Track and Field

Track and Field Training: 800, 1600m, 3200m

Fast Track Recruiting

Below you will find a sample training week of Sean Dolan. Sean Dolan is a recent graduate of Hopewell Valley High School in New Jersey and a signee with Villanova University with PR’s of 1:50.53 – 800m, 4:05.01– Mile, 9:02.66 – 3200m

Former Columbia Coach and colleague of mine, Robert Marchetti, recently interviewed Sean for an article for Milesplit.

SAMPLE WORKOUT WEEK DURING SPRING TRACK SEASON - SEAN DOLAN

MONDAY: 5-6 Miles @ 7:15-6:50 pace on the road. Followed by 30 meter acceleration bursts on the track x 6 reps, w/ walk back recoveries. Hurdle mobility circuit, stretching, core, and weights.

TUESDAY: Track workout. 3x1200m or 3x1000m near threshold pace w/1:00 to 1:30 rests between each. Followed by 4 to 6 x200m at miler pace, jog 200 between each. Stretching and core.
(*Before big meets do the 600 to 100m breakdown described earlier)

WEDNESDAY: 5-6 Miles @ 7:15-6:50 pace on road. Followed by 6x100 on the track @ mile race rhythm. Stretching, core, and weights.

THURSDAY: Usually 6-7 miles @ 7:15-6:50 pace on road. Sometimes this is a little harder, @6:40 range, depending on goals for the week. Stretching and core.

FRIDAYS: Pre-meet day. 30 minutes very easy @ 7:15 pace. Sometimes followed by a few striders at the goal pace for race the next day.

SATURDAY: Compete

SUNDAYS: Recovery run, 7-9 Miles on trails or towpath @ easy 7:00 pace.

To see the article in it's entirity click here

When To Start Nudging Our Young Track and Field Athletes Toward Greatness

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MIDDLE SCHOOL TRACK AND FIELD TRAINING

Parents of track and field athletes


In a recent conversation with a parent of an elite 7th Grade runner from Massachusetts, I was asked when would be the best time for her to start getting serious about her training. I realized that despite my thirty years of NCAA I Head Coaching experience, I had never given this subject matter a great deal of thought. In my role as a college coach, I was accustomed to dealing with older runners and had never really given much thought to the beginning of the process.

We often read about college coaches signing multi-million dollar contracts, and yet the men and women in the trenches of creation – the coaches out there helping plant the seeds of determination and skill development are typically volunteering parents. As a result, it is easy to assume that the system works and that the most talented athletes will eventually rise to the top. However, it is quite possible that this “wait-for-the-fire-to-ignite-within” approach to skill development and commitment levels in the sport of track and field is selling our future elite athletes short.

Imagine a young musician, artist or scientist delaying the development of their skill-set simply to avoid burnout. As coaches and parents, we oftentimes sit back, waiting for the young athlete to find their passion – as if it is sleeping within simply waiting to be awoken. A new joint study by researchers from Yale- Singapore and Stanford University states that “the ‘find your passion’ mantra may be a hindrance, distracting the individual from the actualization of their potential.”

In that study, researchers asked the question, “Are interests there all along, waiting to be revealed or must a spark of interest be cultivated through investment and persistence?” From the results of this study, it appears that developing and nurturing passion can be highly effective, particularly when compared to taking a wait and see approach. With more deliberate action, it becomes the responsibility of the participant and their network of support to help grow that “passion” through a systematic plan of logical progression and pedagogy. 

So, how does this apply to your elite junior high track and field athlete? Maybe, it is time to rethink the traditional model in our sport of waiting for that inner fire to ignite or for the tangible line in the sand to be crossed at a particular age. Perhaps, with a sound training plan and the right encouragement – we can develop these middle school athletes into highly successful high school, collegiate and post-collegiate runners by getting them started earlier.

We must ask ourselves how do we start developing this passion in a healthy manner. A former runner of mine at Columbia University and highly touted author, David Epstein (See – The Sport’s Gene) suggests that positive feedback is linked to higher performance. He cited research by sports psychologist

Christian Cook in which subjects performed better and were less likely to repeat mistakes when they were given positive feedback at an early age of participation. “I don’t know if it’s counterintuitive that positive feedback works, but it’s not the intuitive way for [coaches] to act,” Epstein says, explaining that coaches naturally identify what’s wrong and instruct athletes how to improve. “If you had to choose between needing feedback when we did something wrong or when we did something right, I’m convinced now it’s when we did something right. And that’s when people don’t give feedback,” he says. “They pay attention to what’s wrong.” So, during this time – clap before correcting. There will be plenty of time to correct in the future.

Epstein’s thoughts were reiterated in a recent article by Jenny Anderson entitled, “ Parents: Let Your Kids Fail. You’ll Be Doing Them a Favor”. She lists three ways in which we can help younger athletes develop their passion and succeed:

            1. Praise efforts, not outcomes (clap before correcting)

            2. Cheer like a grandparent, not a parent. (clap before correcting)

            3. Realize the coach is your partner, not your adversary.

For a tangible example of how effective helping younger athletes develop their passion can be -  look no further than this year’s World Cup. According to Troy Engle (former USMA Head Track and Field Coach and current Director of Coach Development for Sport Singapore), Belgium and France have  “Two of the greatest sporting systems and coaching development programs in any sport in the world. Hardly a coincidence that they are among the four remaining team…there is a lot for all of us to gain from their best practices”

To answer the initial question of when is the logical time to get started with a more formalized plan for younger runners hoping to become elite runners. I would suggest somewhere between ages 11-13.

