How to Outrun Your Performance-Related Thought Hurdles


Derrick Adkins – 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist. “Shatter the glass”.

Elliott Blount – Head Cross Country Coach, Troy University. “Focus on the movement”

Over the course of my career, I have had the pleasure to work with many amazing coaches and athletes. Among the coaches, I worked with are 1996 Olympic 400IH Gold Medalist, Derrick Adkins and sub-4 miler, Elliott Blount. During their running careers, both possessed successful means and tricks of the trade to overcome performance related anxieties.

Through the affirmation of a seemingly simple statement and training of the mind, the athletes they worked with were able to calm themselves to a level that would allow them to compete at their highest level of potential, assuming they were physically ready.

As the most important meets of the season draw near – try these two simple proven strategies to optimize your performance. Coach Derrick Adkins would encourage his athletes to visualize each specific anxiety-causing factor. He would have his athletes visualize placing each of these thoughts on to a large piece of glass. When all of the negative thoughts and anxieties were placed upon the imagined glass, he encouraged his runners to “shatter the glass”, allowing them to watch their anxieties crumble apart and fall to the ground. On many occasions, I often overheard Coach Blount to tell his athletes to, “visualize the movement”. This mental exercise simply entails focusing your mind energy and attention on the correct execution of the required movement at hand. This allows the athlete to focus on what is physically required of them, pushing out the worries and fears of unknown arbitrarily identified and hoped for outcomes.

At this point of the season, you have done all that you are physically capable of to ready yourself for optimal performance. To fully actualize your potential be sure to ensure that you and your mind are on the same team.

"Hey, Coach - Any Tips for Breaking 50 in the 400m"


400m Training


I was recently contacted by a current high school senior who is stuck at 51 in the 400m. His goal for this season is to break 50.00! He wrote me asking for a few tips. I have three suggestions for you if you want to PR in the 400m or break 50! 

TIP ONE - Run hills. Hill training in the early season will significantly increase your finishing speed/strength over the last 100m of the race. Several years ago, the University of Minnesota had two different men run 44. They were both local Minnesota HS runners with modest HS pr's. I was so intrigued by their development that I collected all of their training information from their coach. They did hill workouts twice a week in the early season and continued them deep into the outdoor season.  One of my favorite hill workouts is to run 6- 8 x 150m-250m hills with a walk down recovery.. Take 5 minutes or so to recover and then find a 500m hill to sprint up with all you have left. 

TIP TWO - Incorporate Aerobic Strength work into your training. There are many ways to achieve this goal without having to become a cross country runner. A few of my favorite aerobic strength workouts include 3 x 5 minute runs at a quick tempo with 3 minutes rest, 10-12 x 100m in 14-15 with 45 seconds rest and multiple sets of diagonals on the track. For more information on how to run diagonals see here: - I would suggest working up to 6 sets of 3 diagonals with a 3 minute rest in between sets. 

TIP THREE - Run split intervals with short recovery to prepare your body for the late stages of the race. My favorite specific prep workouts are 2 sets of 2 x 200m at goal race pace with 30 - 45 seconds recovery (you should take 10-15 minutes before starting your second set) and 2 x 300m - 200m with 45 seconds rest. Run the 300m controlled, but fast enough to get you tired (aorund 45 seconds for a 50-second 400m runner) and then run your 200m as fast as you are able.  

For more 400m training suggestions see here-

To see the effectiveness of this training methodology see here -

Want To Run Sub 4? Tips for Running A PR In The Mile


By: Willy Wood



    28 college runners have run sub 4 indoors this year alone. Of the 28 runners who have broken 4 minutes in the mile, 21 of them have different coaches. Obviously, there are many ways to the top of the mountain. However, most training programs share more similarities than differences. A few notable commonalities include:

    Routine easy runs of 50 - 70 minutes at a comfortable pace. 

    Morning Tempo runs ranging between 4-6 miles coupled with an afternoon hill or speed session   am 5 mile controlled tempo run (around 5:00 pace for sub 4 miler) pm 8 x 150m Hill Sprints

    Strength work through sub-maximal, controlled intervals of 800m - Mile                    8 - 10 x 1000m with 2-minute recovery jog (2:50 - 3:00 for a sub 4 miler)

    High-quality race pace and sub-race pace intervals.                                                            1 x 800m in 1:52 with 8-minute recovery followed by 6 x 200m in 27 with 2-minute recovery or 4 x ( 2 x 400m with 1-minute rest)  3 minutes rest - set 1 in 62, set 2 in 60, set 3 in 59, set 4  in 58

    Long run of 14 - 16 miles

    Maintaining Motivation and Purpose

    Track and Field Training Blog

    By: RebEKA Stowe of Radix Running


    Staying motivated during this time of the year can be one of the most challenging parts of training. Our last 2 posts were about the cold weather and cross training, in addition, many of you are coming up on midterm exams. Life will happen, there will always be other things to manage and working through these things on top of your running, requires maintaining focus and motivation.

