Coaching The 99%


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I gave this presentation at the Day of Distance Clinic at Villanova University on March 16th, 2012.

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Coaching The 99%

  1. 1. Coaching the 99% Shaping the team you have Rob Hewitt Germantown Friends School
  2. 2. Who are the 1%?• They identify as a runner.• They are highly talented.• They have the drive to be better.• They perform relative to their talent.As a result:• They challenge me to be a better coach.• They make great performances seem possible for others.• Their success may have nothing to do with my coaching.Never forget:• They are kids who need to be taught the sport through coaching and mentoring.
  3. 3. In 8 years of coaching I believe I’ve had one 1%’er… Max Kaulbach [GFS ‘08, Princeton ’13] 800 m. 1600 m. 3200 m. States VCP 4k VCP 5k XC 9th 4:35 10:08 18:13.1 10th 4:23.57 9:43.98 16:22.00 16:35.00 11th 1:58 4:17.14y 9:13.26 16:16.81 12:44.70 15:54.50 12th 1:54.7 3:54.48 8:58.69 15:46.52 12:27.92 16:01.50 4:14.70 (BP- NY) 4:15.80y
  4. 4. Who are the 99%?• They aren’t the 1%. Some combination of: – not identifying as a runner – undeveloped talent – undeveloped drive – undeveloped ability to perform• Kids who need to be encouraged, mentored, and taught the sport through coaching. – They require more energy and enthusiasm• Can form the personality of my team.• These athletes might: – not look like “a runner” – need a place where they can belong• Kids we coach. They aren’t a number. – I can’t just facilitate a workout
  5. 5. What are the 99% capable of?I believe in the hallways of every high school in America lies a state championship cross country team!
  6. 6. How do I shape my team?• First goal: need to teach each athlete to hurt and run in a group. – A lot of the initial work is not about running – Changing their perception is key, identify as a runner• Look to build a team first environment. Built two ways: – Fun – Sacrifice• Talent and coaching have been constants in our equation for success. The variable is the relationships formed or not formed. – Measured through quality time spent together and how much fun they have – Build healthy relationships, work to fix toxic teams I want to build talented runners that race and train with a drive to perform.
  7. 7. Cross Country Camp•It’s fun•A great indicator of summer fitness•Kids identify as a runner first•Challenged to run in groups•Gain confidence running with other notableathletes and teams -Careful not to let the top kids “race” all week -Younger kids can run hard•Every team is different- a great opportunityto learn or relearn each other•Learn the sport from other runners- myteachings are reinforced
  8. 8. Training together with a philosophy and a purpose:
  9. 9. Summer training: championship teams are built in July and August…• Train together to win together• We must learn to trust each other• Group running by ability (pace and volume) – 1st year runners: 35-40 mpw – 2nd year runners: ~50 mpw – 3rd year runners: ~60 mpw – 4th year runners: 65-70 mpw• Weekly emails to hold the athletes accountable.
  10. 10. Tour de Manayunk• My variation to the Lydiard based approach to hill running (Livingstone 112-15)• Done once a week in 4-6 week blocks leading into cross country camp• The run builds from 35 to 49min over 4-6 weeks as does the type of hills and frequency of them• Goal is to build functional strength over hills – Focus on form first not speed – This is our transition work from the base phase to the Aerobic Efficiency Phase
  11. 11. Tempo/Threshold Running:• I believe in efficiency first when writing workouts.• Tempo Tuesday is a staple of our work. – Dual meets are great if you can convince your team to not race it. Teaches pack mentality.• 85-87% of Vo2 Max, 2-mile race pace or 5k race pace (course consideration). You can also use a Daniels V-Dot Chart or a McMillan Pace chart.• Teach them how a great tempo or threshold w/o feels: first 1/3 comfortable, second 1/3 building from comfortable to uncomfortable, last 1/3 uncomfortable.• Looking for 20-30 minutes of work. Depending on ability anywhere from 2.5-5 miles.• My go-to last workout for boys before a championship.
  12. 12. Tempo/Threshold Running…Examples:a) 4 mile tempo at 5:45/mi (23min) or 3 mile tempo at 7:00/mi (21min).b) 4 mile tempo/fartlek with 5x1min on/off in mile 1 and 4-6x30 sec on/off in mile 4. i. Teaches athletes to change gearsc) 4x2k with 25% recovery for strong athletes, 5x1000 with 25-33% recovery for weaker athletes.d) Threshold Pass-through.
  13. 13. Sunday Runs• Long Run – 20% of our weekly volume – Meet together for an optional team run • Wissahickon Valley Trails • Lloyd Hall behind the Art Museum – Run as one group – As a result Monday is an “easy” day since this a glycogen depleting run. 48 hour recovery. – If you want a 24 hour recovery athletes must run at 70% of their Vo2 Max, 2mile RP or 5k RP. You can also use a VDot Chart or McMillan Pace Chart.
