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Speed Endurance (Middle Distance Training)

The middle distance events in track and field have a sizeable anaerobic energy system contribution when the distance is done to exhaustion. The percentage of anaerobic contribution varies from 50% in the 800 meters to 80% in the 1600 meters. Because the energy contribution is so extensive, many training sessions need to be implemented during the track and field macrocycle to properly train and develop the mechanics and pathways of the system. In sprinting terminology, maximum effort is tied to maximum speed. Many studies have shown that maximum speed in an athlete can only be maintained for 60-80 meters before fatigue deteriorates performance. There is considerable benefit in year-round, balanced, multi-lateral training where all runners, including middle-distance athletes, never get far from continued development of…

Cross Country Training: Developing Positive Team Culture (Part 1)

Cross country running is considered a team sport by those in the know. Because the scoring of the meet is so tied into the efforts of all seven runners on a team it is imperative that a positive and selfless synergy exists between these runners if the team is to be successful. The coach is responsible for developing this synergy and for building the web of relationships that support the whole team and not just the varsity. What is a team? It is far more than a collection of like-minded athletes and a couple of coaches if it is to be a success. Most successful coaches do not even use the word team, they prefer the term: program. A team is a unique year or…

“Booty Lock” Workouts for Middle Distance Runners

Competitive running events between the 800 meters and 10,000 meters have a strong mix of aerobic and anaerobic energy system contribution. The strongest mix occurs in the middle distance events of the 800 and 1600 meters. In order for a middle distance runner to be truly successful they will have to tolerate both a small amount of hydrogen ion build-up over a moderate distance and a large hydrogen ion concentration over a short distance, but at a fast velocity. Scientists and coaches measure the strength of the detrimental acidic hydrogen ion concentration by measuring the more stable portion of the lactic acid molecule: lactate. Related Article: The Curious Case of Lactate  At rest, normal lactate concentration is very low in the blood, thus its counterpart acidic…

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…

Summer Sale Sneak Peak – Massive Savings

Our Summer Super Sale will begin on Thursday, July 20 and run through Sunday, July 23.  So here’s how it works: From Thursday 7/20 – Sunday 7/23, every Complete Track and Field program is on sale for 25% off when you use coupon code: CTFSUMMER.  HOWEVER: Each day of the sale we will be highlighting a specific event group/category where you can get up to 50% off our most popular individual programs and program bundles ON THAT DAY ONLY. For example, all Middle Distance programs will be 25% off all week. But, on Thursday, July 20, all Middle Distance programs will be 40-50% off for that day only. On 7/21, sale prices go back to 25%. If you’re in the market for programs addressing 600m – 1600m,…

4 Goals of 800 Meter Training

The 800-meter is a unique event.  According to a study done by the University of Western Australia, there is a 60% aerobic energy system contribution to top male athletes and 70% aerobic energy contribution for top female athletes running at 800-meters.  It is important to note that the slower the athlete is, the more aerobic contribution the event will require.  Clearly, the 800-meters is an endurance event.  However, the 800-meter is raced more like a sprint event, in that the first half of the race is faster than the last half of the race in top performances.  It is the only endurance event that relies on “positive splits” for the fastest performances.  Let’s look at 4 Goals for the 800-meter event. Goal #1 – Endurance…

Coaches Purpose Statement

Educational policies in America are rife with contradictions and ironies that make it almost impossible to have a personal coaching philosophy that one can feel comfortable with. On one hand, school administration directs that a teacher be transactional in the classroom in regard to student learning. What matters to the administration is the students standardized test score at the end of the course, and that is about it. In fact, teacher evaluation (and their job) is now heavily linked to these performance scores. On the other hand, that same teacher walks a few yards to the locker room and is directed by the supervisors to be a transformational coach in their approach to sport. Relationships must be the focus is the cry. This means that…

The Nine Day Cross Country Training Microcycle

Applying the principles of contemporary training theory is an important aspect of coaching cross country runners. In general, training theory applies the laws of the natural world to the science of longer distance running so that coaches do not have to rely on trial and error or anecdotal beliefs in setting up a sequential training plan for their athletes. Training theory is also about a universal language among both scientists and coaches that is used to communicate scientific research to training application. Terms such as over-load, adaptation, reversibility, phase, mesocycle, and microcycle are just a few examples of training theory language. Perhaps the most used concept in cross country training theory is the shortest training cycle, or the microcycle. This word is by no means…

Performance Diagnostics

Middle distance coaches should be constantly analyzing the race day performances of runners in their training group for both good tactics and physiological strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, racing performance will improve more dramatically by developing and improving physiological weaknesses rather than improving already developed strengths.   Both the aerobic energy system and the anaerobic energy system contribute to race day performance in the middle distance events. While the more robust aerobic system carries a bigger load in these races, the anaerobic system must play its part in energy contribution. At times it is difficult to pinpoint which energy system is under-developed when analyzing middle distance performance, which in turn leads to confusion in prescribing the workloads necessary for improvement in physical status.   Individualization of training…

4 Reasons to Attend This Strength & Conditioning Certification Course

UPDATE (August 3, 2015, 3:53 PM Eastern): The USTFCCCA Strength & Conditioning Certification with Boo Schexnayder is Sold Out!  We’ve reached our hard cap of 75 coaches and will no longer be accepting registrations.  If you’re one of the coaches who got in, we’ll be nerding out soon with many of the top area high school and college coaches! If you’re on the outside looking in, scroll down to save big on some of Boo’s best coaching programs. -LT ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The goal was to get 45 coaches registered for Boo Schexnayder’s T&F Strength and Conditioning Certification Course on August 22-23 at Bishop Hendricken HS in Warwick, RI. With 3 weeks to go, we’ve got 76 coaches registered and will no longer be accepting any entries….

2015 CTF Clinic: Saturday Night Coaches Seminar Details

On Saturday night, we will be holding 3 hours of seminar presentations by our staff.  At the conclusion of the presentations, we’ll have a Social running until midnight. We will have a bar so you can enjoy some adult beverages. In fact, we’ll open the bar at 7:30 so you can enjoy a beverage during the presentations. We will also have a medley of snacks for you to eat. This is a great opportunity to get more insight into the planning side of coaching, as well as talk shop with our clinic coaching staff. There is no shortage of good times at the social. Additionally, I will be filming these sessions and I will email you with access once I process them after the clinic….

[Now Available] 5 New Distance Training Programs

We’ve released a total of FIVE new middle distance/distance training programs covering a variety of events and topics. They’re all created by 30+ year high school coaching veteran and USTFCCCA Lead Endurance Instructor, Scott Christensen. (You can also take a look at all of Coach Christensen’s other middle distance and distance training programs.) Most of our programs are ‘complete’ programs; they run several hours and cover the topic/event from soup to nuts. These programs are comprehensive, but don’t take you down the rabbit hole.  With an average running time of 70-75 minutes, think of them like ‘digital DVDs’, except they’re far better than a DVD because: A: You can stream them online and/or download the files to your hard drive. B: You can ask Coach Christensen…

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