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Volume 6, No. 1
Permit #50 Fort Atkinson, WI
PA I D PRST STD U.S. Postage
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DESTROY YOUR MARK IN THE NIKE SUPERFLY. RUN UNLEASHED. NIKETF.COM
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COACHING AT H L E T I C S
Laying a Training Foundation for Teenage Runners
by Larry Eder
Three Important Words for Cross Country by Dave Frank
by Roy Stevenson
Land + Water = Optimal Performance for Runners by Dr. Garry Killgore
Race-Specific Training for Teenage Distance Runners by Roy Stevenson
2011 Spring Shoe Review
Maximum Nutrition for the Young Track and Field Athlete by Roy Stevenson
by Cregg Weinmann On the cover: Lukas Verzbicas, photo by Victah, PhotoRun.NET
COACHING AT H L E T I C S
Volume 6, Number 1 Spring 2011
Group Publisher: Larry Eder, email@example.com, 920-563-5551, ext. 112 Group Editor: Christine Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: Larry Eder, email@example.com, 608-239-3785 Writers/Contributors: Dr. Garry Killgore, Roy Stevenson, Cregg Weinmann Photographers: Lisa Coniglio/PhotoRun, Victah Sailer/PhotoRun Layout/Design: Kristen Cerer Proofreader: Marg Sumner, Red Ink Editorial Services Editor: Toby Cook Pre-Press/Printer: W. D. Hoard & Sons Company, Fort Atkinson, WI
Special Thanks To: Kristen Cerer, Sue Hall, Alex Larsen, Debra Keckeisen, Tim Garant, Tom Mack, Mary Ward and Sydney Wesemann Dedicated to: Fr. Ralph Passerelli, S.J., Jim Marheinecke, Steve Pensinger, Dan Durante and Terry Ward, a.m.d.g. phone 608-239-3785; fax 920-563-7298 Coaching Athletics Quarterly is produced, published and owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc., PO Box 67, Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin 53538-0067, Christine Johnson, President, Larry Eder, Vice President. Copyright 2011 by Shooting Star Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Publisher assumes no liability for matter printed, and 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. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in any form without written permission of the Publisher. Coaching Athletics Quarterly 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.
Special Projects: Adam Johnson-Eder, firstname.lastname@example.org,
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Photo by: Victah, PhotoRun.NET
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publisher’s note Our sport is at the beginning of 3 years of championships: In 2011, we have the Euro Indoors in March and the World Champs in August; in 2012, Euro Champs, and Olympics; and in 2013, World Indoors and Outdoors. More complete training gives athletes longer careers, but championship years call more into action than the physical. The stress put upon one’s spirit and one’s body can’t be underestimated. I attended the AVIVA Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham, UK on Feb. 19. The meet was tremendous—sell-out crowd, great-looking track, strong field events and track events. The British crowd was charmed by Phillip Idowu’s last jump 17.57 WL for the triple jump. They went nuts when their Jenny Meadows won the 800 meters in 1:59.23 over Morgan Uceny’s 1:59.97. But the big deal was Mo Farah and Galen Rupp, who ran the 5000 meters. Farah and Rupp train together, and it showed in this race. Rupp took over the pace-making at 3000 meters, hit in 7:52.8. Rupp, with Farah close by, led through 4900 meters. At about 4000 meters, Mo Farah had a rough half lap, where he looked like it might be over. But he pulled it together and, with 100 meters to go, took off, winning the 5000 meters in a British and European record of 13:10.60. Galen Rupp broke the record of Bernard Lagat, running 13:11.44, by 0.06. How will this training together help Mo Farah and Galen Rupp? Will it give them the difference to persevere through 2013 and consider 2015–16? We will have to see!
Larry Eder, Publisher
Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2011
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Laying a Training Foundation for Teenage Runners By Roy Stevenson
acing well depends on your ability to maintain a fast pace for the entire length of the race, then being able to run even faster at the end. Some runners are more physiologically gifted in these areas than others, but I’ve seen many runners of lesser ability beat runners with more talent because the talented runners did not work as hard in training. It happens all the time. The point is, every runner can develop his or her cruising speed and fast finish with the right training. How do we go about achieving these goals? First, it’s important to realize that doing just one type of training does not develop these skills. Many coaches are “one note coaches,” who only have their runners do one thing in training, such as long, slow running, for example. Others beat up their runners by having them do interval training four or five days a week, which may have the runners racing well for a few short weeks, then crash miserably just when the championship races are held at the end of the season. Here are several types of foundation training that most high school and collegiate coaches use in their schedules, in varying degrees.
1. Long, slow distance. This technique lays the aerobic base for the faster work that is to follow as the racing season approaches. Here, the running is kept slow and steady during the conditioning phase. Young runners can do far more than you or they think possible. A good rule of thumb is for a teenage runner to do 10 miles plus his or her age in their long run, and they can often handle more than this. For example: A healthy 15-year-old can handle a 15mile run easily. One thing that many coaches fail to do is to program in an easy week every third or fourth week, where the length of each distance run, and the intensity or pace of each run, are reduced. This is called periodization and ensures that the athletes recover from their training. Cutting half an hour off the runs and slowing down their pace gives teen runners a programmed recovery, and they’ll bounce back the following week when they resume their normal schedules, and they’ll be able to handle more training than previously. It works like magic.
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2. Tempo running. Once every week, there is a need for the coach to introduce some fasterpaced running over long distances. Tempo running has many benefits, including simulating race pace, developing anaerobic threshold and lactate tolerance, and increasing stride rate and leg speed. These are done over an intermediate length distance, on a track or measured level surface, and are timed. The runners should aim for a steady pace and fast finish over the last 800 meters. 3. Hill running. Hills provide extra resistance that further increases leg power, recruits fast-twitch muscle fibers to develop that fast finish, improves lactate tolerance, increases oxygen consumption and increases leg turnover. Hill training can take many forms, from doing repeats over 100, 200, 400 or 600 meters, with a jog back down the hill, or sustained pace running up the hill during long runs. 4. Strength training. Some form of resistance training is necessary to develop lactate threshold, running economy, neuromuscular coordination, correct muscular imbalances, improve core stability and increase stride length. Jack Daniels, one of the country’s foremost coaches says, “For a beginning runner, gaining strength might be as important as running itself, and for an experienced runner might make the difference in whether or not you reach some lofty goals.” (Resistance training will be covered in more detail in a future issue of this magazine.) Adequate rest days of slow jogging should be planned between these high-intensity workouts, and as long as they are done slowly, young runners can run comfortably up to one hour without ill effects. The runner should pay attention to a healthy, balanced diet to ensure the muscles are being restocked with glycogen, and that normal growth and development are taking place. (More about nutrition for teen athletes in a following issue of this magazine). Savvy coaches experiment with several of these techniques, and blend them into a program that works for their athletes. It’s OK to experiment, as long as you are discarding what does not work, and including what does seem to work. A good coach should always be evolving his programs and schedules.
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running releases more than just sweat. the gel-kayano 17. biomechanically engineered for a manâ€™s foot. ÂŽ
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Introducing the New Balance 890 with REVLITE. It weighs practically nothing. It’s about to change everything.
