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How to Run the 200m Race

The 200 meter sprint is the Rodney Dangerfield of the sprint events. It gets no respect. When we commonly think of the sprint events, the 100 meter dash gets all the glory and the 400 meter dash gets all the respect. That leaves the middle child, the 200, left out in the cold. As an athlete whose primary event was the 200 at the collegiate level I’ve developed a certain affinity for running and coaching the event. While I’ve arguably had the most coaching success at 400 meters (and, where I’m from – the 300) I still love the Deuce best of all. In this article I’m going to break this event down so that your athletes can find greater success in the event. Because…

Does the Squat and Deadlift Improve Sprinting Speed?

  Does the squat and deadlift improve sprinting speed? Since I first entered into the speed training realm, there has always been some degree of debate amongst many professionals concerning whether or not the squat and or deadlift was necessary for increasing human running speed.  In this article we will explore several studies and sub-topics and find out whether or not this type of exercise is indeed essential for a sprinter or athlete.  Before I go on though, I want to be clear that I’m not advocating either of these 2 specific exercises as the be all end all to speed training, as there are several other elements that need to be a part of an athlete’s program in order to yield maximal benefit from…

Calories as Energy Currency for Middle Distance Runners

The concept of calories in food is everywhere.  Visit any bookstore and the section of the building that contains books on dieting and calories is among the largest you will find.  It seems so simple: eat fewer calories then one uses each day and body weight will be lost.  Consume more calories then is used each day and body weight will be gained.  Calories are scientific units of measurement that are used both in energy intake and energy expenditure by animals.  But, what really are the calories importance to a middle distance runner and their training and racing?  The everyday use of the term calories is a means to indicate potential energy in the foods that are available for consumption.  In actuality, foods are measured…

Flexibility as a Primary Physical Component

There are five primary physical components that are targeted for improvement during physical training.  The degree of emphasis placed on each of the five components of strength, speed, flexibility, coordination, and endurance is sport specific.  All must be addressed for any athlete to improve performance capacity.  In cross country running, the component of endurance is by far the most targeted area of training with the other four to a lesser degree.  Flexibility improvement is sought by many cross country runners as a means for performance enhancement.  Current research has indicated that some areas of flexibility training are better than others in training endurance runners.  What are the modalities of flexibility training that cross country runners should be concerned with? The conventional definition of flexibility is…

Age Appropriate Distance Training

One of the most important reminders for those coaches involved in training young distance and middle distance runners is they are not simply miniature adults. Not only are the bodies smaller, the mind less experienced, the systems of the body not at full development, but also training has far different effects and considerations as compared to adults. Success in distance running at any age requires high levels of energy system and muscular fitness, technical skills and motivation. For runners young and old, training to develop these qualities can be very demanding. Distance running can place extraordinary requirements on the young athlete’s body and mind. Understanding growth and development issues as well as the demands of aerobic and anaerobic training is crucial to training youngsters. Unfortunately,…

RIP Nell’s Macbook

‘RIP Nell’s Macbook’ Sale     As many of you may know, I hired a new employee a few months ago to help feed the beast and work directly alongside me, to prepare for a number of new marketing initiatives and programs I plan to release this year. Since hiring Nell, Complete Track and Field has continued to gain momentum and together we have been able to put together several great promotions on products, especially our popular digital programs. I have to admit its been smooth sailing… Until the end of last week when our modest grind came to an abrupt halt when Nell’s Macbook met its untimely demise.  Here’s how it happened… Amidst editing a few articles for the Blog and working on a…

Why You Need to Develop Speed Reserve

Developing a ‘speed reserve’ through a well designed speed development program is essential to success in any sport where combating fatigue is a requirement for success. Though we look at this term primarily when discussing track and field sprints, it’s applications apply to a range of sports. Speed reserve is, essentially, the difference between an athlete’s maximum speed and their maximum aerobic speed. In many coaching situations, we look at an athlete’s perceived inability to finish a workout in the expected time as a matter of not being ‘in shape’. (A discussion of what ‘in shape’ actually refers to in the parameters of anaerobic training is a topic for another time, but one that fundamentally affects the way athletes are coached.) The solution, for many…

Why Distance Runners Should Attend a 2 Day Clinic

Distance/Middle distance coaches: I can tell you why you should join the Distance Group at this summer’s CTF Clinic, but I’m a sprints guy and I’m not sure what I say carries as much weight with you as it does with other sprinters/sprints coaches. Instead, I ask you to take a minute and read this message from Jason Saretsky, Director of Track & Field/Cross Country for Harvard University:   “What separates the top runners from the rest of the pack? Is it a week-long running camp where everyone increases their mileage?  Dramatic jumps in mileage often lead to injury. And the training rarely fits into the coach’s overall summer plan for the athlete. Many high school athletes go to week-long running camps over the summer…

4 Programs To Save Your Season!

In every season there comes a point where you realize your group might not have enough fuel to make it to the runway, so to speak. For me, there is always a meet relatively late in the season where athletes under-perform so hard I’m not sure why I got out of bed. The moment arrived this past weekend. In situations like this, I dive back into the programs from coaches whose experience and success I trust and believe in. Inevitably, I correct the course and we (more often than not) get where we’re trying to go. I am an unapologetic thief of superior ideas. If you’re looking for input and workouts to help keep you on course as you barrel toward Championship Season, here are…

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