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Summer Camp Registration Deadline is This Friday!

If you’re still debating whether or not to come to the clinic this summer, search #ctfclinic on Twitter to see what past attendees said during and after the event. So, every year we get a flood of last minute registrations and countless sad stories from coaches, parents, and athletes who waited too long and get locked out. If you want to take advantage of the $50.00 ‘Early Bird’ discount and NOT have to pay full price, you MUST register by the end of the day this Friday, May 27. ⇒ Register now for the 2016 CTF Summer Clinic (click on the event groups in the menu for their individual pages.) Coaches: Remember, if you send three athletes from your program, you can come for free. If you coach high school…

Middle Distance Training: Periodizing Special Endurance 1 Training Sessions

  Much has been learned about speed and speed development over the last 20 years.  Scientists working with coaches and sprinters have done a remarkable job of applying the scientific method to the physiology of speed in humans including biomechanics, muscle recruitment and energy systems.  Many scientific papers with replicable results have been peer-reviewed, published, and have trickled down to coaches.  Training theorists working with scientific data have given track coaches an outstanding roadmap for setting up training plans emphasizing speed.  In conjunction with the science, speed-related terminology has been standardized so that coaches can communicate in a more effective manner when discussing workout sessions and training units.  The lasting benefit of all of this recent progress in understanding speed is that it applies to…

Coordination as a Primary Physical Component in Cross Country Running

The first step in designing training programs for cross country runners is visualizing a clear understanding of the physical components needed for success.  Designing distance training schemes without a clear purpose in mind is an inefficient process at best, and at worst is a hodge-podge of this and that from impractical weight room exercises to countless miles of non-purposeful running.  The primary physical components that make up athletic activities of any sort include: speed, endurance, strength, flexibility, and coordination.  All of these components can be improved with well designed athletic training programs using a planned balance which places emphasis on more dramatic development of the most crucial component that characterizes each particular sport.  In cross country training, one of the most over-looked components is coordination. …

Do This When Middle Distance Performance Plateaus

What exactly is a performance plateau in middle distance running?  It is a temporary stagnation or slight decline in racing times or in key training markers.  When a plateau becomes evident to a runner it can be very discomforting and may lead to a questioning of the training, over-reaction to the situation, and even panic.  Rather than being a cause of concern it is important to realize that once a runner has been training for any period of time it is inevitable that they will hit a performance plateau.  In fact, if you have not witnessed this phenomenon, there may be something wrong with the training program. It is important to point out that a plateau in performance is not the same as overtraining.  Rather,…

Flexibility as a Primary Physical Component in Cross Country

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,…

High School Cross Country Training: Positive Team Culture (Part 2)

As infants humans proceed through daily activities in an instinctual manner just like all of the other animal species on our planet. However, instinctual behavior beyond the age of 1 or 2 in humans becomes curiously rare. With the largest proportionally-sized brain in the animal kingdom, humans quickly move from instinct to learned behavior early in development. Adult humans mostly behave by analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating sensory input in the frontal cortex portion of the brain. Synthesis of thought is known to be much more advanced than instinctual trial and error behavior. The behavior of trial and error is controlled by the regions of the mid-brain which are highly developed in the rest of the animals but not in humans. This sort of high-level thinking…

Gift the Top Selling Programs of 2015 to Your Favorite Coach!

Here’s an easy way to get the coach/es in your life (or yourself) a quality last minute Christmas present…without leaving your couch. I’m doing a Beta test with a new system that allows you to purchase one of our digital programs for someone else. Once you pay for it, they’ll get an email with instructions for completing the registration process. To set it off, I’m making 7 of the top 8 best selling programs available through Christmas Day. You can get 30% off your order on these programs when you use coupon code COUNTDOWN. (The Best Selling program of 2015, Complete Speed Training 2, isn’t available digitally, but the coupon code will work.) Click on the links below to go to the Registration Pages for the…

Latif Thomas: Speaking Events in 2015-2016

Latif Thomas Schedule and Appearances    Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT) Connecticut High School Coaches Association Coaches Clinic November 15, 2015 Mastering Your High School 400m Training Program     Montini High School (Chicago Area: Lombard, IL) Track-Football Activation Consortium  December 11-12, 2015 Specific Strength Progressions & Acceleration Complexes Teaching and Progressing Acceleration & Top Speed Complexes Block Starts and Acceleration     Hilton- Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort (Daytona, FL) Florida Athletic Coaches Association Track and Field Clinic January 7-10, 2016 Visit the website for speaking topics      Sheraton Hotel (Indianapolis, IN)  Indiana Association of Track & Cross Country Coaches Association T&F Clinic  January 28-30, 2016 Blocks, Starts, & Acceleration Teaching & Progressing Top End Speed (Max Velocity) Mastering Your High School Short Sprints (55-200)…

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