Race-Specific Training for Teenage Distance Runners By Roy Stevenson
com/890 ©2011 New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. 10 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2011
eneral conditioning techniques, like long, steady aerobic running, hill running and strength training, are clearly necessary for developing the runner’s endurance and strength base. However, these training methods will not stress the athlete’s body enough to withstand the rigors of racing. Ethiopia’s Kenenise Bekele is perhaps the most perfect distance runner we have ever seen, with his ability to survive midrace surges, grind out a last mile close to 4 minutes in the 5000 and 10,000 meters, and still unleash a devastating sprint at the finish. How did Bekele develop his body to withstand this sort of punishment and win from the back or front of the pack? He has trained his body to tolerate, clear and buffer the rapid accumulation of lactic acid, and thus defying the fatigue that causes us to slow down when we hit a certain pace. There are three ways we can train our body to tolerate this sort of stress during races. The main technique used is interval training, which consists of a fast burst of running over a set distance, followed by a recovery run. This extends our ability to run at high intensity by building up lactic acid, then dispersing it during the easy jogging section. Three types of interval training have proven effective with teenage runners. They are (1) aerobic intervals, (2) fartlek and (3) anaerobic intervals. Here’s a primer on how to do each type of interval training: Aerobic Intervals. Perhaps the most underused subtype of interval training, this involves training at the pace where the runner consumes oxygen at a near-maximal rate. These intervals are longer, ranging from 600 meters to 2,000 meters, and should be done at 2-mile to 5000-meter race pace, getting the heart rate up to 85% to 95% of maximum. A heart rate monitor can prove useful here. Aerobic intervals have the added neuromuscular benefit of ingraining race pace and rhythm. How long should the recovery jog be? Most research shows that a recovery jog equal to the length of the fast interval burst gets the best results. For example, if the runner does an 800-meter repeat in 2:30, he should take a 2:30 jog to recover before the next fast burst. Fartlek. This is a free-form type of interval running, usually done on gently rolling cross country or trail surfaces, or in a forest or park, thus providing a welcome break from the track. Fartlek is a Swedish word that translates into “speed play,” and consists of running fast over a set distance or time, followed by recovery jogging, until the next fast burst. A fartlek workout can last up to one hour, including a 15-minute warm-up jog, and 10–15 minute cool-down jog. Fast repetition distances can be anywhere from 200 meters to one mile, and they can be mixed up; for example, 4x400 meters, 1x1 mile, 4x200 meters. Anaerobic Intervals. These exhausting sessions are best done on the track, at 5% to 15% faster than race pace, at 100% of maximal heart rate. Interval lengths range from 200 meters to 800 meters, with a recovery jogging of 1:2 to 1:4. How many repeats should teenage runners do? The cumulative total distance of the fast interval bursts should be between 800 and 3,200 meters. The runners may have to walk briefly during the recovery section, until they are ready to jog, but keep them moving the whole time. An example of anaerobic interval training would be a 4:40 miler running up to 8x400-meter intervals between 60 and 66 seconds, with a recovery jog of 2:00 to 2:12. These, then, are the three types of race-specific training that will best prepare your runners for the upcoming races. Always remember that the runners will vary in their ability to handle interval training. Give the younger runners fewer repetitions, with a longer recovery between.
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ÂŠ2011 New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.
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SHOE REVIEWS: Performance—16 • Neutral—18 • Motion Stabilizing—18
rench philosopher Jean-Baptiste Karr’s oft-quoted words “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” is usually translated “The more things change, the more they remain the same,” and that’s certainly true with the shoe offerings in Spring 2011.
We’ve had some new thinking and some new companies evident in every season for as long as I’ve been reviewing shoes. The changes we’re seeing this spring are merely a broadening of the shoes offered; the old reliables continue to be there. More lightweight and performance shoes are being introduced than in several decades (they represent fully half of the shoes in this review), more new brands are launching, new technologies continue to be introduced, and there’s more parity in the industry than perhaps ever. New thinking that’s been percolating in shoemakers’ minds for some time has finally flooded out, prompted by barefoot enthusiasts, as well as the emerging ranks of minimalist supporters. But never fear, the well-cushioned neutral category and motion stabilizing shoes continue to roll along, meeting the requirements of runners with specific biomechanical needs and fitness levels who aren’t yet ready for or interested in less shoe. So for those runners looking for something new—we have it. For those who prefer to stick with their tried-andtrue, we have those, too. —Cregg Weinmann, Running Network Footwear Reviewer 12 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2011
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Introducing the New Balance 890 with REVlite. The neutral-cushioning bar is hereby raised. Built with REVlite — the lightest midsole foam we’ve ever created — the 890 weighs practically nothing, and it’s about to change everything.
©2011 New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.
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WELCOME TO THE RUNNING NETWORK’S 2011 SPRING SHOE REVIEW At our recent Running Network meetings, one of the publishers asked why we review brands that are, well, hard to find. That question launched us into a discussion about what our responsibilities are as publishers. While most think there are only about a dozen running shoe companies, our footwear and apparel reviewer Cregg Weinmann noted that he keeps tabs on 43 brands, if you include trail running companies. Cregg and I have always been united in what his mission is: to provide you, the consumer, with knowledge of the best products, whether they come from large companies or small ones, whether 750 stores carry those products or just 50, or even whether they advertise in our publications or not. We review far more shoes than actually make it into these pages. In fact, we weartested 35 shoes to get to the 20 you see in this issue. Shoes from Scott, On, and Li-Ning did well enough to make the cut. While relatively new, these are brands we’ve been following for some time, and they’re available at some run specialty stores. While they don’t have the distribution of adidas, ASICS, Brooks, Mizuno, New Balance, Nike, Puma, and Saucony, in our business, good shoes rise to the top. Run specialty stores carry what sells and what you demand. That’s why brands like K-Swiss, Karhu, and Newton are filling more and more spots on shoe walls across the country. In fact, K-Swiss was brand new to the party just 2 years ago. We feel it’s our responsibility to let you know the full array of what’s available. If we don’t, how will we ever see something other than the status quo? Competition is a good thing, and so is an informed customer. In the end, of course, what you buy and wear is your choice. We provide our reviews as the beginning of your journey to find the just-right shoe for your activity level and needs. Read our reviews, then go to your run specialty store, try on six or seven brands and discuss them with the store staff. After all, they live the footwear battle, one pair at a time, 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Please note that www.runningnetwork.com and www.runblogrun.com now have iPhone apps, and that most of the 23 titles in our network are available as digital versions, so now you can take us with you on the go! You’ll find details at www.runningnetwork.com. Finally, if you have any comments or questions about a review, please email me at email@example.com or call me at 608.239.3785. I’d love to hear from you.
New Balance 1080
RIN G 201
RIN G 201
BEST NEW SHOE SPRING 2011
BEST RENOVATION SPRING 2011
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Brooks Ravenna 2
Nike Lunar Elite+ 2
Saucony ProGrid Mirage
American Track & Field www.american-trackandfield.com Athletes Only www.atf-athlete.com Athletics (Canada) www.athleticsontario.ca Austin Fit www.austinfitmagazine.com California Track & Running News www.caltrack.com Club Running www.rrca.org/publications/club-running Coaching Athletics Quarterly www.coachingathleticsq.com Colorado Runner www.coloradorunnermag.com Get Active! www.healthclubs.com Greater Long Island Running Club’s Footnotes www.glirc.org Latinos Corriendo www.latinoscorriendo.com Marathon Guide www.marathonguide.com
Larry Eder President, Running Network LLC
RUNNING NETWORK LLC PARTNERS
Puma Faas 500
Reviewer: Cregg Weinmann Project Coordinator/Editor: Christine Johnson Designer: Kristen Cerer Proofreader: Marg Sumner, Red Ink Editorial Services Shoe Photography: Daniel Saldaña, Cregg Weinmann Advertising Sales: Running Network LLC, Larry Eder, President, 608.239.3785, firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher: Larry Eder, 608.239.3785 Website: www.runningnetwork.com For a Media Kit, please visit our website. This 2011 Spring Shoe Review is produced independently by Running Network LLC for its partner publications. All shoes reviewed were tested by experienced, competitive runners who were matched to the biomechanical purpose of each shoe model. Copyright © 2011 by Running Network LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be stored, copied, or reprinted without prior written permission of Running Network LLC. Running Network LLC and its partner publications suggest that, as with all fitness activities, you meet with a healthcare professional before beginning or changing your fitness regimen.