  14. 14. Putting the pieces together… Cross County one week block of trainingMonday Recovery run: 42min, strides, hurdles, stretchTuesday 2 mile warm-up and cool-down. Tempo/Fartlek: 4.5miles. 1st mile: 3x1min “on”/”off”. Last mile: 1x90 “on”, 1x60 “off”/“on”, 1x45 “off”/“on”, 1x30 “off”/“on”, 15min core, stretchWednesday Moderate Long: 70min, strides, hurdles, stretchThursday Moderate run: 49min, 3x300 barefoot with 2-3min recovery, 15min core, stretch.Friday 2 mile warm-up and cool-down. Threshold Pass-through at Belmont: Mile on front loop with 90 sec recovery followed by 5-6x3min with 1 min recovery over the 5k course.Saturday Moderate: 49minSunday Long Run: 84minTotal ~59 miles
  15. 15. Early Season Miler/ Half-Miler 10 day block of trainingMonday 35min + Max Velocity: 3 sets of 4x30m. flys with 90 sec recovery and 8min between setsTuesday 2mile warm-up/ cool-down. 2-mile race pace workout: 5-6x1000 with 1:1 recoveryWednesday Moderate Long Run: 63minThursday Moderate Run: 42min + 5-6x150m. @95% 400m. RP with 2-3min recoveryFriday Lactate Tolerance: 4 sets of 4x200 with 100 jog and 1 lap between sets at 800 RP or 3 sets of 5x300 with 100 jog/1 lap btwn. sets at 1600 RPSaturday Recovery run: 35minSunday Long Run: 77minMonday 2mile warm-up/cool-down. 4x400 at 90% 400m. RP with 4-6min recovery.Tuesday Tempo or Threshold workoutWednesday Moderate run: 49minTotal 7 day total: 51 miles. 10 day total: 71 miles.
  16. 16. Early season 2-miler one week block of trainingMonday Recovery run: 42min, strides, hurdles, stretchTuesday Tempo/threshold, 15min core, stretchWednesday Moderate Long: 70min, strides, hurdles, stretchThursday Moderate run: 49min, 5-6x150m @800m RP with 2-4min recov., hurdles, stretchFriday 2-mile race pace workout or lactate tolerance workout at Mile RPSaturday Moderate run: 49minSunday Long Run: 84minTotal ~59 miles
  17. 17. Improving our ability to perform 2008 Penn Relays COA DMR Champions
  18. 18. • An athlete’s (or team’s) poor self-perception is our #1 problem. – They aren’t identifying positively as a runner(s) – It eats away at talent, drive, and our ability to performAs a result:• Self perception management is needed: – Make any race or effort say what I want it to say • Good races are uplifted • Bad races are made into teachable moments • Praise their efforts even if the watch doesn’t match. • DNR List – Reinforce efforts with the transitive property – Remove sensory data perception • Workouts based on time not distance • Have athletes workout without a watch
  19. 19. Failures lead to our next success…Following our NXN-NE ‘07failure we split up our top 3athletes and createdseparate MD/LD groups. • It was the same philosophy for both groups but with a different look. • Hidden benefits in change: new relationships built on runs leading to new successes.
  20. 20. MD vs. LD training in 2008 My goal was to train them physically similar but psychologically different MD training: Isaac LD training: Max/ JakeMonday Recovery: 5 miles Monday Recovery: 5 milesTuesday Long Interval Day Tuesday Long Interval DayWednesday 3.5 mile Track Tempo, Wednesday Moderate long: 10 miles 4x200 Thursday 21min + 4 mile TrackThursday Moderate: 7 miles Tempo, 4x200Friday Short Interval Day Friday Short Interval DaySaturday Moderate: 5 miles Saturday Moderate: 6-7 milesSunday Long run: 70min Sunday Long Run: 84min “It is the principles of training and conditioning that are important. The detailed schedules are of interest only and never can be considered dogmatic, even generally applicable to others” –Percy Cerutty (Borg and Joyce 1)
  21. 21. “You can’t save everyone” but…you can build racers! 2008 NSIC All-Americans 17:34.25 4xMile unofficial PA State Record
  22. 22. 2008 GFS Boys 1600 m. Performance ListName 1600 m. Name 1600 m.Max Kaulbach, sr. 4:14.70 Cameron Mactavish, fr. 4:56.5Jake McKenzie, sr. 4:16.93 Sam Ebert, so. 4:57.1Isaac Ortiz, sr. 4:19.41 James Kelly, jr. 4:59.4Tom Waterman, so. 4:24.78 Drew Daniels, so. 5:00.20Gus McKenzie, so. 4:24.87 Max Anderson, jr. 5:01.0Eddie Einbender-Luks, jr. 4:37.05 Graham Barrett, so. 5:02.8Evan Caldwell, fr. 4:37.8 Henry Blood, so. 5:03.7David Waterman, fr. 4:38.2 Will Marshall, jr. 5:09.6Fenn Hoffman, jr. 4:38.2 Charlie Beiser, jr. 5:12.2Ross Wistar, so. 4:39.8 Jackson Walker, so. 5:27.2Sam Butler, so. 4:45.8 Reuben Wilson, jr. 5:37.1Chris Allen, jr. 4:48.1 Alex Morales, fr. 6:00.9Zhewen Zhang, fr. 4:51.62 Ian Longshore, fr. 6:18.9Ben Finkel, jr. 4:55.4
  23. 23. Ancillary Work: Hurdle Mobility Core work• Done 2-3 times a week • Done 2-3 times a week• Goal is to strengthen • Goal is to strengthen the hips and hip flexors the core region while getting a good – Hips, hip flexors, stretch reflex. hamstrings, lower back, abdomen, etc.• Focus is on form not speed • Form and duration of – Reinforces what is each exercise must be learned on the hills considered
  24. 24. References• Livingstone, Keith. (2009). Healthy Intelligent Training: The proven principles of Arthur Lydiard. Auckland: Meyer and Meyer Sport Ltd.• Borg, Renee, and Aoife Joyce. (2012). Lydiard and Canova- a “virtual roundtable” discussion. Version 2. Ireland: