ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:04 AM Page 1
Volume 20 No. 2
INSIDE: Best Track Meet in America 7 Drug Testing Works 8 Beth Alford-Sullivan 10 RBR Summer Mileage Program 13 Visit us on Facebook at American Track & Field or at http://american-trackandfield.com/atf/
PA ID U.S. Postage PRSRT STD
Permit #50 Fort Atkinson, WI
ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:04 AM Page 2
HELP THEM WRING OUT EVERYTHING THEY'VE GOT. Pushing your players hard is not just reserved for game day â€“ it's every day. Getting every last ounce begins and ends with the science of Gatorade. It's the fuel athletes need before, during and after activity to help them make the most of every advantage.
Your winning season starts now.
Energy designed for athletes
Electrolytes to help replace what they sweat out
Protein to help rebuild muscle
Learn more and get yours at gatorade.com/coaches GATORADE, G Series and G Design are registered trademarks of S-VC, Inc. ÂŠ2013 S-VC, Inc.
ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:04 AM Page 3
PUBLISHER’S NOTE Volume 20 No. 2
he ancient Olympic Games began around 776 bce and lasted until the emperor Theodosius cancelled all pagan celebrations in 339 ce. The first race was the stade, about 192.97m, and this was one length of the stadium, which could fit approximately 40,000 people (by “people,” they meant men). There would be up to 20 runners in such a race. In about 724 bce, the double stade, or diaulos, which was about 384 meters, was established. And then, for the long-distance geeks, in 708 bce a 24 stade race, or about 4.6 kilometers were instituted. by this time, all athletic events were done naked. The pentathlon was instituted in 708 b.c. It was made up of the discus, a standing long jump (weights were used in the hands), a javelin throw and the stadia. If there was a tie, then a fifth event, wrestling, was used to break the tie. False starts were not tolerated. False start, and you were beaten! It is fascinating to note that, for nearly one thousand years, Olympic Games were held, even during wars and natural disasters. Much of the reason that the Olympic Games were cancelled was because of the cheating. As the Greek culture and society collapsed, cheating became more widespread. considerering that, how much have society and culture really changed? (The above information was gleaned from Olympic Track & Field History by Mel Watman.) #olympics, #sportsandculture, #sportsandethics P.S. This is our new newsletter, published monthly between our four regular issues.
Special Thanks To: Tim Garant, Alex Larsen, Tom Mack, Deb Keckeisen, Sydney Wesemann In loving memory of Violet Robertson, 1913–2003 american-trackandfield.com ph: 608.239.3785; fax: 920.563.7298 firstname.lastname@example.org
American Track & Field (ISSN 1098-64640) is produced, published and owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc., P.O. Box 801, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin 53538-0801. Publisher assumes no liability for matter printed. Publisher assumes no liability or responsibility for content of paid advertising and reserves the right to reject paid advertising. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Publisher. Copyright 2013 by Shooting Star Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in any form without written permission of the Publisher. American Track & Field is not related to or endorsed by any other entity or corporation with a similar name and is solely owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc. Publisher recommends, as with all fitness and health issues, you consult with your physician before instituting any changes in your fitness program.
3 ATF Special Report • TOC
Group Publisher: Larry Eder, email@example.com Group Editor: Christine Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: Larry Eder, email@example.com Writers/Contributors: Peter Abraham, Dave Hunter, Larry Eder Circulation Changes: firstname.lastname@example.org Photographers: Victah Sailer/PhotoRun, Mark Selders/Penn State Athletic Communications Layout/Design: Alex Larsen Editor: Larry Eder Pre-Press/Printer: W. D. Hoard & Sons Co., Fort Atkinson, WI Publisher’s Rep: Larry Eder, email@example.com ph: 608.239.3785; fax 920.563.7298
ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:04 AM Page 4
ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:05 AM Page 5
ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:05 AM Page 6
Sponsored By One of the most unexpected running performances in 2012 featured Meb’s victory and new PR at the Houston Trials on January 15, 2012, and his fourth place and fastest American finish at the London Games on August 12, 2012. Meb is an elite runner who always races best under the most difficult conditions. Coached for 18 years by Bob Larson, he finds strength in his ongoing relationships.
Engineered to promote a midfoot strike.
Meb forged a new partnership with the Skechers Performance Division as he was training for the 2011 New York City Marathon. He worked with the footwear company’s design team on the development of Skechers GOrun and leveraged his experience to fine tune the design of Skechers GOrun 2. When I interviewed Meb in November 2011, he told me that after using Skechers GOrun he no longer had to wear orthotic inserts in his shoes — something that amazed him. Skechers asked Meb to answer a few of our training questions below. Check out what he has to say and make sure you follow the Skechers Performance Division’s advice and give Skechers GOrun 2 a try at your local running store to see how they work for you! Find a dealer near you at: SkechersPerformance.com or roadrunnersports.com.
Traction control. Responsive feedback.
Meb earned a silver medal at the 2004 Athens games and won the 2009 New York City Marathon. We caught up with him in early February, while he was training for the 2013 Boston Marathon. Proprietary lightweight injection-molded midsole
Q: Meb, you’re a top world-class marathoner, but while the vast majority of the runners in most marathons take their running seriously, they’re not serious competitors for the podium or anywhere near it. How should they train?
Minimal heel lift keeps the foot in a nearly neutral position.
MEB: The first thing I’d say would be, “What race are you getting ready for?” That’s what you should train for. That’s the reason for every workout. Now, if you’re running a halfmarathon in a couple of weeks, as part of your preparation for a full marathon, say, two months from now, then your training for the half is part of your
marathon training. Use it (the half) to experiment: for example going out at a hard pace and seeing how long you can keep it up. Or see if you can run exactly even splits for the half, or even go for negative splits. Learn what you can or can’t do. The point is that every workout should have a purpose, even if it’s just to recover from a hard workout the day before. Make a plan for each workout and each race. Then execute your plan. Q: Any other advice?
6.6 ounces (Men’s size 9) 5.2 ounces (Women’s size 7)
MEB: Find somebody you can train with on a regular basis – it can be an individual or a group. Having a training partner or partners makes it easier to get out the door on those days when you’d really rather not. And one more thing about the marathon. In the first half of the race, it’s better to be too slow than too fast. That’s a luxury I don’t have; I have to stay with the leaders to have a chance to win the race. But you can – and should – run your own race. The race you’ve planned.
skechersperformance.com Facebook: SkechersPerformance Twitter: @skechersGO
Is This America’s Best Track Meet? Sure, you know about the famed Prefontaine Classic meet in Oregon, which is a showcase for Nike’s marketing muscle. And probably the adidas Grand Prix Diamond League meet in New York City. Or perhaps the USA Track & Field National Championships. You may not have heard of the OXY (Occidental) High Performance track meet, but it might be the most compelling meet in the country. This meet is different. Like a few other big meets, the fields are world class—this year’s event featured much of the U.S. Olympic team as well as global distance superstar Mo Farah. While the Pre meet and other Dia-
in such an intimate venue. The value of their foundational work isn’t lost on me. But neither is the opportunity to take OXY to the next level. Currently, OXY is the equivalent of holding a PGA Tour event, with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, at a local municipal course with a miniscule gallery of insider spectators and almost no media coverage. Hard to imagine, right? Well, in track and field it’s commonplace. But that’s also the opportunity here. Outside of the Olympic Trials or a big-city marathon, I can’t think of a better way to bring distance running to a new audience. Not only is this event already great
The OXY HP Meet might be the most compelling meet in the country. mond League races do have faster fields overall, their heats are stocked with Kenyans and Ethiopians who are unknown to all but the most hardcore track fans. OXY showcases, for the most part, the stars of American distance running. Moreover, it doesn’t try to cram every track and field event into one evening. Just distance events: the 800, 1500, steeplechase and 5000. That’s it. One of the biggest mistakes brands, or events, make nowadays is trying to be all things to all people. The fact is that a single traditional track meet actually plays to several audiences with sprinters, jumpers, throwers and distance runners all on display. Distance fans really comprise a discrete tribe, so why not create an event just for them? I love that OXY does this. The organizers of this event— Rose Monday, Frank Gagliano and Jon Marcus—have done an incredible job building it thus far. I commend them for creating such a great meet
and getting better, but it’s in Los Angeles, the fittest big city in America. If Rose and her team want to grow OXY to it’s rightful place as America’s best track meet (and to be clear, they may not), they require some significant upgrades. OXY needs to mature along with its potential.