Michigan Runner www.michiganrunner.net Missouri Runner & Triathlete www.morunandtri.com Running Journal & Racing South www.running.net RunMinnesota www.runmdra.org RUNOHIO www.runohio.com Track & Field News www.trackandfieldnews.com USATF’s Fast Forward www.usatf.org USATF–New England’s Exchange Zone www.usatfne.org The Winged Foot www.nyac.org The Winged M www.themac.com Youth Runner www.youthrunner.com
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PERFORMANCE adidas adiZero Aegis 2
Round 2 of the adiZero Aegis features some changes, along with many familiar features. The midsole is virtually the same: underfoot a soft, adiLite layer that’s atop a layer of adiPrene+ with the stabilizing ForMotion cassette in the heel. The outersole has received some minor alterations but still provides good durability and traction. The upper shows the most significant changes while maintaining its original objective: Align the foot over the low-profile sole while offering a touch of support. The original featured a tongue that opened only on the lateral side to shore up the overpronating foot. This version features two woven fabrics—stiffer, nonstretch on the medial side, open airmesh laterally—to achieve the same objective. The result is breathability and support. Overall, the lightweight and responsive Aegis 2 features flexibility and efficiency with a measure of stability that’s enhanced by the low profile, making it ideally equipped for faster-paced running. “Close, racer-like fit. Low profile makes them very stable, and improves reaction to the ground. Very light trainer; I’d say light and snappy. [Compared to the original] it is good, though not an improvement.” Updates the adiZero Aegis • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation • Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 10.3 oz. (size 11); Women 9.0 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel sliplasted • www.adidas.com
Karhu Fast2 Fulcrum_ride
In its second time out, the Fast Fulcum_ride features an update to the Karhu Fulcrum technology. The Fulcrum component has been reshaped slightly into a lower profile that now tips the foot forward at a gentler pitch. Up top, the new upper offers more room in the forefoot making it better suited to high-volume feet and keeps it open across the metatarsals to accommodate bunions or a wide forefoot. The midsole is still resilient and responsive EVA, though the Strobel board has an added layer of EVA to improve the level of full-length cushioning. The outersole is typical carbon and blown rubber, here in a reconfigured layout with a U-shaped heel and forefoot ridge of the more durable carbon rubber, with the softer blown rubber on the medial and lateral forefoot. The shoe is surprisingly light, providing neutral-footed runners another shoe choice for faster training. “I was surprised at the amount of cushion [it] seemed to have when there didn’t seem to be much of it. Very light weight. I liked it a lot.” Updates the Fast Fulcrum_ride • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 8–13,14; Women 6–11 • Weight: 11.2 oz. (men’s 11); 9.9 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • www.karhu.com
K-Swiss Kwicky Blade Light
The Kwicky Blade Light is a sibling to the Blade Light, but with a personality of its own. The midsole features the Blade-Light design of angled EVA blades for cushioning and energy transfer; however, here it’s enhanced with a second density for stability. A heel crashpad aids touchdown and is topped off with GuideGlide foam against the foot for comfort. Minimal outersole rubber in high-wear areas keeps the shoe lightweight but durable enough for racing and faster training. The upper features welded thermoplastic overlays in a saddle-like framework with a mesh of extra support on the medial side. The “secret weapon” of the upper is a treatment of Ion Masking, which makes a molecular mask on the surface smaller than water molecules, so they just run off. Perforations through the innersole, Strobel board, and midsole allow water to drain from the interior, a plus for triathletes. If this sounds like your cup of tea (which would also drain off), give the Kwicky Blade Light a look. “Snug fit through the arch and roomy in the toes. Well cushioned with each layer of foam, and the ‘skoosh’ of stability was just right. Another fine example of quality begetting quality. K-Swiss has really impressed me.” NEW • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation • Sizes: Men 6.5–13; Women 5–11,12 • Weight: 10.6 oz. (men’s 11); 9.3 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • www.kswiss.com
Li-Ning is China’s largest domestic sports footwear brand and the Fremont represents its first foray into the U.S. market. The shoe has a low profile with a very slight heel-to-forefoot drop, which means you should count on an adaptation period to minimize the chances of injury. The upper is supported minimally in the heel and features just enough midfoot support to keep the foot lined up over the midsole. The midsole is a well-cushioned, injection-molded EVA with a large lateral crashpad from heel to midfoot. The TPU shank support is vented to allow air to circulate into the shoe and is aided by the perforated innersole. The Fremont’s light weight makes it suited for faster-paced running—even racing for some runners—but the effect of activating the muscles in the foot also makes the Fremont a good additional tool for runners looking to get stronger. “Nice form fit, moccasin-like. Not a lot of cushioning, but very responsive and fast feeling. Very low to the ground, so any tippy feeling is really reduced. Very interesting approach. A valuable tool for running fitness and racing performance.” NEW • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–12,13,14; Women 6–11 • Weight: 10.0 oz. (men’s 11); 8.8 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted • www.li-ningusa.com
Mizuno Wave Elixer 6
The Wave Elixer 6 is an update that respects the strengths of its predecessor. Version 5 featured a major overhaul of the midsole compound and the outersole configuration, so Round 6 merely draws attention to the heel crashpad with a bright green colorup and leaves well enough alone—a smart move. It’s the upper that receives the attention in this update. Overlays have been slightly modified, as is typical in an update, but here the Dynamotion Fit has been redefined from a stretchy overlay to a hinged tab as the first eyelet, which moves better with the foot and allows the lacing to better secure the upper. Runners in need of lightness, stability, and good cushioning will find it in the Elixer 6. “I love the cushioning in this shoe! It provided a great bouncy feel. With each step I took, I felt balanced and secure” and “I love the weight. If the weight could be maintained with a slightly thicker heel, it would be the perfect speed shoe.” Updates the Wave Elixer 5 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 6–11 • Weight: 10.9 oz. (men’s 11); 9.1 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted • www.mizunorunning.com
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PERFORMANCE Nike Lunar Elite+ 2
The Lunar Elite+ 2 does the original at least one better in several areas, and winds up a better shoe as a result. The original midsole and outersole benefitted from earlier Lunar series shoes and the effectiveness of the Dynamic Support platform, so both have been retained in their original configuration. The original upper lacked the close tailoring needed for a really good performance fit. Round 2 changes to a breathable, open mesh and remedies the tailoring issue by welding on a supportive saddle with Flywire strands running from the midsole to the lace eyelets. The saddle consists of a zigzag of welded straps that function like independent fingers to snug the midfoot, while keeping the weight down. The fit is outstanding and lines the foot up over the midsole, overcoming the weakness of the original. The improved fit, quality, and comfort of the materials, as well as its outstanding ride, earned the Lunar Elite+ 2 our Best Renovation honors.
BEST RENOVATION SPRING 2011
“I think Nike has finally figured out a good Flywire configuration. The shoes snug down nicely without producing any uncomfortable pressure points. They roll nicely with my feet as I strike and then toe off (no slapping whatsoever). Cushioning is very good. I can feel the ground without feeling every pebble.” Updates the Lunar Elite+ • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation • Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: 11.0 oz. (men’s 11); 9.6 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • www.nike.com
A new brand from Switzerland, On employs a unique running technology called CloudTec. The outersole of the shoe features nine CloudTec lugs in the forefoot and four in the heel which, when viewed from the side, have an oval-shaped negative space. Under pressure, the lugs compress to cushion, but since they have small teeth on the inner surface they grip each other to aid forward motion. The sensation is a nicely cushioned ride with a responsive, bouncy feel to it. The lugs are attached to a traditional, though low-profile, midsole and when combined with the lugs, it’s roughly the height of a typical running shoe. The upper is a quality built, simple design of airmesh and synthetic suede that fits securely and has a plush feel. The technology is effective, the shoe is light and efficient, and the durability and cushioning are very good. “The fit was good, though more routine than anything amazing. The cushioning was outstanding, the responsiveness of the lugs and midsole was more than expected. The impression of the testing was thoroughly aligned with the expectation. Except for the upper (which was OK) the shoe promised, then delivered.” NEW • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 8–12; Women 5.5–9.5 • Weight: 11.4 oz. (men’s 11); 10.1 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted • www.on-running.com
Puma Faas 500
The Faas 500 is the top-end of a series of Puma shoes designed with less materials and a simpler ethos. Performance is the goal so it’s not surprising that the name derives from the Jamaican pronunciation of the word “fast.” The upper is a thin mesh and synthetic suede with an ankle collar of memory foam that’s not exactly Spartan. It has a snug feel, and the EVA Strobel board and Ortholite innersole contribute to great step-in comfort. The ride is responsive, thanks to the flexible midsole, and is aided by well-placed grooves underfoot. The thin outersole offers good traction and uses more durable (and heavier) carbon rubber only where needed. The combination of light weight, comfort, and responsive performance earned the Faas 500 honors as our Best New Shoe.