    The starting point, the launch spot, the beginning of becoming and staying motivated is to identify what you are trying to achieve.

    What is your goal? What is your purpose? Today, tomorrow, next week, a month from now, a year from now, 5 years from now… (I will stop, I assume you get the picture)

    On the first night of camp, Coach McCaff, sat you down and asked you all to write down our goals for the Cross Country season ahead.

    How many of you have done this for the Indoor season? If not, the time is now. What are you going to do today, tomorrow, next week in order to be where you want to be, a month from now, a year from now, 5 years from now?

    The more of life I live, the more I realize success comes to those who are able to maintain motivation and passion. Honing your direction and refusing to be thrown off track in your pursuit is essential to success.

    This requires you to remind yourself daily of the purpose behind what you are doing.This means staying awake to your goals. Post them where you can see them. Make your goal time the passcode to your phone.Your background the track you’ll be racing that next big meet on.

    Maybe you’re trying to rebuild your confidence.Go watch or replay in your mind a successful race Make a list of your strengths as a runner, give yourself some credit. Talk with your coach, be open with them, let them support you

    Maintaining motivation is hard, but the best, they build through the tougher times and come out on the other side. Day by day, task by task. Building, always building. Always Staying awake to the necessary work.

    Coach Rebeka Stowe is a New Jersey transplant. She competed in high school and college in Kansas before moving to New Jersey in 2013 to continue her athletic pursuits with the New Jersey-New York Track Club. In high school, she was a multi-sport athlete and two-time state runner-up in cross-country. Upon graduating from Olathe Northwest High School in 2008, she competed for the University of Kansas finding her niche in the Steeplechase. While at Kansas she was a three-time all-American, school record holder and 2012 Olympic Trials Finalist in the Steeplechase. Coach Stowe is currently coaching at The Wilberforce School & with Nike+ Run Club in NYC. She continues to pursue her professional running career.

    For more information on Radix Running check out -

    "Hey, Coach - Any Tips for Breaking 2:00 in the 800m"



    I was recently asked by a sixteen-year-old high school runner who is stuck at 2:01 in the 800m. His goal for this season is to break 2:00! He wrote me asking for a few tips. I have three suggestions for you if you want to PR in the 800m or break 2:00! 

    TIP ONE - Run hills. Hill training will significantly increase your finishing speed/strength over the last 150m of the race. My favorite hill workout is to run 8 - 10 x 150m hills with a jog down recovery. The goal of this part of the workout is to conclude finish as quickly as possible - so you'll have to hammer the downhill as well. Take 5 minutes or so to recover and then find a 600m hill to sprint up with all you have left. 

    TIP TWO - Incorporate Lane 8 Tempo's into your training. This is a far more fitting manner to get in tempo/threshold work for an 800m runner as it breaks the run up into 400m segments and allows the 800m runner to perform this at a faster pace than if you had them do a standard 3 - 4 mile tempo run. 

    TIP THREE - My favorite sharpening workout is 600m- 400m- 200m- 200m. The goal is to rest as little as possible. During this workout, we just get after it. The 600m should be around goal pace or slightly faster. The 400m should be at the same pace (this will be very difficult to accomplish). The 200m's should be a pace slightly faster than the 400m. Although the stated goal is minimal rest - you don't want the quality to suffer! You may have to rest 10 - 12 minutes after the 600m. 

    For more 800m training suggestions see here-

    To see the the effectiveness of this training methodology see here -

    Tips For Winter Running - Radix Running Camps




    By,  Mike Mazzaccaro

    After several teeth chattering runs, bone-chilling, pink-cheeked runs, I decided to write down some of the best tips and tricks for winter running that I’ve learned and heard over the years.

    Make it Fun!

    Run with your friends. Nothing makes a 50-minute run, in freezing weather, better than having some friends to push through the misery with you.

    Find new places to run. The winter is a great time to go exploring. Often, your go-to runs are too snowy or icy to be used. This makes the winter a great time to find some fun road loops that can provide new but reliable training

    Pick a fun place to finish. Find a loop that finishes at your favorite coffee shop. Instead of finishing and having to hop into a cold car you can settle down with a hot chocolate or warm cup of coffee before the ride home.

    Stay Warm

    Layer, Layer, Layer. Layers are the key to running in the cold. For a long time, I only ran in cotton long sleeves in the winter. This often meant I was cold at the start, sweating in the middle, and frozen wet by the end. Be smart and pick a bottom layer that wicks away moisture.

