanich Plague

    Gubanich Plague lurker

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    If competitive running gets into his blood, he'll find the best distance, the best training regimen, etc. on his own. Obviously there are a lot more training resources available now than there were back in my day, but any program can turn into drudgery if he doesn't get that "bug" first. He should always listen to his body and be ready to adjust his program accordingly; you can plan workouts flawlessly, but your body may respond differently than you thought it would (sometimes better, sometimes worse). It takes some experience to figure out how to incorporate rest into your regime.

    As I first got into shape, I felt better and better, and pushed myself harder and harder, and ran faster and longer. Inevitably I'd overtrain, because that's what I do, and on those occasions I had to back off. I don't know if I would have continued if I had been running a program someone else had given me rather than my own program.

    I'd echo the plan to build mileage over the summer. My breakthrough year came my junior season of cross country, after spending the summer exhausted. I worked 8 hours in the fields every day, rode my bike home a few miles, and put in 5 to 10 miles a day, 6 days a week. I ran 500 miles over the summer, every one of them with heavy legs from squatting over tomato plants all day, and none of them particularly fast. I didn't feel ready at all for competitive running, nor did I feel particularly enthused about the upcoming season.

    But that mileage base did me a lot of good; once school started and I stopped working in the fields, I could put all my energy into my running and enjoyed the fruits of all my hard work. The competition was a huge motivator as well.

    I carried that over to track, then to the next summer, then to 3 seasons of running senior year, and I got better every step of the way. The mileage base was key, and once I had it, maintaining shape was mostly a matter of getting enough rest between races. Eventually I got to the point where my off days were long stretching sessions, followed by a slow 2 miles (sometimes as slow as walking pace).

    I wouldn't worry much about the right distance; your son will figure that out as he does group workouts (for example, I was dead last in the 100s the whole tram did, but dominant in the 800s; clearly I was meant for distance). Encourage him to experiment with different distances. If he's one of the better runners on his team, he'll probably end up running multiple distances in the same meet. And there's nothing wrong with running a sub-optimal distance because he likes it more than the optimal one.



    .
     
  17. Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

    Rick Burlesons Yam Bag Internet Cowboy, Turbo Accelerator Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Thanks for all of the guidance folks, it is greatly appreciated
     
  18. WalletTrack

    WalletTrack Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Yeah,,,got the baton at a CM Track meet.
    The coach threw me in at the last minute....grab the baton and ran a 220 crowd gasps!

    but at the 220 mark ...looked around..no one there....shit ...it was a 440!
    Dying the last 10 meters, collapse as i fall (crowd gasps)hand still leading so the Baton past...but my partner stops and checks if i'm all right!
    Then sprints off in 5th but grabs bronze in the meet.
    Teach your children to run.
    Run. Run. Run.
    It's never over.
     
  19. kelpapa

    kelpapa Member SoSH Member

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    I was at the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading this.
     
  20. leftfieldlegacy

    leftfieldlegacy Member SoSH Member

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    If you are within a reasonable driving distance from Morristown NJ, this 2 day Running Summit in August should give you a lot of information about helping with your son's transition to running track.

    http://www.runningsummit.com/east/default

    Plus, how can you go wrong when the featured speaker is Jack Daniels.
     
  21. Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

    Rick Burlesons Yam Bag Internet Cowboy, Turbo Accelerator Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Thanks, that is very cool!
     
  22. rbeaud

    rbeaud Member SoSH Member

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    So how was the summer training? Enjoy the season when it comes. I think Track is a fun sport for kids and parents to enjoy. I'm biased though.

    My boy used me for his "slow" days this summer. It was great to run with him a few times. Even if I was chugging along and he was two minutes off training pace. I probably won't have that option next year as he prepares for college....sniffle.
     
  23. Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

    Rick Burlesons Yam Bag Internet Cowboy, Turbo Accelerator Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    He ran an 18:07 5k without training (using someone else's bib.......which annoyed me as I would have been happy to pay) about 2 weeks after someone here recommended it.....and decided almost immediately that he "wanted to focus on football and wrestling."

    In related news, if anyone has a chipper shredder that can fit a teenager, please im me here. Thanks in advance.
     
  24. Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

    Rick Burlesons Yam Bag Internet Cowboy, Turbo Accelerator Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I should follow up on that post as it wasn't fully complete and folks were really generous with their advice.

    This is his first full summer in the town we moved to last August, just as he was about to start his freshman year. In addition, it is his first summer with a girlfriend, which has been a royal pain in the ass.

    He has, in fairness, trained hard all summer for both football and wrestling. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays he has football for 5 hours and 9 hours respectively, and then he has 2 hours of wrestling in the evening. But he has done no running over and above what is required from those two sports.

    It's kind of a shame. He could almost certainly make the very bottom end of varsity in XC and probably track as well, but so go the whims of teenagers.
     
  25. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    Wow! Having coached boys basketball players at this age, I can't imagine, other than lots of food or freshman girls, what could hold these boys attention that long. Football must be a whole lot more captivating than basketball.
     
  26. Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

    Rick Burlesons Yam Bag Internet Cowboy, Turbo Accelerator Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I have to say, the coach at his High School is the Special Needs department head (a job he does very well btw) and when you watch his practices you get a good understanding of how he can hold their attention. Each practice varies some, but there are some foundational concepts that are consistent:

    1) They don't hit the field until an hour into practice. The first hour is spent on anything from stretching to film work, to fitness to conversations on important parts of the season. It's an interesting approach.
    2) He is very high energy. While he is not a real gregarious guy, he is constantly running from group to group and coaching.
    3) The practices are very well structured. There are times when kids will be standing around or taking a knee, but usually every kid is in a drill.
    4) He brings them in to do film work for about an hour most days and he does it 2-3 hours into the practice. Then they go back out for a final hour/90 minutes

    The 9 hour days are the two a days, and they have those twice a week. But in summary, the coach is a good guy who runs a good program. If I didn't like the guy as much as I did, I would be pushing a lot harder on the track issue.
     

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