Here’s my 10-point plan to build this meet into a world-class event: 1. Immediately move the meet to UCLA’s Drake Stadium. While OXY has benefited from the quaint environs of the 2,400-seat Jack Kemp Stadium, this venue is at capacity, and there is no real estate to add temporary seating. A move to Drake, with its 12,000 seats, would allow the race to scale upward for years, with plenty of parking and amenities. Continued on page 12
7 ATF Special Report • Occidental
Story by PeterAbraham
ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:05 AM Page 7
Story by LarryEder
ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:05 AM Page 8
At the 2004 Olympic Games, a shot putter had the Gold medal ceremoniously placed around his neck in front of cheering spectators. That athlete subsequently tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and was stripped of the medal. At the recent U.S. Track & Field Championships, Adam Nelson finally received the Olympic Gold medal he earned in 2004.
As a journalist and someone who loves track I have to say the following: For drug testing to work, it has to catch the cheaters. When all testing does is catch masters athletes or old former Soviet bloc throwers on strychnine, I am suspicious. While it breaks my heart that Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell tested positive, I understand that for drug testing to work, it has to convince the athletes, coaches and trainers that all are on an even training field.
8 ATF Special Report • Drug Testing Works
I do get weary of reading—anytime we have a series of busts—some folks’ articles about the death of the sport. Do me a favor and watch the Tour de France. One good buddy, a total track hound, has been hooked on the Tour this year. Why? “Cycling has cleaned up, and the guys have good and bad days, so someone you have never heard of has a good day, then is exhausted, and another rider comes up! Cycling is exciting again.” Drug testing will catch the majority of cheaters. For drug testing to work, though, it has to work on positive tests, out-of-competition testing and jurisprudence recognized in U.S. and world courts. Using any means possible to catch cheats is just lowering ourselves to their level. Using banned substances is just plain wrong. Whether you are a Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jew or agnostic, right and wrong exist in your system of beliefs. Want to curb cheating in sports? Teach sports ethics. ESPN, the pinnacle of sports media, needs to recognize athletes who get their PhDs (Allan Page), start an after-school program, build a hospital, live a good life. One can be a fine athlete, a great coach or a fine trainer and not be a thug, drug cheat or rude. Sports needs to be part of a well-rounded life, not the meaning of life. Consider this while on your run, walk or yoga class today. t
ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:05 AM Page 9
Welcome to the IAAF News Page! Exclusively for the Running Network LLC $
$&! "% $#' %' + !! ! ) )'( A@9AH0 B@AC # $' $+0 )'' 2 $ " ( 2 2 ( "0 # ( ! ( ")'( * ( & # '( # & '( # & ($%3C /# ' ( ( "% $#' %' )# B@9BC # ' $ # '0 2 # "$'( * #('0 + 5!! * ( & 2 2 ( ! ( ' $"3 % ( # 0 )( ' # B@AA $&! "%' $! " ! '(' & * - ' #($ ( B@AC $&! "% $#' %'0 ( 2 2 + !! * D ( ! ( ' $"% ( # # ( $' * #('2 ( $& ' )! ' # )% ( ' $)( ( 2 2( " (( # 2 &# "$& $)( ( $&! "% $#' %' (
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
# " !
" %& !
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
) & $'
+++2&)## # # (+$& 2 $"
Story by DaveHunter
ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:05 AM Page 10
10 ATF Special Report • Blazing The Trail
“I want to win a major championship with the men. I want to win a big title, a big trophy with the men. We’re on a mission and we’re getting closer. That is on my bucket list for sure,” she confides.