BEST NEW SHOE SPRING 2011
“They fit snug, the cushioning was great, the balance and durability of these shoes were awesome. I used them for most of my long runs. I’m sad to wear them out because they were so good.” NEW • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 6–12,13,14,15; Women 5.5–11,12 • Weight: 10.6 oz. (men’s 11); 9.2 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • www.puma.com
Saucony ProGrid Mirage
The Mirage follows in the footsteps of last season’s innovative Kinvara, so it shares more than a few similarities. Its weight belies its durable nature and it has a more traditional feel in both the upper and the outersole. The midsole shares the small heel-to-toe drop found in the Kinvara, but an EVA Strobel board adds a few millimeters of foam to up the ante on the cushioning. A TPU support shores up the medial side of the shoe, unobtrusively adding a touch of stability. The outersole is largely exposed midsole, but key wear areas are XT-900 in the heel, blown rubber in the forefoot. The upper has a familiar heel design and a well-padded ankle collar with an open airmesh for breathability and supportive midfoot welded overlays. The performance is unexpectedly good, whether for faster running or daily running. Its performance, versatility, and outstanding design earned the Mirage distinction as our Best Shoe in the Performance shoe category.
BEST SHOE Performance SP
RIN G 201
“Snug-fitting heel with good toe room. Very comfortable and that only got better with time. Great on roads, decent off-road. Lightweight for a training shoe, and the heel-to-toe slope was really great. Worked well for training, long races, fast or easy—well done.” NEW • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: 10.4 oz. (men’s 11); 8.9 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • www.saucony.com
Scott eRide Trainer
Scott continues to refine the products in its expanding line of running shoes. Proven in earlier Scott shoes, the ErgoLogic Fit upper, a two-layer, midfoot support/lace system, secures the foot effectively. The midsole has a low profile but doesn’t sacrifice much, as the ride is responsive and resilient, even in regular training. The outersole reveals the performance nature of the shoe with a polyurethane tread over more than half of the outersole, greatly reducing weight without losing anything in traction or durability. High-wear areas of the outersole feature carbon rubber, primarily at heel contact and toe-off. Versatility may be the eRide Trainer’s greatest strength, as it’s light enough for faster running, whether in training or longer races, and holds up to daily runs with equal ease. “Very secure fit in the midfoot, with room for your toes. Good cushioning, nice and responsive, light, actually really light for a daily trainer. These have a great combination of fit, responsiveness, and light weight.” NEW • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 8–12,13; Women 6–11 • Weight: 10.9 oz. (men’s 11); 8.5 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • www.scott-sports.com Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2011
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NEUTRAL/MOTION STABILIZING Brooks Defyance 4
The Defyance has earned an important spot in the Brooks lineup as a dependable, neutral performer. The upper is an open mesh and the saddle-like midfoot overlays have been beefed up on the medial side to improve support. The midsole has received the typical minor adjustments, but they haven’t affected the overall ride for which the shoe is known. The shank support has been reworked for more effective midfoot support without any unnecessary plastic. The outersole features slightly shortened longitudinal flex grooves to smooth the forefoot flexibility. These changes add up to a good solution for neutralfooted runners. “Comfortable fit, just like last year’s model. The ride has a bouncy feel to it, good cushioning. Fairly light weight feel (love that). I loved the light feel and support.” Updates the Defyance 3 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (B,D,2E); Women 5–12,13 (2A,B,D) • Weight: Men 11.9 oz. (size 11); Women 9.7 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, S-257 Cushsole (EVA Strobel board) • www.brooksrunning.com
New Balance 1080
BEST SHOE Neutral
RIN G 201
With the 1080, New Balance leads into a numerical reset, establishing numbers that correspond to their category. The 1080 represents the pinnacle of neutral cushioning in the NBx performance running line. Though it bears a resemblance to the 1064, which it replaces, the upper now features an airier, two-layer mesh, as well as more substantial overlays positioned for better flexibility where the foot flexes. The midsole is much the same as before, but there’s a new crashpad under the cuboid bone to soften a midfoot landing. Redesigned flex grooves and Stability Web allow an improved transition from heel to toe. The outersole features tougher rubber on the lateral side, softer blown rubber medially. The attention to detail and fit, as well as its plush ride, earned the 1080 top honors in the Neutral shoe category. “These shoes cradle my feet and help me confidently land each strike with my foot. No noticeable wear even @ 200 miles” and “I think New Balance went a little overboard with the cushioning on these, though overall they have been really pretty good.” Replaces the 1064 • Recommended for: medium-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (B,D,2E,4E); Women 5–11,12 (2A,B,D) • Weight: 13.0 oz. (men’s 11); 11.1 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, polyurethane Strobel board • www.newbalance.com
Saucony ProGrid Triumph 8
The Triumph series has always specialized in cushioning and protection. The Triumph 8 trims some weight from Round 7 while retaining most of the protection and plushness. The upper has noticeably less bulk, a move in the right direction, but it’s still on the heavy side. One improvement is the open area at the first metatarsal, which gives a roomy feeling and accommodates a wide forefoot, hallux rigidus, or bunions. The midsole features minor changes to the molding but offers much the same ride as before—well cushioned without being mushy. The outersole continues with the combination of blown rubber in the forefoot and carbon rubber in the heel, but more separation between the heel lugs gives better articulation in the touch-down. The Triumph continues to offer Saucony’s best cushioned ride. “Lots of room in the toes. They are comfortable but a little stiff, but with plenty of cushion throughout the whole shoe. Heavier feeling than most shoes I wear now, but I probably don’t need all the pampering these provide.” Updates the ProGrid Triumph 7 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 5–11,12 • Weight: 13.1 oz. (men’s 11); 11.7 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • www.saucony.com
ASICS Gel-DS Trainer 16
The DS Trainer has always represented the ASICS philosophy of balancing engineering and minimalism. Version 16 has locked onto this concept with proven technologies and lightweight materials. This time out, the upper is much the same from the toes to the midfoot, but between the arch and the heel there are now two layers of material securing the heel to prevent slipping. The result is a heavier shoe than in the past but it has a much better-fitting heel. The midsole has seen the usual minor tweaks without noticeably affecting the ride, though the articulation in forefoot flexion is a little more pliable thanks to the addition of ASICS’ Guidance Line. The result is a midweight shoe with a great balance of stability and cushioning that holds up to the demands of high mileage. “They felt perfectly snug and are the lightest shoes I have worn with this much great support” and “Cushion was good, with a good feel around the ankles and from the tongue. Overall, heavier than I expected but with a good, balanced feeling.” Updates the Gel-DS Trainer 15 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 6-13, 14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 11.9 oz. (size 11); Women 10.2 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, two-density Solyte Strobel board • www.asicsamerica.com
ASICS Gel-Kayano 17
As the flagship of the ASICS motion stabilizing contingent, Version 17 of the Kayano maintains the plush ride, fit, and stability that has long defined it. The familiar profile has been well dialed in for at least 5 years, so the faithful have been consistently served and that continues here. Though the differences appear to be cosmetic, they’re actually upgrades: the upper has a bit less Bio-Fit, but what’s there is used more precisely on the medial and lateral sides; and replacing the synthetic leather overlays with HF-welded overlays saves weight without compromising support. The midsole geometry with its precise shaping has been maintained from the flex grooves to the decoupling of the heel and, with the generous Gel cushioning all but identical, the ride is indistinguishable from recent versions. The good news—make that great news—is that the Kayano 17 continues to be as consistent a performer as ASICS delivers. “The Kayano is always snug and comfortable. The cushioning is great, the shoe is very stable, and my feet are secure in them while running at any speed.” Updates the Gel-Kayano 16 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 6-14,15,16 (D), 8-14,15,16 (EE), 8-14,15,16 (EEEE); Women 5–13 (B), 6-13 (AA,D) • Weight: Men 13.0 oz. (size 11); Women 11.4 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, two-density Solyte Strobel board • www.asicsamerica.com
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9 oz. – from start to ﬁnish. The new Kwicky Blade-Light features revolutionary Ion-Mask™ technology. Waterstation. Rain. Sweat. Nothing gets in. Now that’s gonzo. kswiss.com/kwicky
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MOTION STABILIZING Brooks Ravenna 2
BEST SHOE Motion Stabilizing
RIN G 201