    Know thy self. My college roommate could run in 25F weather with a long sleeve, shorts, and a baseball cap. Personally, my hands and ears go numb at any temperature below 40F. As a result, I always have a spare hat and gloves (socks) laying around. It’s important to know what YOU need to make sure you’re worried about the effort of your run not if your ears are going to fall off.

    Keep Hydrated

    Hydration is key in the summer. Hydration is key in the winter. Hydration is key all the time. Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day. We tend to worry about our water consumption less in the winter as its much colder out and we tend to sweat less but, because of this we drink less water and are often dehydrated.

    Watch for Injuries

    Often, as a result of the winter weather, people change where they run. If there has been snow on the ground for 3 weeks forcing you to run on roads for the same amount of time be aware of this. The roads are a lot harder on your body than grassy trails. As a result, maybe pair back your mileage and replace some of that mileage with cross training such as biking or swimming.

    The cold also means you have to warm up longer! Whether this means starting off runs a little slower or changing your warm-up from 5 to 10 minutes make sure your muscles and tendons are ready to go before you put them to work in cold weather.

    Know the Elements

    Be creative.When it’s windy and cold out, sometimes splits and times go out the window so it’s important to focus on effort as the temperature drops. Maybe substitute some fartleks in for timed intervals

    Start into the wind. Maybe I’m alone on this but I much prefer the first 20 minutes of my run into the wind than the final 20.

    If you have any good tips or tricks for winter running let us know in the comment section

    Coach Mazz

    Kyle Merber - Ten Years After His Win At Millrose!


    Kyle Merber jogs lightly under the stands at Madison Square Garden.

    He’s 17 years old, a senior at Half Hollow Hills West High. As a native New Yorker, a kid from Long Island, he’s been here plenty of times before, but on every previous visit he’s gazed down on the arena floor to find a hockey rink or a basketball court— Rangers or Knicks. Maybe a circus or a concert stage. But tonight, the self-described track nerd peers down the concourse walkways, through the gaps in the stadium scaffolding, blinks past the overwhelming arena lights, and sees a track. 

    A beautiful, historic, 11-laps-to-the-mile oval.

    Even the sight of the Mondo surface sets his heart beating faster. He’s run on plenty of tracks before, but never this one. Never at Millrose, where you have to be invited, where the high school milers compete in the same meet as the professionals.

    And now, deep in the bowels of this venerable arena, he’s preparing for that race.

    Maybe the biggest race of his young life. 

    He's been keeping a journal of his preparation for, a Web site where — if he’s honest — he probably spends too much time, especially on the message board known as The Playground, where he goes by the handle: g2g4gold.

    He agreed to participate in the blog — called the Road to Millrose — before he’d even qualified for the meet, which seemed like a reach, possibly hubristic, but it worked out. 

    Lots of things have worked out this season. 

    He’s put in the miles and pursued his goals and taken care of the small things. All the stretches and striders and nutritional choices. The habits that provide the advantages someone needs in order to qualify for a race like this. 

    Years from now, when he thinks about himself at this age, he’ll say he was “the kid reading Once a Runner and Running with the Buffaloes, doing 50 push-ups before bed every night, calculating splits during class. The quintessential, obsessed, high school running nerd.” 

    That’s Kyle Merber at 17. 

    He had run in another invitational mile a week earlier in Massachusetts, the Reebok Boston Indoor Games. There, he found himself in the most competitive high school field he’d ever faced, dropped a three-second PR, and didn’t come close to winning, but the highlight might have been meeting Australian distance star Craig Mottram. Kyle and some of the other high schoolers called Mottram’s room at the event hotel, got his autograph and peppered him with questions. 

    And now, in the cramped warm-up room at the Garden, there’s Mottram again. 

    Bernard Lagat and Nick Willis and Galen Rupp. All of them, somehow more human and more imposing in person. Kyle observes their routines, absorbs their preparations, admires their kits, covets their spikes. Files away the small things. The manner in which these stars ready themselves for the same 11-lap contest he’ll be running against fellow teenagers. 

    In a few minutes, he and the other prep invitees will burst into the glare of the lights. 

    Kyle will bounce through a quick lap on the track, finding his friends and family in the crowd, hearing the hometown cheers, the shouts of G2G4GOLD! aimed at the kid from The Playground. 

    The only kid from New York. 

    When the gun goes off, he’ll block out everything — the noise and the fans and the rumble of the feet on the track — and focus on staying in contact. He’ll handle the elbows and cover the moves and notice the pain and keep an eye on Robby Andrews and his notorious kick. 

    He’ll make a bid for glory with two laps to go, and hope it sticks. On the homestretch, he’ll sense daylight and dig deeper. 

    Lanky legs in full stride. 

    Crowd thundering to its feet. 

    Steps from the line, his face will be all joy. The celebration, poster-ready. An expression caught between a gasp and a grin. Arms spread wide, finish tape about to be reduced to tatters, fingers pointing to the cheap seats, the nose bleeds, the rafters. 