Blazing the Trail Penn State’s Beth Alford-Sullivan Is A Track & Field Pioneer Track and field coaching has a peculiar twist to it. Unlike some of the marquee collegiate sports like football, basketball, and baseball, the role of the skillful track and field coach is less obvious. And the coaches themselves are nearly invisible. For all but the most experienced and attentive fans of the sport, track and field coaches – un-uniformed and always in motion – are not easily observed or fully appreciated. They toil in virtual anonymity, preparing their charges in the solitude of their university facilities. And on meet day, they keep one eye on the form sheet while they look for that fleeting moment when a well-placed comment to an athlete might help shave another second or capture another centimeter. Without question, collegiate track and field teams need that accomplished coach just like the Cleveland Orchestra needs Franz Welser-Möst – both need that skilled leader who knows the talent and can harness it in the most effective way. And one of the best is Penn State’s maestro: Beth Alford-Sullivan. Alford-Sullivan has a coaching philosophy grounded on team balance and depth. “Our goal at Penn State is to always have a great, balanced team and to win championships off of that balance,” explains the Nittany Lion leader. It is a philosophy that has served her – and her cross country, indoor and outdoor teams – well over the years. Her balanced approach to team success has not denied Alford-Sullivan her fair share of marquee athletes. She has had her stand-out performers – the likes of Connie Moore, Shana Cox, Aleesha Barber, Bridget Franek and – more recently – current 800 star Casimir Loxsom. The Penn State coach has a particularly strong connection with Franek, the twotime World Championship athlete and 2012 Olympian in the steeplechase. What special insight prompted Alford-Sullivan to guide Franek toward the steeple? “I wish I had a great story that I saw something there. But in reality, she came to me and pushed it on me,” the coach explains. “Her freshman year right after cross country, Bridget came up to me and said, ‘I could do the steeple. I think I could
do the steeple.’ Every January, I start all of the freshman doing some hurdle drills to just see if anybody has a natural inclination to it. Bridget definitely did. But to be honest, I was skeptical. She was so valuable in the other events that I didn’t want to take the chance. She was going to score in so many events. I didn’t want to take the chance that she would get hurt. But she took to it like a fish to water,” explains Alford-Sullivan. “One of the motivating factors for her was that her dad was a steepler in college. And she is still chasing his P.R.” And with a smile she adds, “She is very, very close to his P.R.” But there is another special facet to Alford-Sullivan’s successful track and field coaching career. It is well understood that at least since 1920 – when the passage of the XIX Amendment to the Constitution granted women the franchise – all sectors of American society have undergone a distinct and important change – a broad transformation calculated to break down stereotypical barriers and provide equal opportunities for women. Track and field – particularly leadership positions in the coaching ranks – is no exception. Beth Alford-Sullivan has been a pioneer for women in track and field coaching – paving the way for other women to obtain track and field coaching opportunities. After a successful stint at Stanford, Alford-Sullivan came to State College, PA in 1999 to head the women’s track and field program. Later, in undertaking the leadership role of both the men’s and women’s programs at Penn State University in 2006, Alford-Sullivan became the first woman to coach a combined Division I track and field program. “[Coaching a combined Div. I program] is more common than you think. The Big Ten is a misnomer. The Big Ten still has some separate programs. If you look at the SEC, the PAC 12, the Big 12 – it is hard to name separate programs,” Alford-Sullivan explains. “The harder part of it is to find a combined program that has a woman in charge,” she adds with a laugh. At the helm at Penn State for 14 years, Alford-Sullivan and her success in guiding a combined Div. I track and field program have promoted enlightened thinking that has made it easier for other
ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:05 AM Page 11
11 ATF Special Report • Blazing The Trail
coach, you have to do that. You have one way to speak to sprinters, another way to speak to distance runners, and another way to speak to your staff. And if you can do that, you’re effective. We create a team and an environment around ‘Want To Win.’ And our athletes want to win the right way: in a competitive environment by being pushed to their best. That’s what we teach and that’s what we try to enhance.” It’s a family affair for Alford-Sullivan and her husband, Jim Sullivan. The Penn State head coach met her husband-to-be while she pursued her Master’s degree in Sports Administration at Southern Illinois University and served as the assistant head coach for the Saluki track and field team. Now a full-time instructor in the Dept. of Kinesiology at Penn State, Jim Sullivan – a former Saluki vaulter – volunteers his time as Alford-Sullivan’s pole vault coach. “He’s a track guy inside out and upside down,” says his wife, smiling. With many years of coaching left to embrace, Alford-Sullivan has yet to take stock of how she might like to be remembered. “I don’t know if I have ever thought of [my legacy]. Nobody’s ever asked me that. One of things that I truly want to be known for is being a part of championship programs. I hope I continue to have a career that is exciting, rewarding, and enjoyable.” But the director and head coach of track and field and cross country at Penn State University hasn’t the time to dwell on what her legacy may ultimately be. With a career in full stride, she is far from done. Earlier this year, another honor – and challenge – came her way. AlfordSullivan was tapped to lead Team USA as the women’s head coach at the 14 World Outdoor Championships in Moscow. Alford-Sullivan also revealed some unfinished business, yet another goal. “I want to win a major championship with the men. I want to win a big title, a big trophy with the men. We’re on a mission and we’re getting closer. That is on my bucket list for sure,” she confides. “I was the first woman to break into the top 10 at the men’s national meet,” offers AlfordSullivan. And she adds, “But no woman has won a men’s national team title. We’re looking to keep that at the forefront for me personally and professionally. It will be my goal until I get it done.” Those who know Beth Alford-Sullivan, what she has accomplished and what she has meant to women and to the sport of track and field harbor little doubt that she can get it done. t
Mark Selders/Penn State Athletic Communications
women (e.g., Robyne Johnson at Boston University, Cathrine Erickson at Northeastern, Kathleen Raske at Sacramento State) to follow in her combined program footsteps. But old ways of thinking die hard. How difficult has it been for a woman to gain acceptance and respect within a long-standing old boys’ fraternity like the track and field coaching community? “The thing that is difficult is this: Results speak for themselves,” Alford-Sullivan offers candidly. “So as long as you are doing a good job, you’re following the rules and your team starts to produce, you’re going to get credit. But it can be difficult at times,” she admits. “The hard part is the reaction if I get mad and I protest something, if I state my case. That’s when you might still feel it.” If – as Alford-Sullivan suggests – results speak for themselves, the results for the Nittany Lion leader speak loudly and articulately indeed. During AlfordSullivan’s Penn State tenure, her athletes have achieved at the highest level – with 138 All-Americans, 4 NCAA champions, 3 Olympians and 2 world championship qualifiers. And that has translated into team success as well – with six Big Ten team championships and two NCAA trophy teams. As a consequence of these individual and program successes at Penn State and elsewhere, Alford-Sullivan has received an abundance of personal accolades for her coaching acumen – such as more than two dozen different Coach of the Year awards, which includes the NCAA Div. I Coach of the Year Award in 1996. The coach’s easily-observed attentive nature helps explain her success in connecting with her athletes – both women and men. “Right now, I don’t find any barrier in dealing with the guys,” she explains. “Part of that is I have aged. I’m not as young as I used to be, and they don’t relate to me as a young person anymore. They respect the authority and the position. It’s not a strange thing to them anymore.” And with a nod to the societal changes that have helped to promote the acceptance of women in male-dominated fields, Alford-Sullivan adds, “I think kids are growing much more exposed to women in positions of leadership and authority. So it’s not a strange thing to them.” The PSU coach also knows that playing multiple roles is yet another coaching challenge. “One of things you have to do in the job that I have is to switch hats constantly. But I think when you are a track
ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:05 AM Page 12
America’s Best Track Meet? Continued from page 7 2. Assemble a professional media team. Currently, the Occidental meet does almost no media or press whatsoever. That needs to change. I’d add a small media team starting a month or so in advance of the event with PR, social media, and video content. 3. Create a real social media profile. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Proper hashtag usage, including a hashtag chalked onto the infield so all the spectators can get on the same page. Then the OXY needs a professional social media staff the night of the race to be constantly tweeting, posting to Facebook, sending out photos and videos, etc. This approach is critical for any live event nowadays. 4. Build a website. It’s hard to imagine any event without even a basic website, but OXY currently lacks one. It took me 10 minutes on Google to find even its basic page on the Occidental College site. A website can be built in a few weeks for a couple thousand dollars. It should incorporate all the social media channels and be updated daily in the weeks leading up to the event. 5. Create great video content before, during and after the meet. Flotrack did a good job with live video of this year’s event, but it could be even better. This is inexpensive and effective storytelling. Shoot some preview pieces in advance and get them out with press releases. Then do a really nice live streaming production with RunnerSpace or Flotrack, and immediately (night of event) cut a highlight video and send it around with a wrap-up press release.