The Ravenna has moved up in the food chain. While it was a peppy performer, it now has a bit more muscle to it, thanks to the incorporation of Brooks’ DNA cushioning element. The Ravenna is still peppy, but the extra boost in cushioning makes it even better equipped for high mileage. The upper is ever so slightly altered (the usual few millimeter shift in overlays), but the elastic straps to the eyestay remain, allowing the upper to move with the foot. The midsole sports minor adjustments to the forefoot, but the lateral heel has much more articulation in the crashpad, and rests over a more concentrated outersole element and altered heel flex grooves. The remaining outersole is much as it was, with carbon rubber in the heel and blown rubber up front. The combination of its accommodating fit, good stability, and lasting cushioning earned the Ravenna 2 the Best Shoe honors in the Motion Stabilizing category. “Nice roomy toe box. They are very comfortable. The heelstrike is one of the most comfortable I’ve ever felt. There is nice bounce to the shoes on the run. Good stability and the lacing is great. This is a great light-feeling shoe. Much better than all the brands I’ve tried.” Updates the Ravenna • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: 12.1 oz. (men’s 11); 10.1 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, S-257 Cushsole (EVA Strobel board) • www.brooksrunning.com
Brooks Trance 10
The Trance has undergone a transformation that is both substantive and visual. The more resilient DNA cushioning, new in the Trance 10, is an upgrade, and midsole shaping (smaller pods on the lateral side) broadens the base of the shoe. The result is better stability, though the full-length DNA and increased foam contribute to a weight gain of over 10%. The upper is designed for the same effective support with new overlays and a TPU heel cradle doing the job. One of the more significant improvements is the fit, as stretchy straps in the eyestay flex with the foot for more security and an extra eyelet at the top of the tongue holds it in place. The outersole features a bit more rubber surface, though with variation in height for sufficient flexion. Runners with a need for extra stability and cushioning owe it to themselves to try out a pair of Trance 10s. “Good fit, cushioning, and stability. I hadn't worn Brooks shoes before, and I discovered that they know how to make shoes!” Updates the Trance 9 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (B,D,2E); Women 5–12 (B,D) • Weight: 13.4 oz. (men’s 11); 11.2 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, S-257 Cushsole (Strobel board) • www.brooksrunning.com
Mizuno Wave Inspire 7
The Inspire has been one of Mizuno’s most dependable motion stabilizing shoes. Though not flashy, it’s a performer and Round 7 focuses on improving its fit and transition. The upper is now a more open airmesh and there have been slight shifts to the overlays which, along with a stretchier feel to the mesh over the toes, open up the metatarsal area for a bit more room. The first eyelet is now hinged on the lateral side to allow more adaptable lacing in securing the foot.The midsole contours look different but offer the smoothest transition of all the new Mizuno training shoes. The stability of the asymmetrical Wave plate is rock solid. The outersole features some reshaping of flex grooves but is as effective as ever for traction and durability. The fit and performance are the real value of the Inspire, perhaps as aptly named a shoe as any on the market. “The Inspire has been a reliable training shoe for me. The 7 may be even more so than earlier versions; fit really well, durable, plenty of cushioning, and plenty of stability. No downside as far as I’m concerned.” Updates the Wave Inspire 6 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15,16 (D,2E); Women 6–12 (2A,B,D) • Weight: 12.7 oz. (men’s 11); 10.1 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted • www.mizunorunning.com
Nike Zoom Structure Triax+ 14
The Structure Triax has been updated with several mantras in mind, including “Don’t mess with success.” Round 14 stands pat on the effective dual-density Phylon midsole (one of Nike’s last shoes with the compound) and its well-executed crashpads and flex grooves, which provide great cushioning, stability, and an unobtrusive transition. The upper of the Structure Triax 14 benefits from Nike’s innovative Flywire as some of the strapping and overlays of previous versions have been replaced by supportive Flywire strands welded to the midfoot of the shoe. The forefoot has an open feel with plenty of room over the metatarsals and a clean look to go with the smooth functioning. If the Structure Triax has been your shoe, rest assured that they didn’t change what you love about it. “Good toe room, but not quite as snug as I would have liked. Good balance and stability. Not as cushiony as other Nikes I have tested in the past” and “My feet were secure and balanced—the shoes felt stable. My overall impression is, there are shoes on the market that are more comfortable and cost less.” Updates the Zoom Structure Triax+ 13 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15 (B,D,2E,4E); Women 5–12 (A,B,D) • Weight: 12.5 oz. (men’s 11); 10.0 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • www.nike.com
Reebok Premier Road Supreme 2
The Premier Road Supreme 2 takes a good shoe and makes it even better. The upper opens up the forefoot for a roomer fit across the metatarsals, with a snugger fit laterally provided by a large Kinetic Fit panel. A reshaped heel tab and more memory foam in the ankle collar give a form fit to the rearfoot. The DMX foam Strobel board and generous Ortholite innersole, along with the injection-molded EVA, make for a cushy ride. The medial second density offers just enough extra stability to make the shoe effective for a large group of runners, from the mild to moderate overpronator to the fairly neutral runner looking for extra support, especially on long runs. Holding the price while improving the comfort adds to the value. “This shoe fits great, they just hug my foot with nice toe room. Well cushioned, just a bit bouncy, very smooth from heel to toe. Nice. Lots of good running miles for me with this shoe.” Updates the Premier Road Supreme • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14; Women 5–11,12 • Weight: Men 12.4 oz. (size 11); Women 10.6 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel sliplasted, DMX Foam Strobel board • www.reebok.com
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Three Important Words for Cross Country By Dave Frank
ver the years I’ve heard many coaches discuss the elements that they find to be important in developing a successful cross country program. Good programs have a great many things in common, so I’ve found that I tend to agree with many of my colleagues—and have implemented those ideas that fit into the Central Catholic philosophy. At some point it became apparent to me that virtually all of these successful programs had a single, glaring, unarguable commonality—and one that, happily, my teams had already embraced. In high school I’m sure I had a sense of it under Oregon legend Wes Cook (Gladstone HS). In college Mike Tomasello and Brooks Johnson (Stanford) also emphasized this aspect with my teammates and me. When I began coaching at the high school level under Brian Curley (Saint Francis HS, Mountain View, California), I knew it was important. But it wasn’t until I worked with Alberto Salazar at Central Catholic that I truly understood the value of summer running. And, while I doubt that he’s the first guy ever to have said it, I recently heard San Jose Bellarmine HS coach Patrick McCrystle say, “The three most important things in high school cross country are ‘June,’ ‘July’ and ‘August.’” I wish I had said those three words. When we began at Central Catholic our runners hadn’t put a great deal of time or effort into their summer running, and their results mirrored that effort. Within a couple years, we had a group of dedicated young men and a reasonable training plan for the summer. Their improvement was dramatic, and our team has continued to be very competitive at the state and regional levels simply by continuing in the same vein. What do we do? Well, like most coaches I have come up with virtually nothing on my own. I’ve stolen from Cook, Johnson, Curley, McCrystle and Salazar, as well as Jeff Atkinson, George Malley, Steve Shaklee, Kelly Sullivan, Mike Glavin, Pat Tyson and a host of others. We run a lot. We run together a lot. We run hard some days. We run long some days. We run with a purpose and a plan. And we do lots of little things that make a difference.
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Mileage At the start of each season athletes are assigned a maximum weekly mileage, along with a maximum long run (20–25% of their weekly max). No two kids are alike based on their previous experiences as runners, so these maximums vary; they’re not simply a function of a runner’s year in school. Typically we increase about 10 miles per week (mpw) each year (5 mpw in the summer and 5 mpw in the winter), but some athletes show that they can handle—and thrive—on greater mileage while others have obvious difficulties with an increase. My goal—my job!—is to find what will work best for each kid this season and beyond. We’ve had some who ran a max of 85 mpw while others—successful senior runners—maxed at 45 mpw. Disclaimer: I’m a firm believer in doing as much mileage as the kid can reasonably handle. We don’t run maximum mileage every week; we hit max miles only about eight times in a season (all of summer and fall for cross country season). Each week is assigned a volume—based on a number of factors—from 1–10; a “10” week is maximum mileage while a “5” week is 50% of maximum. For most of the summer we run volumes of 8, 9 or 10 and continue that into the competitive season (with the exception of the first week of school where we cut back significantly, acknowledging the huge change in stressors for our student-athletes that week). I don’t check on mileage (other than “How’d your long run go?”) and don’t assign daily distances. I’m confident that our motivated athletes will run appropriately. On a day-to-day basis I give guidelines but leave it up to the individual to decide how much they need on that day to reach their weekly goal. A couple of “guidelines”: (1) athletes have a pretty good idea how many miles they’ll get on hard days, on meet days, and on their long run so they generally have to decide only on easy or moderate days how far to go; (2) we typically have three to four easy/moderate days per week; athletes are encouraged to weight those days unevenly. For example, if the athlete knows he needs 16 miles between Friday and Saturday I’d prefer a 10-miler and a 6-miler rather than two 8mile runs.