How To Train Like A State Champion – An Inside Look at Dustin Horter’s Championship Season Training Schedule

Dustin Horter

How To Train For the Mile

Want to run fast at the end of the season?  Below you will find the final 13 days of Dustin Horter’s incredible high school running career. Four things to take away from Dustin’s running log:

1.     Stay with what got you there – remain consistent.

2.     Do not taper too much

3.     Don’t press - stay controlled and comfortable during quality work.

4.     Communicate with your coach about everything.

His Final Two Weeks:

Sunday – 9 miles @ 6:20 pace. Slower than usual but getting ready for States.

Monday – 6 miles @ 6:23 pace + 4 x 150m in 20-21. Smooth and relaxed run with coach.

Tuesday – 1.5 mile w/u jog – 8 x 400m in 65 w/ 60-90 seconds rest – 2.5 mile cool down. I felt really good and strong. I did not feel like I was pushing myself at all

 Wednesday – 6 miles @ 6:24 pace + 4 x 150m in 20-21. Slowly drawing back on intensity, but keeping mileage consistent. I felt very relaxed.

Thursday – 1.5 mile warm up +8 x 200m in 29 – 1.5 mile cool-down. I spiked up for this one. This workout was the easiest I have felt all week.

Friday4 miles at 6:49 pace at 7:00 am to get as much rest as possible before tomorrow + 4 x 150m in 20-21.

Saturday – Ohio State Meet – 4:06.96 (1st), 9:05.88 (3rd)

Sunday – 6 miles @ 6:21 pace. Staying consistent with what we have been doing to get ready for the national meet. Kept things pretty chill – no long run this week as my coach and I decided not to consider mileage this week at all. We decided to supplement harder workouts for missed mileage.

 Monday – 1.5 mile easy + 400m in 58, 2 x 300m in 44, 600m in 1:28 – 800m recovery jog – 4 x 200m in 26-27 – 1.5 mile cool down. Overall this was a great day for me and a confidence booster going into the weekend. I felt comfortable and controlled!

Tuesday – 6 miles @ 6:11 pace + 4 x 150m in 20-21. Pretty easy day. 

Wednesday – 1.5 mile warm-up -8 x 200m in 29 – 1.5 mile cool-down. This is basically my go to tune-up before big races (see above). Felt great, other than it being so hot out.  

Thursday – 4 miles @ 6:40 pace . Nice jog with some friends out in Seattle – a lot of talking and laughing. Followed run with 4 x 150m.

Friday – Brooks PR Invitational – 4:04.68 (1st) 

SEE VIDEO OF RACE HERE

The History of the United States According to the Women's Steeplechase

Below is an excerpt from Liam Boylan-Pett's amazing historical look at the evolution of the steeplechase. It is this month's feature article in his newly created Lope Magazine - a magazine devoted entirely to providing eye-opening stories from the track. road and trail.  "This is the hurdle Emma Coburn has been waiting for—the final water jump of the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2017 World Track and Field Championships. She is in medal contention with less than two-hundred meters to go, but she is not focused on that right now, or the fact that fellow American Courtney Frerichs is also in position for a medal. Coburn is dead set on one thing: Nailing this final water jump."  "To understand how we ended up in this situation—how the United States, who had won only one global medal in the women’s steeplechase (not to mention, only eleven on the men’s side since 1900), had two runners leading the 2017 world championships with less than one-hundred-fifty meters to go—you have to go back to 1991, when American women finally had a chance to race for a national title in that odd, nearly two-mile event made for horses with immovable hurdles and water jumps."  Check out the archive section of Lope magazine to read more about  “We’ve got Kansas, Oral Roberts, Mississippi State, LSU, Michigan, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Villanova all in this mix. But it’s Columbia, in the light blue, leading.” -  perhaps my and Liam Boylan-Pett greatest sport's moment. -  https://lopemagazine.com/2018/05/14/columbia-penn-relays-4x800-upset-liam-boylan-pett/#about   To learn more about Liam Boylan-Pett and other former athletes I coached click here  - https://www.fasttrackrecruiting.com/athletes-i-have-coached/

Below is an excerpt from Liam Boylan-Pett's amazing historical look at the evolution of the steeplechase. It is this month's feature article in his newly created Lope Magazine - a magazine devoted entirely to providing eye-opening stories from the track. road and trail.

"This is the hurdle Emma Coburn has been waiting for—the final water jump of the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2017 World Track and Field Championships. She is in medal contention with less than two-hundred meters to go, but she is not focused on that right now, or the fact that fellow American Courtney Frerichs is also in position for a medal. Coburn is dead set on one thing: Nailing this final water jump."

"To understand how we ended up in this situation—how the United States, who had won only one global medal in the women’s steeplechase (not to mention, only eleven on the men’s side since 1900), had two runners leading the 2017 world championships with less than one-hundred-fifty meters to go—you have to go back to 1991, when American women finally had a chance to race for a national title in that odd, nearly two-mile event made for horses with immovable hurdles and water jumps."

Check out the archive section of Lope magazine to read more about “We’ve got Kansas, Oral Roberts, Mississippi State, LSU, Michigan, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Villanova all in this mix. But it’s Columbia, in the light blue, leading.” - perhaps my and Liam Boylan-Pett greatest sport's moment. - https://lopemagazine.com/2018/05/14/columbia-penn-relays-4x800-upset-liam-boylan-pett/#about

To learn more about Liam Boylan-Pett and other former athletes I coached click here - https://www.fasttrackrecruiting.com/athletes-i-have-coached/