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Summer Training Ideas for Sprints, Hurdles & Jumps Part II

Summer Training Ideas for Sprints & Hurdles & Jumps Part II “Summer, summer, summertime… Time to sit back and unwind”   Related Article: Summer Training Ideas for Sprints, Hurdles & Jumps Part I A longer season is a successful season… Each championship meet your athletes attend has the potential to be a qualifier for the next. Some athletes survive and advance while others start their summer early, which means a longer break. I have athletes that end their season when finals have ended and others that stick around for quite a bit more time. For this reason, I seem to think the first phase of my training theory for the summer is simple: Stay active Do things you enjoy that are NOT track & field related…

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 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,…

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…

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…

Controversial New Program Offends the Gods of Track & Field!

I didn’t think there was anything controversial about Ron Grigg’s 400/600/800 program or the way that I promoted it. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned posting training information on the Internet for the last 10 years, it’s that some people hate kittens, Christmas and the laughter of children. It all started when I posted an article and video titled ‘Why 10k Pace is Critical for 400/600/800 Athletes’. Some people read the title of the post (and nothing else) and took offense to the idea of a 400m runner running at 10k pace and then, in a move surprising no one, invoked the name Clyde Hart. At that precise moment a Kraken was released. Scroll down to the comments section of that post and read Coach…

Coaches Clinic in Connecticut on November 23, 2014

If you live near Wesleyan University/Middletown, CT, I highly recommend attending the High School Track and Field Coaches Clinic going down on Saturday, November 23 from 8am-1:30pm. Somehow I’ve been selected to give the Keynote presentation which I assume means I should deviate from my standard seminar practice of filling the time with Bill Cosby faces and other nonsense disguised as training information… But, on a serious note I’ll be speaking about ‘Program Design’. In short, I’m going to talk about how to coach sprinters in the real world when you don’t get to hand pick your team. And your weight room used to be a closet. And someone stole all of your bullet belts. (I’ll find the SOB who did that!) And you train…

New Articles – September 24 – October 1 (2013)

I have several new (and CTF exclusive) articles for you today so I’m just going to jump right into it since they cover multiple events and topics. First, if you missed my email last week, Complete Track and Field is under new ownership. This means a number of new changes are in the works. Please take a few minutes to watch my video on what the deal is, as well as take the survey. Completing it will be worth your while! The following four articles have all been released in the last week, so here they are in the order they were posted: 1. The Balke VO2 Max Test by Scott Christensen (Stillwater HS, MN) Training to maximize aerobic capacity is the cornerstone of all…

The New Complete Track and Field!

You may have noticed I haven’t sent out too many emails, tweets or Facebook posts over the past 6 weeks or so. Oh you didn’t notice? Sweet. Well, just take my word for it. I’ve been off the grid working hard to keep Complete Track and Field alive! And, after some contentious negotiations, CompleteTrackandField.com is under new ownership. Watch the video below to find out what the deal is… Take the Complete Track and Field 2.0 Survey! In my next post, I’ll be sharing my favorite drill from Tony Veney’s new Advanced (Level II) Sprint (100/110) Hurdles Program. As always, if you have questions, post them below. – Latif Thomas Follow me on Twitter: @latif_thomas Follow me on Facebook: Latif Thomas ‘Like’ CTF on Facebook:…

Summer Speaking Engagements

Can’t get enough Coach Thomas comedy? Want to see which fancy pants coaches I’ve been stealing from lately and how I’ve adapted it to my HS athletes? Well why wait another 45 minutes before receiving yet another email from me when you can come see me live and in person! On June 22, I’ll be speaking at the IYCA East Coast Summit in Canton, Connecticut. I’ll be doing a lecture and a hands on/learn by doing. After the last IYCA event, I apologize in advance if it ends up being more like a stand up comedy routine and less like a college course lecture with lots of big words. For what it’s worth, almost everyone prefers the jokes to me just puking out science words….

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