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We supplement mileage with “alternative mileage”: swimming/aqua jogging, stationary biking, elliptical training, etc. This is supplemental mileage—not in place of actual running but in addition to real running miles. This supplemental cardiovascular work, in our experience, has not had an adverse effect in terms of overall fatigue—and has had positive effects with regard to aerobic development.
A Community of Runners As a private school we have runners from all corners of the city. While we often have pockets of runners in a particular area, it is not unusual for our athletes to live an in area isolated from teammates. Of course our top athletes are likely to get their running in regardless, but in terms of developing an overall program, running with others makes a huge difference. We meet four evenings per week in the summer, and, while it’s certainly not mandatory, our athletes—and families—make every effort to be there when it’s reasonable to do so. (We help arrange car pools, making obsolete the cry, “I couldn’t get a ride!”) Of course it’s understandable that there will be times during the summer that our athletes can’t be there, but we simply ask for communication during these times. Our families, with a savvy understanding of the value of summer training, encourage their boys to get their running in and make time for them to do so. Given that the long run is an integral part of our training, we previously met with our athletes on Sundays in addition to the weekly practices. As our program has developed we no longer feel the need to supervise these long runs. Typically a few athletes make Sunday’s plan at the end of Friday’s workout—and the captains make sure everyone knows when and where the run will take place. Again, not all athletes make it, but most get that long run in religiously (pun intended). A few years ago I came across a summer training program entitled The Summer of Malmo. In the words of its developer, former 3000m steeple American recordholder George Malley, it’s “a foolproof, no-nonsense, 100 percent guaranteed program that will help runners of all abilities to improve their fitness over the summer without the attendant physical or mental fatigue.” Malley’s plan incorporates one key
idea with regard to running together that we had already embraced—and has undoubtedly enhanced our training. Malley says, “First up, call all of your running friends, crew, homeys, goodbuddies, gangmates, posse, stable, team or pals and commit to meet twice a week for a workout. Get together with runners from other teams in your town or city. Make it a social event. Meet for pizza or a BBQ afterwards.” That’s what we do. We post our schedule on a number of running websites/message boards and invite other high schoolers to join us. We invite our own alums to join us. We invite junior high kids to join us. We invite local collegians, home for the summer, to join us. We invite post-collegians and masters runners to join us. Why? On every run, every workout, having more folks to run with makes it that much easier—particularly for the younger athletes. They realize that they aren’t alone in what they’re doing—and that there are others out there of approximately equal ability. Everyone has a group “up” to which they can aspire. We also encourage our runners to seek out other running opportunities outside our group: All our kids live in a public school district somewhere, and those teams typically run together on certain nights; a number of local running shops sponsor weeknight runs from their stores; the folks at Nike put on a series of fun cross country races in August. With a bit of effort, our boys can find a group with which to run virtually every day of the summer.
Hard Days While many programs emphasize easy to moderate running in the summer with few or no “workouts,” the uptick in our program coincided directly with the implementation of workouts in the summer. The rationale at the time was that these workouts, while not at nearly the same intensity as September or October efforts, were hard enough to be incredibly difficult for athletes who only ran two or three days a week. Those athletes who ran five or six or seven days a week had little or no difficulty with the workouts and, obviously, made great gains in their fitness. It became clear to both coaches and athletes which athletes were the twice-aweek and which were the six-days-a-week runners. The twice-a-weekers, eager to avoid the discomfort,
And, while I doubt that he’s the first guy ever to have said it, I recently heard San Jose Bellarmine HS coach Patrick McCrystle say, “The three most important things in high school cross country are ‘June,’ ‘July’ and ‘August.’”
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either stepped up or gave up. We were lucky to have many of the former. Given that any program is built on continuous development of younger and/or less experienced athletes, this use of workouts continues to drive our program forward, despite the fact that this rationale now holds little weight for our top runners. Our successes—and their lofty goals—have motivated them to get out and run regularly regardless of the intensity of the upcoming training, but there is still great value for those athletes, as well. Under Brooks Johnson I learned the value of “touching” each aspect of training throughout the different phases of the training cycle. This simply means, for example, that we don’t wait until the last two weeks of the season to do real speed work; we prioritize each aspect differently throughout the training cycle. Rather than only running mileage in the summer with no harder efforts, we incorporate those harder days (tempo runs, easy hill repeats, fartlek, etc.) into our summer training and progress in intensity as the season moves forward.
A Philosophy Over the years, we’ve adopted the phrase Always Be Closing as our team motto. It’s meant to develop a mindset that we want to be at our best at the end— when it’s most important. We don’t discount the journey; we all know that great value in our sport comes from the process and day-to-day effort, but the progression toward a goal is a key element in our program. Always Be Closing has a number of connotations: (1) we want to be racing at our best at the end of the season in the championship races; (2) we want our workouts to progress throughout the season—so it’s important for our athletes to understand that the summer workouts are designed specifically to be “less than challenging”; (3) we want to be at our best at the end of each race. This doesn’t mean that we jog for 21⁄2 miles and then kick like crazy but that we have an attitude that we are finishers, we are closers; (4) we want to finish workouts strongly, even if the early portions of a workout don’t go as well as we’d have liked; (5) we want to be best in our senior year—and even better after that!
The Little Things Strides/Accelerations: In keeping with the idea that we need to touch different aspects of our training throughout the season, we never go more than two consecutive days without doing some type of uptempo running. This is also a good time to focus on form and technique. Hills vs. Flat Running: For easy and moderate runs
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we try to run hilly terrain as often as possible; hills build strength—muscularly, cardiovascularly, and in terms of mental toughness. Ferritin (Iron) Levels: We encourage our athletes to have their ferritin levels tested twice a year. Pavement vs. Soft Surface: In training it’s best to run on grass, trails, bark chips, or other soft surfaces rather than roads or bike paths. Concrete and asphalt are significantly harder surfaces and place greater stress on joints and musculature. Additionally, running on soft surfaces forces the lower extremities and core to constantly adjust to the surface and, as a result, become stronger. If no soft surfaces are available, asphalt is more forgiving than concrete. General Strength: We introduce our general strength (core work, med balls, balance, mobility, flexibility) program in the summer and continue it throughout the year. Running Twice per Day: A key component in The Summer of Malmo, running twice a day, can be a huge benefit for many athletes. Breaking up mileage into two runs allows for even more mileage, while the simple act of getting out twice a day instills greater mental toughness. While there is no doubt that cross country teams differ in a number of ways, successful programs appear to have at least one clear similarity. The commitment your team makes to “June,” “July” and “August” will be a significant factor in their ability to Always Be Closing. Dave is in his 11th year at Central Catholic and has been head cross country coach for 6 years–with four state titles and two runnerup finishes. While at St. Francis he was the assistant coach for the 1998 California State Division III XC champs. He graduated from Gladstone High School, where he won five state titles in track and XC. He held the school record for the 3000m steeplechase (8:38) at Stanford University and was a three-time Olympic Trials qualifier in the steeplechase and marathon (2:18).
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Land + Water =
Optimal Performance for Runners By Dr. Garry Killgore
Introduction The intent of this article is to provide an understanding of how to effectively marry land- and water-based workouts for runners. However, before delving into the specifics of this unique marriage, a basic understanding of some of the physics of movement in water and the corollary physiological outcomes must be understood.
