Complete Track and Field

Posts by Scott Christensen

Fatigue, Part 4 – The Aerobic Energy System

The scientific information presented in the first three sections on the onset of fatigue during exercise (Part 1 Fatigue–Energetics, Part 2 Fatigue–Anaerobic Alactic Energy System, and Part 3 Fatigue–Anaerobic Glycolytic Energy System) pointed out the importance of beginning each discussion on energy system metabolism with basic review of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and its role in…… More

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Training Camps

The summer training period is crucial to the seasonal success of a cross country team.  Because athletes have other obligations during the summer months it is not easy to organize training activities that get everybody to practice on the designated days.  In some situations it is easier to have the athletes run on their own,…… More

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Fatigue, Part 3 – The Anaerobic Glycolytic Energy System

Information presented in the first two sections on fatigue during exercise (Part 1 Fatigue-Energetics and Part 2 Fatigue-Anaerobic Alactic Energy System) pointed out the importance of beginning every discussion on energy system metabolism with basic knowledge of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and its role in muscle contraction.  Humans have advanced through natural selection using three metabolic…… More

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Shifting the Training Paradigm

Cross country running does not require a great deal of skill, a fact that makes physical conditioning of vital importance.  With little need to work on skill development, more and harder training is often seen as the only path to success.  Unfortunately, this path usually leads to injury, immune system problems, psychological burn-out, and a…… More

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Cross-Training Nonsense

General athletic skill is governed by physical maturity and individual developments in the five biomotor skills of speed, strength, endurance, flexibility, and coordination.  Development of specific athletic skill is governed by a training blend of the five biomotor skills, but with a strong emphasis on the singular skill type that is characteristic of the narrow…… More

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Fatigue, Part 2 – The Anaerobic Alactic Energy System

Information presented in the first section on fatigue during exercise (Part 1 Fatigue-Energetics) pointed out the importance of beginning every discussion on energy system metabolism with knowledge of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and its role in muscle contraction.  Humans have evolved using three metabolic energy systems for their daily activities which may range from lifting a…… More

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Your Favorite Workout

Most cross country coaches have been running since high school and college, or newly enjoy running now.  There are some workouts that seem to always go very well for you, but others that result in an endless struggle.  From these workouts emerge favorites, but they may not be the best type of work for your…… More

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Fatigue: Part 1 – Energetics

The onset of fatigue in certain systems of the body is what causes running performance to deteriorate and degrade.  Too much fatigue and exhaustion occurs, with the inability to continue an activity.  Fatigue can be acute, as in a single race or training session, or chronic, as in inadequate day to day regeneration of the…… More

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The Secretions of a Winner

It has been jokingly said that 83% of statistics are made up on the spot in conversation.  Coaches do this all the time, as they say such things as: “give me 110% effort today” (huh?), “slow the second lap down to 95%” (again, huh?), or the classic line; “sports is 90% psychological and 10% physical”. …… More

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Gerard Mach Speed Drills

Most successful track coaches prescribe repetitive physical drills for their team members on a regular basis to facilitate the learning of an under-developed skill.  Warm-up activities are probably the most commonly done drills throughout the team, but other events, especially those in the field, have a selection of drills that are necessary for successful learning. …… More

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Running Cadence

It is well known by scientists through academic studies, and with coaches working in the field, that the two measurable factors that determine speed of performance in an endurance runner are stride length and stride frequency. A common term for stride frequency is cadence, and this word refers to the rate of leg gait cycling…… More

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The Genius of Frank Horwill

Frank Horwill was a middle-distance coach in Great Britain during the heyday of the British Milers Club, a training group that he founded.  Before there was David Rudisha and Asbel Kiprop of Kenya, there was Steve Cram, Steve Crabb, Sebastian Coe, and Steve Ovett of the British Milers Club in the 1980’s and early 1990’s…… More

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Muscle Development, Fatigue, and Regeneration

  Training theory in the middle-distance events requires knowledge of biological adaptations and the work stimuli needed to achieve improvement of the body’s physiological functions.  Much of this physiological knowledge is at the tissue level and involves understanding changes to the muscle fibers as they interact with neighboring fibers in organs that are called muscles.…… More

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A Proper Cross Country Warm Up

  Cross country running coaches are always looking for new components to add to an already effective cross country warm up unit for their athletes, or are perhaps just looking for a set routine because their present one is too haphazard and unorganized.  What would constitute a proper warm-up or sound daily stretching and flexibility…… More

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Finishing the Race

  One of the most frustrating aspects of analyzing cross country running training is the post-race reflection of an athlete’s sub par performance.  Even the really great performances have something sour that catches the coaches’ critical eye.  As in any analytical, cause-result relationship, the result is more obvious than the cause.  One of the more…… More

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