    Letting all the hometown fans know what place their boy is about to finish. 

    In this race. In New York. On national television. 

    On the NBC broadcast, Lewis Johnson will exclaim, “And what a moment for Kyle Merber, the only New Yorker in the race. And he’s able to come through the last 400 with a great kick and drop Robby Andrews for the Millrose win!” 

    Kyle will stagger in a half circle, extend his palms in salute to the roaring fans, allow his forearms to fall languidly over his head. Still struggling to comprehend his accomplishment. 

    “I crossed the line,” he’ll note in his final entry for the DyeStat journal, “and just looked around in disbelief. I looked into the crowd and I saw a ton of people yelling and clapping. I was in complete euphoria and I just put my hands on my head, wondering to myself, ‘What did I just do?’” 

    For the rest of the story go to

    Flat Track Conversions For Indoor Track and Field

    College Track and Field

    Indoor Track Conversion - By Willy Wood


    Are you wondering how your times stack up compared to performance on other indoor tracks? The NCAA has a conversion chart based on years of data collection to create a more equitable look at performance. The configuration of an outdoor track and field running facility has been standardized in the size (overall circumference) of the oval for a long time, with very little departure from this standard. While there is a standard for the size of an indoor track and field running facility, many indoor running facilities were designed to fit into existing buildings; therefore, there are many variations of sizes for indoor track facilities. Varying facility configurations produces inequalities in performances, which affects the goal of valid comparisons among event performances. These inequalities are the reason why conversion differentials, dependent on facility configuration, were developed for qualifying standards. The NCAA converts all times produced on a flat track to a banked track equivalent to ensure fairness.

    See below an estimated conversion chart that will allow you to covert your time on a flat track to the equivalent banked track performance.

    200m – subtract 0.4 seconds

    400m – subtract 0.8 seconds

    800m – subtract 1.7 seconds

    Mile – subtract 3.3 seconds

    2 Mile – subtract 7 seconds

    4 x 400m – subtract 4 seconds

    If you run on a track that is less than 200m the conversion is even greater.

    Back To The Basics Of Speed

    College Track and Field Training

    By: Ryan Banta


    Check out a free sample of Ryan Banta's  new book, Sprinter's Compendium. You may download Chapter 3 at no cost. In Chapter 3, Ryan discusses: 


    The Warm up


    Acceleration, Maximum Velocity, Energy, System Development

    Workout 1: Acceleration

    Workout 2: Maximum Velocity

    Workout 3: Speed Endurance

    Workout 4: Tempo

    Workout 5: Active Recovery

    Workout 6: Special Endurance


    The Cool-down

    The Weight Room

    Injury Prevention

    Team Management

     here is the link to the Free Chapter. (over 6000 people have downloaded this already)

    Ryan Banta is an assistant coach at the Ladue/St. Louis Lightning Track & Feld club, where the club has assisted athletes in achieving 6 national titles, 31 All American performances, and 61 national qualifiers. He has earned a USATF level II certification in sprints, hurdles, relays, and endurance as well as a USTFCCCA track and field technical coaching certification.

    How They Trained in College

    College Track and Field Training

    Summer Training


    See below a sample week of how 2017 World Championship 1500m Finalist, Johnny Gregorek trained while in college. Johnny came from a low mileage high school program and we slowly increased his mileage over his four years at Columbia. Here is a sample week of his summer training, prior to the start of his sophomore year. 

    Monday - 9 miles at 6:50 pace

    Tuesday - 8 miles at 7:15 pace + 4 x 100m strides

    Wednesday - 10 miles at 6:30 pace

    Thursday - 8 miles @ 6:22 pace

    Friday - 2.5 miles easy – 6 sets of 3 minutes on (xc pace) / 2 minutes easy + 2.5 miles easy

    Saturday - 10 miles at 7:15 pace

    Sunday  - 14 miles at 6:15 pace

    Train Like A Sub 1:50 800m Runner

    Track and Field Training


    Here is a look at how we trained our 800m runners at this time of the year. Our training was often influenced by the weather. As a result, we were not able to run hill intervals as much as I would have liked - so we pushed that phase back to March and April. Here is a sample week from January. As you will notice, we followed Gags'                    ( philosophy of mixing speed and strength. We never ventured far from either. 

    Monday - 50 minutes easy

    Tuesday - 6 x 800m in 2:20 w/ 2’ rest

    Wednesday - 50 minutes easy

    Thursday - 2  (200m, 400m, 200m, 200m in 26, 55, 28, 28) full recovery between sets

    Friday -  50 minutes easy

    Saturday - 2 x 2 mile @ 5:30 pace w/ 5 minute recovery 

    Sunday - 1:20 easy