The Science of Running in Water With the aforementioned in mind, we are always in a “fluid” environment, i.e., air, water, or both. While training on land, we’re only concerned with air, which is much less dense than water. In fact, the density of water is ≈800 times greater than air.1 What this means is that training in water is more difficult because it’s “thicker,” or a more viscous environment. Furthermore, Archimede’s Principle explains why a body with a small mass and a large volume (large amounts of fat) floats and why normally lean runners sink. This is why we need to encourage our lean runner’s to wear some type of buoyancy device, e.g., Zero Gravity Buoyancy suit™ (AQx Sports, McMinnville, OR) or other suitable buoyancy belt, etc. Along these same lines is the concept of buoyant force, which acts vertically upward in opposition to the force of gravity. Similarly, specific gravity is the ratio of the weight of an object (body) and the weight of an equal volume of water. According to J. G. Hay,2 a specific gravity of ≤1.0 will float; fat has a specific gravity of ≈0.8, muscle has a specific gravity of ≈ 1.0 and bone has a specific gravity of ≈1.5–2.0. A better understanding of these concepts enables us to provide for the opportunity for appropriate technique and, thus, enhanced workout carryover from water running back to landbased running. My research has demonstrated that when the runner can float, they will have better kinematics during the running gait cycle, breathe easier, and will be able to focus more on the attainment of the goal associated with the prescribed workout. Another important type of force to take into consideration while moving in water is termed drag. In fact, drag is the major resistance to overcome in water.3 Even though there are two types of drag, form and surface, form drag is the major type of drag to understand relative to the proper manipulation in running workouts in the water. The most important consideration is that drag is highly velocity dependent (V2). Because of this, the velocity of the movement is one of the most effective ways to either increase or decrease form drag and, thus, the workload. Furthermore, due to the accommodating (isokinetic) nature of the 26 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2011
resistance while moving in water, instantaneous adjustments can be made during workouts to better attain appropriate individualization of workouts. A lesser component of drag is the overall cross sectional area that’s exposed to the water. This component of drag has direct implications relative to the length of lever exposed to the water, e.g., generally speaking runners with longer legs will experience a slower stride cycle rate than their somewhat shorter counterparts. An important physics concept relative to water training and conditioning is hydrostatic pressure. Pressure is the force/area. Pressure is exerted on us from all directions. This is true both on land and in the water. Hydrostatic pressure is important because it helps us understand physiological manifestations, e.g., cardiac output and the commonly reported lower maximal heart rates associated with running in deep water. In fact, the average HRmax has been reported to be 10–15 bpm lower in water running than those found on land.4 These lower HRmax values are at least partially explained by the increase in hydrostatic pressure. This is particularly true in deeper water, especially on the lower extremities. This increase in pressure drives the blood flow toward the head and is assisted by the absence of gravity. In turn, this accounts for the lower HRmax values exhibited in deep-water running. Due to the linear relationship between HR and oxygen consumption (VO2), it is no surprise that VO2max reported values average 6–10 ml•kg–1•min–1 lower than those found during maximal land-based running. Interestingly, in a recent study,5 it was found that wearing a specialized drag-producing shoe (AQx) during a submaximal 30-minute deep-water running trial not only produced similar HR values to those found on land, but wearing the shoes created a 9% increase in energy expenditure over running barefoot while both deep-water running trials were conducted at the same cadence (stride rate). Similar results were found in a Brigham Young University study where wearing AQx water shoes increased V02 by 4.12 mL•kg–1•min–1 at any given water treadmill speed.6 One further point regarding HR values in deepwater running is that it has been reported that at a submaximal level, defined as 55–65% of landbased VO2max, there’s no statistically significant difference found between land and water-based heart rates.5,7,8 However, as opposed to the lower values found for HR and VO2, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) using Borg’s 6-20 category scale are typically reported to be 1–3 points higher while running in deep water than commonly reported for land-based running.5,8 These higher RPE values may be
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somewhat explained by lesser-trained muscle groups and fiber types being innervated with an increase in carbohydrate (glycolytic) metabolism.9 Regardless of the lower heart rates found, and using the same pressure mechanism as previously described, hydrostatic pressure is also directly involved in the increased effectiveness of deepwater running for active recovery after workouts by assisting the blood flow in fatigued muscles.10 In addition, another use of the hydrostatic pressure might be found in the strengthening of the breathing muscles. For an excellent review of pertinent scientific evidence of this contention, see Dr. Bruce Becker’s article.11 Another biomechanical key to the differences between land and water running is gravity. When running in water, the absence of gravity in conjunction with the unique properties of water, including increased drag, density, and pressure, doesn’t allow the runner to generate momentum as they do during their normal gait cycle on land. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because this phenomenon allows us to train all muscles throughout a complete normal gait cycle and decreases the likelihood of encouraging muscular imbalances. The take-home message from understanding the science of running in water is that because the runner’s velocity in water is slower, we simply can’t attain the same stride cycle rate (the number of strides/minute) in water that we can on land. Furthermore, the kinesthetic perception or “feel” will be altered due to the lack of gravity and the increase in drag. However, if understood and applied appropriately, working out (running) in water can be a fantastic adjunct to a normal running regimen and should significantly decrease the likelihood of incurring any number of runningrelated injuries commonly associated with our sport.
Deep-Water Training Now that there’s a basic understanding of the physics and the related physiological outcomes of moving in water, we can turn our attention to maximizing the specific benefits to runners.
Deep-Water Running Technique As I always point out, we must emphasize great form and technique first and foremost with our runners whether we’re running on land or in the water. Unfortunately, many professionals in the past neglected proper form to get an artificial elevation of the heart rate as the only indicator of workload. It’s with the aforementioned in mind that I conducted my doctoral research that compared two major styles of running in water, both while wearing shoes and while barefoot.8 The results I found clearly indicated that both qualitatively and quantitatively there is a style of deep-water running that perhaps should be preferred because it best mimics running on land. The “cross country” or open gait pattern of running in deep water can be described as follows:
• The water should be at approximately shoulder level below the chin with the head held in a neutral position facing forward. • The body leans slightly forward of a vertical position. This position is similar to running up a slight incline or into a headwind. This is important because if you lean too far back your knees will come up too high in the front and you will be practicing the high-knee version of deep-water running (which looks more like stair-stepping). • The arm carriage should be relaxed and identical to land-based running. Your arms will primarily move from the shoulder joint (relatively stable) with elbows flexed at approximately 90º. • The hands are held in a slightly clenched-fist position with your thumb resting lightly on your forefinger to decrease the likelihood of using a dog-paddling motion. • The legs follow a pattern that’s more of a faster running motion like interval training, rather than a light recovery or aerobic run where: – The knee comes up toward the surface of the water until the hip reaches a position of approximately 60–80º (hip flexion), followed by extension of the leg toward the bottom of the pool. It’s important to keep a slight amount of flexion at the knee to ensure that the runner doesn’t experience any hyperextension due to the increase in drag of the now-long lever and increased moment of inertia.1 – The foot moves from approximately 0º dorsiflexion at full hip flexion (imagine your foot in the same position as if you were standing on the ground in a normal position) to approximately 50–70º of plantarflexion (toes pointed slightly at the bottom of the pool) when the leg is fully extended. A good thing to imagine is to think of your foot touching the bottom of the pool when your leg is almost fully extended, then moving your foot back toward the edge of the pool as far as possible without rotating your hips, then the foot moves under your butt, and finally lifting the knee up to allow the foot to continuously move through the gait pattern. • The athlete should be instructed to have a total body forward lean similar to running into a headwind. This is not simply bending forward at the trunk, but should be a complete lean. This allows for more engagement of the hamstrings and gluteals and less of an overemphasis on the hip flexors and upper body. For access to underwater video footage of proper deepwater running mechanics, visit www.aqxsports.com
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Summary Part of the reason that we have enjoyed good success with our runners stems from the philosophy that we need to train hard, but we need to also protect the overall health of our athletes. This is where regular pool training has benefited us. We have many specific examples of runners who have achieved at all championship levels, from the conference to NCAA III, NAIA, and Olympic Trials, because of this philosophy. One suggestion is to find an educational specialist with an appropriate background or seek out clinics or workshops on the specific evidence-based suggestions for programming, selection of exercises, adaptations due to water, etc. That said, I would like to offer the following sample workout of how to implement more aquatic-based training into your overall plan.