12 ATF Special Report
6. Develop a comprehensive PR strategy. The OXY needs to get local and national media excited about this event. A friend of mine is a local news anchor in LA and a committed marathoner and triathlete. He’d love to cover Occidental, but I’m guessing no one bothered to tell him about it. I follow running media obsessively, and I saw absolutely no coverage at all of Occidental before or after the event outside of Flotrack and the usual diehard tweeters. 7. Use analytics. It’s super important for event organizers to understand how their media is or is not working. So one needs to use a comprehensive social media data mining platform. There are free tools like Addictomatic and more in-depth tools like Tracx. Either way, this should be a priority.
8. Get sponsorship. I wasn’t aware of any sponsors at the event. There may have been some, but they weren’t visible to me. OXY could hire a competent corporate partnership agency like Collective Sports & Entertainment that knows both sponsorship and running. There are all kinds of opportunities to provide ROI to brand partners, but the biggest win would be in the digital space. Sponsors can get placement on the website and in social media and involvement in video and broadcast elements included in email blasts, etc. And the sponsors don’t necessarily have to include running shoe companies. There are so many other ways to go. Look at the HyVee Triathlon in Iowa. It’s got one of the richest prize purses in the sport, and it’s sponsored by a Midwestern grocery chain. 9. Actively reach out to the local community. It shouldn’t be difficult to get 10,000 spectators out for this event. I’d start by making a deal with Nike to bus in kids from the Students Run LA program (which Nike already sponsors). They train 3,000 at-risk middle school and high school kids every year to run the full LA Marathon. Why not get 2,000 of them to come out and be inspired by world-class performers? Then I’d offer half-price tickets to every high school track and XC team in the region. After that I’d reach out to the dozens of running clubs in Southern California. There are so many potential attendees—it’s just a matter of connecting with them. 10. Create a great spectator experience. I’d start with a mandatory autograph alley. Every athlete would be required to spend half an hour before or after their event meeting fans and signing autographs. At this year’s event there was zero opportunity for the many high school runners in attendance to meet their idols, unless they stood outside the back gate and intercepted athletes as they walked to their cars. The athletes were sequestered all the way across the field from the grandstand. The autograph zone could also include distance stars who may not be running at the event but would love the chance to grow their tribe: Meb, Deena, Ryan Hall, and Shalane Flanagan. There should also be great food, fun giveaways, a VIP skybox, and a scoreboard loaded with useful info. Any event needs to take time to understand the customer experience and optimize it. t Peter Abraham is a media consultant.
ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:05 AM Page 13
Summer training is the key to success, not only in cross country next fall, but also the following spring track season. The keys are to build yourself up, both physically and mentally. We at AT&F met with the folks at Saucony to help promote this program. Here’s what we're going to do: We’ll provide you with 12 weeks of summer and fall training, taking you through the first month of your season in this training program. We'll also provide you with fine-tuning suggestions each and every week on www.atf-athlete.com starting the week of July 1. We’re publishing this piece in American Track & Field, Athletes Only, and California Track & Running News. After your track season, you need to take a couple weeks’ break. The break can be a complete departure from running and your regular schedule. If you want to run, then no more than four runs a week of about 40 minutes. Your body and spirit need a break. Pick some books you want to read this summer. Pick the movies you’ve not yet seen. Do some summer vegging. Remember, your summer training program is to build you up and prepare your body and spirit to handle the hard racing and training that come in the fall. This can only happen if you allow your body to rest and find outlets from the training regimen. Before You Begin Your Training . . . 1. Make sure you have two pairs of good training shoes. We suggest that most training shoes can last about 12–16 weeks with your level of training. Take your time when you go to your local running store to purchase training shoes and remember to go at the end of the day (your feet swell during the day). Bring a clean pair of socks and be prepared to check out 5–7 pairs of shoes to find the right shoe for you. Also check socks, shorts, and tops (although you probably have enough t-shirts to keep you going for months!). 2. Make sure you’re hydrating yourself. Eight to 10 glasses of water a day plus sports drinks and juice are a good start. Drink coffee, tea and carbonated soda sparingly. 3. You need to fuel the engine. To do that, you have to get the proper amount and proper types of food into your system. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pasta, and modest amounts of fish, chicken and beef make sense. For snacks, try an apple and peanut butter. Nuts are good. Pizza, tacos and a trip to fast food places are fine, as long as you're not doing it every day! 4. Sleep. Yes, sleep is important. I know that at 17 or 18 you can text all night or check out the newest game on Xbox, but it will affect your training. Get 8–10 hours of sleep and, if you can, try for a nap (yes) on a few afternoons.
6. Inspiration. Find some good books (Once a Runner, The Irishmen Who Ran for Britain, The Lonely Breed, A Cold, Clear Day, Self-Made Olympian) that can inspire you. Find music that inspires you (Outkast, Disturbed, Hurt, Counting Crows, Led Zeppelin, ACDC). We will post our partner’s, the Shoe Addicts, running music lists to inspire you! 7. Goals. Do you want to make the top 7? Do you want to improve your times at your league and section meets? Do you want to race better over the second half of the course? Think about these things now, write them on a card and prop them in your room where you can read them each day. Continued on page 14
13 ATF Special Report • Summer Mileage
5. Get your training group down. Some people like to train by themselves, but find a group helps with the hard days or long runs. Find what works for you and your training style.
ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:05 AM Page 14
Week 1: Summer Training Begins . . . In this week, we get you on the road to a good summer of training. You will run a long run, a tempo run and some moderately paced runs each week. Don’t worry about pace the first two weeks, just get out there, have some fun and get in the habit. Workouts always start with warmup, some gentle stretching major muscle groups, light jogging. Do the same for cool down. Monday: Warm up; 35–40 minutes easy running; cool down. Tuesday: 1-mile warm up; 20-minute tempo run; 1-mile cool down. To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. For example: if you currently run 19 minutes for a 5K, that’s 6:10 pace. Add 30 seconds and your tempo run pace is 6:40-per-mile. Wednesday: Warm up; 35-40 minutes easy running; cool down. Thursday: 1-mile warm up; 2 Hill Repeats (run 200 yds uphill, turn, jog downhill to start. Repeat one more time, no rest); 1-mile easy cool down. Friday: Warm up; 35–40 minutes easy running; cool down. Saturday: Off. Walk, bike, see Man Of Steel. Sunday: Long, easy run, 45 minutes, on grass or dirt.
Week 2: Getting the Habit Started . . . Make sure that you’re doing your runs on a variety of surfaces—dirt, grassy fields, sand, road, track. It's good for the feet, and lets you use your feet in a healthy way.You’ll be a little sore this week as your body adjusts. Drink your liquids, sleep, eat well and hang out with your friends. Monday: Warm up; 40 minutes easy running; 2x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down. Tuesday: 1-mile warm up; 20-minute tempo run; 1-mile cool down. To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. For example: if you currently run 19 minutes for a 5K, that’s 6:10 pace. Add 30 seconds and your tempo run pace is 6:40-per-mile. Wednesday: Warm up; 40 minutes easy running; 2x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down. Thursday: 1-mile warm up; 3 Hill Repeats (run 200 yds uphill, turn, jog downhill to start. Repeat twice more, no rests); 1-mile easy cool down. Friday: Warm up; 40 minutes easy running; 2x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down. Saturday: Off. Walk, bike, watch a movie. Sunday: Long, easy run, 50 minutes, on grass or dirt.