Sample Workout #1 Deep-Water Running This is an appropriate routine for the middle distance events during pre-season to be completed in exchange for one land-based interval day. Week 1: Set = 5x30 seconds at a comfortably hard pace, with 30 seconds’ recovery (focus is on range of motion, not only a speed increase) Week 2: Set = 5x45 seconds at a comfortably hard pace, with 1:15 seconds’ recovery (focus is on range of motion, not only a speed increase) Week 3: Set = 5x1 minute at a comfortably hard pace, with 1:00 minutes’ recovery (focus is on range of motion, not only a speed increase) Week 4: Set = 5x1:30 minutes at a comfortably hard pace, with 1 seconds’ recovery (focus is on range of motion, not only a speed increase) Warm-up for 10 minutes in the deep section of the pool using the “open” running gait pattern (work on form) Set I: Using the open running gait, complete the following progression Between sets = active recovery using the open running gait for an additional 2 minutes Set 2: Using the open running gait with legs only (arms held in place out in front), complete the following progression Between sets = active recovery using the open running gait for an additional 2 minutes Set 3: Using the open running gait complete the following progression Between sets = active recovery using the open running gait for 2 minutes
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BONUS Set 4: Run at a medium pace for 4–5 minutes (this can be increased in intensity and/or length as fitness increases) Cool-down = active recovery using the open running gait for 9–10 minutes For more specific information on any aspect of water training for running, visit my website at www.aqxsports.com or e-mail me directly at email@example.com Clinics are available on request. Dr. Garry Killgore is the president and a founding partner of AQx. He is a full professor and academic chair of Human Performance at Linfield College and earned his PhD in Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics. He has published and presented on the biomechanics of running both on land and in water, prevention of running-related injuries and scientific concepts applied to coaching. His specialty is alternative training and rehabilitation for athletes. He just completed his 21st year as Linfield College’s (NCAA III) head men’s and women’s cross country and track & field coach.
References 1. Killgore, G. L. (2008). Water power. Techniques for track & field and cross country, 1(3), 38–43. 2. Hay, J. G. The biomechanics of sports techniques (4th ed). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1993. 3. DiPrampero, P. E. (1986). The energy cost of human locomotion on land and in water. International Journal of Sports Medicine 7, 55–72. 4. Frangolias, D. D., & Rhodes, E. C. (1996). Metabolic responses and mechanisms during water immersion running and exercise. Sports Medicine 22, 38–53. 5. Killgore, G. L., Coste, S. C., O’Meara, S. E., & Konnecke, C. J. (2010). A comparison of the physiological workload differences between shod and barefoot sub-maximal deep-water running at the same cadence. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, (forthcoming). 6. Rife, R. K., Myrer, J. W., Vehrs, P., Feland, J. B., Hunter, I., & Fellingham, G. W. (2010). Water treadmill parameters needed to obtain land treadmill intensities in runners. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., 42(4), 733–738. 7. Mercer, J. A., & Jensen, R. L. (1998). Heart rates at equivalent sub-maximal levels of VO2 do not differ between deep water running and treadmill running. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 12, 161–165. 8. Killgore, G. L., Wilcox, A., Caster B., & Wood, T. (2006). A lower extremities kinematic comparison of deep-water running styles and treadmill running. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 20(4), 919–927. 9. Michaud, T. J., Rodriguez-Zayas, J., Andres, F. F., Flynn, M.G., & Lambert, C. P. (1995). Comparative exercise responses of deep water and treadmill running. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 9, 104–109. 10. Reilly, T., & Ekblom, B. (2005). The use of recovery methods post-exercise. Journal of Sports Sciences, 23(6), 619–627. 11. Becker, B. E. (2009). Aquatic therapy: Scientific foundations and clinical rehabilitation applications. Physical Medicine and Rehab 1, 859–872.
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Maximum Nutrition for the Young Track & Field Athlete By Roy Stevenson
undreds of books, filled with conflicting information, have been written about diet and nutrition, so it’s no wonder that many teenagers have questionable diets. And the field of sports nutrition has more than its share of myths and poor dietary practices. Most nutritionists who work with teenagers usually find several things at fault with the diet of every one of their young clients, and teenage athletes are no exception. In fact, many young track & field athletes perform poorly, without even being aware that nutritional errors are causing the slump. Teen athletes are putting their health at risk by not paying attention to their nutrition because they are facing tremendous growth spurts on top of the energy requirements for track & field. Here is some sports nutrition advice you can pass along to your teen athletes that will cover the basics, and hopefully result in them making a few changes for the better to their diet. I’m going to sound like your grandmother here, but teens should realize several things about their diet. First, teens tend to be repetitive about their food choices, so the food they eat generally remains constant over the months. Sadly, their diet has far too much high-calorie, low-nutrient-density foods, and is usually missing important foods necessary for sports performance and recovery. Combine these errors with poor nutritional habits such as missing breakfast, not snacking before training, and not drinking enough fluids, and you have a recipe for underperformance, no matter what event the teen competes in.
1. Eat a varied and balanced diet. Teens (and by proxy, their parents) should consume a varied and mixed diet, and avoid the fad foods of the latest fad food diet published in a magazine. Foods that should be on your weekly list should include dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, butter); meats (beef, poultry, pork, cold cuts); fish (canned tuna and fresh); eggs; grain products (whole wheat bread, pancakes, bagels, pasta, rice, crackers); cereals (nonsugared); fruits (all varieties); vegetables (all varieties); and healthy snacks (healthy, low-sugar sports bars). Eating from this list will ensure adequate energy for training and nutrients for repair and growth of muscle, tendons, ligaments and
bones. It boils down to an emphasis on carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein and low-fat foods. 2. Avoid high-calorie, low-nutrient-density foods. They are easy to identify, and you don’t need to be a nutritionist to see that Snickers bars and most junk foods fit these categories. The trick is to substitute appetizing foods for junk foods so that teenagers will consume them instead. Eating lower-calorie, high-nutrient-density foods (such as vegetables and fruit) will also provide the important vitamins and minerals that regulate tissue growth and repair. 3. Focus on more calories during high-volume training. Athletes doing strength training may need additional high-protein, low-fat foods. During conditioning phases, the athlete will need a higher intake of calories and fluid. 4. Eat breakfast! This should have a mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and provide between 25% and 33% of the day’s calories. If teens complain that they can’t stomach breakfast, have them try it for two weeks, and they’ll find that their stomach quickly adjusts. They’ll also feel more alert in class and have more energy during the day. 5. Avoid sugary and caffeinated foods and drinks like the plague. I write this article from Seattle, the spiritual coffee capital of the U.S., and have never seen so many anxious, jittery and wired people in my life. The teenage years are way too early to get hooked on caffeine and sugar. Neither of them has any redeeming value to athletes, and may have some negative effects on athletes. 6. Eat healthy snacks throughout the day and drink constantly. Teenagers have a deep addiction to the latest generation of “high energy” drinks such as Red Bull and its imitators. These drinks are expensive and do not benefit the athlete in any way, except to provide a rapid sugar and caffeine release. The other ingredients are questionable at best, and the research on them is scant and wanting. Drink watered-down sports drinks and water, and avoid the sickly, sweet, sugary ones.
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Book of the Year s you can see, the book is called Track Town, USA. But it’s really a book of memories. Memories about a place where more great moments in track and field have taken place than anywhere else in the United States, if not in the world. It’s about Hayward Field, and the athletes, coaches and fans who have turned it into a temple of the sport since the first six-lane track was laid down encircling the University of Oregon’s football field in 1921. No one in 1921 could have imagined how this modest six-lane cinder oval would grow and flourish in the next 90 years, nor foresee the wonders that the world’s greatest runners, jumpers and throwers would produce for some of the world’s most rabid track fans. But thanks to gifted photographers Rich Clarkson and Brian Lanker and the equally gifted writer Kenny Moore, you can re-live them: the early years of coach Bill Hayward, the decades at the top under Bill Bowerman, Bill Dellinger and Tom Heinonen, and most recently the renaissance led by Vin Lananna; icons like Steve Prefontaine, Alberto Salazar and Mary Decker Slaney; the hundreds of national, world and Olympic champions from all over the world who have competed at Hayward; the NCAA and AAU championships, Olympic Trials and Pre Classics; and the more than 200 sub-4-minute miles run on the Hayward track, 141 of them at the Pre Classic alone. Moore’s elegant prose is handsomely illuminated by nearly two hundred photos, beginning with coach Hayward’s 1907 track team and running all the way to the heroics of Andrew Wheating, Ashton Eaton and Keisha Baker in the 2010 NCAAs. Some of the pictures are familiar, for they are classics. Many more, including several of Prefontaine, have never been published before. You don’t have to be from Oregon to love Track Town, USA. Any athlete, any coach, any official, and any track fan who has been to Eugene, Oregon will want to own it. Outside of Eugene, though, it’s virtually impossible to buy a copy of Track Town, USA at your local bookstore. However, it’s available on the Internet at www.trackandfieldnews.com and clicking on e-store, or by sending a check for $42.90 ($39.95 plus $2.95 for mailing) to Track & Field News, 2570 El Camino Real, Suite 480, Mountain View, CA 94040.
— James Dunaway
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