14 ATF Special Report • Summer Mileage
Week 3: Training Gets Rolling . . . You will begin running 6 days a week. Juniors and seniors can being 7 days a week. For college athletes, add a 35–40 minute session of easy running on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday: Warm up; 40–45 minutes easy running; 3x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down. Tuesday: 1-mile warm up; 20-minute tempo run, 1-mile cool down. To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. For example: if you currently run 19 minutes for a 5K, that’s 6:10 pace. Add 30 seconds and your tempo run pace is 6:40-per-mile. Wednesday: Warm up; 40–45 minutes easy running; 3x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down. Thursday: 1-mile warm up, 4 Hill Repeats (run 200 yds uphill, turn, jog downhill to start. Repeat three more times, no rests); 1-mile cool down. Friday: Warm up; 40–45 minutes easy running; 3x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down. Saturday: Easy 30-minute run or a walk. Sunday: Long, easy run, 50–55 minutes, on grass or dirt. Hang with friends.
ATF-SpecialREPORT.qxd_Layout 1 7/22/13 10:05 AM Page 15
Week 4: The Training Gets Tough . . . By now, you should be running at a better pace than when you started and noting that your tempo runs are more fun. You’re getting into a groove. Do the tempo runs and hill runs with teammates. The hard workouts are easier this way. Monday: Warm up, 40–45 minutes easy running; 4x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down. Tuesday: 1-mile warm up, 20-minute tempo run, 1-mile cool down. To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. For example: if you currently run 19 minutes for a 5K, that’s 6:10 pace. Add 30 seconds and your tempo run pace is 6:40-per-mile. Wednesday: Warm up, 40–45 minutes easy running; 4x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down. Thursday: 1-mile warm up, 5 hill repeats (run 200 yds uphill, turn, jog downhill to start. Repeat four more times, no rests); 1-mile easy cool down. Friday: Warm up, 40–45 minutes easy run; 4x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down. Saturday: Find an all-comers meet and run a 2-mile or 5K. Warm up, run strong, and then cool down. Sunday: Long, easy run, 55–60 minutes, on grass or dirt, with friends.
Week 5: Getting on Track . . . You are getting on track. Make sure you remain focused on your goals. You are starting to get fit, you run faster, you feel fitter. Stay focused. Monday: Warm up, 45–50 minutes easy running; 5x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down. Tuesday: 1-mile warm up, 20-minute tempo run, 1-mile cool down. To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. For example: if you currently run 19 minutes for a 5K, that’s 6:10 pace. Add 30 seconds and your tempo run pace is 6:40-per-mile. Wednesday: Warm up, 45–50 minutes easy running; 5x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down. Thursday: 1-mile warm up, 6 Hill Repeats (run 200 yds uphill, turn, jog downhill to start. Repeat five more times, no rests); 1-mile easy cool down. Friday: Warm up; 45–50 minutes easy running; 5x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down. Saturday: Easy 30-minute run or a walk. Sunday: Long, easy run, 60–65 minutes, on grass or dirt with friends.
Monday: Warm up; 45–50 minutes easy running; 6x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down. Tuesday: 1-mile warm up, 20-minute tempo run, 1-mile cool down. To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. For example: if you currently run 18:50 minutes for a 5K, that’s 6:05 pace. Add 30 seconds and your tempo run pace is 6:35-per-mile. Wednesday: Warm up; 45–50 minutes easy running; 6x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down Thursday: 1-mile warm up, 7 hill repeats (run 200 yds uphill, turn, jog downhill to start. Repeat six more times, no rests); 1-mile easy cool down. Friday: Warm up; 45–50 minutes easy running; 6x150 yards relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down. Saturday: Easy 30 minutes or find a hilly 4-mile race. Sunday: Long, easy run, 65–70 minutes, on grass or dirt with friends. t
15 ATF Special Report • Summer Mileage
Week 6: Midway Through Summer . . . This is a tough week. Check your shoes and make sure they aren't too worn. Consider getting some racing shoes for the fall and use them for tempo runs.
ATF-SpecialREPORT_Layout 1 7/26/13 10:47 AM Page 16